Disclaimer: We are not legal experts. This article is intended for educational purposes only. And though all information are provided in good faith, we cannot guarantee their accuracy. As such Londoni cannot be held responsible for any problem which you may experience as a result of this article.
Please consult a legal expert for your legal problem.
We sincerely hope that you are successful in bringing your spouse to UK and living a happy life together.
In the article below we give the example of a husband from UK (i.e. applicant) who is applying for his wife in Bangladesh (i.e. sponsor). This is just to facilitate understanding. The reverse (i.e. British wife applying for Bangladeshi husband) is equally true also.
UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), part of the Home Office, is responsible for making millions of decisions every year about who has the right to visit or stay in the country. It is they who decide whether your spouse - or relatives and friends, if you're applying for a holiday visa - could come to UK or not.
From 1 October 2014, all UK visa applications submitted at the British High Commission in Dhaka will be assessed by the Visa Section at the British High Commission in New Delhi, India. The controversial move by UKVI was "part of its global strategy" to reduce the number of locations around the world where decisions are made on visa applications so it will "significantly reduce costs to the British taxpayer". Passports will remain in Bangladesh and decisions will continue to be made by British Crown Servants. The cost of the service will stay the same. Bangladeshi applicants will submit their visa applications at Visa Application Centres in Dhaka and Sylhet and there will be no need for applicants to travel to India.
Make sure you get all the required documents because once your application is submitted you cannot send additional documents.
If you're a normal worker (e.g. office worker, waiter, etc) you must show a minimum of 6 months documents e.g. payslip, bank statement, etc. If however you're self-employed (e.g. taxi driver, business owner, contractor, etc) then you must show a minimum of 12 months documents.
The biggest obstacle to entry to UK is proof of finance. If you can't prove this then forget about applying all together. They will not even look at the rest of your paperwork. As an applicant you "must prove you have enough money to adequately support and accommodate yourselves and any dependants without using public funds".
Once you've collected all the required documents, you must make an online visa application via UK government website: www.visa4uk.fco.gov.uk/home/welcome.
To complete the application process, you'll also need to book an appointment for your spouse at a visa application centre in Bangladesh where they'll need to hand-in all the documents. You need to make this booking online via www.vfsglobal.co.uk/bangladesh/. Walk in applicants are no longer accommodated.
Currently, there are two visa application centres in Bangladesh: one in Dhaka, the other in Sylhet.
When selecting the appointment date make sure it falls within the 28 days limit of your last payslip and bank statement.
Upon completion you'll receive confirmation of your appointment which you'll need to print out. Now, create a file with all your documents and this appointment letter.
Since all UK visa applications made in Bangladesh are processed in India, customers in Bangladesh must provide a duplicate of all documents submitted, together with a full copy (all pages) of all passports submitted with your application to facilitate this process. The original passport(s) will stay in Bangladesh and the copy will be sent to the decision making centre outside Bangladesh along with your application form and supporting documents.
Parcel the file to your wife (or give it with a loved one who is travelling to Bangladesh). Your wife will have to replace all the replica version (e.g. copy of her passport, ESOL, TB certificate, etc.) with the original version.
On the day of the appointment, your wife will need to take the file (with all the documents, appointment letter, passport and a second valid form of identification) to the application centre. Only she alone is permitted to enter the centre. Relatives and friends are not allowed. Your wife will undergo a security search before entering. She'll collect a token and wait until her token is called to make the application. She'll then need to pay the full application fee in taka. This fee consists of:
The fee is increasing on a regular basis. In December 2015 the fee was around £1,700: around £1,000 application cost, around £600 healthcare surcharge, and around £60 for handling fee in Sylhet. In June 2016 the application cost rose to £1,875 if you apply by post and £2,375 if you apply in person.
Upon payment she'll receive a receipt. Keep this secure as she'll need this later to collect the documents. The visa fee is non-refundable.
VFS Global Bangladesh Pvt. Ltd.
UK Visa Application Centre
Delta Life Tower
Office open: 08:30 - 16:30 Sun-Thurs (closed on Friday)
VFS Bangladesh Pvt. Ltd.
UK Visa Application Centre
Mirza Jungle Road
After you submit your application, centre officials will take a digital finger scan and a digital photograph of your wife. This is known as 'Biometric Information Collection'. Therefore your wife must ensure that her fingertips are free from any forms of decoration (for example, henna), cuts, abrasions or other markings as these may affect your ability to provide acceptable finger scans. Digital photograph is taken of your full face. The whole procedure should take nor more than five minutes to complete. Your application will not be processed if you don't submit the biometric information/data.
The Entry Clearance Officer can take up to 6 months or more to make a decision - though in many cases they give the result within couple of months. If they can't make a decision using your application form and the supporting documents that you've provided, they will interview you.
Once a decision has been made, your wife will be notified by SMS (text) to her mobile to come and collect the result and her file. She'll need to return to the visa application centre in person and present the payment receipt. Her fate will be enclosed in a sealed envelope.
Hopefully if you're successful, make sure your wife checks the visa to ensure that:
If she suspects that anything is wrong with the visa, she needs to contact the application centre officials immediately.
If all is well, your wife will be given 14 days to come to UK. They must come within this time else their application becomes void and you'd have to apply all over again.
In the British airport, it is normal for custom officers to question new entrants. They may ask your wife your basic details e.g. full name, home address (possibly including post code), date of birth, job & job title, date of marriage, etc. Make sure she is able to answer these to avoid any unnecessary stress.
Custom officials may also phone you to ask basic details (e.g. wife's full name, date of birth, marriage date, who's accompanying her, etc.). So make sure you have your mobile - and your wife, or the people accompanying her, can give your number.
Once inside UK, your wife has 10 days to collect their biometric card from the post office that you chose during the online application process. The card will state that she has 'work permit' and therefore can work in UK, if she prefer.
Once you are settled, be sure your wife:
You can also use the settlement checking service to make sure your application is correct and complete. They’ll send your application to UKVI. You’ll have to pay an extra fee for using this service.