Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Online CPD course 6 hours, Spouse/Partner Visas - Case Studies and FAQs

For our colleagues Immigration Advisers and Solicitors: Our online training course is accepted by The OISC.

Spouse/Partner Visas - Case Studies and FAQs. 6 core hours CPD credit.

This course provides case studies and answers to most frequently asked questions from our practice.  Case studies include meeting the Financial Requirement via employment, self-employment (including 'umbrella company', sole trader, limited company owner), savings, pension. Plus case studies including issues with English (including using the same evidence in the last visa application), Life in the UK Test as well as accommodation, translations etc. We also included cases where the Sponsor was exempt from the Financial Requirement (£18,600) and where a couple applied under Exception plus the difference between exemption and exception.

Download from our website, study in your own time on any computer, iPad or iPhone, complete the test and we will award your CPD hours and send you a certificate.

Visit website now to download or to read a detailed table of contents, objectives and extracts:  
The course is offered by our company, 1st 4Immigration Ltd, which is a practising immigration company, registered by The OISC at a highly respectable Level 2, based in the City of London. 
1st 4Immigration Ltd, OISC no F200800152, SRA ref EJE/14IM.
68 King William Street, City of London, London, EC4N 7DZ.


www.1st4immigration.com and www.1st4immigration.com/training 

CONTENTS:
 
PART 1: REVIEW OF THE RULES

GENERAL:

Which partners are covered? Or whose partners (of who) are covered? | ‘Present and Settled in the UK’ | What is the difference between civil partners, unmarried partners and same-sex partners? | Which partners aren’t covered?

TYPES OF VISAS (Fiancée, Spouse and Unmarried Partner):

SPOUSE VISA | FIANCE(E) VISA | UNMARRIED PARTNER VISA

The main thing about Spouse/Partner visas is that there are Old Rules and New Rules, like 'before and after':

All changed on 9 July 2012 | How to distinguish? | Transitional arrangements | Applying under the Transitional Arrangements means

The Old versus the New – Summary of changes:

Knowledge of Language and Life (KOLL) – what’s new from 28 October 2013?:

English for a spouse/partner/fiancée visa: A1 or B1 level from 28 October 2013? Stop the confusion! | FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION: Do I need English in Speaking and Listening only when the test covers all 4 components including Reading and Writing? | Exemptions

PART 2: ENTRY CLEARANCE CASE STUDIES

Canadian – British couple who lived in Canada for 20 years and now returning to the UK together. Financial Requirement was met through the British Sponsor employed by the Applicant’s own company in Canada, plus a new job in the UK

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION - spouses married for more than 4 years

Israeli wife and 2 children of a UK citizen who always lived in Israel and now returning to the UK together. Financial Requirement was met through the British Sponsor’s earnings from his own company in Israel, plus a job offer in the UK

American husband of a UK citizen. Financial Requirement was met through the Savings of both spouses, transferred from investments to cash savings

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION: can value of the property be used ?

Rwandan wife of a UK citizen. Financial Requirement was met through working through an agency and paid by an ‘umbrella company’

Syrian wife of a UK citizen. Financial Requirement was met through the Sponsor’s limited company in the UK (and important point about director’s salary and financial years)

American husband of a UK citizen. Financial Requirement was supposed to be met using pension and savings but the case had to be cancelled because of the wrong type of pension

Ugandan wife of a UK citizen. The Sponsor lived in a shared accommodation in the UK, was in debt but was not exempt from the Financial Requirement

Nicaraguan husband of a UK citizen. The Sponsor was exempt from the Financial Requirement because of disability benefits

American partner of a UK citizen living together in Germany. The Financial Requirement was met via Category A, working for at least 6 months for a company in Germany and a job offer in the UK

American fiancé of a UK citizen. Before coming to us application was refused because of missing evidence including missing proof of intention to marry and adequate accommodation (yet the UKBA changed its mind while we were preparing a fresh application)

Filipina fiancée of a UK citizen with a proof of a TB test and intention to marry in the UK

PART 3: LEAVE TO REMAIN CASE STUDIES - FLR (M) UNDER THE NEW RULES

Filipina wife of a UK citizen switching from a Tier 4 visa and using earnings from work placements for both spouses

Pakistani husband of a UK citizen, switching from a Tier 4 visa. Sponsor was exempt from the Financial Requirement and application was submitted after the Tier 4 visa expired

Filipino wife of a UK citizen, switching from a Tier 4 visa after it expired. The Sponsor was self-employed but did not submit a tax return yet

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION: What is meant by a ‘full financial year’?

