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UK Spouse Visas Compare to Skilled Worker Visas

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It seems obvious that you should apply for a spouse or partner visa if you are relocating to the UK to live with your British partner, and you should apply for a skilled worker visa if you are moving to the UK to work. Real life, however, can occasionally be more difficult.

Disadvantages of a UK Spouse Visa

UK spouse visa has three negative factors which may or may not be significant for you. The first is the processing time. Standard processing time for a partner visa is up to 12 weeks but it may take longer depending on the country you are applying from and the current backlog with the Home Office. An expedited application puts you ahead of the queue but doesn’t guarantee a timescale. On average, you may expect a decision within 4-6 weeks.

The second negative factor is the cost. The partner visa fee is £1846. It is granted for 33 months and has to be extended for another 30 months at least once. In addition, there is £3105 for the Immigration Health Surcharge payable with the first application and £2587.50 with the application for extension.

The third negative factor is the financial requirement. Eligibility for the spouse visa largely hinges on the sponsor’s income over the last six months, or over the last financial year for self-employed people and directors of limited companies.

This may be extremely frustrating if the sponsor only recently started self-employed and has to wait for a full year of accounts to be ready. Also, temporary unemployment of the British partner or change of employment may delay the eligibility of the non-British partner to apply for the visa even if they have a good prospect of finding employment and expect to be the main breadwinner for the family.

Skilled Worker Visa Advantages

An application for a skilled worker visa is normally processed within 3 weeks. If expedited, you can expect a decision within 5 days or even within 24 hours. Priority service offers you a clear timescale, not merely preferential treatment.

The skilled worker visa is less costly and can be issued for the entire five-year period which would lead to your eligibility for indefinite leave to remain. In other words, you will not have to make an extension application and your initial visa application fee will be lower.

Lastly, the Skilled Worker visa has a much lower financial requirement. You only have to have £1025 in your bank account for 28 days. This can be met in any event if the sponsor (in this case, the employer) certifies maintenance when assigning the certificate of sponsorship.

Disadvantages of a Skilled Worker Visa

Having said all that, the disadvantage of the skilled worker visa is that you need to secure an offer of employment in the UK. Your employment has to be in a skilled occupation and with the right level of pay.

The employer has to act as your sponsor – i.e. undertake certain duties related to the prevention of illegal working and pay the government an immigration skills charge which, for a large organisation, amounts to £5000 for five years of sponsorship.

The English language requirement is more onerous for the Skilled Worker visa applicant than for a person applying for a partner visa. For skilled workers, the required standard of English is B1 in four components – speaking, listening, reading and writing. For partners of settled persons, it is A1 (for the initial application) in speaking and listening only.

The skilled worker visa allows you to work only for one employer. You may take some supplementary work, but only in the same occupation as for your sponsor, or in a shortage occupation. This supplementary job can only be part-time and in addition to your main duties for the sponsor.

As a skilled worker, you are not allowed to work for yourself or set up and run your own business.

Change of employment will also require a change of sponsorship and a new visa application. This should not interrupt the continuity of your residence, but your visa may be curtailed if you stop working for your employer and don’t make an alternative application for permission to stay.

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Daily Dazzling Dawn is the first and only international and non-profitable newspaper, which is 100% ownership of professional journalists from Bangladeshi origin with 20 years of experience in global journalism. The main aim of the newspaper is promoting ethical journalism with truth, accuracy and proficiency.

Editor in Chief

Dulal Ahmed Chowdhury

Dulal Ahmed Chowdhury is the Editor of The Daily Dazzling Dawn. Previously, he has been serving in important positions in all the famous national dailies of the Bangladesh since the nineties. He has played a commendable role in journalism by participating in various events at the national and international levels. United Nations Conference, World Climate Conference, SAARC Summit are notable among them.

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