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Complete Guide to the UK Spouse Settlement Visa

15 June 2017 | Mri Grout - A Lifelong Vagabond


Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer so do not take this guide as definite legal advice. I am simply someone who has struggled through the UK spouse settlement visa process and have written a guide about the steps I have taken to (hopefully) get accepted. Will update about my application.

See the start of this guide at Complete Guide to the UK Spouse Settlement Visa Page 1.

See the supporting documents section of this guide at Complete Guide to the UK Spouse Settlement Visa Page 2s

7. Get a Recent Passport Photo of Yourself

With 'yourself' being the applicant. Some UK government website pages say you need one (like your online application), but others say you need two (like the government ‘about this visa’ webpage). So we’re going to send in two just in case.

Also, the USA passport photo requirements are NOT the same as the UK ones. The passport photo for your UK spouse settlement visa needs to meet these requirements:

Click here for more detailed requirements about the UK passport photo.

8. Attend Your Biometric Appointment

Normally this is scheduled at a minimum of a week away so you will have plenty of time to get your fingertips in scannable order without too much stressing. All they do here is take your fingerprints and a headshot photo of you. They will then stamp your appointment conformation letter, which you CANNOT lose as you will need to send this in with your application.

The only thing you (the applicant) need at your biometric appointment is a printed copy of your appointment conformation and your passport or travel document.

9. Pay for Your Return Mail

Unfortunately you HAVE to use their UK spouse settlement visa mailing operator, which of course is more expensive than it probably needs to be. You CANNOT purchase priority service for the UK spouse settlement visa!!!!

You also need to supply them with an envelope in which to mail your original documents back to you. However, your passport will be mailed separately to where you had your biometric appointment. We were traveling at the time of our appointment so I have included a letter asking them to send my passport back with everything else to my home address. Will update on whether or not that worked.

Print your return mail receipt.

10. Organize Your UK Spouse Visa Application

The UK immigration office will want your UK spouse visa to be ordered in the following way:

  1. Application form, Appendix 2, loose passport photo(s); letter of corrections (if necessary), original passport and any previous ones or reason they’re not included
  2. English language evidence (test or birth certificate of English speaking country)
  3. Letters of introductions, sponsor’s birth certificate, photocopies of sponsor’s passport bio and stamps, relationship proof (would recommend starting with your marriage certificate if applicable and then everything else in chronological order)
  4. Sponsorship support form, sponsor’s financial proof, resumés/CVs
  5. Evidence of accommodation (rental/letter of accommodation + proof of ownership)
  6. Receipts of NHS surcharge, application fee, and attended biometric appointment
  7. Return envelope and receipt of online payment

It is recommended that your original documents be kept in a separate file, probably at the end.

11. Mail it Express and Tracked

I shouldn’t have to tell you that it is extremely important for this package not to get lost in the mail. I would recommend going with someone you definitely trusted and even then, have it tracked and expressed for your own peace of mind.

The address to send it to is:

International Operations and Visas
6 Millsands
Vulcan House
Sheffield
S3 8NH
United Kingdom

12. Wait Anxiously to Hear Back

The process time for UK spouse settlement visas are around the 30 day mark. However, you can get a better estimate of your application process time by checking out the official Visa Processing Times.

For US citizens as of 15 June 2017, it is as follows:

"Most applications are processed within 30 days."

Let us know if your UK spouse visa was approved in the comments below! Or even if you were denied so that maybe others can learn from your case while also offering support. Good luck!

Pages: 1, 2, 3

Complete Guide to the UK Spouse Settlement Visa comments: