Caveat – This is what I went through and the documents I put together. I think it’s worth getting advice from a consultant like Nikki to help tailor your application to your circumstances.
I wrote about the process I went through to get my Spouse Visa in a previous post. Here’s how I prepared and submitted the supporting documents for my UK Spouse Visa application.
Scanning the supporting documents
Similar to other visa processes, like the UK Fiancé visa or even the tourist visas in European countries, you’ll have the option to scan the documents yourself and upload it after you submit your application form, or you can have your documents scanned by VFS or Sopra Steria for an extra fee.
I decided to scan the documents myself because it was free and I can double/triple check that the documents are complete and there weren’t any pages missing.
To scan my documents and photographs, I used Notability on my iPad. If you click on the plus sign on the top right and click “Document Scan,” you’ll be able to take photos of the documents. You can adjust the corners of the document and Notability will make it look like a flat page. You’ll also be able to save several pages into one PDF file, which was handy. I just exported the file and saved it on my computer.
I’m sure you can use other apps or websites that will convert photos of your documents into PDFs but this was just the easiest way for me.
You can only submit PDF files (not JPG or PNG) that are less than 6MB in size. Keeping to the size limit was a little tricky as some documents (like the full passport) ended up with so many pages. I just used one of the free online websites that compresses PDFs.
Make sure as well that you only upload one PDF file per requirement. While this means more pages and bigger files, it’s also a lot easier for the person that reviews your application to check that you’re all set, preventing any delays.
Application Form and Declarations
I wrote about some tricky questions in the application form in a previous post. While you’re filling up the application form, you’ll be prompted to download two documents for you and your spouse to sign. These two documents should be downloaded, signed, scanned, and re-uploaded into the system in two separate PDF files.
The Part 1 Consent Form is for you to sign. This allows the Home Office (the U.K.’s immigration department) to check that the information and documents you submitted with your application are true and correct.
Part 2 should be signed by a “joint owner.” This means that if you provided any documentation which is under yours and another person’s names jointly, that other person should sign Part 2. This allows the Home Office to verify with that joint owner that the information you provided are true and correct. My spouse signed this consent form as we have a joint bank account, and one of the letters I submitted was a bank letter from our joint bank account as proof that I lived in the same address as him.
Part 3 should be signed by a “financial sponsor.” For me, my husband signed this document as well because we submitted his employment documents (e.g. pay slips, bank statements) to show that we comply with the financial requirements. Who should sign this document will be dependent on how you intend to show that you comply with the financial requirements. This consent form allows the Home Office to verify with the financial sponsor that the information and documents you provided are true and correct.
Declaration for Spouses
This Declaration was signed by my husband. It confirms that he is a British citizen and that we are married.
I just submitted my degree certificate from the University of Edinburgh. This should just be in 1 PDF.
If you don’t have a degree from a British school, you may have to take the IELTS and make sure you achieve the minimum score. Check here for more details on the English Language Requirement.
This is pretty straightforward. I just submitted a scanned copy of our marriage certificate.
You’d think that having a marriage certificate would have been enough to prove that you and your spouse have a genuine relationship. Nikki said that some of her clients were required to prove their relationship, even with the marriage certificate. The application form also required me to provide correspondence showing that we live in the same address.
Group Wedding Photos and Cards
In one PDF, I scanned group wedding photos (to show that it wasn’t a sham I supposed) and about 4 or 5 Christmas cards addressed to both of us with the envelopes showing that they were sent to one address.
You should only submit those cards you received while you were already living in the U.K. I came back to the U.K. in October 2019, our wedding was in January 2020, and I submitted my application in March 2020. It was handy that we received a few Christmas cards addressed to the both of us.
So if you know you’ll need to prepare your visa application at some point in the future, make sure you keep all your letters and cards while you’re living together! I’ll have to go through this whole process again in two and a half years so I have a box to set aside our letters and cards.
Nikki said I only needed to provide three letters (one for each month) that we received since I arrived in the U.K. showing that we lived in the same address. But when I completed the application form, the form said that I should provide at least six items of correspondence, addressed to both of our names jointly, from three different sources, spaced evenly over two years (or from the time that I was living in the U.K.). Nikki explained that this form is used for other types of visas as well and I didn’t need to follow this exactly. I did so anyway, because I didn’t want any delays or problems.
The application form listed the types of acceptable letters: from the government or the GP, bank statements, council tax bills, electricity or gas bills, mortgage statement, telephone bills, etc. We didn’t have many letters with both our names on it because most of the bills are in my husband’s name. We tried to change this later on but none of the companies really allowed us to have both our names in the contract. I’m not very sure what this application form wants from us.
We had about two letters addressed to us jointly since I arrived in October 2019. So in addition to that, I submitted four letters addressed to myself (one letter for each month I was in the U.K.), and four letters addressed to my husband on the same months. I think I was able to comply with the three different sources as well.
All the letters were in one PDF file.
Payslips and Bank Statements
I submitted my husband’s payslips from the last six months, and the bank statements showing that he received the amounts written on the payslips.
As in my application for my fiancé visa, we needed to submit “original” bank statements.
Since my husband’s bank was HSBC, Nikki warned that they will not print the statements from the bank – we will need to request them to be sent via the post. We went to HSBC bank anyway though, and they printed out the bank statements for us. They said it would be the same if we printed out the statements from our online account. I checked and that’s true. To be honest, if you get your bank statements online, it will probably be in a PDF. I think you can just submit those as they are, especially if you’re sure that the “original” statements from the bank will look the same as what you get online. Maybe in some banks, they’ll print it out using the bank’s letterhead or special paper? I’m really not sure.
All the pay slips were in one PDF file, and all the bank statements were in one PDF file as well.
This letter should be dated after the last payslip you’re submitting. It should be signed by a senior official (with a manager or similar title). The letter should state:
- that your spouse is employed by them
- the start date of his or her employment
- gross annual salary
- any changes in salary in the last six months. If none, the letter should confirm that there were no changes.
- type of contract (permanent, temporary, fixed term)
- if your spouse’s payslips are received online, confirmation that the payslips you are providing are genuine.
In addition to the employment letter, and if it’s available, you can also submit your spouse’s P60 and a copy of his or her employment contract. The employment letter, P60, and the employment contract can be in three separate PDF files.
I submitted documents showing where my husband and I live.
Evidence of Ownership
I submitted the most recent mortgage statement over our house and the latest council tax bill. This will show that my husband owns the house we’re living in.
If you’re renting a house or flat, you should show your lease agreement.
The application form also said that I should submit a “letter signed by the owner of the property you live in stating that you have permission to live there.” This was based on the answers I gave, which were all true and correct. I’m not sure why they made me do this and I don’t really think this applied to me. Nikki also said I didn’t need to submit this. I asked my husband to write a letter anyway saying that he gave me permission to live there. LOL! I suppose this will apply to you if you and your husband are going to live with someone else who’s letting you stay in their home.
That’s everything! I hope this was helpful!