Moving to the UK with Your British Partner? Here are 7 Things You Should Be Aware of

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If you and your British partner are living together abroad and want to move to the UK, there are seven important things you need to know.

Firstly, being married to a British citizen does not automatically grant you the right to live in the UK. As a non-visa national, you may not require a visa to visit the UK as a tourist or for family visits. However, if you wish to set up your home in the UK, you will need a visa that allows you to stay in the long term, take up employment or set up your business, rent accommodation, open a bank account, send children to a state-funded school, and use the NHS.

Secondly, a spouse visa is not the only option to consider. Depending on your circumstances, other types of visas may be more suitable for you, such as the skilled worker or scale-up visa. You may also be eligible for the Global talent visa, which has a shorter processing time and no financial requirements.

Thirdly, if you decide to apply for a spouse visa, you must ensure that you meet the financial requirement. The British partner must show that their earnings outside the UK are above the minimum threshold and they have a suitable job offer in the UK with a prospective salary above the minimum threshold. The non-British partner cannot rely on their earnings outside the UK or a job offer in the UK to meet the financial requirement.

Fourthly, do not forget that you will need a visa extension after 33 months. Failure to apply for an extension in time may result in having to leave the country and apply for entry clearance from outside the UK.

Fifthly, you will be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) after five years of residence as a spouse, but ILR is not the same as British citizenship.

Sixthly, being married to a British citizen allows you to apply for citizenship straight after your application for ILR is approved. After naturalization, you can apply for a British passport.

Lastly, it is best to hire an immigration lawyer in London to represent you in your visa application from overseas. UK-based lawyers are regulated and can handle your case electronically online via zoom meetings, email and over the telephone, giving you a better chance of success.

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