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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 7617
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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im british, my wife ,Syrian, came in on family visit visit visa and now we want to s

Resolved Question:

im' british, my wife ,Syrian, came in on family visit visit visa and now we want to stay. how can we change to spouse setlement status without her going back to apply? I recieve housing benifit and we have 1 year old son. Thanks
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 6 years ago.


Thanks for your question.

To enable me to answer your question could you please respond to the following:-

  • 1. Why didn't you apply for a spouse visa in the first place
  • 2. Prior to the visit was your son living with your or your wife
  • 3. Do you have a compelling reason why she cannot go back to Syria

Kind regards.


Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Thanks for your reply.

The answers to your 3 questions are as follows;

1. When we 1st came we were coming to see the situation here and were not sure if we would stay ie. it was just a visit. When we cam e the situation changed and we decided to stay after I found work etc.

2. Prior to the visit I was living with my wife and son in Syria. He was born there and at42 days old we traveled.

3. Well the current situation in Syria is very dangerous as seen on news. We do not have a place there, my 1 year old is British and will need a visa which is also impossible currently. Anyway I don't feel I should send my wife alone or with son to travel to Syria or nearby Jordan to apply for a visa they might not get! (due to me being on housing benefit).Also it would be costly. THEN WHAT? THE SYSTEM WOULD HAVE SEPERATED OUR FAMILY! I am British 100% not recieving nationality, but born british as my parents are and for generations! Thanks.....

Expert:  Thomas replied 6 years ago.




Right. IN order for her to stay you will have to attempt to make an in-country application for a spouses visa.


You will have to show:-

  • 1. That you are legally married to eachother (marriage certificate)
  • 2. You have met before (statements, correspondence)
  • 3. You are present and settled in the UK (eg. Passport, proof of accommodation)
  • 6. You intend to live permanently together here in the UK as husband and wife (statements, evidence of her (statements, correspondence)
  • 7. You can support each other without the need for public funds (bank statements, evidence of income)
  • 8. You have suitable accomodation which is owned or lived in only by you or your household and where you and your dependents can live without any help from public funds (tenancy agreement, land registry docs if you your own home)
  • 9. That neither of you are younger than 21 years of age. (birth certificates, passports)


The application will have to be supported by evidence proving the above eligiblity criteria. I have suggested basic documents above, but the list is not exhaustive.


She will also have to pass and english language test showing he has a basic command of spoken and listening English. She can find out approved test providers in her area by contacting the UK embassy nearest to her.



You will need to apply for settlement (ie. spouses visa) by using form FLR(M) Settlement, available for download from UKBA's website. It would be best for either a solicitor in the UK to prepare it in consultation with both you and your wife before submitting it because you are going to have to show that there are exceptional circumstances which apply to your case that means that she should not have to return to Syria:-


You are going to have to prove that the situation in Syria is not safe and although the UKBA will be aware of the political situation thee you will still have to spell it out for them

It would cost around £1000 -1200+vat for a solicitor to prepare it on your behalf, or around £300+vat for them to check it


You can find Uk immigration solicitors through the following Law Society Website search engine:-


The UKBA aims to reach a decision on all applications within 6-8 weeks of submission.


The above criteria as to public funds is taken to meant that you shall not need access to any more public funds than you claimed prior to her coming here. So if you were already in receipt of housing benefit then you will probably be able to argue that you do not breach this criteria.


It will be difficult because you will have to explain why you did not apply for a visitor's visa in the first place and convince them that by doing so you were not wilfully deceiving them (ie. By being granted a visitor's visa you effectively said that she would return before it's expiry date, which is obviously not the case now.


If this has been useful please kindly click accept so that I may be rewarded for my time. It will be gratefully received and you will be free to ask follow up questions.

Kind regards,


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