Thank you very much for your reply.
In respect of your wife's status, if she returns to the UK, she would need to apply for a spouse visa. The spouse visa would be granted for 33 months (2.5 years approx), once she has been in the UK for 2.5 years she would then need to apply for a further visa as your spouse for another 2.5 years. Once she has accrued 5 years residency in the UK she would then be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK.
Once she has held indefinite leave to remain in the UK for one year she would then be able to apply for British citizenship. So in your case you are looking at 5 years to obtain indefinite leave to remain and 6 years in total to obtain naturalisation.
In order for her to apply for a spouse visa she would need to apply using form VAF4A. Please see the following link:
For the immigration rules, please see the following link, this is what the home office need your wife to meet to be granted a spouse visa:
What you must be aware of is that you would need to show that you are earning the required salary which is £18,600 or have at least 62,500 pounds savings in your account to meet the financial requirement. If you have savings of more than £16,000 these can also been used to offset any reduction in salary. You would need to have employment commencing within 3 months of you arriving to the UK.
Please see the following examples of how to meet the financial requirements given by the home office:
Sponsor returning to the UK with the applicant
Leroy has been studying in Australia for 4 years and has entered into a civil partnership with an Australian national. He has not been working. At the end of his course he gets a job offer in the UK to start in 6 weeks, paying £25,000. Leroy has no other income or savings.
Leroy will not meet the financial requirement under Option A or B. Leon can only rely on the income from a job offer in the UK if he has also been in employment at the required level of income overseas.
Imran has been a self-employed financial adviser in Uganda for 2 years. In the last financial year he earned £26,000. He is returning to the UK with his partner and has a job offer to start within a month, paying £20,000.
Imran will meet the financial requirement through Option F. As he has been in self-employment overseas and has a job offer in the UK, both at the required levels of income, he is able to rely on both.
Katy has been travelling across the USA for 18 months with her American partner. Katy has investments that pay her £10,000 a year and she has £40,000 cash in the bank. She has not been working in the USA and has no job in the UK to return to.
Katy will meet the financial requirement through a combination of Options C and D. As she is not relying on any income from employment, she does not need to have a job offer in the UK and can meet the threshold in other ways.
Based on her non-employment income of £10,000, Katy will require £37,500 in savings to meet the threshold: ([£18,600 - £10,000] x 2.5) + £16,000. As she has more than this, the financial requirement is met.
Craig has been working as a barman in Greece for 2 years, earning £17,000 a year. He owns property that gives him an income of £2,000 a year. He has a job offer in the UK to start in 2 months, paying £16,000 a year. He has £18,000 in savings.
Craig will meet the financial requirement through a combination of Options A, C and D.
He has an income overseas of £17,000 + £2,000 = £19,000 a year at the point of application. He will have an income of £18,000 a year on his return to the UK, plus he has the savings he needs to top this up: ([£18,600 - £18,000] x 2.5) + £16,000 = £17,500.
If his income overseas fell short of £18,600, he could also use his savings to top it up.
Alan has been working in Thailand for 1 year but has only been with his current employer for 3 months, earning a salary of £17,500 a year; Alan’s total earnings from all employment over the last year are £16,000. Alan also has savings of £17,000 and has income from investments of £600 a year. He has a job offer in the UK paying £16,500 a year.
As Alan has not been with his current employer for 6 months or more he cannot use his salary of £17,500 to meet the threshold. Instead he must use his total employment earnings over the last 12 months, which are £16,000, plus income from investments of £600, giving a total income of £16,600. Alan cannot use his savings retrospectively to offset his shortfall in income over the last year and so he will not meet the financial requirement.
Even if Alan had earned more over the last year and met the requirement overseas, he would also have to meet it on his return to the UK. His savings could, in that case, be used to offset the shortfall. However, his total income will be £16,500 + £600 = £17,100, which would require savings of £19,750 to meet the financial requirement. As he his savings are £17,000, Alan would still fail the requirement.
You should also read the following documents from page 39 onwards:
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