Spouse Visa

For an initial consultation about a spouse, visa call our family immigration Solicitors at Connaught Law on 0203 909 8399 or contact us online.

A Spouse visa is 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 settlement permanently if they meet the necessary requirements.

If the applicant and the sponsor are not married but are in a genuine relationship as partners, they are able to apply for 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.

If you are a married partner of an EEA national please see our EEA Married Partners page.

General requirements

In order to make a successful spouse visa application you need to meet the following requirements:

  • The sponsor needs to meet the financial requirement of £18,600
  • Evidence of genuine and subsisting relationship
  • Evidence of adequate accommodation:
  • Pass the English language test at CEFR level A1

The requirements are constantly changing so it is important that you meet the requirements at the time that you make the application which our expert lawyers will of course ensue.

Financial requirements

You need to be earning a certain amount, or have enough cash savings, in order to bring your spouse or partner to the UK. This is called ‘meeting the financial requirement’.

The amount depends on who you’re applying for.

Family member How much you need to earn per year before tax
Just your spouse or partner £18,600
Your spouse or partner and one child £22,400
Each additional child £2,400

Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules imposes a financial requirement which states that the self-employed sponsor must show a net annual income of at least £18,600.

Exemptions of financial requirements

You don’t 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.

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 other procedural issues
  • Other procedural issues overstaying and other complex cases
  • Overstaying and other complex cases

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 application with an experienced in-house team of solicitors to represent applicants who have grounds to apply 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.

Related Expertise


Would you like to hear more from us?

Visit our subscriptions page to tell us a bit more about what you’re interested in so we can send you relevant news.