For English version, please roll further down.
‧ 擔保人聲明 SU07/12
‧ 達令寫的信與簽名（內容為表明知道我要搬去英國事實，願為我在英國的一切負責，其實跟SU07/12很像，只是SU07/12是表格， 這是我老公親筆的信）
‧ 兩人間的通訊記錄（電子郵件與通訊軟體print screen都可）
This article is about the application of an UK spouse visa.
If you want to know how to get married for a mixed couple of British and Taiwanese, you can read my previous article “My Hubby is a British.”
///A little bit about Mixed Couples
Before we get into the application of an UK spouse visa,
there is little bit more about “mixed couples” I want to share.
There are absolutely more difficulties for mixed couples than couples with the same nationality, such as finance (expensive flights), long distance (time difference) and the drive-people-crazy marriage registration processes.
My hubby and I actually live together after being apart for 4 years.
Lots of people asked us “how mixed couples maintain long-distance relationships?”
Well, everyone will give his or her answer based on different values. Below are the 3 answers in my opinion:
- You have the same vision for your future
As simple as the title, if you and your hubby don’t even have the most basic consensus and resolution, what you should do is to think about your relationship properly.
I always appreciate how much my hubby respect me, and I always feel “No one’s life is more important; only our life is important.”When we first dated, we had an agreement “after my hubby graduated, we will move the country where one of us had the better opportunity than the other.”Therefore, we decided that I moved to UK eventually because we thought his chance in UK is better than mine in Taiwan.
No matter your vision about future is to live together or just to keep long distance relationship, if you don’t have a same vision for your future, you will find it really hard and very often you will have doubts about your relationship.
- Don’t live your life for others
Apart from misunderstanding through phone calls or texts; one of the most common problems for long-distance relationships is different life paces. I don’t mean time differences here. The key point is that “don’t live your life for others, even for your hubby.” Your hubby can be your best friend, but she or he is not your life goal. If you both engage in things you really love, and your share similar values, you will always have endless topics even your hubby lives in Mars.
- You both can be responsible for your own finance
Money is a very sensitive topic, but it is definitely one big issue for mixed couples. To maintain a long distance relationship for mixed couples is really costly. From flight tickets to travel expense, everything costs money. If you find the finance really hard when you are just dating, you will find it much harder afterwards because the marriage registration and visa application will cost you even more. It is better to start saving once you start working and you should also have a finance plan about getting married if you intend to do so.
///Immigrants as Spouses
Evert country has different immigration regulations for its citizens’ dinizened spouses. In order to control immigration and to block opportunists, generally, there are 3 stages for spouse immigration, and spouses will get more rights and obligations when they go through each stage.
- Spouse Visa
Once a mixed couple decides a place to settle (a country doesn’t belong to a mixed couple is not in this discussion), the party who is a citizen of the place need to apply for a spouse visa for the “foreign party.”Each country has its own conditions and requirements for applying for a spouse visa. In principle, spouses who get spouse visas can work and have some basic social welfare in the countries issuing visas.
- Permanent Residence
Normally, a foreign spouse “stay long enough” with “a spouse visa in the country issuing the spouse visa (for example, a foreign spouse spend most time in his or her motherland during the granted period of the spouse visa doesn’t meet the first condition) can apply for “permanent residence (PR)” People who get PR have rights to stay in the country issuing PR for good, but it doesn’t guarantee citizenship, such as rights to vote and work as a civil servant.
A person holding PR for statutory time and meet other legal requirements can apply for a citizenship. A foreign spouse who successfully applies a citizenship will have the second nationality (the second passport), equal rights and obligations as citizens of the country.
///Application for UK Spouse Visa
As mentioned in the previous section, we are now at stage of “spouse visa.” We applied for the visa 2 years after we got married, and the following are processes of getting an UK spouse visa.
- Conditions of getting an UK spouse visa
Apart from the fact you two are married, there are 2 conditions of getting an UK spouse visa: finance and knowledge of English.
