Spouse Visa UK

Apply for a UK Spouse Visa under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules

What is a UK Spouse/Partner Visa? 

The UK spouse visa (also known as partner visa) provides the opportunity for a non-British spouse, civil partner, fiancé or unmarried partner to join their partner to live and work in the UK for a period of 33 months. Following the first spouse visa the applicant can apply to extend their visa and, depending on the circumstances, and can eventually obtain settlement after 5 years in the UK.

Spouse visa applicants will need to show that they are in a genuine and subsisting relationship with an eligible sponsor, meet the financial and accommodation requirements as well as the English Language requirement.

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

  • You must both be 18 or over at the date of the application
  • Pass the Genuine Relationship Test
  • Meet the minimum income threshold and the financial requirement
  • Satisfy the English language requirement
  • Evidence that you have suitable accommodation for you, your partner and any dependents
  • In some instances, you may be required to pass a medical test to show you don’t have Tuberculosis (TB)

What is a Spouse / Partner Visa?
Who can apply for a spouse visa?
What are the requirements for a spouse visa?
How can I prove I am in a genuine relationship?
How can I renew or extend my Spouse Visa?
When can I apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain if I am on a spouse visa?
How long does the spouse visa process take?
What are the financial requirements for a spouse visa?
What is the cost of a UK Spouse visa?
What documents are required for the Spouse Visa?
What is the language test?
What are the spouse visa accommodation requirements?
What happens after a spouse visa application is submitted?
What happens if my spouse visa application is refused?
Spouse Visa application process
What we can do
Frequently Asked Questions

Who can apply for a UK spouse or partner visa?

You can apply for a Spouse Visa UK if you are aged 18 years old or over and your sponsor:

  • is a British or Irish citizen
  • has indefinite leave to remain or settled status,
  • has pre-settled status and was living in the UK before 1st January 2021
  • is in the UK on a Turkish Businessperson/Worker visa
  • has refugee status or humanitarian protection

The applicant must be either in a civil partnership or a marriage that’s recognised in the UK. The applicant also be the unmarried partner if the couple have been living together in a relationship for at least 2 years. You can also apply as the fiancé or proposed civil partner as long as you will marry or enter into a civil partnership in the UK within 6 months of arriving.

What are the spouse visa requirements?

There is in most cases a financial requirement to meet to apply for a spouse visa. It is often the case that there is a requirement that the sponsor (or applicant in some cases) is earning at least £18,600 per year. Either in employment or self-employment or through other means such as exempt state benefits. If the applicant’s children are applying with them then the required earnings are higher. Savings can also help you to meet the financial requirement. Or a combination of earnings and savings. The applicant must also show that there is suitable and adequate accommodation available for them. 

The UK spouse visa requirement for English language for an initial application is an English language qualification at A1 level. A degree-level qualification taught in English can also meet the english requirement for the visa. Certain nationalities are exempt from meeting the english requirement. 

As your spouse visa lawyer we will prove all these elements for your spouse visa application with appropriate documentation for a successful outcome.

If you apply for a UK spouse visa from outside the UK, the application is submitted online. An appointment is made at a centre outside the UK to take biometric details from the applicant. Usually the supporting documents to apply for a UK spouse visa are submitted online, but this varies from country to country.

To apply for a spouse visa from within the UK the applicant will again apply online. The Home Office will make a decision on the application.

How can I prove I am in a genuine and subsisting relationship?

You must be able to prove to the case worker that your relationship is genuine and subsisting, which can be evidenced in many different ways including:

  • Evidence of children
  • Joint bills or shared finances
  • Evidence of communication
  • Pictures together
  • Travel history

Can my spouse visa be renewed or extended?

You will be able to renew and extend your spouse visa for another period of 30 months, but you must apply before  your current spouse visa expires. Unfortunately, you will still need to ensure you are meeting the correct requirements for the spouse visa.

When can I apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain if I am on a spouse visa?

After 5 years of living in the UK together you will be eligible to apply for permanent residence, otherwise known as Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).

How long does the process take?

The usual Spouse Visa processing times are up to 12 weeks, however some can be decided earlier than this.

Depending on how quickly you can provide us the required documentation we will be able to accommodate you for whatever time you wish to submit an application.

What are the spouse visa financial requirements?

In order for the applicant to enter or remain in the UK on a spouse visa, you must be able to meet the financial requirement to show that the applicant will be supported during their time in the UK without needing to access public funds.

The sponsor must earn a minimum of £18,600 before tax annually to sponsor their partner to join them in the UK. Any additional dependents will increase the financial requirement needed for the application.

Whilst for entry clearance the sponsor alone must meet the financial requirement, to remain in the UK and renew your visa the sponsor or the applicant themselves can meet this financial requirement.

If you are unable to meet the financial requirement through employment income, you may be able to rely solely or combine any savings you have as well as other types of income you receive. 

If the sponsor is currently receiving benefits, they may still be able to sponsor their partner to join them in the UK so long as they can adequately maintain them whilst they are here.  

How much does a spouse visa cost?

If you are applying from abroad to enter the UK the application fees are £1,846, whereas if you are applying to remain in the UK, you will be required to pay £1,048.

You will also be required to pay the IHS fees, which will give the applicant access to the UK’s healthcare system.

During the preparation of an application, you may need to consider other services that may incur costs such as translation fees, English and TB tests and other fees you will have the option to purchase such as priority service to ensure a quicker decision.

What documents are required?

