There are a number of different visa categories in the UK that allow Applicants to change visa routes or ‘switch’ from within the UK. One of the most popular visa switch options is from a Tier 2 Visa switch to a Spouse Visa. This may be for a number of factors; such as the Tier 2 employer may no longer be willing to or is unable to sponsor the Applicant or the Applicant may not wish to rely on their employer for UK sponsorship and instead chooses to remain in the UK on the basis of a relationship with their UK partner. It is important to ensure all of the UK’s Immigration Rules are met before switching visa categories; therefore it is helpful to contact our specialist immigration team before making the application.
What are the main requirements for a Tier 2 Visa switch into a Spouse Visa?
Applicants switching from a Tier 2 Visa to a Spouse Visa must satisfy all of the requirements for a Spouse Visa under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules. The main requirements that Applicants must be able to demonstrate include:
- Being in a genuine and subsisting relationship with a British national or someone who is present and settled in the UK (holds indefinite leave to remain in the UK);
- Satisfying the financial requirement through the salaried or non-salaried employment or self-employment of the Applicant and/or Sponsor, cash savings or other non-employment sources;
- Can be accommodated in the UK without recourse to public funds; and
- Meet the English language requirement at the minimum required level.
The Immigration Status requirement is also a crucial condition of switching from a Tier 2 Visa to a Spouse Visa from within the UK. This means that the Applicant must have valid leave in the UK at the time the Spouse Visa application is submitted to the Home Office.
Settling in the UK after switching from a Tier 2 Visa to a Spouse Visa
Applicants may apply for settlement (otherwise referred to as indefinite leave to remain) in the UK under the 5 year or 10 year route. The 5 year settlement route is for migrants who have been lawfully present in the UK for 5 continuous years and can satisfy the Home Office’s stringent requirements, such as maintenance, accommodation, and life in the UK. To apply under the 5 year route, Applicant’s must spend 5 years in the same visa category. Therefore, if you have been in the UK for 5 years, initially on a Tier 2 Visa and then switched into the spouse visa, you will not be able to qualify for settlement under the 5 year route because you cannot combine leave from different visa categories.
The 10 year long residence settlement route is however applicable to Applicants who have switched from a Tier 2 Visa to a Spouse Visa. Under the long residence route, you are able to combine your valid leave in the UK from different visa categories. Applicants will also need to ensure they do not have excess absences from the UK, have met the maintenance and accommodation requirements and have passed the life in the UK test.
It is important to receive legal advice before making a UK settlement application, to ensure all of the Home Office rules and requirements are met with the correct documentary evidence. Therefore, Applicants should book a consultation with our specialist immigration lawyers so that they can assess the individual circumstances and facts of the case and advise appropriately.
Using Legal Representation for a Tier 2 Visa switch into a Spouse Visa
Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration status. It is possible to instruct an immigration and visa legal representative to switch from a Tier Work Visa into a Spouse Visa.
Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your application succeeds, all necessary documents must be provided. This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules.
Successful Applications for a Tier 2 Visa switch into a Spouse Visa
Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your immigration status and the merit of your Tier 2 Visa switch application before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation of your immigration and visa application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.
We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients. We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.
Preparation is the key to successful immigration applications. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation.
Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.