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Foreign and Commonwealth

Foreign and Commonwealth

Visas

The main requirements to enter and remain in the UK

English language requirements

  1. For limited leave to enter or remain in UK 

Under existing immigration rules, since 1 December 2013, all applicants for a visa to join a sponsor who is a member of HM Forces, or those in the UK but switching onto a dependents visa, have to meet the new English language requirement.

You can meet the requirement in one of three ways:

  1. Passing an approved English language test with at least level A1 in speaking and listening or
  2. Having an academic qualification that was taught in English and is recognised by UK NARIC as being equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree or
  3. Being a national of an English speaking country

Further information can be found at this link.

Can I just take any test and use any provider?

No – since 6 April 2015, UKVI will only accept qualifications that are on its approved list.

Is this the same as the requirement for Citizenship?No – this is an A1 level requirement (the most basic level). The level of English language required for citizenship (and settlement applications if you are under the new rules or have a two-year spouse visa) is B1. However, you could take a B1 level exam instead of an A1 level and you would then meet the requirements for both applications; this would save time in the long run.

 

  1. For Indefinite Leave to Remain (settlement)

If you have a visa that was issued under the new rules for five years (after 1 December 2013), you will need to meet both the English language and the Life in UK test requirements to apply for ILR. This is called KoLL (Knowledge of Language and Life in the UK). For further info, click here.

Financial requirements
This is a summary of the main ways in which the financial requirement can be met by service personnel – the full guidance can be found here (Annex FM 1.7: Financial Requirements).

The changes to the immigration rules following the findings made by the Supreme Court in July 2017 have allowed other sources of income to be considered to meet the minimum income rules in certain circumstances, click here.

These requirements are:

  1. Gross annual income* of at least £18,600
  2. An additional £3,800 for the first child** and an additional £2,400 for each additional child. If applying for children separately, then the level of financial requirement to be met will depend upon the number of children who already have leave or who are applying for leave.
  • Partner with no children – £18,600
    1 child in addition to the partner – £22,400
    2 children in addition to the partner – £24,800
    3 children in addition to the partner – £27,200

* income includes income from pensions, maternity allowance or bereavement benefit or specified benefit relating to service in HM Forces.

** British Children /EEA nationals/ and those with ILR or applying for ILE on entry to the UK will not need to meet the financial requirement.

  1. Alone or in combination with;
    1. • Savings of £16,000
    2. • Additional savings equivalent to the difference between the gross annual income and the total amount required , multiplied by five.

Example 1.   An Able Rate earning £18, 200 and has no children. The minimum income requirement he needs to meet to bring his wife to the UK is £18, 600 so he has an income shortfall of £400.

The savings required would be:
£400 x 5 = £2000 + £16,00 = £18,000

Example 2.  A Royal Marine earns £17, 767 and has 1 child. The minimum income requirement is £22,400 so he has an income shortfall of £4,633.

The savings required would be:
£4,633 x 5 = £23, 165 + £16,00 = £39, 165

Or

  • The applicant’s partner must be receiving one of the followings:
    • Disability Living Allowance;
    • Severe Disablement Allowance;
    • Industrial Injury Disablement Benefit;
    • Attendance Allowance;
    • Carer’s Allowance;
    • Personal Independence Payment;
    • Armed Forces Independence Payment or Guaranteed Income Payment under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme; or
    • Constant Attendance Allowance, Mobility Supplement or War Disablement Pension under the War Pensions Scheme;

And

The applicant must provide evidence that there will be adequate accommodation, without recourse to public funds, for the family, including other family members who are not included in the application but who live in the same household.

