When deciding on a spousal visa to England, certain requirements must be strictly adhered to:
1. The spouse on the UK side must be a UK citizen or have permanent residence status.
2. both partners must be at least 18 years old (as evidenced by their original birth certificates).
3. both partners must be present at the embassy/consulate meetings in person (alas, a general power of attorney will not work here, only Henry VIII Tudor could marry Catherine of Aragon in absentia).
4. The marital relationship must be genuine and beyond doubt. A fictitious marriage is a definite reason for a visa refusal. In order to prove the genuineness of the relationship, both parties need to prove the following
they have physically met each other in the real world, communicated, developed a relationship, lived together and there is evidence of this: photos, correspondence in social networks, evidence of friends and relatives, joint utility bills, etc.
The spouses are legally married and they intend to live together permanently in the UK as a couple
5. The marriage does not breach the laws on prohibited relationships. In other words they are not related by blood (siblings, son – mother and father – daughter, grandparents and grandchildren – the same goes for adoptive parents and adopted children).
6. Previous marriages of both spouses have been officially divorced (the relevant documents must be submitted).
7. The spouses are planning to live together permanently in the UK. This implies meeting certain financial requirements:
The current financial income of the sponsoring spouse must be at least £18,600 per annum or sufficient savings to support the family,
the ability to buy/rent adequate housing,
The ability to support themselves and their children and dependants financially without requiring funds from the state (financial proof will be required).
In case a spousal visa has been issued for a longer period (10 years), the applicant may always switch to a shorter visa programme (5 years), provided that all relevant requirements are fulfilled, but the new five year period will start from the date of the new visa.