What is a UK spouse visa?
Also known as a UK marriage visa, a spouse visa allows married partners of UK citizens to immigrate to the UK because they are married to someone who is ‘settled in the UK’ – i.e. a person who is ordinarily resident in the UK and has no immigration restrictions on how long they can stay in the UK.
Can I work on a uk spouse visa?
Yes, you are eligible to work or study in the UK once the visa has been granted.
UK Spouse visa requirements
To qualify for a UK spouse / marriage visa you must satisfy the following requirements:
- You and your spouse must be 18 years old or over.
- You must have met each other and be legally married – this is to prevent arranged marriages.
- You must intend to live together permanently.
- You must have enough money to support yourselves (and any dependents) without claiming public funds.
- Your sponsoring partner must earn more than £18,600 per year or have enough savings to be able to sponsor you. The minimum financial requirement is higher if they are also sponsoring dependent children.
- You must have suitable accommodation for you, your spouse and any dependents.
- You must satisfy the English language requirements.
How do I apply for a spouse visa?
You can apply for a spouse visa from overseas or from within the UK.
If you are already in the UK on a fiance visa, work visa, or student visa valid for more than six months, you may be able to switch into a spouse visa.
How long does the application take?
The average processing time for a spouse visa application is 2 – 12 weeks from the date we submit the application to the UKBA. Processing times vary depending on the country where the application is made.
How long does a spouse visa last?
If applying from overseas, a spouse visa is initially issued for 33 months. If you are applying from within the UK a spouse visa is issued for a period of 30 months.
Can I extend my spouse visa?
You can apply for an extension for an additional 30 months which can take your total time in the UK on this visa up to five years. At this point you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) provided you are still married and living in the UK with your spouse and continue to meet the maintenance requirements. After you have been granted ILR you may be eligible to apply for naturalisation as British citizen.
Spouse visa entry clearance
If you are seeking to enter the UK on the basis of your relationship with a UK national you must apply for entry clearance before coming to the UK.
If you are applying from inside the UK you must have leave to remain in the UK on a visa that is valid for six months at the time you apply.
You cannot switch to a spouse visa if you are already in the UK and were initially admitted for a period of less than six months – for example, if you were initially admitted entry as a visitor or prospective student.
English language requirements for partners
As a spouse visa applicant you must be able to show that you can speak and understand English.
You must meet the English language requirement if:
- You are a national of a country outside the European Economic Area and Switzerland; and
- You are in a relationship with a British citizen or a person settled in the UK; and
- You want to immigrate to the UK as that person’s spouse.
If you are not a national of a majority English-speaking country or do not have a degree taught in English then you will need to pass an English language test from an approved test provider.
If you are applying from overseas we can make arrangements for you to take an approved English language test in your home country.
Contact us to find out more about the English language requirements.
Spouse visa dependants
Children under 18 years of age can enter the UK as your dependants. You should make an application for them at the same time that you make your spouse visa application. Please note that your sponsoring spouse must show income of a specified amount, the level of which varies depending on the number of dependent children being sponsored.
What if your relationship ends?
If your relationship ends while your partner only has limited permission to enter or remain in the UK (i.e. during the probationary period before they can apply to live here permanently) you should notify the UKBA by writing to:
Evidence and Enquiry Unit
12th Floor (Long) Corridor
40 Wellesley Road
Include your partner’s full name as shown in their passport, their date of birth, and their entry clearance or UKBA reference number (if known)
The UKBA will decide whether to cancel your former partner’s permission to stay in the UK. However, this will not automatically happen if the basis of their stay has changed. For example, they may qualify to remain in the UK on another basis, or there might be compassionate or other reasons why it would be inappropriate to cancel their stay.
Switching Into UK Spouse Visa
You can apply for a UK spouse visa on the basis of your marriage with a British Citizen or a person present and settled in the UK. The application will be considered in accordance with requirements of the Immigration Rules as set out in Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules.
For a spouse visa application to succeed, there are 4 main requirements:
- The evidence of relationship between the sponsor and the applicant;
- The documentary evidence to comply with the financial requirement as set out in Appendix FM;
- The adequate accommodation; and
- English language requirement.
Additionally, the applicant should also meet the suitability criteria as set out in the immigration rules.
Switching Into UK Spouse Visa
A person who is in the UK with leave to remain which was originally granted for period of more than six months and who is married to:
a British Citizen,or
a person with ILR, or
a person with refugee status,or
as a person with humanitarian protection
can apply to switch into spouse visa from inside the UK as long as he meets all the relevant requirements of the Immigration Rules.
An application for switching into spouse visa from inside the UK is submitted to the Home Office by completing application form FLR (M). We can provide Same Day Visa Service for FLR (M) application for switching into spouse visa.