  1. Evidence to supply
    1. Payslips covering:
      1. A period of six months prior to the date of application if the person has been employed by their current employer for at least six months or
      2. A period of six months prior to the date of application if the person has been employed by their current employer for at least six months or
    2. A letter from the employer(s) who issued the payslips confirming:
      1. The person’s employment and gross annual salary;
      2. The length of their employment;
  • The period over which they have been or were paid the level of salary relied upon in the application; and
  1. The type of employment (permanent, fixed-term contract or agency) and
  • Evidence of accommodation
    Such as a letter from DIO. (If you have not yet been allocated a quarter, then the letter from your unit should state that you are entitled to one and have applied).
  1. Evidence from pensions/allowances/cash savings (if applicable)
    For detailed information, click here.
  1. Suitability Requirements. Your application for leave to enter or remain may be refused if you do not meet the suitability requirements. Most are listed below but for a full list of all suitability requirements look at Part 2 of the following guidance, which you can read here.
  2. Applications for Leave to Enter: An application will be refused if any of the following apply:
    1. Custodial conviction of less than 12 months within the previous 5 years
    2. Custodial conviction of 12 months – 4 years within the past 10 years
  • Custodial conviction of 4 years or more
  1. Permitting the applicant to enter is not conducive to the public good because their conduct, character, associations or other reasons make it undesirable to grant them entry clearance
  2. Where the applicant has previously breached the UK’s immigration laws (and was 18 or over at the time of his most recent breach) by:
    1. Overstaying;
    2. breaching a condition attached to his leave;
    3. being an Illegal Entrant;
    4. using Deception in an application for entry clearance, leave to enter or remain, or in order to obtain documents from the Secretary of State or a third party required in support of the application (whether successful or not)
  3. Unless the applicant:
    1. Overstayed for 90 days or less and left the UK voluntarily, not at the expense (directly or indirectly) of the Secretary of State;
    2. used Deception in an application for entry clearance more than 10 years ago;
    3. left the UK voluntarily, not at the expense (directly or indirectly) of the Secretary of State, more than 12 months ago;
    4. left the UK voluntarily, at the expense (directly or indirectly) of the Secretary of State, more than 2 years ago; and the date the person left the UK was no more than 6 months after the date on which the person was given notice of liability for removal, or no more than 6 months after the date on which the person no longer had a pending appeal or administrative review; whichever is the later;
    5. left the UK voluntarily, at the expense (directly or indirectly) of the Secretary of State, more than 5 years ago;
    6. was removed or deported from the UK more than 10 years ago or;
    7. left or was removed from the UK as a condition of a caution issued in accordance with section 22 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 more than 5 years ago.

Where more than one breach of the UK’s immigration laws has occurred, only the breach which leads to the longest period of absence from the UK will be relevant under this paragraph.

  • An application will normally be refused if any of the following apply:
    1. Non-custodial sentence or other out of court disposal that is recorded on their criminal record within the 12 months prior to the date on which the application is decided
    2. In the view of the Secretary of State the person’s offending has caused serious harm or the person is a persistent offender who shows a particular disregard for the law.
    3. Whether or not to the applicant’s knowledge:
      1. false information, representations or documents have been submitted in relation to the application (including false information submitted to any person to obtain a document used in support of the application); or
      2. there has been a failure to disclose material facts in relation to the application;
      3. the applicant has failed to pay charges in accordance with the relevant NHS regulations on charges to overseas visitors; and the outstanding charges have a total value of at least £1000
    4. Applications for limited leave to remain (where indicated by an *) and applications for indefinite leave to remain. An application will be refused if any of the following apply:
      1. Custodial conviction of less than 12 months within the previous 7 years
      2. Custodial conviction of 12 months – 4 years within the past 15 years
  • Custodial conviction of 4 years or more*
  1. Non-custodial sentence or other out of court disposal that is recorded on their criminal record within the 24 months prior to the date on which the application is decided
  2. In the view of the Secretary of State the person’s offending has caused serious harm or the person is a persistent offender who shows a particular disregard for the law*
  3. Permitting the applicant to remain is not conducive to the public good because their conduct, character, associations or other reasons make it undesirable to allow them to remain in the UK
  • An application will normally be refused if any of the following apply:
    1. Whether or not to the applicant’s knowledge: false information, representations or documents have been submitted in relation to the application (including false information submitted to any person to obtain a document used in support of the application)*
    2. there has been a failure to disclose material facts in relation to the application*
  • the applicant has failed to pay charges in accordance with the relevant NHS regulations on charges to overseas visitors; and the outstanding charges have a total value of at least £1000*

If you have a non-custodial conviction or a custodial conviction of less than 4 years then you are able to apply for limited leave to remain (if all other requirements are met).

  1. Breach of Immigration Law
    1. Para 39E –Overstayers
    2. As from 3rd November 2016 there is no longer a 28 day period following the expiry of a visa in which a valid application can be made. If an application is made after the expiry of the visa, you will be considered an overstayer.
  • However: para 39 grants a concession to this general rule. ‘An out of time application will not be refused on the basis that the applicant has overstayed where the Secretary of State considers that there is a good reason beyond the control of the applicant or their representative, given in or with the application, why an in time application could not be made, provided the application is made within 14 days of the expiry of leave’.
    There is no current guidance as to what constitutes a ‘good reason’.
  1. Passport requirement
    1. From 6th April 2015, all applicants for limited or indefinite leave to remain are required to submit a valid passport, travel document or national identity card with their application. If a passport is not submitted the application will be returned as invalid. There are certain circumstances in which this requirement will be waived:
      1. If there is no longer a functional national authority to provide a new document or no Embassy or consular service in the UK;
      2. The national authority have run out of documents.
  • The application for replacement has been made but the issuing authority cannot provide a document in time for the application to be made before the leave expires
  1. The applicant cannot obtain a document for reasons of national or personal security;
  2. If the national authority is unreasonable in its demands;
  3. If alternative evidence is required it must include the applicant’s full name, date of birth and nationality, e.g. driving licence, NHS card.

 

Posted on: 4th May, 2018