Most Common UK Marriage Visa mistakes and Visa refusal reasons in 2019
Applying for a marriage visa is a huge but important step if you want to live in the UK with your UK partner.
The process can be long and expensive, so one thing you don’t want to do is make any mistakes.
Many mistakes are completely avoidable if you pay attention to the rules and get the support that you need to complete your application.
Before you start your UK marriage visa application, make sure you don’t make any of the following mistakes.
Not Fully Understanding the Marriage Visa Requirements
Before you get started with your marriage visa application, you need to understand the requirements.
There are various criteria that you need to meet, including financial requirements, language and even medical requirements.
It’s essential to know what criteria you have to meet if you want to be approved for a visa and what you need to do to submit your application and complete the process to gain approval.
Old Payslips & Bank Statements
There are various documents and papers that you will need to submit as evidence with your marriage visa application.
Banks statements and payslips are necessary as proof of income and savings, and you will need recent versions of these documents.
You should make sure that your most recent bank statements and payslips are no older than 28 days old if you want them to be accepted.
Not Using a Home Office Approved Translator
When you need to submit documents that are originally in another language, other than English or Welsh, having them translated is necessary.
Your application could be rejected if they’re not translated, and they need to be translated by someone qualified.
Translators in the UK should be a member of an official body, such as the Institute of Translation, while translators outside of the UK should also be a member of an official organisation in that country. Check our guide to “Translating Documents” here.
Incorrect Bank Statements
When you submit bank statements, they can’t simply be any statements.
It is necessary for them to be printed on official bank stationery or to be certified by the bank on every page.
This is because the rules state that every page has to bear the official stamp of the bank.
You can use statements that your bank has sent to you in the mail or if you print your own, you need to have a letter from your bank saying that your statements are real or get someone from the bank to stamp them.
Official forms can change all the time.
If you print out the form that you need or save a copy of it but it later gets updated, you could end up sending in outdated forms that are invalid.
If you send in the wrong form, the Home Office should let you know and give you 10 days to correct it.
However, this delays your application and can easily be avoided by checking that you have the right form.
Another mistake to avoid with your forms is leaving them incomplete.
If you don’t fill out of all the necessary information, your application could be rejected or there might be a delay while you provide the missing information.
To avoid leaving any form fields empty, you should check over your application several times.
Not checking it or only giving it a cursory glance isn’t worth the time that you might save when it could ultimately cost you time and money.
Misleading or Inconsistent Answers
Even if you do fill in all of the fields on your forms, you could still give inefficient answers or perhaps provide misleading information.
You might forget to mention something relevant or be unaware that you should include it in your application.
Consulting an immigration adviser will help you to avoid this mistake.
The right advice ensures you provide all of the information that is necessary and don’t leave out anything that could get you in trouble.
Unnecessary Additional Information
As well as providing too little information, you could end up providing too much information.
While this might not seem like a bad thing, providing too much information can actually affect you negatively.
It could create delays for your application because the people assessing it will need to sift through the irrelevant information to get to the more important information.
Again, advice from an immigration adviser will help you.
Missing Supporting Documents
There are lots of supporting documents that you will need to provide with your application.
If any of them are missing, there could be a delay while you submit them or even have to start your application again.
If you want to avoid significant delays or having your application rejected, get help from a knowledgeable immigration expert who knows which documents you need to send in support of your application.
At VisaHelpUK, we offer a “Do Your Own Partner Visa Pack” service which provides you with a document list and template letters for your visa application based specifically on YOUR circumstances.
Wrong English Language Test
Unless you are exempt, you will need to prove that you have a competent level of English.
For a spouse visa application from outside the UK, A1 level English is required, while A2 level is required for applications made inside the UK.
You can take a test at a higher level than the one required, which can help if you later want to extend your visa.
You can reuse your English language certificate if you have had continuous leave since your last application.
If your salary is paid in cash, you need to be careful.
It’s important for the cash that you receive to be paid into the relevant person’s bank account so that it will count towards the financial requirements.
Your bank statements need to show records of what you earn, so make sure that you deposit cash that you’re paid into a bank account.
You are allowed to combine incomes to meet the requirements for a partner visa.
You can combine different income sources for one person or your income and your partner’s income if you’re applying for your visa from inside the UK.
