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The Spouse Visa (From a South Africans perspective)
Focusing on the partner of a British passport holder, there are 3 main qualifying criteria (effective July 2012). The Settlement visa has been designed for family members of British passport holders who are considered non-EU citizens to join their partner in relocating to the UK.
Please note, the spousal visa does not offer any benefits to South Africans looking to visit or temporarily stay in the UK. Marriage to a British passport holder holds no benefit to South Africans for leisure purposes. If anything, it pays to marry an EU passport holder (other than British) if you are looking for travel benefits.
The partner, hereafter referred to as “Main Applicant” is considered a Commonwealth citizen (South African passport holder) looking to apply for their visa in South Africa.
The British passport holder, hereafter referred to as “Sponsor” can be a dual national (both South African and British passport holder). The sponsor can also be a permanent resident (holder of Indefinite Leave to Remain) that resides in the UK.
The Settlement visa is designed for South African partners who are looking at permanently relocating to the UK. It offers settlement rights, in terms of permission to freely work in the UK and the opportunity to nationalize (and get a British passport) subject to showing sufficient intent to permanently reside in the UK. Did I mention that it now takes 6 years to nationalize?
Further to the above, the qualifying criteria is based on the assumption that the application is submitted under the basis of a “standard family application”. Meaning that families are in legally recognized relationships for a period of 2 or more years.
Now that the formalities are addressed and we are all on the same page of understanding, we can address the 3 main qualifying criteria.
|Part1: Relationship legitimacy||Part 2: English ability recognition||Part 3: Financial requirement|