A spouse visa is 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.

If the applicant and the sponsor are not married but are in a genuine relationship as partners, 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.

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 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

Cash Savings

An amount of £62,500 held by the applicant, their partner or both jointly for at least 6 months prior to the date of application can be counted toward the financial requirements. However, an applicant can combine the annual gross income with savings. A spouse visa applicant can also use a minimum savings threshold of £16,000, and additional savings of an amount equivalent to 2.5 times the amount which is the difference between the gross annual income from the permitted legal sources including a gift from a family member or other third party, provided the source of the cash savings is declared.

Where the cash savings held at the date of application are the proceeds of an applicable property sale; the period the property was owned in the 6 months prior to the date of application before it was sold to produce cash savings, can be counted towards the 6 month period. So money held as cash savings at the date of application can have resulted from the sale of a property for the first part of the period of 6 months prior to the date of application and as cash savings for the rest of that 6 month period.

Adequate Maintenance Criteria

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.

Relationships Requirements

The applicant’s partner must be;

  • The applicant must be aged 18 or over at the date of application.
  • The applicant and their partner must not be within the prohibited degree of relationship.
  • The applicant and their partner must have met in person.
  • The relationship between the applicant and their partner must be genuine and subsisting.
  • If the applicant and partner are married or in a civil partnership it must be a valid marriage or civil partnership, as specified.
  • If the applicant is a fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner they must be seeking entry to the UK to enable their marriage or civil partnership to take place.
  • Any previous relationship of the applicant or their partner must have broken down permanently. The applicant is a fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner, neither the applicant nor their partner can be married to, or in a civil partnership with, another person at the date of application.

Accommodation Requirements

An applicant must provide evidence that there will be adequate accommodation in the UK, without recourse to public funds, for the family, including other family members who are not included in the application but who live in the same household. This must be an accommodation that the family own or which they occupy exclusively. Accordingly, the three requirements that accommodation needs to fulfil are:

  • Exclusive ownership or occupation
  • Adequate and not overcrowded and
  • Compliance with public health regulations
The following table represents what would, subject to their age, gender and whether they are a couple, be an acceptable maximum number of people to occupy a house with the relevant number of rooms available as sleeping accommodation:
Number of rooms in the accommodation available for sleeping Number of people permitted to sleep in the accommodation without it being overcrowded
1 2
2 3
3 5
4 7.5
5 10
More than 5 rooms 10 plus an additional 2 persons for each room in excess of 5 rooms e.g 6 rooms = 12 people, 7 rooms = 14 people.

Spouse visa English language test

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 that was taught in English or is over age 65 or has a physical or mental condition that 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.

Suitability Requirements

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

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.

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.

Connaught Law can assist with all aspects of your case. If you need help with your Spouse Visa appeal, please get in touch, and our immigration specialists will be able to assist you.

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Getting in Touch

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E: enquiries@connaughtlaw.com

T: +44 (0) 203 909 8388

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