UK Spouse Visa
Help with your UK spouse Visa Application
What Is A 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 by the Home Office.
Spouse visas are granted to non-eea citizens and are valid for 2.5 years. You must extend your visa before the 2.5 years is up, ensuring to meet all the requirements again for the extension. After you have lived in the UK for 5 years with a spouse visa you can apply to become settled under an immigration category known as Indefinite Leave to Remain.
What are the 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 applies 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.
- Savings over £16,000 can be used as evidence of earnings. As the visa is for 2.5 years the Home Office divide any savings over £16,000 by 2.5. An example of this would be as follows: You earn £17,600 and are short by £1000. You have £21,000 in savings. After subtracting the £16,000 there is £5000 left. divide this by 2.5 and you have £2000. This would then give you an income of £19,600 meaning you meet the financial requirement for a spouse visa.
- You must intend to live together in order to obtain a UK Spouse Visa
Is There An Age Requirement For A UK Spouse Visa?
Both partners have to be over 18 years old before the 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 also have actually met their spouse to qualify. This is to prevent a situation that occurs sometimes in arranged marriages where the husband and wife have never met each other.
Do I Need A Certain Amount Of Money In The Bank To Apply?
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. In general, if you meet the financial requirements for the visa you will not have to show any other funds.
When Can I Become A Permanent Resident Of The UK?
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.
Are There Any Special Tests I Need To Take For a Spouse Visa?
To qualify for this visa you need to have an approved Secure English Language Test at level A2 or higher. If possible we advise taking a higher level test such as B1 as this will save you having to take a higher level test later when you want to settle in the UK.
Spouse Visa FAQs
Can My Spouse Travel To The UK To Be With Me And Apply From Within The UK?
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 where you need to apply. If your spouse is already in the UK on a visa such as a Tier 4 student or work visa then they can apply to switch into a spouse visa.
My Partner Is Here On A Visitor Visa, They Want To Apply Now. Can This Be Done?
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.
I Don’t Earn Over £18,600. How Can My Spouse Get A Visa?
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 annual 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. If you are living abroad you can use the British Citizen’s overseas income to qualify, if they have a job offer, for when you both return to the UK. Income from the non-British citizen will not be counted, but their savings can be used. Savings can also be combined with earnings.
Do I Need To Own A House Or Can I Rent?
You do not need to own a property for your spouse to come to the UK. You must have suitable accommodation. This could be with your parents if there is room or in rented accommodation. If there are children involved then additional rooms will be required. Contact us for the specific requirements.
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.
What Tests Are Required After 5 Years to Qualify for Permanent Residence?
Currently, you will need to have an approved English language test at level B1 or higher to meet the English language requirement for the Knowledge of Language and Life in the UK Test condition. You will also have to take the Life in the UK test which is a knowledge test based on British culture, lifestyle and history. The Life in the UK test is not a substitute for an English language qualification.
What If I Have Been Living Long Term With My Partner, But I’m Not Married?
If you are a couple who is not married and have been living together for at least 2 years then you can consider applying for an unmarried partner visa to migrate to the UK. This has the same conditions as a spouse visa, only that the couple don’t have to show a marriage certificate.
Are The Immigration Requirements For An Unmarried Partner Visa Different?
All the criteria is the same for an unmarried partner visa except that yo must prove to the Home Office or overseas visa post that you have been living together in a relationship akin to marriage for at least 2 years. Long distance relationships are not suitable to meet this requirement.
Can Those In a Civil-Partnership Get A Visa Similar To A Spouse Visa?
A civil partnership is a relationship between a same sex couple that has been legally recognised. If you require a civil partner visa then the criteria is the same as for a spouse visa. If you are unsure of the visa type you need to apply for then contact us for assistance in ensuring your UK Visa application is completed correctly and to the Home Office document requirements.
Do Those In A Civil Partnership Require Cohabitation Documents?
Unlike those applying for an unmarried partner visa, you will be able to apply with your legal documentation confirming your relationship status. Al the other requirements will be exactly the same as a spouse visa application, only that you will be using a civil partnership document instead of a marriage certificate to apply.
Get help with your Spouse Visa UK application to ensure you meet the Home Office Requirements
- Eligibility confirmation check
- Provided with a tailored & comprehensive document list
- Review of all your documents
- Advice on Home Office document requirements
- Suggestions on how to improve your application
- Full completion of application forms – let us complete the form for you
- Review and assistance with application form questions
- Advice on submission location and procedures