Spouse Visa/Partner Visa in UK
This visa provides an opportunity for non-British partners to live and work in the UK. You can apply for this family visa if you are the husband, wife, civil partner, unmarried partner (living together in a relationship for at least 2 years), fiancé, fiancée or proposed civil partner (will marry or enter into a civil partnership in the UK within 6 months of arriving) of a specified partner (see definition below) Some of the spouse visa UK requirements 2023 are terribly restrictive, for example, applicants must meet a significant minimum income/finance threshold, which has been subject to fierce legal battles and criticism from family groups.
Our team provides expert legal advice and representation to those who want to know how to apply spouse visa in UK as a partner or spouse, and we have a strong track record of successful applications.
What Are the Eligibility Requirements for a UK Spouse Visa or Partner Visa?
To successfully obtain a family visa as a partner or spouse, you must meet the following eligibility requirements:
- You and your partner both need to be 18 or over.
- Your partner must either:
- be a British
- have settled in the UK – for example, they have ILR, settled status or proof of permanent residence
- be from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, or Liechtenstein and have pre-settled status – they must have started living in the UK before 1 January2021
- have a Turkish Businessperson visa or Turkish Worker visa
- have refugee status or humanitarian protection in the UK
- You are in a civil partnership or marriage that’s recognised in the UK or you’ve been living together in a relationship for at least 2 years when you apply or you are a fiancé, fiancée or proposed civil partner and will marry or enter into a civil partnership in the UK within 6 months of arriving
- If you are a fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner, you must be seeking entry to the UK to enable your marriage or civil partnership to take place in the United Kingdom.
- The relationship between you and your sponsor must be genuine and subsisting
- You intend to live permanently with your sponsor in the UK and have adequate accommodation without recourse to public funds
- Your sponsor meets the financial requirement. This would normally mean having an income of at least £18,600 per year (this increases if you have children) and/or having sufficient savings
- You meet the English language requirement
- The initial entry clearance visa is granted for 33 months (30 months if the application is made from inside the UK; if you apply as afiancé(e) or proposed civil partner, you will be give a 6-month visa to enable you to enter the UK to enable your marriage or civil partnership to take place here), after which you may apply for a Spouse Visa Extension of 30 months. After five years, you may be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain.
What Supporting Documents Will I Need for Spouse Visa or Partner Visa?
UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) officials will want to see the following Spouse visa Document Checklist (It is not an exhaustive list) included with your application:
- Your current passport or other travel documents
- Your marriage or civil partnership certificate
- Divorce certificate for any previous marriages, if applicable
- Details of any criminal convictions, if applicable
- Your National Insurance number (if you have one)
- Details of your accommodation in the UK
- Bank statements
- Evidence of employment income, if applicable
- Your sponsor’s British passport or Indefinite Leave to remain document
- Details of any children who are also coming to the UK
How long does the partner visa process take?
You need to complete an online application to attend a physical (biometric) appointment whether applying from inside or outside the UK.
A Spouse visa application UK made from outside the UK could take around 3 months to be processed. Priority services are available in some countries, for expedited processing. On approval, your passport would be endorsed with a “vignette” to allow you to travel to the UK. You would need to collect your biometric residence permit on arrival to the UK from a pre-selected Post Office.
From inside the UK the normal service standard is 8 weeks [SH2]
Although the UK spouse visa processing time takes 8 weeks of your biometric appointment your biometric residence permit will usually take a further 7 working days to be issued from the date of the decision.
How much does it cost to apply as a partner or spouse?
The UK Spouse visa fee is £1033 within the UK. The applicant will also need to pay £19.20 biometric enrolment fee as part of the application.
From outside the UK the spouse visa (classified as a “settlement visa” for the purpose of entry clearance) the UK Spouse visa cost is £1523. The settlement priority service, if available in the country of application would be an additional £573.
The applicant must also pay the Immigration Health Surcharge, which is £624 per year (£312 for every 6 month period). The spouse visa is granted for a 30 months (2.5 years) inside the UK, therefore the total surcharge would be £1560 for leave to remain. From outside the UK, the visa is granted for 33 months, therefore the total surcharge would be £1,872.
The UK Spouse Visa Calculator
Please answer the questions and you will be able to calculate the approx. cost for The UK Spouse Visa
How long can you stay?
If you apply as a fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner, you will be give a 6-month visa to enable you to enter the UK to enable your marriage or civil partnership to take place here; otherwise, you will be granted for 33 months (Entry Clearance) or 30 Months if the application is made inside the UK. You can extend your visa and you would normally be able to apply for settlement no more than 28 days before completing 60 months on your spouse visa. If you apply successfully to settle in the UK, you would be free from immigration restrictions – that means that there would be no time limit on your permission to live in the UK.
English language requirements for partners
Applicants need to show they meet the English language requirements, in Speaking and Listening. For your initial application you will need to pass an approved English language test at least a CEFR level A1 in speaking and listening, which is beginner’s level. For your extension after 2.5 years, you must prove that you pass an approved English language test at least a CEFR level A2 l, which could be considered as elementary level and is slightly more difficult than A1. For settlement, you must demonstrate that you can speak English at B1 level, which is intermediate level.
