19 June 2020 #Immigration
UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) have published further guidance on applying for a spouse visa, if you have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The changes allow those who have experienced a loss of income or are unable to provide specified documents to apply by relying on this guidance.
Loss of income
The UK spouse visa rules have a minimum income requirement, and normally requires the applicant to demonstrate their income in the last 6 months, if employed, or their annual income, if self-employed.
The COVID-19 policy provides a temporary relaxation to this requirement, provided the minimum income requirement was met before march 2020. The COVID-19 policy states that if the applicant and/or their partner have experienced a loss of income due to the coronavirus, they can:
The COVID-19 policy allows provides discretion to caseworkers to exempt applicants from providing specific documents, if they cannot get them because of the impact of the coronavirus. However, these documents may be requested after the application is submitted.
The discretion also allows individuals to apply for an exemption if their English language test centre was closed, or they were unable to travel due to the coronavirus.
The impact of the Coronavirus will be felt by applicants for several months, and as such the continued updates from UKVI are welcome. However, applicants need to understand how these changes affect them, and their applications.