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The UK spouse and fiancé visa accommodation requirement explained

Anyone applying for a UK spouse visa, UK fiancé visa or a UK partner visa will need to meet the accommodation requirement in order for their UK visa application to be approved.

For assistance with your spouse visa application get in touch with our immigration lawyers today on 020 4502 8582, we are here to help. We can speak to you in whatever way best suits you: in person, at our offices, over the phone or online. 

 

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    What is the UK spouse visa accommodation requirement?

    When applying for many of the UK family visas available, the Home Office require that all visa applicants can demonstrate they will have access to adequate accommodation when the come to the UK.

    Immigration rules provide more information on what form that accommodation should take and how UK spouse visa applicants can provide evidence to show they will met the accommodation requirement.

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    What is the purpose of the accommodation requirement and meeting public health regulations?

    The reason for the accommodation requirement is to ensure that people coming to the UK do not live in accommodation overcrowded or other substandard conditions.

    When applying for a UK spouse visa you need provide details of where you plan to live when you move to the UK with your partner.

    As part of your UK spouse visa application you need to provide evidence that:

    • You will have access to adequate accommodation
    • Will not reply on public funds to finance that accommodation
    • Will be staying in accommodation that your family owns or occupy exclusively

    Your UK visa application could be rejected under immigration rules if the accommodation is judged to be:

    • Overcrowded
    • Contravenes public health regulations

    It is important to understand that you do need to own the property you will be living in and the accommodation requirement does allow for some shared areas in multiple occupation properties.

    The Home Office guidance states:

    “Accommodation can be shared with other members of a family provided that at least part of the accommodation is for the exclusive use of the sponsor and his dependants. The unit of accommodation may be as small as a separate bedroom but must be owned or legally occupied by the sponsor and its occupation must not contravene public health regulations and must not cause overcrowding as defined in the Housing Act 1985.”

    In terms of not accessing public funds, there are exemptions to this rule. For instance, you will not be refused if you are relying partly or wholly on your sponsor’s use public funds in order to satisfy the accommodation requirement. Alternatively, section 115 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 allows this criteria to be waived for qualifying applicants.

    How is accommodation overcrowding calculated?

    As the aim of the UK spouse visa accommodation requirement is to prevent overcrowding – it is important to understand how the overcrowding is assessed by the Home Office.

    To help ensure you are not planning to live in unsuitable accommodation requirement that make sure you assess your future home on the following basis:

    • Add up the number of people living in the accommodation – children aged under one-year-old do not need to be counted; children aged between one and ten are counted as a half, while everyone else is classed as one person.
    • Next add up the number of rooms used for sleeping – even if not all rooms are used as bedrooms, you should work out how many could be used for sleeping, including living rooms. Any bathrooms, kitchens and rooms that measure under 50 square feet floor area cannot be included in your assessment.
    • Then compare the number of people with the number of qualifying rooms and establish that the accommodation requirement will be met without overcrowding.

    Under the Housing Act, the maximum number of people allowed for a given number of rooms or a given room floor area are:

     

    Number of Rooms Maximum number of people allowed
    1 2
    2 3
    3 5
    4 7.5
    5 10

     

    Showing you have access to adequate accommodation when applying for a UK Partner visa

    When making your UK spouse visa application you will need to provide details of how you will meet the adequate accommodation requirement detailed in the Appendix FM of the immigration rules.

    It is advisable to have your accommodation in place before making your application so that you are in a position to provide evidence when applying.

    You should include with your family visa application the following supporting documents:

    • Details of the property such as available rooms, sleeping accommodation- this should be in the form of a letter from your letting agent or estate agent or a tenancy agreement
    • Demonstrate evidence that you have enough rooms to accommodate yourself and your partner, as well as any dependent children or other family members that will be living at the property
    • Proof that you/your partner have either already paid for or can afford to pay for the accommodation, this can be in the form of a tenancy agreement or a letter from a solicitor

    Spouse Visa document checklist

    Applying for a UK spouse visa does require an extensive amount of supporting evidence to be provided alongside your application. If you are unclear about anything you may want to seek expert advice to help avoid any potential delays to your application or a possible refusal.

    You should be prepared to included the following evidence/documents when applying:

    • Proof that your relationship is genuine – this can include details of phone conversations, emails and messages, as well as your marriage certificate.
    • Proof of your income and that you will be able to meet the financial requirement – this can be in the form of bank statements, a contract of employment etc.
    • Proof that you meet the accommodation requirement – as above, the Home Office want want to see a letting contract, house lease etc
    • Proof that you meet the English language requirement or are exempt – English language test results, an English-taught degree, proof that you are a national of an English-speaking country

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      One of the most difficult aspects of the application process is meeting the strict requirements. Our lawyers will help you to do this. We can advise you about whether you need to take an English language test, which test to take and how to book it. We can also help you to meet the other requirements, this includes helping you to prepare for the Life in the UK Test and assisting you with gathering a substantial portfolio of documents to support your application.

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