Bake Off is back and once again is gripping the nation. As you might have noticed from regular photos on our Twitter feed, here at Latitude Law there are 2 things we know about:
- What makes a strong immigration application; and
- What makes a good cake.
In this week’s blog, we are combining our areas of expertise to set out our recipe for the perfect partner application. We’ll discuss the essential ingredients and the best methods to use to ensure that you achieve a result which leaves you feeling like a star baker, and not wanting to throw it all in the bin.
1. Start with the right equipment
In the kitchen, equipment is key; if you don’t have the correct utensils you won’t be able to achieve what you want. In the same way, all partner applications need to be prepared in the right way, and this means starting with the correct application form. If you are in the UK, make sure that you are eligible to apply whilst here (eg, you are not a visitor), and that you have the correct form in its most up to date version. If you are applying from outside the UK, you will be using an online form, but you may need to add a paper appendix to confirm all the information required for your application.
It is essential to start your application right, or you might end up with something very different from what you set out to achieve.
2. Have the correct ingredients, and the right measurements
Nobody can bake a cake with the wrong ingredients. Even with the right ingredients, if you add them in the wrong amounts, the results will be poor. Partner applications also have an essential list of ingredients, which includes proof of identity and necessary evidence of different aspects of your relationship and home life.
When working out the perfect ingredients for your application, you will find yourself with a long shopping list. In addition to proof of your identity and of your relationship, you will need documents relating to your sponsor, especially their employment and income. Just with a cake recipe, it is important that you add everything on the list, in the right amount and at the right time.
The number and type of documents you need will vary depending on your individual circumstances. For example, those reliant on self-employment require financial evidence covering 12 months, whereas salaried employees often only need 6 months’ worth of documents. Directors of small, family companies also have additional documents to supply. If you are unsure about the ingredients you need, check with an expert to make sure that you don’t ruin your recipe.
3. Choose the best method
Once your ingredients have all been added, you are ready to bake (or in our case, submit to the Home Office). Cooking times vary depending on your method of baking, and UKVI operates in the same way. Applications made through the post (or submitted through the standard process at an overseas centre) are the equivalent of cooking in an oven on a low temperature; you can achieve the right result, but you will need to be patient and wait for a long time. If you don’t want to wait, you can consider paying extra for priority consideration. This is the equivalent of cooking in the microwave instead, and gives you a much quicker outcome, but at the price of paying for something extra.
4. If things go wrong, don’t despair
Despite following the recipe, sometime mistakes are made. You might have forgotten to add an ingredient, or not enough of something. Not all baking disasters can be saved, and it might be that you need to start again with a fresh recipe. However, sometimes ingredients can be added at the last minute, or with proper planning you might be able to substitute one ingredient for another. If things go wrong, take advice from an expert early; this gives you the best chance of achieving perfect results next time.
If you would like to talk to one of our experts about your immigration matter, please call our Manchester office on 0161 234 6800 or Liverpool on 0151 305 9600.