This is the second article from the trilogy of articles dedicated to identifying major problems which may occur with the documents, submitted in support of British spouse visa application.
When submitting your visa application you need to ensure that not only you submit all the necessary documents but also that they are in the correct form.
Generally, your cash savings will be taken into consideration if they are above £16,000 and were held in your bank account for over 6 months.
Income or cash savings in a foreign currency will be converted to pounds sterling using the closing spot exchange rate which appears on www.oanda.com on the date of application.
Where there is income or cash savings in different foreign currencies, each will be converted into pounds sterling before being added together, and then added to any UK income or savings to give a total amount.
Evidence of profit from the sale of a business, property, investment, bond, stocks, shares or other assets will not be accepted as evidence of income, but the associated funds will be accepted as cash savings. What is interesting is that self-employed people are not allowed to combine their income and cash savings when submitting their applications. They have to rely on one of the other. It is very simple to overcome this hurdle by transferring all savings into the partner’s bank account. However, once again, you need to remember, that this amount will need to be in the bank account for at least 6 months before you can rely on it.
If both, the British citizen spouse and their partner were residing outside the UK and are thinking of relocating to the UK, a British citizen spouse will need to prove, amount other things that he has a job offer for employment, which will commence within 3 months of them moving back to the UK.
For you to rely on this job offer, you have to ensure that it is in the appropriate form.
Ideally, it should be in the form of a letter, containing the following information:
(a) a confirmed job offer, the gross annual salary and the starting date of the employment (which must be within 3 months of your return to the UK); enclosing
(b) a signed contract of employment, which must have a starting date within 3 months of your return to the UK.
Self-Employed and Sole Traders
If you are a British citizenship partner of a person wishing to make their British partner visa application, it gets tougher, I am afraid…
If you are self-employed in the UK, you’ll need to produce documents confirming the amount of tax you paid or/and unpaid for the last full financial year. This should be submitted together with your annual self-assessment tax return to HMRC (a copy or print-out); and your statement of account (forms SA300 or SA302).
If you are self-employed, you’ll also have to provide proof of registration with HMRC and your Unique Tax Reference Number (UTR) and/or the UTR of the partnership or business.
If you hold or held a separate business bank account, you’ll be expected to produce bank statements for the same 12-month period as the tax return. This should be submitted together with your personal bank statements for the same 12-month period as the tax return. This is to show that your income from self-employment has been paid into an account in your name.
Additionally, you will need to provide the Home Office with a bank statement dated no more than three months earlier than the date of application. This bank statement needs to show transactions relating to ongoing trading, or evidence dated no more than three months earlier than the date of application of the renewal of a licence to trade or of ongoing payment of business rates, business-related insurance premiums, employer National Insurance contributions or franchise payments to the parent company.
Also, but only if your business is required to do so by law, you need to provide one of the following documents:
annual audited accounts
If the business is not required to produce annual audited accounts, unaudited accounts for the last full financial year and an accountant’s certificate of confirmation. Please mare sure that this accountant is a member of a UK Recognised Supervisory Body or who is a member of the Institute of Financial Accountants. You may read more about British qualified accountants standards here.
a certificate of VAT registration and the VAT return for the last full financial year (a copy or print-out) confirming the VAT registration number, if turnover is in excess of £79,000 or was in excess of the threshold which applied during the last full financial year;
Evidence to show appropriate planning permission or local planning authority consent is held to operate the type/class of business at the trading address (where this is a local authority requirement); or
A franchise agreement signed by both parties.
If you are a British citizen, who was self-employed outside the UK and you wish to continue your self-employment in the UK, it will be treated as ‘prospective self-employment’. And there are a number of documents, which you’ll be expected to produce to confirm the viability of your prospective self-employment. A starting date of your prospective self-employment in the UK needs to be within three months of your return to the UK. Also, you’ll need to, if applicable:
- apply to the appropriate authority for a licence to trade and provide the Home Office with a copy of this;
- Details of the purchase or rental of business premises;
- A signed employment contract or a signed contract for the provision of services; or
- A partnership or franchise agreement signed by the relevant parties to the agreement.
The next article will finalise the trilogy, which is dedicated to explaining how to submit the correct documents, ensuring they are in a form, acceptable by the Home Office.