If you wish to apply for, extend, or switch to a UK spouse visa for less than 5 years, we can provide you with legal advice and assistance with your UK spouse visa application. Contact us for case evaluation, eligibility requirements, and supporting documents.
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What is a UK Spouse visa?
You can apply for a UK spouse/partner visa if you are the spouse or partner of a British citizen/settled person (ILR holder) and wish to join your spouse or partner permanently in the UK.
The UK spouse/partner visa leads to settlement, which means that after staying in the UK as the spouse of a British citizen/settled person, you can apply for indefinite leave to remain. You will need to meet the requirements of Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules to submit a spouse/partner visa application.
As specialists in UK spousal applications, we can provide detailed immigration advice after assessing your immigration history. We can prepare your immigration application and submit it to the Home Office as your immigration solicitors.
What are the requirements for a spouse visa in the UK?
To qualify for a spouse/marriage visa in the UK you must meet the following requirements:
- You and your spouse must be at least 18 years old.
- You must have met and be legally married: this is to prevent arranged marriages.
- You must have the intention of living together permanently.
- You must have enough money to support yourself (and any dependents) without claiming public funds.
- Your sponsoring partner must earn more than £18,600 a year or have enough savings to be able to sponsor you.
- The minimum financial requirement is higher if you also sponsor dependent children.
- You must have adequate accommodation for yourself, your spouse and any dependents.
- You must meet English language requirements.
What documentary evidence is needed to provide a spouse visa?
You must provide evidence that your marriage is recognized in the UK.
Additionally, you must demonstrate that you meet the English language requirements and can financially support yourself and your dependents without recourse to public funds.
How long does it take to process a spouse visa in the UK?
The Home Office will usually advise that decisions on applications from outside the UK will usually be made within 12 weeks and that if you are applying in the UK the decision will usually be made within 8 weeks of the date of your application. However, the UKVA has warned of delays in receiving decisions from applicants due to the pandemic.
How long can I stay if I come to the UK as a spouse?
At the end of this period you will be able to request the extension of your spouse visa. You will be able to stay for two and a half years as a spouse. At the end of this period you can extend your stay.
What are the financial requirements for a UK spouse visa?
There is usually a financial requirement that the sponsor earns £18,600. You also need to earn a further £3,800 for your first child and a further £2,400 for any further children. The financial requirements under family immigration rules often pose the greatest difficulties for potential applicants. Accordingly, do not hesitate to contact an expert if you need assistance in understanding these rules.
UK Spouse Visa Documents Checklist
The required documents for the UK spouse visa that you will need to present when you go to meet the consular officer are as follows:
- UK Visa Application Form. For the spouse visa you will need to submit the VAF4A form.
- Valid passport with at least one blank page for visa purposes.
- Your previous passports.
- Two passport-sized color photos in line with UK requirements.
- Evidence of English language requirement.
- Proof of financial means.
- Evidence of the relationship such as photos of the two of you together, etc.
- Your full name.
- Your date of birth.
- Details of any previous immigration applications, if any.
- Criminal record certificate.
- Your Social Security number, if any.
- Your parents’ date of birth and nationality if you are applying from outside the UK.
- Proof of accommodation. You will need to submit proof of where you will be hosted in the UK.
- Biometric information. This includes the submission of fingerprints and a digital photograph taken at the relevant application centre.
- Proof of payment of spouse’s visa fees. You should present the receipt confirming that you have paid the visa fee as required.
What are the financial requirements for the UK spouse visa?
If you bring your spouse to the UK you must demonstrate that you both have a combined income of at least £18,600 per year.
This is the most important part of your application, which many fail to fulfill, so their visa is rejected. The UK does not want to bring in people who are unable to support themselves financially, so it requires them to be able to earn a minimum amount of money.
UK Spouse Visa Application
You will need to apply online if you are applying from outside the UK. To begin your UK spouse visa application you must complete form VAF4A.
However, if you are in the UK you have two choices. You can apply online or by post. You can also apply at a premium service center. To do this, you will need to fill out the form and book an appointment, or submit an online request and book an appointment.
UK spouse visa fee
UK spouse visa fees depend on how you apply. If you apply for a UK spouse visa from outside the UK to join your partner, you will have to pay a fee of £1,464. However, if you apply for your UK spousal visa online or by post, the fee will cost you £993 and £1,583 if you apply for your UK visa in person with the premium service.
You will have to pay an extra £1,464 for each dependent if you apply from outside the UK, £993 if you apply in the UK online or by post and £1,583 if you apply in the UK in person with the premium service.
How to apply for a spouse visa extension
You can apply for a UK marriage visa extension once your visa expires. This will allow you to stay and live in the UK for a further two and a half years.
To be eligible for a UK spouse visa extension, you must:
- Apply within 28 days of your visa expiry date
- Demonstrate that you have continued to live with your partner and that your relationship remains “genuine and subsisting”
- Please provide evidence to show that you still have adequate accommodation for yourself and any children accompanying you
- Demonstrate that you still meet the financial requirements for the UK spouse visa of £18,600 per year
How to apply for ILR after a spouse visa
After living in the UK for five years on a partner visa, you become eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).
- The ILR grants you unlimited access to work, study, movement and property.
- You can apply for ILR as a non-EEA spouse if:
- You have lived in the UK continuously for five years on a UK spouse visa
- During the last 12 months of your stay in the UK, you have not been absent from the country for more than 180 days
- You have passed the Life in the UK test
- You meet the ILR English requirements