UK Spouse Visa
Book a free consultation about the UK Spouse Visa with our family immigration Solicitors at Connaught Law on phone at 0203 909 8399 or contact us online.
A UK Spouse visa also known as a marriage visa is an application for married partners of British nationals to join their spouses in the UK. It allows an individual to join their married partner and settle permanently if they meet the necessary requirements.
Suppose the applicant and the sponsor are not married but are in a genuine relationship as partners. In that case, they are able to apply for an Unmarried partner visa if they can provide evidence that they have been living together in a relationship akin to a marriage or civil partnership for at least two years prior to the date of application.
The UK family visa is granted to foreign nationals to live with their British spouses for up to 30 months. It can be extended for further 30 months given the applicant meets certain eligibility requirements. Holding a Partner Visa is the first step toward Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) and, eventually, British Citizenship.
If you are a married partner of an EEA national please see our EEA Married Partners page.
Who can apply for a UK Spouse visa?
You can apply for a UK Spouse Visa if you are:
- Aged 18 years or over
- Married or in a civil partnership that is recognised by the UK
- Married to a British citizen or UK-settled person
- You have been living together in a relationship for the past 2 years and you can prove it
- You are engaged, or you hold a Fiance Visa UK and will get married within 6 months of being in the UK
In order to make a successful spouse visa application you need to meet the following requirements:
- Meet the financial requirement of Appendix FM
- Provide evidence of a genuine and subsisting relationship
- Evidence of adequate accommodation
- Pass the English language test at CEFR level A1
- Provide a TB Test screening report (if you are a national of a country listed in Appendix T)
The requirements are constantly changing so it is important that you meet the requirements when you make the application which our expert lawyers will of course ensue.
Financial requirement for UK Spouse visa
The minimum income requirement for a spouse visa (income threshold for spouse visa) is £18,600, plus any additional amount if you have children (as explained above).
When applying for a spouse visa, you and your partner can include any of the following types and proof of income to meet the financial requirement:
Acceptable forms of income
Acceptable proof of income
|Income from employment
|Income from self-employment
|For the last financial year:
|Income received as the director of a limited company in the UK
|For the last full financial year:
|Cash savings in excess of £16,000
|Money received from a pension
|Official documentation from:
|Non-employment income (e.g. property rental or dividend income)
Cash savings for Spouse visa
You can use cash savings as a way of meeting the spouse visa financial requirement, as long as:
- The money is held in a bank/savings account in a current, deposit, or investment account
- The money has been held for at least 6 months prior to applying, as evidenced by your bank statements
- The account is with a properly regulated financial institution
- Regular bank statements are provided
- The savings are held in cash and can be immediately withdrawn (with or without penalty)
- The savings are under your control and/or of your partner and have been for 6 months
- The source of the funds is legal
- The source of the funds has been declared
Savings held in a term deposit or ISA can be used as long as you can access them immediately.
One of the benefits of using savings to meet the financial requirement for a spouse visa is that if you have enough funds, you will not need to show evidence of ongoing income. If you are relying solely on savings to meet the spouse visa financial requirements, you will need at least £62,500 in cash savings. To calculate the effect of your savings on meeting the financial requirement, you will need to:
- Minus £16,000 from the amount of savings you hold
- Divide the remaining sum by 2.5 (2.5 is the number of years that your initial spouse visa will be granted for)
|Amount of savings that can be used
|Amount of annual income from other sources needed
|(62500 – 16000) ÷ 2.5 = £18,600
|(40500 – 16000) ÷ by 2.5 = £9,800
|(33000 – 16000) ÷ 2.5 = £6,800
|(25000 – 16000) ÷ 2.5 = £3,600
|(17500 – 16000) ÷ 2.5 = £600
Based on the table above, if you have £33,000 in savings, this will reduce the annual income requirement by £6,800 (i.e. £18,600 – £6,800 = £11,800), meaning you will only need £11,680 per year from other sources of income. If you have £62,500 in savings, you will fully meet the income requirement of £18,600.
We have compiled a Free Calculator for those who want a shortcut to knowing how much they need in savings if they are working but not yet meeting the income threshold: Here is the link to use our – Savings Calculator
Exemptions of financial requirements
You do not need to meet the financial requirement if you have refugee status or humanitarian protection. You also won’t need to meet the financial requirement if you have one or more of the following benefits:
- Disability Living Allowance
- Severe Disablement Allowance
- Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
- Attendance Allowance
- Personal Independence Payment
- Armed Forces Independence Payment or Guaranteed Income Payment under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme
- Constant Attendance Allowance, Mobility Supplement or War Disablement Pension under the War Pensions Scheme
- bereavement benefits
You’ll just need to show that you receive enough money to look after your dependent through adequate maintenance. How much this will depend on your individual circumstances.
