Many people often wonder about the UK immigration process and how one commences at point A, which may be the knowledge of needing to apply for a settlement visa to the UK to be a legal resident, to point B, getting the fiancee, unmarried partner or spouse visa allowing a non-EEA national to live in the UK with their family member. First and foremost, the visa application process is not one that involves just filling out routine immigration forms. The UK Visas & Immigration – UKVI (formerly the UK Border Agency or UKBA) operates in order to ensure that those who meet the rules in the category they apply for can be granted entry clearance to the UK. Applicants are therefore governed by UK immigration legislation and policy, which means that the reason for any visa claim and suitability must be fortified by evidence that meet all of the rules and specific policies. Although they may be considered an aspect of family law, unlike a district judge, there are no options of pulling at heart strings, only a refusal or granted result.
Mandatory requirements for Ukrainian nationals applying for a UK marriage visa
Aside from the rules stipulated by the recent family appendix and other suitability requirements, including the minimum income threshold for sponsoring British citizens and permanent residents, accommodation and relationship criteria, there are two additional mandatory requirements for applicants in Ukraine:
The applicant must undergo a TB screening test
The applicant must pass a mandatory A1 English language test
Mandatory TB test for applicants in Ukraine
The TB screening requirement is mandatory for any anyone wishing to stay in the UK for over six months. This includes those applying for a UK fiancee, partner or marriage visa under the settlement category. It is required for both adults and dependent children alike and costs are $120.00 USD for adults and $45.00 USD for children. The results are usually provided on the same day unless there are reasons to suspect that the applicant may have tuberculosis (TB). It is wise to book an appointment at the UKVI-approved clinic in advance as waiting times can vary based on the time of the year. The approved clinic in Ukraine is: IOM (located at Healthy & Happy Clinic) 16B Gorkogo Street, Kyiv. Other medical clinics that are not on the approved list cannot be used. The clearance is valid for six months.
English language test in Ukraine
The mandatory English language test must be taken at an approved test centre and is only for those who are over 18 and under 65 years of age. Applicants must achieve an A1 level in speaking and listening for entry to the UK as a partner, fiancee or spouse of a British citizen or UK permanent resident. The A1 equivalent would be basic English. The expected proficiency level in conversational skills would be examined on the basis of the ability to communicate with comprehension and usage of short and simple phrases in everyday life conversations such as giving very short answers to simple questions and requests for information and using a basic range of words related to personal details and situations.
I have passed my English language test and taken the TB test, what happens next?
Unfortunately, this is not the end of the application process for those applying for a UK partner or marriage visa from Ukraine. Once the settlement application and all the necessary supporting documents are up to date and ready for submission, the applicant is required to attend their local UK visa application centre in Kiev. The UKVI has recently changed commercial partners in Ukraine. As a result, the UK visa application centre (VAC) in Kiev is currently run by TLScontact, a private company responsible for forwarding complete applications to the regional UKVI Visa Office in Sheffield for processing. The British Consulate in Warsaw, Poland is no longer involved in processing UK partner and marriage visas for Ukrainian nationals. The UKVI Sheffield office has jurisdiction over quite a few countries at the moment, including Ukraine.
It should be noted that only the applicant and their dependent children must attend the UK visa application centre in Kiev. If the British spouse travels to Ukraine to be present with the applicant at the time of submission, they cannot enter the visa application centre and will be asked to wait outside. Therefore, the sponsoring partner’s presence is not required.
How long does it take to get a UK fiancee or marriage visa from Ukraine?
The standard processing for settlement visa applications submitted from Ukraine takes approximately three to four months depending on the time of the year and overall complexity of a specific case. Straightforward applications are usually decided within 10 to 12 weeks. Should the application be more complicated, then this will obviously extend the time that a standard visa issuance would take. Unfortunately, there is currently no premium service available for applicants in Ukraine who intend to settle in the UK. Therefore all applications will be processed in the same way under the 90 day rule, unless the applicant and their British partner or spouse purchase an optional UKVI settlement priority service for an extra fee of £610. Most premium UK marriage visa applications from Ukraine are currently decided within six to eight weeks.
As of 6 April 2018, the price for the partner or marriage visa application submission in Ukraine is £1,523 per applicant. It must be paid in US dollars on the official UKVI website at the conclusion of the online application process. This fee cannot be refunded if the application is refused. Dependent children are charged the full application fee regardless of age.
UK partner visa services for applicants in Ukraine
The UKVI Entry Clearance Officers (ECO) in Sheffield process thousands of visa applications monthly, and in doing so make a final determination of eligibility on a balance of probabilities which along with the evidence supplied or lack of it, affect the outcome of the settlement visa application. The applicants and evidence are scrutinized in accordance with current legislation, and only defense case law on the action of an appeal. Thus, when reviewing the role that the UKVI examiners have to play in determining the end result, it is evident that they are working in the interest of the UK. Our company, however, works in your best interest to make the application process as easy and stress free as possible. We epitomise our passion for family immigration with literally thousands of UK fiancee, partner and marriage visa applications successfully obtained to date, including hundreds of visas for applicants in Ukraine.
With over 10 years of experience, our UK marriage visa consultants ensure that the length and breadth of the current legislation and case law is covered so that your settlement visa application is successful. We never encourage our clients to proceed with their partner or spousal visa application if we believe there is even the smallest piece of evidence that could be misconstrued. Your loved one will never be left or lost for words as our staff includes a native Russian speaking immigration law practitioner. We also work various working patterns, which means that we are able to answer your questions and work on your case more efficiently outside of normal working hours, including bank holidays and weekends.
We invite you to complete our free UK marriage visa assessment form on the right hand side of this page or arrange a telephone consultation with one of our immigration consultants to see how we can work in your best interests. During your free initial consultation we can discuss your visa options and help you determine the best strategy for your specific case so your loved one can join you in the UK as quickly as possible. One of our advisers speaks fluent Russian.