UK Spouse Visa
Spouses of UK citizens or permanent residents who are settled may come to the UK under the UK Spouse Visa immigration category and are able to work as soon as the leave is granted.
It is important that all spouse and partner visa applicants pay (if required) and obtain an Immigration Health Surcharge number as required or the application will be refused.
You will need to meet the following UK Spouse Visa requirements to come to Britain
- Once you are married you will be able to apply for a spouse visa. With the new rules from 9th July 2012 you will be given a visa for a 2.5 year probationary period to test the relationship.
- The Sponsor (British citizen or permanent resident) must earn over £18,600 or £22,400 if you have a child (additional £2400 for each child) ideally have they been earning this for over 6 months. The additional fee for children only apply to children of the UK Spouse Visa Application and not any children the British Citizen or UK Permanent Resident already have as they would be UK citizens and are able to obtain support from the British government.
- If you have been together more than four years outside the UK and you have passed the Life in the UK test, you are eligible for indefinite leave to Enter in the UK without having complete the Spouse Visa UK probationary period. You will need the Life in the UK Test for Leave to Enter. This option has been abolished in the 9th July 2012 visa changes.
- Both partners have to be over 18 years old before UK Spouse Visa can be applied for. This means at the time of application they must be over 18 and not on the date of intended travel or decision. You must wait until both the applicant and their sponsor are over 18 years old before submitting an application or the UK spouse visa will be refused.
- The UK citizen or permanent resident (the sponsor) must have actually met their spouse to get a Spouse Visa for the UK. This is to prevent a situation that occurs sometimes in arranged marriages where the husband and wife have never met each other.
- You must intend to live together in order to obtain a UK Spouse Visa
- You must possess sufficient funds to pay you and your spouse’s living expenses and those of any dependants without claiming public funds. Public funds cover various benefits paid by the UK Government if you are currently looking for work or if you are on a low income. You can review our link on No Recourse to Public Funds and learn what entitlements if any you have to ensure you don’t make any decisions that can affect future spouse visa applications or Indefinite Leave to Remain through the SETM Application Route.
- Accommodation for the couple, and any dependants, must be suitable and available (adequate). It must not create overcrowding and you must have permission from the owner of the property for all your family to stay there.
- Spouses seeking to come to the UK on the basis of marriage to a British Citizen should apply for entry clearance before entering the UK. This can be done at the nearest British Embassy or Visa post. Contact us for clarification if you are unsure were you need to apply.
- If you have valid entry clearance for six months or less in the United Kingdom, then you cannot change status to a Spouse Visa. Usually visitors don’t realise that they will have to leave the country and come back with the correct entry clearance, in this case a Spouse Visa. If you apply while still in the UK on a Visitor visa then you can expect to be refused unless some humanitarian grounds can be claimed under Article 8.
- Children of the marriage who are under 18 years old are allowed entry to the UK as dependants, and can make their application at the same time as the main applicant
- If you don’t qualify for a spouse visa under the salary requirements there are other methods. Various incomes can be combined and used such as self-employed, pensions, rental income, part time work or savings. If you have no income you can still qualify for a Spouse Visa if you have savings of £62,500 + which has been maintained in your bank account for 6 months or more.
After a total period of 5 years spent in the UK with a spouse visa and if you meet the requirements, you may then apply for Indefinite Leave to remain as a Permanent Resident. After you have had ILR for 1 year you are eligible to apply for British Citizenship.
If you need a visa for your unmarried partner or civil partner then you will fall under the same immigration rules as spouse visa applicants and use the same visa forms