How can I qualify for the Spouse/Partner Visa accommodation requirements?
You normally need to show that you have adequate accommodation for yourself and your partner (and anyone else who is part of your family unit). This means that the space you occupy must not be overcrowded and is affordable to you. You can own or rent the property. You may even be staying somewhere rent-free, for example with family members.
In every case, you will still need to submit evidence that there is sufficient space for you and your partner in the home.
If you do not have a home in the UK and plan to secure a property later on down the line (for example if you are relocating back to the UK from overseas) you will still need to show that you have a realistic prospect of moving into adequate accommodation by the time you travel to the UK.
What are the spouse visa financial requirements?
In order to make a successful application as a partner or spouse, the couple must provide specified evidence to show that they have sufficient income or means to support themselves in the UK. This requirement applies if the partner is joining the UK sponsor from overseas, if the couple are already living together in the UK or if the couple are returning to the UK, from overseas. Evidence required depends on the couple’s individual circumstances, but generally speaking the financial requirement for a partner visa is £18,600. So, for example, if the sponsor has been in permanent paid employment for more than 6 months, earning a fixed salary of over £18,600 per annum, the couple could use evidence of the sponsor’s income to meet the financial requirement.
Evidence of savings can also be used or combined with employment income evidence to meet the financial requirement. Extensive additional evidence would be required for self-employed individuals who are relying on their self-employed income to meet the financial requirement.
If the couple have children who would be sponsored as dependents of the main applicant partner, the financial threshold is increased for each child included in the application. Specifically, in addition to the £18,600 threshold for the partner, an additional £3,800 is required for the first child and a further £2,400 for each additional child.
What Are the Advantages of having a spouse visa under this category?
Being separated from your partner or spouse can be heart-breaking for you and your children. If you have fallen in love and married someone from the UK, obtaining a family visa can allow you to come to the UK and spend a life with your partner or spouse
Our team can provide legal advice and representation you require so you and your spouse/partner can live, work and build a future together in Britain.
What Can I Do if My application is Refused?
an application under this category can get refused if not prepared carefully. The British government has a goal to lower net migration. To achieve these targets, it is likely that immigration officials will refuse family visas on even the most tenuous grounds, so there is no room for error.
To add to the misery, when a family visa refused, it is not always an option to make an appeal or an administrative review. Therefore, your only option when faced with a refusal may be to submit a new application entirely or to apply for a judicial review.[SH1]
We understand the emotional rollercoaster couples can go through when they are forced to battle with government officials. Our Spouse visa attorney provide a sensitive and compassionate service to our clients and have the expertise and experience needed to swiftly challenge a negative decision by Home Office and provide you with a positive result.
Why Choose Us to Help You Apply for a UK Spouse/Partner Visa?
As highly experienced immigration experts, our spouse visa lawyers will work with you to check that your application is filled in correctly and that all of the correct documentation is provided. This will prevent immigration officials from being able to refuse your submission due to a mistake.
By working with us, you can be confident that your best interests will be protected, and the visa application process will go through smoothly. We work hard and aim for the best possible results. Read our success stories on Spouse Visas here.
Can I extend my spouse visa?
Yes, provided you meet the requirements you should be able to extend your visa for 30 months (2.5 years) at a time. You will need to extend your visa at least once to complete your 60 month (5 year) qualifying period for settlement as a partner or spouse. You might also need to extend if you don’t fully meet the requirements for settlement after 5 years, for example, if you cannot yet speak English to the required level for settlement or if you fail the Life in the UK test.
What happens if my UK Spouse/Partner Visa application is accepted?
If your application is approved, you will be granted 33 months (entry clearance) or 30 months (leave to remain) biometric residence permit(if you apply as afiancé(e) or proposed civil partner, you will be give a 6-month visa to enable you to enter the UK to enable your marriage or civil partnership to take place here)
Where applying from overseas, your passport would initially be issued with a 30 day “vignette” which will allow you to travel to the United Kingdom. You will need to collect your biometric residence permit within 10 days of arrival to the UK from a Post Office you would have selected during the application process.
During the period of your visa, you will be able to live and work in the United Kingdom. You will not be able to access public funds whilst on a spouse visa but you will have access to the NHS, as you will have paid the Immigration Health Surcharge as part of your visa application. Although you are permitted to travel overseas, you will need to reside with your partner in the UK continuously to qualify for an extension of leave/ILR after 60 months. You should keep evidence of living together from the date your visa is granted, for example bills, bank statements and other official letters and correspondence addressed to you and your partner at your shared home.
What happens if my UK Spouse Visa application/Partner Visa is rejected?
If your application is rejected as invalid or refused you will be issued with a letter confirming the decision. If the application is refused, the letter would also confirm if you have the right of appeal. Depending on the grounds for refusal you may consider re-applying or challenging the decision if you believe the decision is wrong or unfair.
Time limits may apply for challenging a decision so you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible. If you are already in the UK, your current status may also be affected by the negative decision, so you it is advisable to seek legal advice to check how your status and future applications may be affected.
