Where to Find More Help with the Fiancé & Spouse Visas

Where to Find Help with the UK Fiance Visa Header

Applying for the UK  fiancé or spouse visa can be a long and complicated process. It is daunting, in fact, when you first begin researching and don’t really know where to begin. There is a lot of information available, but not all of it is up to date or current. That can make finding out what you need to know even more difficult. And, to add to that, the official paperwork is not always as clear as it could be. There are areas that are open to interpretation, and vague.

Altogether, the application process can leave you feeling stressed and alone. There are not likely to be many others that you know personally to have gone through the process. If you do, then you are in luck and have a valuable resource that you should not take for granted. However, for most of us, there is precious little help out there. So, we have put together this guide to show you some of the sources that we have used in preparing for our application, that will hopefully help you out too.

The UK Government Website

The UK Government Visa Website

The UK Government Visa Website

The first, and most obvious place to look for guidance is the UK Government website. There is a huge wealth of information on this site, primarily focused on what you can and cannot do during the application process. The first place to check, is the guide to ‘Apply to remain in the UK with family‘ as this is the category that the fiancé and spouse visas fall under. Once you have checked the regulations and requirements, you can find the forms that you will need for the application here. For the fiancé and spouse visas, you will need to fill out form VAF4A and VAF4A Appendix 2.

Visa Guidance Sites

The 1st Contact Visas Website

The 1st Contact Visas Website

Unfortunately, although the UK Government is somewhat helpful in research, it is definitely not a complete guide. It does little more than provide the framework that you need to complete an application. For more in-depth advice on what you can and cannot provide as a part of your evidence, and how to make the application, it is worth checking out a few of the visa guidance sites out there.

These are websites that offer help with the application process, usually for a substantial fee. We would not recommend using one of these sites to make your application for you. However, they can be beneficial whilst researching the visa, as they tend to provide a much better description of the requirements, with examples, than the UK Government website. Three of the most helpful sites of this kind are: 1st Contact Visas, Visa Logic and IXP Visas.

Expat Forums

British Expats Forum

British Expats Forum

Once you have exhausted all of the possible support you can get for free from these sites, your next port of call should be expat forums. These often have a section dedicated to help with the UK fiancé and spouse visas. More importantly, however, they are full of people who are either going through the process, or have successfully applied for the visa. Here, you can find out what has and has not worked for people, which should provide you with a framework for your own supporting evidence, and some more personalised support.

However, a word of caution on these forums. These are only the opinions of people, and not the official guidance. Depending on what you read, the regulations may have changed since that application was made. The most recent changes to the process were made in 2012, and so any posts from before that time may not be as relevant as more recent ones. Some of our favourite expat forums, with up to date advice and help are: Expat Forum, British Expats, and Immigration Matters.

LDR Blogs & YouTube Videos

Jennifer and Neils Fiance Visa Guide

Jennifer and Neils Fiance Visa Guide

As well as forums, another great resource to take advantage of is LDR blogs and YouTube videos. We have our own guide to the UK fiancé and spouse visa application, broken down into: whether it is right for you, documents for applicants & documents for sponsors. However, don’t just take our word for it. There are plenty of other blogs which discuss their personal thoughts on the UK fiancé and spouse visas as well. Most of these currently take the form of YouTube videos, which are a great way to see visually some of the aspects you will need to consider.

Some of our favourite YouTube channels that discuss in depth their experiences with the UK fiancé visa include: Jennifer & Neil Vlogs (who successfully applied), UK Marriage Visa (which although corny, provides some good information) and Mr & Mrs Walsh (who also successfully applied for the visa). Remember, with these videos, that while the information provided is often in-depth and useful, it is only for particular circumstances, so make sure to check how similar your circumstances are while you are watching.

Solicitors/ Lawyers

Ask for legal advice after drafting your application.

Ask for legal advice after drafting your application.

Finally, perhaps the most complete and useful help you can get is from solicitors or lawyers specialised in immigration law. Of course, this is the most expensive help you can seek, as most legal professionals will charge significant fees for consultations, advice and checking your documentation. Therefore, our advice for using legal help would be to carry out as much research as possible on your own, using other available methods. Then put together your application. However, before you submit it, ask a legal professional to check over it for mistakes, before making the final submission.

