Documents to submit when applying for a visa to enter the UK to settle as the fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner of someone settled, or going to settle, in the UK
To successfully apply for permission to come to the UK in order to marry a British citizen or someone settled, or going to settle, in the UK and settle there permanently after the wedding or civil partnership, you must satisfy the requirements set out by the Immigration Rules, as explained in the guide: "Settlement visas for Fiancé(e)s or Proposed civil partners"
If you meet those requirements, you can apply for a settlement visa by completing form VAF4 and submitting the supporting documents.
COMPLETING FORM VAF4A
You will need to apply for your settlement visa to travel here at the visa application centre closest to where you live.
Depending upon the facilities available in the country you are applying from, you will need to complete either an online visa application or a hard copy visa application – the latter being preferable as it is a lot more straightforward and convenient. Find out the options in your country here.
The required hard copy visa application form for a settlement visa can be downloaded here: form VAF4A. Alternatively, you can obtain a copy from your nearest visa application centre or British Embassy.
Online applications need to be made on the official British Government website for online visa applications: Visa4UK . You will need an email address to complete the online forms and a printer to print out a hardcopy of your application.
A good grasp of the English language is required to complete an online visa application: the questions are not as clear-cut and can be easily misread and therefore answered incorrectly, albeit by accident.
Visa application forms are available only in English and must be completed in English.
Careful: it is very important that no mistakes or errors are made when you complete your visa application form, as even the smallest error could result in your visa application being refused and you could be banned from coming to the UK if the Entry Clearance Officer thinks you deliberately provided incorrect or misleading information.
*Please note that form VAF1F, instead, is meant for marriage visitors, who want to marry in the UK, but not settle here after the wedding.
VAF4 SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS
A substantial amount of supporting documents must be submitted to support your visa application.
If you apply online, the supporting documents will need to be submitted at the time you attend the biometric appointment, along with the printed application form.
Send the original documents, if you have them, not copies. In exceptional circumstances, Home Office will accept a photocopy that is certified as an accurate copy by the body or authority that issued the original, or by a notary – but you must include a letter explaining why you are providing a certified copy rather than the original document.
Certain documents are mandatory: if missing, your application will be refused.
- supporting documents provided by your sponsor in the UK, such as letter of invitation, bank statements, evidence of immigration status etc…
- your personal supporting documents, such as property deeds, evidence of employment, bank statements, savings book or long-term deposits etc… together with their certified translations.
- Your dependants’ documents, if you plan to travel accompanied
You must also submit:
- A passport or travel document (the passport is required for the whole process of the application). This must be the original document.
- A recent, passport-sized (45mm x 35mm), colour photograph of yourself:
- taken against a light coloured background
- clear and of good quality, and not framed or backed
- printed on normal photographic paper, and
- full face and without sunglasses, hat or other head covering unless you wear this for cultural or religious reasons.
- Your biometric details
- The visa fee. This cannot be refunded.
Optional supporting documents
Other relevant documents in support of your application, although not mandatory, should be included if they would allow the Entry Clearance Officer to make a fast and fair decision on your application.
Include all of the documents and information that you can to convince an Entry Clearance Officer that you qualify. It is up to you to decide which documents are relevant and which best support your visa application, but guidance is generally provided for each category.
Some visa application centres may have specific local document requirements: make sure you have their list as well.
All supporting documents submitted with visa applications must be originals and in English. Some documents can be submitted in the local language as long as they are accompanied by a summary in English. Most documents however will require a certified English translation, signed and dated by an official translator, to be accepted. Ask your visa application centre or visa section for advice.
False or misleading documents
If you fail to provide the required supporting documents, in original form and with translations and a complete set of photocopies, you are likely to have your visa application refused.
Remember: only documents submitted with your application will be considered. You will not be able to submit documents after you have submitted your application at the visa application centre.
If you do not have a required document, you should explain why you do not have it.
It is better to explain why you do not have a document than to submit a false document. Your application will be automatically refused and you may be banned from coming to the UK for 10 years if you use a false document, lie, use deception or withhold relevant information.
LIST OF SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS FOR VAF4: UKBA GUIDANCE
Hereafter is the list of documents required by Home Office, according to its official guidance.
INFORMATION ABOUT YOU
- Completed visa application form:
In some countries, you must apply online. You should check our list of supported countries to see whether you should make an online application
- If your country does not support online applications you must complete and submit application form VAF4A.
- If you make an online application, you must also print the application off and submit it with any supporting documents you have chosen to submit.
- A current and valid travel document or passport
- One passport-sized colour photograph
This must comply with the requirements in our photo guidance (see above)
- Evidence of your permission to be in the country where you are applying, if you are not a national of that country
This could be a residence permit, ‘green card’ or valid visa showing your current immigration status.
