There are many ways to qualify for a spouse visa to the UK. You need to first determine if you are applying from within the UK or overseas.
Applying for a spouse visa from within the UK
Are you eligible? Remember you can’t apply, switch or extend if you are in the UK as a visitor. Only those in the UK already on a spouse visa, fiancé visa, student visa or work visa can switch to a spouse visa.
Next there are the income requirements
- Sponsor (British national) or applicant if they are working in the UK will need to be in employment earning over £18,600 and have been in that employment for at least 6 months (Full tax year if self-employed) or
- Sponsor and/or Applicant have a combined salary/income within the UK of over £18,600 or
- If you have £62,500 in savings this can be used instead of the earnings requirement
Note the above figures assume no dependent children. If non-British children are involved, then the total earnings/savings is higher.
Note with self employed income it is the net income and not the gross income. Many people with self-employed business will increase expenses to reduce taxes but by doing this you may push your net profit below the required income and not quality.
Remember if you are overseas the earnings criteria for a UK spouse visa can be different again. If unsure it is best to seek professional advice.
Then English language
The Home Office require an applicant has passed:
- an approved SecureEnglish language test at level A2 and above for extensions or A1 for initial spouse visa application or
- holds a degree taught in English with ENIC Certificate and letter from University confirming degree was taught in English if outside the UK –
- You need to contact https://www.ecctis.com/visasandnationality and get a letter confirming the degree is equivalent to UK standards and the level of English language the degree was taught at
Diplomas do not count as evidence of English language
(Nationals of Majority English speaking countries do not need an English language test)
Tests can be booked through Trinity college (A2 test) at http://www.trinitycollege.com/site/?id=3600
Or IELTS for UKVI and IELTS life Skills at
Note: You can take a higher-level test i.e. B1 SELT Life Skills test at the beginning if you feel your English language ability is sufficient to take the higher-level test
You have TB test requirements for many countries. You can check if your country of origin is listed here https://www.gov.uk/tb-test-visa/countries-where-you-need-a-tb-test-to-enter-the-uk
The earnings criteria are also different for spouse visa applicants from overseas. Salaried applicants need to be earning according to their employer’s rate per hour while self-employed applicants are required to earn what is specified i.e. a minimum of £1863 net per month
As a spouse visa typically falls under the family route there may be equally severe risks involved. Especially in case the sponsor already has children by a previous union that they want you to care for.
If the applicant is in the UK on a student or work visa then their income can normally be considered. Only the income from the British national overseas can be counted.
The process of applying for a spouse visa either overseas or in the UK can be complicated. If you need assistance with the application process from start to finish or help with a document checking service before you submit for peace of mind then contact our team.