Below I will write a timeline of the steps we took towards successfully obtaining this visa and an idea of how much this cost us.
02/11/2015 – IELTS A1 life skills test. Cost £200
After booking online on the IELTS website, Burak attended at the IELTS centre in Istanbul to sit his A1 life skills test ( speaking and listening) the test involved conversing with an assessor about generic things like ‘tell me about your hobbies?’ ‘ talk to me about what you studies at university? What does your wife like to do in your spare time?
Following this he had to converse with others who were sitting the test that day.. He said this was the hardest part as some had poor levels of English etc. after a 10 day wait for the result and certificate in the post, burak passed!! He said in order to pass this test one would need a good, if not very good grasp of the English language. Lots of examples available on YouTube if you search ‘ ILETS A1 Life skills’. He kept in touch with members of the group and sadly 4 out of the 8 there that day failed and will need to resit. Not bloody cheap either to fail.
Online application completed. Myself and Burak sat down and completed this together whilst I was over in Turkey, the application is on the government website and the visa you need to select for spouse visa is confusingly not called a spouse visa.
For the spouse visa, you need to select
(first drop box- SETTLEMENT’,second drop box MARRIAGE, third box HUSBAND) unless the applicant is of course a wife and in that instance you would select wife.
This then launches the application and the application itself is quite simple and self explanatory.
When you have completed all the relevant pages of the application, you can then select to ‘confirm’ the application ( please triple check it before doing this as once confirm is clicked you cannot go back in and change/ edit)
Once the application is complete, you will be directed to the next level which is where you need to pay the NHS surcharge fee.
This fee was paid in U.S.Dollars oddly, and should be £250 per year ( spouse visa is originally 2.5 years then you apply to extend) so was looking to pay £750.
After using a cash converter ( an app on my phone with daily rates).. I can see we were charged £900 which is extortionate. An email was sent querying this but we never heard back!! So yes £900 for the health surcharge and we still don’t know why!!
Following this we were directed to the next level to pay the visa fee. Again the fee was payable online in US dollars. And after using the cash converter we paid the sum of £1,050 for the visa itself ( ouch!!)
Following completion of the online visa application and successful payment of the NHS surcharge and the visa charge we were then directed to the next level again which takes you on to the ‘teleperformance visa centre’ website where you book the applicant in for his Biometrics testing and the submission of all documentation which is at the visa application centre nearest to you.
We obviously selected Istanbul as that is the closest to Burak. We chose a date of Friday 15th of January 2016 to give us plenty of time to gather documentation, get it all translated, certified etc and for me to book a property inspection report for my house.
I used a company called Orion Environmental health to come and conduct a UK visa approved property inspection report on my house. A man attended with a camera and measuring equipment, it was all quite serious!! And he took about an hour to inspect to determine if the house was safe and secure under health and safety law (he even checked for fire alarms and the boiler service history etc) and also that there was no risk of ‘overcrowding’ if Burak was to move into the property.
I have a 3 bedroom house on my own so it was obviously not a problem, but had to pay Orion the fee of £160 for the pleasure of having my address approved and a certificate given addressed to the entry clearance officer’ to be fair, they were a good company and I recommend them.
15/12/2015 – 10/01/2016
This time was used gathering documentation and preparing a file full of it all.
Here is an itinerary of the documentation Burak and me submitted for the application ( all was put in a huge ring binder with an itinerary and clear sections) in the order below
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