- Previous passports:
These are to show your previous travel history
- Tuberculosis (TB) certificate (where applicable)
Anyone aged over 11 resident in certain countries applying for a visa to come to the UK for longer than 6 months need to get a certificate confirming that they are free from infectious TB before applying for a visa. You can use the UKBA country finder to check whether you need a certificate and how to get one.
- Evidence of your marital status
This could include a marriage certificate, a civil partnership certificate, a divorce certificate or a death certificate.
- Evidence of your current employment or studies
This could include:
- a letter from your employer on company headed paper – detailing your salary and the length of your employment, confirming that you have been given time off work, and stating whether this time off is paid or unpaid
- a letter from your education provider on headed paper – confirming your enrolment and leave of absence
- business registration documents confirming the business owner’s name and the date when the business started trading
EVIDENCE OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE REQUIREMENT
You must be able to speak and understand English to a minimum level A1 of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR).
You can meet the English language requirement by:
- passing a test with an approved provider and providing a certificate that clearly shows your name and the qualification obtained – this test and provider must be on our list of approved English language test providers;
- having a degree taught in English; or
- being a citizen or national of a majority English language speaking country (as specified in the Immigration Rules).
For more information, see Three ways to meet the English language requirement
INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR FINANCES AND EMPLOYMENT
You may submit any of the following financial documents to provide evidence of how your stay in the UK will be funded. You should consider including evidence of your total monthly income from all sources, such as employment, friends, family, savings and property.
− If you are providing documents from a joint account, you may wish to explain who the other account holders are, and why you have permission to spend money from the account.
− If your spouse or partner is employed, the entry clearance officer might find it helpful to see evidence of their employment and financial details
− If you are not funding your stay yourself, the person who will fund it should consider supplying the evidence.
- Bank statements or bank books showing what has been paid in and out of an account for up to the previous six months, and naming the account holder. If you have made deposits in your account that are not in keeping with the account history, then you may wish to explain the origins and timing of these deposits.
- Bank letter or balance certificate showing the account balance, the account holder’s name and the date when the account was opened.
- Payslips covering up to the previous six months. If your salary is paid directly into your bank account, you could consider providing the statements showing these payments.
- Tax returns (business or personal) You could include recent documents from your government tax office, confirming your income and the amount of tax that you have paid.
- Business bank account statements: If you include these, you might want to explain why you are allowed to spend the money from a business account.
- Evidence of income from property or land: This could include property deeds, mortgage statements, tenancy agreements, accountant’s letters, land registration documents or crop receipts. If the property or land is registered in several names, you might want to explain how much you own. If the money earned from the land is shared, you might want to say how it is divided.
You may wish to submit any of the following documents to provide evidence of the accommodation that you and your sponsor intend to live in and permission for you to stay there, along with evidence of any other occupants
This could include:
- Land Registry documents
- mortgage statements
- rent book or tenancy agreement
- council tax statements
- property inspection report
- utilities bills
- accommodation details with a supporting letter from the occupant/landlord
- confirming that you are able to stay there
Additionally, provide: Photographs of the accommodation where you both will live and an independent property inspection report to confirm there will be no overcrowding.
INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR SPONSOR IN THE UK
You may wish to provide some of the following documents to help to show your sponsor's circumstances in the UK.
- Evidence of your sponsor’s current employment, studies or other means of support and total monthly income after tax
This could include a variety of any of the financial documents outlined above in the finances section. Details of annual taxable income in the UK are normally found on HM Revenue & Customs form P60.
Any details of study should also be provided.
- Evidence of your sponsor’s immigration status/ permission to be in the UK
This could be copies of:
- bio-data pages from their passport or travel document
- a valid UK visa or UK stamp from their passport
- a Home Office letter confirming their permission to stay in the UK
- Evidence of your relationship to your sponsor and any contact between you
This could be a letter from your sponsor confirming your relationship and that they are supporting your application, along with copies of:
- your birth certificate or adoption certificate
- your marriage certificate or civil partnership certificate
- a death or divorce certificate
- photographs of your wedding, civil partnership ceremony or other time spent
- phone records
- emails, letters or cards
You should not submit DVDs or video cassettes.
Letters of support from mutual friends and family of the couple confirming the nature of your relationship is good addition evidence.
Source: Immigration Rules; VAF4 Application Form and Guidance Notes; Supporting documents guidance – settlement
Disclaimer: The above article is meant to be relied upon as an informative article and in no way constitutes legal advice. Information is offered for general information purposes only, based on the current law when the information was first displayed on this website.
You should always seek advice from an appropriately qualified solicitor on any specific legal enquiry. For legal advice regarding your case, please contact an immigration solicitor.
For questions regarding the subject covered in this guide, please visit migreat.com.