Whilst every case may require different or additional documentation you will usually be required to provide:

  • Original marriage or civil partnership certificate / proof of living together for 2 years in a relationship
  • Valid passports that will not be expiring 6 months after the submission of the application
  • Evidence that the relationship is genuine and subsisting
  • Specified evidence of meeting the financial requirement
  • Proof of sufficient accommodation
  • English language test certificate at the required level

The documents provided must be valid and in the correct formats that is specified by the Home Office.

What is the language test?

It is essential to have passed an English Language test at the correct level by an approved Secure English Language Testing (SELT) provider.

The level of English Language you must pass depends on the type of visa you are applying for. The English test will remain valid for 2 years, however you may also be exempt from taking the test if you are aged over 65, are a national of a majority English speaking country, have a degree that was taught in English and has been verified or have medical or physical conditions that prevent you from being able to take the test.

What are the accommodation requirements for the spouse visa?

To meet the accommodation requirements you must ensure that you comply with UK living standards and that the property will not be overcrowded if the applicant and any dependants were to join.

All bedrooms and any living rooms are counted as rooms. Usually, each person requires an individual room apart from the following:

  • Couples
  • Children under 1 years old
  • Children aged 1-9 do not count as a full person
  • Children aged 10 that are the same sex

What happens after a spouse visa application is submitted?

Each applicant will be required to attend a biometric application in the country where they reside, during which they will provide their biometrics and passports and submit all of the supporting documents.

If an application is made from outside the UK, the applicant or their representatives will receive an email once a decision has been made for the applicant to return to the visa application centre where the biometrics were given. If the decision is successful the applicant will receive spouse visa entry clearance valid to enter the UK within 30 days and once in the UK the applicant will have 10 days to collect their Biometric Residence Permit (BRP).

If an application is made from within the UK, the applicant or their representatives will receive the decision via an email and the Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) will be posted to the address provided on the application.

What happens if my spouse visa application is refused?

If your application has unfortunately been refused, you will be given the chance to appeal against the decision.

It is crucial to appeal within the correct timeframe and is always better to receive professional advice on your chances. As a level 3 OISC certified organisation, GSN Immigration can handle the full appeal process for you.

What is the application process of a partner visa?

The spouse of a qualifying person (sponsor) can apply for a spouse visa. They can join or remain in the UK as a wife or husband. A civil partner (same-sex) or unmarried partner can also apply for a spouse visa.

A sponsor must be either a British citizen, a person who is settled in the UK. This means with indefinite leave to remain or Settled Status. A person who has refugee leave or humanitarian protection leave can also be a sponsor.

The applicant must in each case prove that the relationship is genuine and existing. There are also – in most cases – financial requirements and accommodation requirements that an applicant must meet. An applicant must also meet the English language requirement. Although there are in some circumstances exceptions. 

If the applicant is applying from within the UK they must have valid immigration leave. There are some exceptions to this and we assess each application by merit.

Unmarried partners must prove that they have been living with the sponsor for at least two years. They must have lived together akin to a marriage either in the UK or outside the UK.

If you apply for a spouse visa and the application is successful you will receive leave for approximately 30 months. It may be possible to extend the spouse visa for a further 30 months. Depending on your circumstances you may qualify for settlement as a spouse after five years. In other cases it is only possible to qualify for settlement after ten years.

The spouse visa and other partner visas all give the right to work in the UK. 

What we can do

As your spouse visa immigration lawyer we can first of all assess your case and determine whether you have a potentially strong application. If so, under which part of the rules you can apply for a spouse visa. In some cases it may be possible to make a strong application even if you are an overstayer. You may be able to apply even if you do not meet all the rules. But this is something that we will assess carefully.

We can also advise about the possibility or otherwise of going on the five-year route to settlement 

To apply for a spouse visa you require very specific types of documents which must meet detailed requirements. We can give you clear and honest advice about this. Our role is to guide you towards submitting the best documents possible. Submitting an organised application can bring about a successful outcome.

Your Spouse Visa Immigration Lawyer will provide a Person and Country Specific Document Checklist. This will ensure you can gather the required documents, according to your circumstances.

We will complete all the relevant application forms for you and provide you country specific guidance, if relevant. 

We will ensure we are with you from the very start until you receive a decision for your application. Sometimes applications take longer than expected and we can liaise with the Home Office or UKVI on your behalf. We confess that we love to help applicants with their spouse visas.We have also assisted many clients in applying for a spouse visa to switch from a Skilled Worker Visa, Youth Mobility Visa, Student Visa, Graduate Visa and other visa categories from within the UK.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the UK Spouse Visa fees?

The current fee for Spouse visa application form outside of the UK is £1846 and £1048 from within the UK. The UKVI update their fee scale usually in April every year but it is known to make any changes any time.

What is the processing time for a UK Spouse Visa?

UKVI usually processes spouse visa applications within 12 – 24 weeks but sometimes it can take longer, and the UKVI will contact you if they need more time to process your application.

Can I get my visa faster?

Yes, you can. If you want your spouse visa to be processed faster you can purchase the Priority Service for a fee of £500 and your application will be processed in about 4 weeks. The fastest decision we have received for a spouse visa application from outside the UK is in 1 day. The Super Priority Service Fees for applications in the UK are £1000.

Are the Partner Visa & Marriage Visitor Visa the same type of visas?

The marriage visa allows you to come to the UK to get married and go back to your country of residence, simply it is a type of visit visa. Whereas, the Spouse Visa which is also known as a Partner Visa allows the visa holder to remain in the UK with their partner on a long term basis

What is the Financial income requirement to sponsor my spouse or partner to join me in the UK?

The minimum income requirement to sponsor your spouse or partner to the UK is £18,600 per annum. But if you have a child you need to earn a minimum of £22,400. If you have more than 1 child in that case your required income will increase £2400 for every child on top of the £22,400.




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