As reported in our News section, UKBA have formally lowered the minimum age for UK spouse visas from 21 back to 18, and this will come into effect from 28th November 2011.
But what about those whose spouse visa applications have been refused in the last few years on the grounds that they were aged between 18-20 years old? Thankfully, UKBA has issued new policy guidance which deals with these instances.
Reviews of a spouse visa refusal may be sought if:
- You were refused between 27 November 2008 and October 2011
- You received a refusal decision under paragraphs 277, 289AA and 295AA of the Immigration Rules
- You were refused a visa solely on age grounds alone
- Both sponsor and applicant are now aged over 18 and the spousal relationship is continuing
The form must be sent to:
PO BOX 3468
All of these review applications must be received by UKBA by 31 May 2012, and will be free of charge. Applications after 31 May will have to be made in the usual way and will incur the relevant fee.
UKBA have also stated that if you are currently awaiting a decision on a spouse visa application, and you are aged between 18-20:
“your applications will have been held pending the change to the Immigration Rules. The minimum age of 18 requirement will apply when the new rule comes into force and you need take no action as a result of the Supreme Court ruling. You must still meet all the relevant Immigration Rules as well as the new minimum age of 18 to qualify for a visa.”
UKBA have said the above also applies to those who have already appealed against a spouse visa refusal which was made on the basis that the sponsor or applicant spouse was aged between 18-20.
However, in these cases we would advise that you or your solicitor write to UKBA and make further representations in light of these changes to the Immigration Rules, requesting an immediate review of your spouse visa refusal. This may save you the expense and delay of waiting for a court hearing, and since a review request is free, seems a sensible measure to take.
If you have any concerns about either lodging a review or a spouse visa request itself, do not hesitate to get in touch.