However, there are some incomes that can’t be combined, which you need to be aware of.
Some incomes can be combined but only for the relevant financial year, such as earnings from self-employment.
Calculating Annual Income Incorrectly
It’s important to know how the Home Office will calculate your income if you want to meet the financial requirement.
Your income will be calculated differently depending on if you are in salaried or non-salaried employment and whether you choose to base your application on category A or category B.
Self-employed people need to use the right time period to calculate their gross annual income.
Selecting the Wrong Online Visa Type
Creating an online application for your visa can be more complicated than you want it to be.
Unfortunately, websites for government services are not always as user-friendly as they should be.
The Visa4UK website allows you to create an online application, but some things can be confusing.
One thing to be aware of is that you need to be careful when selecting which visa you want to apply for.
You should choose “settlement” for reason for visit and visa type.
For the visa sub-type, you should choose “husband” or “wife” if already married, or “marriage” if applying as the fiance(e) of a British citizen or someone who has settled status.
You might be required to take a tuberculosis test for your application.
To do this, the clinic where you have your test must be approved by the Home Office.
You can find a list of approved clinics on the official government website gov.uk in their visa application resources.
It’s essential to have a certificate from one of these clinics if you don’t want your application to be rejected.
Applying in the UK Whilst Being a Visitor
When you apply for your partner visa, it needs to be at the right time.
One time when you’re not allowed to apply for your visa is when you are already in the UK on a visitor visa or a visa that has been granted for six months or less (except for a fiance or proposed civil partner visa).
You’re in the UK as a visitor during this time, not as someone who is seeking a more long-term status.
Letters of Support
A letter of support can be useful to include in your application.
However, if you decide to write one, don’t waste the opportunity by only including basic details of what’s in your application.
There are many things that you can include in your letter, such as the history of your relationship with your partner and your relationship now.
You can discuss how you meet your financial requirement, accommodation you have available and the support that you might have.
Missing Employer’s Letter
Including an employer’s letter in your application is necessary if you are relying on 6 months or 12 month’s employment income under Category A or B.
As well as including the letter, you should make sure it contains the right information.
It needs to confirm your employment, salary, length of employment, how long you have been paid the amount indicated in your application, and whether your employment is permanent, fixed-term, contract or agency.
Wrong Divorce Certificate
If you or your partner has been married before, you will need to prove that the marriage is no longer valid.
A divorce certificate is necessary to show that the previous marriage has broken down.
If you got divorced in the UK, you need to have a decree absolute; a decree nisi won’t be accepted as proof of your divorce.
Not Making an Organised Application Pack
An organised application pack can really help you to keep everything in order and make sure you include all necessary documents in your application.
You can make yourself some guidelines for what you want to include or you can find an application pack from an immigration advice service like our “Do Your Own Partner Visa Pack”.
Fees and Payments
Visa application fees can change all the time.
It’s always important to check the latest fees to make sure that you get them right.
Not only do you need to pay the right amount, but you also need to use the right form of payment for your fees.
Many visa application centres no longer accept cash payments, for example.
Out of Time Applications
It’s essential to apply for your visa at the right time. In particular, you shouldn’t wait until your most recent leave has expired.
If you make an out of time application, you also lose your right to appeal if your application fails.
Trying to Go Solo
Don’t assume that the process of applying for a visa is going to be easy.
You might think that it’s as simple as filling in some forms and gathering some documents, but it can be more difficult than you imagine.
Rather than risk having your application rejected, getting professional help is essential.
Distrust in the System
It can be daunting and worrying to apply for a visa and know that you might not have your application accepted.
However, some people make the mistake of being overly distrustful in how it all works and being pessimistic about the application process.
You might have heard some stories about people who have had bad experiences, but it’s usually not as bad as you might have heard.
With the right legal support, your application is much more likely to be successful.
Not Having Someone Review the Application
If you want to increase your chances of a successful visa application, you should get a third party to look over your application for you.
Many people wait until they need to appeal a decision to get legal help, but doing it before you submit your application could mean not having to face an appeal in the first place.
Not Hiring the Right Help
If you decide to get help with your application, finding the right support services is essential.
You need to find quality advice, prioritising how they can help you, rather than looking for the cheapest available option.
An OISC regulated immigration adviser is highly qualified and knowledgeable, offering you one of the best options for your application.