What Is The Genuineness Requirement For UK Visa Applications?

On October 10, 2023 | In General | By A Y & J Solicitors Last Updated : January 10, 2024

It is a general requirement for UK visas that applicants must genuinely intend to come to the UK for the purpose stated on their application. In this article, we will explain what is meant by the genuineness requirement for UK visa applications and the recent changes to the genuineness requirements for Skilled Worker visas.

Skilled Worker visa genuineness requirement

When applying for a Skilled Worker visa, the Home Office will want to be reassured that:

  1. The sponsored role is genuine, and
  2. The candidate is genuine.

The Skilled Worker ‘genuine vacancy requirement

The Home Office will not award points for sponsorship if they have reason to believe that the sponsored role does not exist, is a sham, or has been created primarily as a way of securing a visa. In addition, if a Certificate of Sponsorship used by a Skilled Worker visa applicant is not genuine, the Home Office will refuse the Skilled Worker visa application.

A genuine vacancy is one that:

  • Requires the individual to perform the specific duties and responsibilities, and the job meets all of the requirements of the relevant sponsorship route (i.e. it must be on the list of eligible Skilled Worker occupations)
  • Does not include dissimilar and/or predominantly lower-skilled duties and
  • Is appropriate to the business in light of its business model, business plan and scale

The Skilled Worker ‘genuine candidate’ requirement

new Skilled Worker visa ‘genuine candidate’ requirement was added to the immigration rules on 7th August 2023. The new ‘genuine candidate’ requirement states that Skilled Worker visa applicants must:

  • Be capable of undertaking the role described on the CoS – i.e. the candidate must have the experience and skills necessary to perform the role for which they are being sponsored
  • Genuinely intend to do the role for which they are being sponsored, and
  • Not intend to take employment other than in the role for which they are being sponsored or as otherwise permitted by their conditions of stay

When assessing whether the candidate meets the genuineness test, the case office will take into account their:

  • Knowledge of the role
  • Relevant experience of the skills needed to do the role
  • Knowledge of the sponsor in the UK
  • Explanation of how they were recruited, and
  • Any other relevant information

To ensure that Skilled Worker visa applicants meet the genuine candidate requirements, the Home Office may request some additional information and evidence. These should be provided to the Home Office within 10 working days of the request being made. The Home Office may also invite the applicant to attend an interview to further assess the genuineness of their Skilled Worker visa application. The Skilled Worker visa application may be refused if the candidate does not comply with the request without a reasonable explanation.

In most cases, no further checks will be required to determine whether Skilled Worker visa applicants meet the genuine candidate test. Further checks will typically only be required if the Home Office case officer has concerns that the sponsoring employer is assigning unusually large numbers of CoS for the same type of role or there are reasonable grounds to suspect the applicant will not be working in the role described on the CoS. In addition, further checks may be carried out if there is intelligence to suggest that the applicants may have links to extremism, terrorism, modern slavery, or other forms of illegal activity.

Genuineness requirement for other visa types

Visitor visa genuineness requirement

If you apply for a visitor visa, you must genuinely intend to come to the UK to undertake a ‘permitted activity’ such as tourism, visiting friends or family, or for certain business activities (e.g. an interview). A standard visitor visa cannot be used to:

  • Live in the UK for long periods of time through frequent or successive visits
  • Apply for benefits
  • Do paid or unpaid work, or
  • Marry or register a civil partnership or give notice of marriage or civil partnership.

Crucially, you must intend to leave the UK at the end of your visit, and you must have enough money to pay for your onward journey.

Spouse visa genuineness requirement

When it comes to UK spouse visas, the Home Office is mainly concerned with the genuineness of the relationship. Home Office case officers must be satisfied that the relationship between the applicant and their partner is “genuine and subsisting”. If they have concerns that the relationship is a ‘sham’ and is solely for the purposes of gaining a visa, they will refuse the application.

To make a decision on whether a relationship is genuine and subsisting, the Home Office will take into account:

  • Information provided by the applicant on the application form
  • The signed declaration from the partner that accompanies the application
  • Evidence provided in support of the application
  • Direct checks with third parties where applicable

The Home Office provides a list of strong, acceptable, and weak evidence within their ‘relationship with a partner’ guidance. When applying for a spouse visa, to satisfy the genuine and subsisting relationship requirement, it is important to provide as much strong evidence as possible.

Final words

By understanding what is meant by the genuineness test, you can ensure that the correct information and evidence are provided to support your visa application. If your visa has been refused because you do not pass the genuineness test, speak to an immigration Solicitor who can advise you on the best way forward. Based on the reason for the refusal, they may recommend submitting a fresh application with a covering letter, applying for a different type of visa, or, in some cases, it may be prudent to request an administrative review or otherwise challenge the decision.

A Y & J Solicitors is a specialist immigration law firm with extensive experience with all types of visa applications. We have an in-depth understanding of immigration law and are professional and results-focused. For assistance with your visa application or any other UK immigration law concerns, please contact us on +44 20 7404 7933 or contact us today. We’re here to help!

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