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    UK Settlement Visa Basics.

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    Equalizer
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    Registration date : 2018-10-02

    UK Settlement Visa Basics.

    Post by Equalizer on 11/10/18, 04:42 am

    There are various categories of UK settlement visa, but those which concern us most here are:
    Fiance/Proposed civil partner
    Spouse/Civil partner
    Unmarried partner/Same sex partner
    Children

    The Immigration rules are divided into different documents. The index page will help you find the part you need: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/immigration-rules

    Fiance or Proposed civil partner.    
    https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/settlement-entry-clearance-guidance
    Fiance is where sponsor and applicant are of different sexes, proposed civil partner is when they are the same sex.
    The visa lasts for 6 months and during this time the holder enters the UK. They and their sponsor marry or register their civil partnership, as appropriate, and the Chinese partner then applies, and pays for, a 30 month extension known as Further Leave to Remain. At the end the FLR They apply for a further 30 months and after that they can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain.
    https://www.gov.uk/uk-family-visa

    Spouse or Civil partner.
    Spouse is a different sexed couple; civil partners are the same sex.
    For a spouse visa you marry in China and your spouse applies as such.
    China does not recognise civil partnerships, so you cannot enter into one there. However, civil partnerships registered elsewhere are recognised by the UK, as long as they are legal in the country where they took place. So you can register your civil partnership in another country and then apply in China for a civil partners visa.
    https://www.gov.uk/marriage-abroad

    These two visas are valid for 33 months and after the holder has lived in the UK for 30 months they apply for a further 30 months and at the end of that they can apply for ILR.
    Unless you have firm reasons for marrying in the UK, I would suggest the spouse route.
    Spouses and civil partners can work immediately they arrive in the UK, fiancées and proposed civil partners cannot work until they have FLR.

    Unmarried and same sex partners.
    Unmarried partners are male and female, same sex partners are, well the same sex!
    To qualify for this the couple need to show that they have been living together in a relationship akin to marriage for at least the last two years. Short periods apart are acceptable, but one partner living in China and the other in the UK and just visiting regularly would not be.
    Like a spouse and civil partners visa, it is valid for 33 months and after 30 months in the UK the Chinese partner applies for a 30 month extension and after this they can apply for ILR.

    Language
    Those applying in any of the above categories will need evidence that they meet the basic English speaking and listening requirement; unless they are exempt.
    Even though the language requirement is just for speaking and listening, most, I think all, approved English test providers in China insist on candidates taking, and paying for, the full test including reading and writing.
    However, the UKVI  insist that as long as the applicant has a test report showing that they scored the equivalent of A1 or better in speaking and listening then it does not matter what they scored in the reading and writing elements.
    List of approved UKVI test centres in China start on page 3.
    https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/737845/Secure_English_Language_Tests_and_Test_Centres__-_website.pdf

    For the initial Entry Visa you will, unless exempt, require level A1 of the CEFR.
    For FLR you will require level A2 of the CEFR.
    For ILR you will require level B1 of the CEFR and pass the Life in the UK test.
    https://www.gov.uk/life-in-the-uk-test
    The English Language Test does not apply to children under 18 years of age.

    Health
    All settlement applicants in China aged 11 and over will need to provide a TB certificate obtained from an approved UKVI test centre.
    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/tuberculosis-test-for-a-uk-visa-clinics-in-china
    Children under 11 do not need a TB certificate.

    Children
    Children cannot normally come to settle in the UK unless both parents are settled here or have been given permission to settle here. The only exceptions are where:
    1 parent is dead and the other is settled or coming to settle here; or
    the parent who is settled or coming to settle in the UK has had sole responsibility for the child's upbringing; or
    1 parent is settled or coming to settle in the UK and there there are serious reasons why the child must be allowed to come here.
    The term 'parent' includes the stepfather or stepmother of a child whose father or mother is dead, both parents of an illegitimate child, and an adoptive parent in certain circumstances.
    To qualify as a child you must show that they:
    are not leading an independent life;
    are not married or in a civil partnership;
    have not formed an independent family unit; and
    are aged under 18.
    If a child or children are applying at the same time as their parent, and are living with that parent, the application is usually straightforward. If the parent is successful then the child will almost certainly be as well. A separate application form must be completed and a separate fee paid.
    It is when parent and child(ren) have been separated that complications may arise. The problem being showing that the parent has been exercising sole responsibility during the separation.
    Therefore my opinion is that, if at all possible, parent and child should apply at the same time. If this is not possible then you should keep a record of all contact between parent and child and parent and child's carers plus details of all monies sent for the child's support.
    A child settlement visa is normally tied to the parents and will expire when the parent's does so that they can apply for ILR together on the same form. However, if the parent already has ILR then the child will be given ILE, which is the same as ILR but granted outside the UK.


    Financial requirements.
    https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/636618/Appendix_FM_1_7_Financial_Requirement_Final.pdf
    The link above is to the requirement for partners, but the requirements are the same whichever category you are applying under. Note that additional finances are required if any children are applying; unless they are British citizens or qualify for ILE.

    Funds for this can come from the income (earned and/or unearned) and/or savings of the applicant, the sponsor or both. Note, though, that any potential income the applicant may have once they are in the UK and working will not be taken into account at the initial visa stage, although any unearned income they may have, such as from investments or a pension, will be.

    However if the sponsor has been living and working outside the UK and earning at least the minimum income (£18600 plus the extra for any children applying) for at least 6 months prior to the date of the application, e.g. in China, and has a confirmed job offer in the UK starting no more than 3 months after they return to the UK; then income from this new employment in the UK will be taken into account.

    Third party support, even short term, is no longer acceptable. Financial gifts from friends and family to enable the sponsor and/or applicant to meet the requirement are acceptable; provided they can show that the money is a gift not a loan and has been in their possession and under their complete control for at least 6 months prior to the application.

    Note that you will need to show you meet these requirements at each application stage; the initial visa, the FLR after marriage if entering as a fiancée, the extension after 30 months and ILR.

    Children who qualify for ILE, i.e. whose parent(s) are already living in the UK with ILR, are not subject to these financial requirements, but their parent(s) must be able to show that the child(ren) will be supported and accommodated in the UK without recourse to public funds.

    The above is a very brief description of what can be a complex requirement, with various ways and combination of ways of meeting the requirements. Full details of this requirement can be found  here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/chapter-8-family-members-transitional-arrangements-immigration-directorate-instructions

    Accommodation
    This can be wholly occupied by sponsor and applicant(s) or with a third party, such as sponsor's parents, friends etc.
    Evidence should be supplied to show that the accommodation is suitable and that you and the applicant(s) can live there; i.e. proof of ownership or a landlord's letter confirming you all can live there.
    If living with a third party then they should write a letter of invitation and briefly describe the property and who else lives there to show that there will be at least one room for your exclusive use plus adequate room for any children coming with you. They should also provide proof of ownership, such as a mortgage statement, or, if they rent, a letter from their landlord as above.
    See also:
    Family of British citizens and settled persons: https://www.gov.uk/uk-family-visa
    Guide to Supporting Documents: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/270197/sup-docs-settlement.pdf
    Applying for a UK visa in China: https://www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa/y

    Applications in China must be completed online.
    https://www.vfsglobal.co.uk/cn/en/how-to-apply

    From 30th January 2017, all Settlement Visa applications and supporting documents must now be submitted directly to the UKVI in Sheffield.
    https://www.vfsglobal.co.uk/cn/en/news/new-address-for-documentation-when-applying-for-a-uk-settlement-v

      Current date/time is 23/10/18, 10:39 pm