A Guide to the Spouse Visa Application 2016!

By | on 24th February 2016 | 10 Comments


1) wedding photos, wedding invitation, wedding dress receipt, most importantly red wedding book translated and certified
2) Screenshots of Skype records
3) print out of whatsapp convos
4) pictures of times together, pictures of us together in Thailand where we met originally
5) screenshots of Facebook pages and posts to each other, variety of dates right back to the beginning of the relationship
6) all flight confirmation and tickets over the years together
7) witness statement from a mutual friend who we met in Thailand to testify they were present when we met and believe we are sincere.


I flew out to Turkey, with all my documents to put together with Burak’s in the big ring bungee file, all set out and organised. I also wanted to accompany him to the visa centre in Istanbul for his biometrics and submission of our file just to be there for support or in case they needed to see my about anything etc

Biometrics and documentation submission day at the British visa application centre Istanbul.
I attended with Burak but wasn’t allowed in!

The file was handed over and a check list provided back confirming documentation received.

Burak had his snaps taken, a mouth swab for DNA and his fingerprints taken.. He said it was all very ‘conveyer belt’ style and very busy and the staff were quite blunt and short with him. He came out quite deflated and sad and said ‘ omg I feel so flat like I have done something wrong’ and after that we both felt a bit disheartened.. Nothing a coffee and some Turkish breakfast didn’t sort out mind!!

Also, Whilst there we also paid an additional fee of £385 to have the visa ‘ fast tracked‘ to a decision in 15 working days! We thought the whole process is so so expensive, what’s an extra £385 on top again to shorten the waiting time??!!

We paid and that was it.. It was out of our hands and the fate of our future was passed on to an entry clearance officer. All we could do now was wait patiently for the outcome and pray we would get good news.

We had an account set up with the visa centre ( you do this when you book the biometrics appointment) and were told to keep checking our account on the ‘ track my visa’ section for progress etc..

20/01/2016 – checked track my visa and it stated ‘ application passed to entry clearance officer’

22/01/2016 – I received a telephone call from the entry clearance officer asking if I was free for a 15 minute telephone interview ( luckily I was as work was quiet) she was (to my surprise) so warm and lovely on the phone, she reassured me as she could hear the nerves in my voice.

She asked a few generic questions like ‘what date did you get married? Where did you meet Burak? What are his parents names? What’s his date of birth? And then finally asked if I was still willing to sponsor and to confirm no circumstances had changed since submitting the application. After ending the phone call I had no idea if receiving a telephone interview was a good or bad thing and it left me quite anxious.

Checked online visa tracker – DECISION MADE!!! Burak also told via email to attend at the visa centre ASAP to receive decision in writing and get all our paperwork back. Luckily for us he was quite near there so made his way there immediately by subway. Got there and anxiously opened his package to a letter

‘ CONGRATULATIONS on your successful application’

And the visa was in his passport
Words cannot describe how ecstatic we both were!

Burak is now due to arrived here in the UK on the 19th of February 2016 and we will now begin our future together full time, we are aware we must make sure that we maintain these requirements for the next 5 years until Burak can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK and then in turn a passport – long process!

Our baby boy is due at the end of March and I am delighted he will be here to see his son being born. It’s been a tough and stressful process and very expensive.

The total cost of the application:

NHS surcharge, exams, fast track and all the translation and certifications is a whooping £3,500

This doesn’t include my flights out to get the documentation in and burak’s flight here on the 19th.

So if you want to include that then I would say more like over £4000!

But the wait is over, and most importantly we have had a successful outcome.

My aim is to help as many people as I can who are in the situation I was in fighting for this very tough visa, I feel passionate that the requirements ( the financial one) is discriminatory and is against the basic human right to a family life.

Why should a person who earns over £18,600 be entitled to a family life in the UK and a person who doesn’t meet this requirement isn’t entitled to a family life? It genuinely upsets me, even though I am one of the lucky ones. This law needs to change.

If anyone needs any more info or would like to talk about anything with me. Please feel free to email me any time on sharicervelli@gmail.com


© 2016, Kerry Arslan. All rights reserved.

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10 Responses to “A Guide to the Spouse Visa Application 2016!”