Spouse visa English language requirements
The applicant is not required to meet the English language requirement if the applicant is from a majority English-speaking country or has completed a degree which was taught in English or is over age 65 or has a physical or mental condition which prevents you from meeting this requirement or there are exceptional circumstances which would prevent you from meeting it.
For all other applicants, valid evidence of his/her proficiency in the English language at the A1 level is required.
There are other additional requirements such as Suitability requirements specifying additional criteria to be met concerning, for example:
- Previous immigration history and other procedural issues
- Other procedural issues overstaying and other complex cases
- Overstaying and other complex cases
Spouse Visa document checklist
You must complete the online application form and pay a spouse visa fee of £1,538. You will pay an immigration health surcharge of £624 per year. The documents you need may include:
- Valid passport
- Previous passports (if any)
- Evidence of your genuine and subsisting relationship (e.g. shared bills, photographs, correspondence, messages).
- Proof you meet the English language requirements (A1 skilled for life test).
- Proof you meet the financial requirements (e.g. employment evidence, bank statements or savings statements)
- Details of any previous immigration applications, if any
- Details of any criminal convictions
- Proof of accommodation in the UK
- Biometric information (fingerprints and a digital photograph).
- Tuberculosis test results if from a country where you have to take the test
Spouse Visa Priority Service
You may be able to get a faster decision on your spouse’s visa application by using the optional priority visa service. The fee for spouse visa priority service is £573.
Keep my passport service
if you require your passport for travel or other purposes, you can keep your passport while your visa application is processed. You can submit it once a decision has been made by the UK visas and immigration. The spouse visa applicant who opts for this service will have their passports handed back to them once the application is submitted and biometrics enrolled. This service is not available for priority visa applicants.
Further information, help, and advice
As one of the leading immigration solicitors in Holborn London, we also work on a broad range of other immigration applications with an experienced in-house team of solicitors to represent applicants who have grounds to apply for visas that involve marriage, civil partnership, asylum, human rights and the European Union free movement.
For further help or information Get In Touch
Frequently Asked Questions
What happens if my Spouse Visa application is rejected?
If your spouse visa application is rejected, you can appeal against the Home Office decision. This is a long-winded and challenging process that is best assisted by an immigration adviser.
What happens if my Spouse Visa application is accepted?
When your application is accepted, you will be given a permit that allows you to enter the UK within a 30-day period. Upon arrival in the UK, you will have a 10-day period in which to collect a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP). If you fail to enter the UK within this time frame, you can apply for another 30-day entry permit. However, you will be charged an additional fee.
Will I be able to work in the UK when I am here as a Spouse?
Yes, those who are granted leave in the Spouse category have a full right to work in the UK.
What is the duration of spouse visa?
The initial leave granted for a spouse is 33 months which is further renewable for another 30 months. The spouse can apply to settle in the UK after 5 years by meeting the settlement requirements.
Can I switch to UK Spouse visa?
You may be eligible to switch your visa category to spouse visa from within the country in certain exceptional cases. You should seek qualified Immigration advise to ascertain the eligibility for the same.
What are the requirements for extension of UK Spouse visa?
Applicants seeking to extend their stay in the UK as spouses of British citizens or persons settled in the UK are required to demonstrate that their relationship is still subsisting, in addition, they are required to show that they continue to meet the financial eligibility requirement and English language requirement.
What is the English requirement for UK Spouse visa?
Applicants who are applying to join their family members in the UK are required to demonstrate that they are proficient in English language at CEFR Level A1. Applicants can take IELTS UKVI Life Skills and achieve a pass. This requirement is for applicants seeking entry clearance to join their family members.
Applicants who are already in the UK and applying for an extension are required to meet the language requirements at CEFR Level A2 and for settlement CEFR Level B1.
What are the documents required for UK Spouse visa?
Applicants are encouraged to submit documents that they believe would strengthen their application. Typically, the documents that are required to be submitted include:
- Documents evidencing how the sponsor/applicant meet the financial eligibility requirement
- Documents evidencing that the applicant meets the English language requirement (e.g. IELTS Test result, Letter from UK NARIC etc.)
- TB Test certificate in the name of the applicant (if they are from a country that requires applicants to undergo such test).
- Evidence of accommodation available to the applicant in UK
- Evidence of relationship of the applicant and sponsor (e.g. marriage certificate, chat histories, call logs, joint bank account statement etc).
What is the spouse visa processing time?
Home Office currently states that most applications are decided within 12 weeks. Applicants have the option of choosing Priority processing service, that puts their application ahead in the queue.
Applicants who would like to extend their spouse visa from within the UK can also opt for same-day processing by paying a premium fee.