After the Conservative came to power, the government announced in July, 2012 that only British citizens whose annual incomes are over 18,600 pounds are qualified to apply settlement visa for their non-EU spouses. Though this policy had been challenged on the basis that the rules were discriminatory and interfered with the right to a private and family life, it still got upheld by the Court of Appeal. Therefore, the first condition for a British citizen to apply for a settlement visa for his or her non-EU spouse is to earn 18,600 annually. In addition, one can only start the application once he or she has been in the place with 18,600 annual pay for over 6 months.
You can also use savings or other income (stipend or pension etc.)to meet the requirements. To check if you meet the requirements, this document might help.
Knowledge of English
The second condition to apply for a British spouse visa is the knowledge of English. Spouses need to take an English test approved by the British government (TOEFL & TOEIC by ETS are NOT on the list) and pass the speaking and listening components at level A1 or above. You are exempted from taking tests if you are from English-speaking countries or holding academic qualification that was taught in English and is recognised byUK NARICas being equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree.
- Preparation of supporting documents
After you confirm that you are qualified to apply for a British spouse visa, you can start preparing your supporting documents. Along with your documents, you also need to provide a current passport, previous passports and 2 passport size photographs. Below listed the documents I provided. It is suggested that you should give each section a cover letter to make the piles of documents easier to read. You must provide the originals of each document along with a duplicate (You only need to copy the documents which are not duplicable. For example, you should copy your marriage certificate, but you don’t need to copy your emails or duplicates of your bank account balance.).
Basic information about the applicant (foreign spouse)
‧Copy of my passport
‧Application form you finished online
‧Our marriage certificate issued by HongKongese government
‧English Household Registration Transcript
‧Termination Certificate of my latest job
‧English Pay slips
‧Certificate of my master’s degree I took in UK
‧Certificate of the scholarship I received for my master’s degree
‧English Certificate of bank account balance
Information about my hubby (British citizen)
‧Sponsorship Undertaking-Form SU07/12
‧Copy of Hubby’s passport
‧A letter from my sponsor (a letter written by my hubby to confirm that he will be responsible for my moving to UK)
‧Our Marriage Certificate (I attach again in this section)
‧Our wedding invitation
‧Photos taken during our relationship (I made them a pdf doc and print it out)
‧Emails between my hubby and me (I provided emails)
‧Emails between my hubby’s family and me
Evidence of my hubby’s current employment and financial status
‧Appendix 2-Financial Requirement Form
‧Bank statements for the past 8 months before we apply
‧Formal Offer of Appointment for work
‧Pay slips for the past 7 months before we apply
‧Letters from hubby’s employer to inform changes of his offer
‧The latest council tax bill
Accommodation Details in UK
‧A letter from my hubby to assure the address we provide is the place we are going to live together
‧Emails between my hubby and our landlord to show that the landlord knows my moving to the house
‧The tenancy agreement
‧Council tax bill with my hubby’s name and the address we provide
‧Utility bills sent to the address we provide and also with my hubby’s name
- Online application and payment
If you have got all the documents above ready, you can start applying online:
‧ Go to the VFS Taiwan website to register and log into the online application system.
‧ Get your current passport and old passports at hand because you will need to fill out all your travel records of the recent 10 years.
‧ Select your visa type as “settlement”.
‧ Don’t worry if you cannot finish it in one go, you can save and edit your form anytime before you submit.
‧ Book a time you want to submit those paper documents.
‧ Pay your visa and service fee online (I paid USD1,614, including 1,514 visa fee and 100 service fee. If you really need your visa urgently, you can pay GBP300 to get it in 10 days. Normally it takes 40 to 60 days to get your visa.).
‧ Print out your application form and confirmation letter.
‧ Bring the supporting documents, application form and confirmation letter to VFS Taiwan on the date you selected.
‧ Wait for the good news!
We applied for my visa on the 9th of October, 2014, and I received the notice to collect my visa on the 25th of November. We truly hope our experience will be helpful for people with the similar situation. Wish everyone can live with his or her darling happily! See you next time. :)