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION: What if one became self-employed or registered a company recently and does have a ‘full financial year’ yet?

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION: Which financial year do we count? Since the deadlines for submitting the tax returns/accounts can be 9 months later?

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION: Tax return, Self-Assessment, forms SA302 and SA300, what do they mean and what are the differences?

Chinese wife of a UK citizen, switching from a Post-Study Work visa. Financial Requirement was expected to be met by using Savings, transferred from investments. This case had to be cancelled after we found that one type of investments (peer-to-peer lending) was not held in a regulated institution

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION: importance of a ‘regulated institution’

American wife of a UK citizen, switching from a Tier 4 visa. Financial Requirement was met by the Sponsor getting a basic job and working for 6 months (because his self-employment was a long way away from the end of a financial year)

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION: do I have to keep working after the visa was issued?

PART 4: LEAVE TO REMAIN CASE STUDIES - FLR (M) EXTENSIONS UNDER THE OLD RULES

Australian wife of a UK citizen who had to extend her visa because she confused English test and Life in the UK Test

Tunisian wife of a UK citizen who was offered a job in Tunisia during the 2 year probationary period

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION: do ‘6 letters’ need to be addressed to the couple jointly?

American unmarried partner of a UK citizen who was doing some work abroad during the 2 year probationary period while the spouse remained in the UK

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION: does getting married make a difference?

PART 5: INDEFINITE LEAVE TO REMAIN (ILR) FOR SPOUSES - SET (M)

Thai – British couple who were interviewed in Croydon during same-day service appointment because they did not have ‘6 letters’

American husband of a British citizen, the Sponsor was sent to work in Brazil during the 2 year probationary period

Filipino husband of a British citizen, the Applicant was working on a boat and had many absences

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION: based on the above cases, how to judge whether to choose an ILR or extension because of absences?

MOST COMMON REASONS FOR DELAYING ILR:

Reason 1 and the most common: driving offences | Reason 2: fines | Reason 3: absences | Reason 4: Life in the UK Test | Other reasons

Ecuadorian husband of a Spanish citizen with a de-facto ILR in the UK. The case was almost refused (wrongly) in Croydon because of the caseworker’s confusion about UK/EU law.

Turkish wife of a UK citizen. English language requirement was met via using an IELTS certificate used in the previous application, even though that application required a lower level of English a certificate has now expired. Also, the applicant had 2 certificates and could not remember which one was used 2 years ago

Spouse/Partner KOL required - what do such visas mean?

Ghanaian husband of a UK citizen with a KOL Required visa

Russian wife and step-son of a UK citizen who did not bring the child on the day of appointment for same-day service

Australian wife of a UK citizen who did not move to the UK for a year

Old Maintenance rule – when Financial Requirement does not apply

PART 6: LEAVE TO REMAIN UNDER EXCEPTION - FAMILY LIFE 10 YEAR ROUTE

Exemption from the Financial Requirement (not to be confused with Exception) | Exception

(EX.1)
Trinidadian - British couple who had 4 British children studying at school in the UK and the wife had a visitor visa

PART 7: ILR FOR PARTNERS OF PBS MIGRANTS WHO SWITCHED TO FLR(M)

Before 9 July 2012 | All changed on 9 July 2012! | There is one exception (would not have been the same without with the UKBA!) | Russian wife of a Tier 1 migrant who obtained an ILR based on Long Residence |

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION: My partner has just received an ILR, do I have to switch from PBS Dependant to FLR(M)?