  1. 24th February 2016

    Karen Özden Reply

    Hi Kerry, congratulations to you both! Your description of what you submitted is very similar to my own experience and will be a huge help to so many people. Happily, my husband arrived in the UK the week before Christmas after our second application was finally approved. We were married in May 2014 after being in a relationship 4 years. His first application was refused because he was just 1 point short on the listening part of the English test, (despite having significant additional points in reading and writing but they didn’t take these into account as they weren’t needed). They wouldn’t accept the overall score which far exceeded the minimum requirement. We appealed the decision on the ‘near miss’ principle but it was refused – the Judge stated in his findings he had considered Article 8 of The Human Rights Act and judged it wasn’t breached as “I earned enough money to travel to Turkey to visit my husband and I had transferable skills that I could choose to relocate to Turkey and get employment to maintain a family life”. That immediately shut down our right to further appeal so a whole new application had to be started with another full fee. He also stated as we had only been married a short time (6 months at the time of the first application) – we hadn’t been excessively disadvantaged!! We had been together 4 and a half years at that stage with me traveling to Turkey 20 times during those years and spending an absolute fortune in flights! In my view we were actually therefore discriminated against because I had a good salary and a professional qualification (I’m a nurse manager). As you highlight, any single item they can find is enough for a refusal. There is no flexibility.
    Like you, on the second application we submitted all the items you listed and handed them in at the UK Border Agency centre in Istanbul. I also submitted itemized phone records highlighting all text messages and calls from the day we met. My husband paid for his papers and passport to be couriered back to him as he lives in Antalya (£8). We got the outcome 8 weeks after the second application was submitted and were shocked it came through so quickly as the 1st application took 12 weeks before refused and the appeal outcome took about 4-5 months. I didn’t submit a house report, they accepted the original schedule I had for my house from when I bought it and photos of the house inside and out, along with my mortgage statement and missives so we saved a little money on that. Another thing they requested in our original appeal, in addition to stamped bank statements evidencing I had access to the money on my corresponding original pay slips, they wanted proof of length of time I had held the bank account my salary was paid into. The bank gave me a stamped print out with the account opening date. Your article will give a lot of people hope and very practical advice. If you provide the documentary evidence for every single answer you write to the questions they ask, it can be done! Wishing you both every happiness. Karen 😊

    • 28th February 2016

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      I am so angry on your behalf that the judge seems to think its ok for you to just move to Turkey and work there. Just the fact is hard for any foreigner to get work in Turkey let alone any language barrier. But the terrible part is that he was violating your human right to live in your own country. I am please it ended well but it is terrible you had to go through that.

  2. 25th February 2016

    Fleur Fidan Reply

    Personally, I think it is appalling that the wives and husbands of British citizens should be subjected to this while letting in lots of people into the UK with no money, no English whatsoever and no connection to the UK. Shame on the British government.
    I was lucky, I married my husband (now deceased), many years ago and only had to show proof of income.
    For all those women and men enduring this expensive and stressful procedure I wish you all the very best of luck, but this in my opinion is totally unfair and should be contested at the European court.

    • 28th February 2016

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Thank you Fleur. Yes it is appalling. Those that are lucky get a visa first time but many have to go through battles in court and reapplying some up to 5 years before they get to live with their partner in the UK.

  3. […] Article: How to Apply for a Spouse Visa […]

  4. 3rd June 2016

    Sam Reply

    hi kerry, well done on your work and congrats..
    me and my wife will be going through this ordeal next month. My wife is Turkish. I visited lawyers in the UK and they are offering me their services to submit my papers from Uk from 750-1000 pounds. Im not sure if I need to use a lawyer, from what you mentioned you applied online (maybe I can save that fee). by the way which website did you use? (We are using the gov.uk website so far)

    • 22nd June 2016

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Hi Sam, it was in fact Shari that did the application, we don’t apply till October. We will just do the process ourselves and save some money regards lawyers fees. You need to use the gov website to apply and there is no avoiding the visa fee!

  5. 1st September 2016

    Caitlin Demir Reply

    This is a very helpful guide!
    I’m 18 and married to my turkish huband Alper and we are hoping to start his visa process in April 2017
    This guide say more of what you need than anywhere I have looked, didn’t even know about the accommodation stuff.
    Im working as a teaching assistant but that only gets me roughly £6,050 a year I’m currently looking for another job for after school times but £18,600 a year seems impossible for me!
    But I’m trying everything possible. And reading this has actually helped me know what I need to do next and how to start it.
    He’s going to start English lessons end of September (although he has good English he wants to make sure he passes) the only pitfall we have for the visa is the financial requirements! But thanks to this list I know everything else I need now!
    Thank you so much !
    And I hope your visa gets accepted!

  6. 10th September 2016

    Angela Reply

    Please can someone help me , i am not married but would like my Kurdish boyfriend to come here for a holiday on a visitors visa. I know what we need roughly but is there financial requirement too? I work but don’t earn over 10, 000 and I have a house but I private rent? Does any of this matter to get a visitors visa?

  7. 15th February 2017

    Hadiyyah El-hreich Reply

    Hi there..does anyone know if the 300 day rule also applies to a British national who is recently divorced and wants to marry a turkish national in turkey? Thanks

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