If you are a British Citizen or hold Indefinite Leave to Remain then you can apply for your partner to join you in the UK under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules. The Home Office requirements are complex and the fees expensive so it is crucial to maximise the prospects of success of an application. Here are some things to look out for when making an application:

Home Office fee and Immigration Health Surcharge

Make sure you have sufficient funds to pay the specified Home Office fee and Immigration Health Surcharge (if applicable). When the Home Office apply exchange rates, sometimes the amount payable in local currency can be more than the amount in GBP so be aware of this.

TB Testing

Applicants from certain countries coming to the UK for more than six months require to provide a TB test certificate from an approved Home Office clinic. The list of countries where you need a TB test to enter the UK can be found here:  https://www.gov.uk/tb-test-visa/countries-where-you-need-a-tb-test-to-enter-the-uk. If your partner resides in one of the Home Office listed countries then make sure that he or she has a TB test Certificate from an approved Home Office clinic and that the Certificate is valid as they have a limited validity period.

English Language requirement

You must provide evidence demonstrating your partner meets the Home Office English Language requirement. The Home Office has recently changed their list of approved secure English language tests (SELTs) that will be accepted with UK immigration applications. For more information please see my colleague, Sarah Hoey’s recent blog post (/news/2015/04/immigration-changes-to-the-english-language-tests-have-you-sat-the-correct-one/)

Financial Requirement

It is essential to provide evidence, as specified by the Home Office, showing that the relevant financial requirement is met. The requirements here are very strict and failure to provide a piece of evidence in the specified format or omitting a piece of specified evidence can lead to refusal of an application.

Supporting documents

Supporting documents submitted with the application must be in original and not photocopy form. The exception to this is that it is acceptable to provide a certified copy of the Sponsor’s passport/Biometric Residence Permit. Documents that are not in English or Welsh must be accompanied by a certified English translation.

Your partner’s passport

Finally, make sure your partner has at least two clear pages in his/her passport. These blank pages are needed for the Entry Clearance Post to affix the Entry Clearance vignette showing his/her permission to enter the UK.

The Immigration team at Drummond Miller are very experienced in making applications under Appendix FM. The Rules in this area are complex. Please do not hesitate to contact a member of our Immigration team should you require any further information.