PART 8: PUBLIC FUNDS

Not all benefits are public funds | Income-related benefits (public funds) | Contributory benefits (not public funds) | The NHS | ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’ – not what it seems |
Child Benefit | Child and Working Tax Credits

PART 9: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

GENERAL:

My friend had a visa for 2 years, why are you telling me it will be for 2.5 years?
I have already spent 2 years in the UK while being married to a UK citizen, can I apply for an ILR?
Can I combine Spouse/Partner visas with other visas for an ILR?
My partner is eligible for an ILR but has not applied yet. Can I apply for a Spouse/Partner visa at the same time as he is applying for his ILR?
Can I come as a visitor and apply for a Spouse visa in the UK? Or Can I come as a visitor, get married in the UK and apply for a Spouse visa in the UK?
How early can I switch to a Spouse/Partner visa?
When is the earliest I can apply for an ILR? Within 28 days before my visa expires or within 28 days before I qualify?
Do I have to make a next application within 28 days after my previous visa expired or can I apply later?
I made an application but it was not decided before my previous visa expired. Am I an illegal immigrant?

KNOWLEDGE OF LANGUAGE AND LIFE (KOLL) – ENGLISH LANGUAGE:

When do I need A1 level of English and when B1?
I was told it is B1 level for Spouses from October 2013?
Do I need English in Speaking and Listening only when the test covers all 4 components including Reading and Writing?
I had to prove English when I applied for a previous Spouse/Partner visa, do I need to prove it again for an ILR?
Can the previously submitted evidence be used?
I had to prove English when I applied for a previous visa in another category (Tier 2 or PSW etc), do I need to prove English now again when switching to a Spouse/Partner visa?
I am from South Africa (or Nigeria), we speak English here and it is our official language. Surely it is a majority English-speaking country and we meet English rule automatically?
How to establish if a degree was taught in English?
Can school certificate be used (GCSE, A level)?
Can English language courses be used?
Common question from British husbands: “Her English is very good, will it do for a visa?”

KNOWLEDGE OF LANGUAGE AND LIFE (KOLL) – LIFE IN THE UK:

I am a national of a majority English-speaking country, do I still need a Life in the UK Test?
Can I use an ESOL in Citizenship context course?

ABSENCES:

I delayed my entry to the UK, what to do?
What the limits on absences for an ILR (and a myth about 90 & 180 days)?
Do I have to be in the UK during the Spouse/Partner visa? What if I am offered a job abroad?
How to judge, ILR or FLR(M)?

FINANCIAL REQUIREMENT:

Exemption and Exception, what’s the difference?
What is adequate maintenance?
Can property be counted towards the Financial Requirement?
Company directors, can I use the salary?
I am Self-employed, do I have to submit a tax return if it’s not the deadline yet? My accountant says I don’t have to
My partner has a salary of £19,000 now but it was only £15,000 until 3 months ago, how
would it work?
My husband has just returned to the UK but only got a job after 3 months, when can we apply to bring the spouse to the UK?
Financial requirement for dependants, how much income and savings? Which children do we have to count?

ACCOMMODATION:

What is meant by ‘adequate accommodation’?
How many people can occupy a room?
Can anyone share a room?
Do you count just bedrooms?
Do I need a report on the housing conditions?
Do I need to submit a proof of accommodation?
I am renting a room in a shared accommodation (with flatmates), will this work?
We are living with spouse’s parents, will it work?

TRANSLATIONS:

Who has to provide translations? I speak language pretty well myself, can I write?
Does a translation need to be certified?
Does a translation need to be notarised?
Does a translation need to be legalised?
Do I need an Apostille?

UNMARRIED PARTNERS:

2 years of living together or 2 years of a relationship?
I’ve lived with my partner for 2 years but we only have documents going back 1.5 years, what to do?
Does getting married make a difference?

PUBLIC FUNDS:
Which benefits qualify for Exemption from the Financial Requirement?
'No recourse to public funds’, does it mean no benefits at all?
NHS and public funds

CRIMINALITY AND DRIVING OFFENCES:

I had a parking/speeding ticket, does it affect my visa?
I had a fine/caution/warning does it affect my visa?
Do I have to wait until conviction has been ‘spent’?