Can I switch to a Spouse/Partner Visa?
It is possible to switch into the spouse visa category, provided you do not have leave as a visitor or leave granted for 6 months or less (with an exception of fiancée visas, which are granted for 6 months, but allow you to switch into the spouse route).
How to renew my visa?
To renew your visa, you will need to submit an online form (also known as an FLR(M) form). Having paid the relevant application fees, you would need to upload scanned copies of your supporting documents to an online portal managed by the Home Office’s commercial partner, Sopra Steria (UKVCAS). Sopra Steria also manages UK visa appointments and you would need to book and attend a physical appointment to enrol your biometrics.
Applicants also have the option of bringing the documentation to their appointment, which will be scanned and uploaded by the UKVCAS staff to the online portal (additional spouse visa UK fees 2023 might apply).
What type of questions will be asked at a spouse visa interview?
The type of questions which may be asked at a spouse visa interview will depend on the individual caseworker. However, examples may include:
- How did you and your spouse meet?
- How much does your spouse earn?
- Have you met their friends and family?
Our team can conduct a mock interview with you both to help you prepare for the interview.
If my family have offered to provide money to help us meet the minimum financial threshold, will it be considered?
Following a high profile Supreme Court decision in 2017, the Home Office has changed the immigration rules to allow caseworkers to consider, in specific circumstances, any third-party funding when examining whether the minimum income threshold has been met.
What is the most difficult spouse visa UK requirement 2023?
The most difficult spouse visa UK requirements for a spouse visa involves providing the required evidence when the applicant’s partner is the director of a UK company, as extensive evidence is required.
Do I have to submit original supporting documentation?
The applicant will have to provide the original passport and the remaining supporting documentation can be either copies or original documents.
How do I submit the supporting documents?
After the submission of the online application, the applicant will be able to upload scanned copies of the supporting documents to an online portal managed by the Home Office’s commercial partner (Sopra Steria for applications submitted in the UK or VFS Global/TLS Contact for applications submitted overseas). The applicant also has the option of bringing the documentation to their appointment, which will be scanned and uploaded to the online portal (additional fees might apply).
A Y & J Solicitors’ Review
Professional and comprehensive service that was faultless. The attention to detail and the guidance provided in completing the application and the required documentation was perfect. My consultant lawyer Sok Wei Low was extremely helpful and was always accessible to answer any questions I had at any time. I would highly recommend The service and was extremely pleased with the final outcome.
I had recently applied for spouse visas through A Y and J Solicitors. Yash has indeed years of special expertise in this field and guided me with the right set of documents especially when its a self employed case. A highly knowledgeable person, very professional, extremely talented and friendly person. Diana as well, very thorough with her bits, very knowledgeable and eye for detail , absolute perfectionist. Everyone at office are helpful and indeed friendly. I would 100% highly recommend AY&J Solicitors services Excellent Services delivered by highly talented professionals.
Success Story on UK Spouse Visa or Civil Partnership Visa
A Y & J Solicitors
Successful application for limited leave to remain in the UK as a proposed civil partner, switching from a visitor visa in the UK
Background Mr A and his partner Mr B have been together for a few years, and they tried many times to get married overseas during the last year however,all of their attempts failed due to restrictions caused by the COVID-19. About nine months ago, Mr A entered the UK as a visitor and had been…
Video on Spouse Visa Spouse / Civil Partner Visa
Requirements for Applying UK Spouse Visa
We are a specialised UK immigration law firm.
Today I want to talk to you about the UK Spouse Visa.
If you’re married, it’s only natural, you as a couple wanting to live together in the same country. But sometimes the Home Office gets in the way of acquiring a spouse visa.
The first step is to make sure that the sponsoring spouse is living in the UK either with a settlement or British Citizenship. The next challenge is often the financial requirement under appendix fm. One of the option of meeting this requirement is by showing The sponsoring partner earning a minimum of 18,600 pounds annually. Even though the spouse can work in the UK when they arrive on a spouse visa, this income criteria must be met to apply.
You must both be over 18 years of age, and legally married or have been in a civil partnership for more than 2 years. You need to show in your application that you have adequate accommodation and you will be living together. You also need to prove English proficiency if you do not come from a country where English is the primary language. This can be proven with a degree that was taught in English or by passing an approved English language test. All documents and certificates need to be in English or translated into English by a certified translator.
Keep in mind that Home Office will scrutinise your application carefully, make sure you have all the documents required, either originals or certified copies. You should also include documents to demonstrate your genuine and subsisting relationship.
Once your spouse visa is approved you can live, work and study in the UK, and travel in and out of the U.K. throughout the visa duration. The visa is valid for 2 years and 9 months. You can then apply for an extension of 2 years and 6 months which will allow you to reach the 5-year residency requirement to apply for Indefinite leave to remain (ILR) or settlement. You could then also qualify British Citizenship.
The spouse visa application is challenging due to its strict requirement. We’re experienced in submitting successful spouse visa applications, and we love it when we can help bring people together. If you would like us to help, please get in touch. Our contact details are at the bottom of this video. Thank you for watching.