This week Janny started her first job. After applying for so many "entry level" positions over the past couple of months, we were starting to become down hearted by the lack of response. Given the current economic situation in our area, even the most basic of jobs seem to be saturated with applicants. So it was a relief when Janny received a phonecall offering her a part-time job within walking distance of our house. I think the fact that the manager is a regular traveller to Thailand may have been a factor in landing the job but it has also made her feel a lot more relaxed about working for him too. It's certainly not big money; but more importantly, Janny feels like she is contributing and making her own money rather than relying on me for everything.
Is working on a spouse visa legal?
Anyone in the UK on a settlement or "spouse visa" is entitled to work full-time. I should however point out that only those on a "spouse" and not a "fiance" visa can work. Anyone entering on a fiance visa is not elligible to work until after they have married and been granted FLR.
Requesting a NI number (National Insurance)
When we started looking for work for Janny, the first thing we did was apply for a National Insurance number which she needs to work legally and pay NI contributions (should she qualify). This was a very simple process. All I had to do was call the NI helpline which can be found on the Directgov website. I was asked on what date Janny entered the UK, which type of visa she has and why she was requesting a NI number. Within a couple of days we received an application form in the post which was simple to fill out. We returned the form with a photocopy of Janny's passport & visa and a couple of weeks later a letter arrived containing Janny's NI number.
Some people have said that they had to attend an inteview at a jobcentre before being issued with a NI number, but that was not the case with my wife.
A tip when applying for jobs
I'm not sure if this had any effect whatsoever on the outcome of my wife's application; But when we first started applying for jobs I contacted some employers direct. When I told them my wife is Thai, they asked if she was entitled to work. I thought maybe this had potentially put off some employers from contacting Janny. From then on, we amended Jannys CV and on any covering letter we included a statement just detailing that she is fully entitled to work under the conditions of her spouse visa.