This negates a lot of the expensive fees, and still ensures that you are submitting a legally sound application. Remember that solicitors/ lawyers are also able to certify your documents, so it is worth having this done at the same time to reduce fees as much as possible. While there are some national solicitors that you are able to visit, most towns and cities (both within and outside of the UK) will have at least one immigration specialist able to help you. Where possible, try to seek local advice to reduce the amount of travel & time before your application is submitted.

These are our recommendations for where to get help with the UK fiancé and spouse visa applications, from both official and personal sources. We hope that some of these links help you with your application. Or perhaps you prefer to get advice from another source? Let us know your experiences in the comments below, and good luck!

– Chris

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Chris Martin

CommonTime Head of Marketing. Responsible marketing advocate, avid technophile, part time consultant and full time husband.

  • I have been through a solicitor to apply for a fiance visa to UK for my Cuban girlfriend. I am satisfied I have all the required information and evidence. However, I am uncomfortable with producing full bank statements to UK embassy in Havana as there are things on it that are personal! I more than meet the financial requirements and have accountants letter, empoyers letter wage slips and bank statements but such things as details of payments for mainteance to my ex wife for my son, the cost of the engagement ring (I dont want my fiance to know that!) are very personal. If I leave the bulk of info on the atement including payment details from my employer, can I readact personal stff?

    • Chris Martin

      Hi Bill,

      I understand the concern you have regarding the privacy of your bank statements. Unfortunately, to my knowledge, they must be submitted unaltered to satisfy the visa requirements. You do only need to submit statements for the 6 months prior to the application if this is any help. If you are submitting the documents soon, then unfortunately they will need to be submitted as printed. If there is still a significant period of time before you send the application, one way around this might be to make personal payments from a private credit card so that only credit card repayments show on the bank statements.

      Apologies I cannot help any further. I wish you all the best with your application.

      Chris

  • Gabby McDonnell

    Can you guys write something on what comes after you get approved? Like what to expect if you’re selected to get interviewed (which I’m not even sure when you know if you have to go to an interview or not), and some of the next steps (FLR visas?) you’ll need to stay in the country after you’re married? I literally got no paperwork stating any information, just the documents I had submitted to them, returned, and my passport with the visa in it. I’m not sure of what else could be expected of me once I get there. Oh, also… for some reason, would they require you to have a return flight back to america before letting you into the UK? I only purchased a one-way ticket, hoping to be approved for the next visa (FLR?) I’ll be applying for after I’m married. Thanks!

    • Hi Gabby,

      As we are not trained immigration advisors, we only write about visa topics we have had personal experiences with or have heavily researched. Unfortunately we wouldn’t be confident in writing about the interview process, as this is not something we have experienced and varies heavily on a case by case basis (there is little formal documentation). We will, however, be writing more about the FLR(M) application over the next few months.

      You don’t need a return flight at the border. The stamp you have in your passport (30 day travel vignette) will grant you entry clearance – you won’t need to worry about showing a booked return flight on entry. If you are questioned at the border you can say you’ll be booking a return flight during your stay. You shouldn’t be denied if you have an approved visa. On the Fiancé route, there is nothing visa related you need to do when you arrive in the UK. After applying for FLR(M) you’ll need to pick up your BRP card.

      All the best,
      Chris

  • Pete

    Hello Chris & Chelsea,
    This month, Me and my wife will submit our application for Spousal Visa under Category A. I believe i am going to submit 6 months of payslip. That means from April til September payslips. However i was in the Philippines for a month in June so i dont have a June payslip. Is it ok if i submit payslips from March til September?
    Hope u can help me on this.
    Best regards,
    Pete

    • Hi Pete,

      Unfortunately the OISC has threatened to prosecute us for providing immigration advice as we are not solicitors (despite our legal disclaimers & that we try to only speak from personal experience). As such we have had to remove all visa guidance, articles and videos from our site & YouTube page. We are also unable to answer any questions about the visa process or else risk criminal prosecution.

      You can read our full statement here: http://bit.ly/2bml3qI.

      Apologies again.
      Chris

      • Pete

        Oh really , that is so sad. You guys just wanted to help people like me. And besides not everybody can afford to hire a solicitor. You’ve been a great help to all applicants out there. Anyways, please continue to be an inspiration to all LDR couples all over the world.

        • Thank you Pete. IOt is a shame that things have turned out this way, as we have always said – we have only ever wanted to help people. We hope your application is successful!

          All the best,
          Chris