Same Day Visa Service For FLR (M) Application
We are registered with the Home Office, Public Enquiry Office (PEO), Croydon to provide same day visa service for an application for switching into spouse visa as a spouse of a British Citizen or a person present and settled in the UK i.e. FLR (M) application. We can prepare and submit your FLR (M) application to the Home Office, PEO, Croydon and get quick decision on your application. As FLR (M) application is a biometric application, therefore you will have to attend the Home Office, PEO, Croydon along with our legal representatives for your biometrics and submission of your application. Our legal representative will accompany you to the Home Office, Public Enquiry Office (PEO) and assist you with the enrollment of your biometrics and submission of your application. The application submitted through our same day visa service is generally decided the same day.
Settlement – ILR for UK Spouse Visa Holders
After 5 years in the UK with Spouse Visa status you and your children should be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain, (also known as ILR or Permanent Residence). Applicants who applied for a Spouse Visa prior to 8 April 2012 might qualify for Settlement after 2 years in the UK.
If your relationship ends then you may still be able to remain in the UK and qualify for ILR in due course depending on the length of time in the UK and how the relationship ended.
Can I apply for a UK Spouse Visa while I am in the UK?
If you are in the UK with a visitor visa or other visa granted for less than 6 months then you would usually be expected to leave the UK and submit your UK Spouse Visa application from your home country. In most other cases where you are in the UK with a visa granted for more than 6 months you should be able to submit your visa application from within the UK. If you are currently outside the UK then you should submit your Spouse Visa application from your home country.
Supporting evidence for a UK spouse visa:
Communication evidence for a UK spouse visa
- Facebook or any other famous social media, print screens
- Email records
- MSN chat history
- Skype call logs
- Phone records
Relationship evidence for a UK spouse visa
- Flight tickets and bus tickets from each time we met (as much as you can collect)
- Printed photos of visa stamps in a sponsor’s previous passport
- Hotel bookings and payment receipts from all your holidays together
- Photos from each time you met, including those of you with family and friends
- Photos and receipts for flowers sent from applicant to sponsor for birthdays and Valentine’s Day
- Photos of gifts, cards and letters from the applicant and the applicant’s family to sponsor and vice versa
- Copy of acknowledgement page of the applicant’s PhD thesis mentioning love and support from sponsor during studies
- Christmas cards and wedding invitation addressed to sponsor and applicant (originals)
- Receipt for obtaining certificate of non-impediment for a sponsor in the UK (original)
- Marriage certificate and Formül B (originals)
- Receipt for payment of marriage ceremony (original)
- Wedding ceremony photos
- Letter of support from sponsor’s parents (original hand written, signed and dated)
- Letter from applicant explaining relationship history and our plans for our future together
- Letter from sponsor confirming relationship history and future plans detailed in the applicant’s letter
Evidence of meeting the financial requirement for a UK spouse visa
- Letter from the sponsor’s employer confirming his/her employment and letters confirming last two years’ salary (originals)
- Seven months of payslips and two years P60s all signed by the HR manager of the sponsor’s employer together with a letter from the sponsor’s employer confirming their authenticity (originals)
- Last seven months’ bank statements signed and stamped by the bank (originals)
- Printout of the most recent account transaction showing payment of salary into the account since the payment occurred four days after the most recent statement. This printout was also signed and stamped by the bank (original)
Evidence of meeting the accommodation requirement for a UK spouse visa
- Letter from lettings agency confirming that the sponsor is the legal tenant and that the landlord has given permission for the sponsor to move in (original)
- Letter from lettings agency listing rooms and measurements and stating that the house is big enough for two people to live there (original)
- Print screens of the rooms in the house from estate agents online brochure (the house was up for sale immediately prior to the sponsor moving in as a tenant)
- Photos of applicant and sponsor in the house
- Sponsor’s council tax bill (stating she is a single occupier and entitled to 25% discount), water bill, gas bill and electricity bill as evidence sponsor is living at this address (originals)
Evidence of meeting the language requirement for a UK spouse visa
- Applicant’s IELTS certificate (original)
Identification evidence for a UK spouse visa
- Certified copy of the sponsor’s passport
- A copy of sponsor’s driving license
- Applicant’s passport and previous passports
- 2 recent passport photos of the applicant
Additional evidence for a UK spouse visa
- Copies of visitor visa letters written by the sponsor
- Applicant’s letter of employment from current employer payslips and bank statements (originals)
- Applicant’s CV to show his qualifications and previous employment as evidence that he is employable
- Letter from Attorney General confirming applicant has no previous criminal convictions (original and translation)
- List of appendices for all supporting documents
UK Spouse Visa Appeal Service
How To Avoid Spouse Visa Refusal For The UK
There are many ways to avoid a possible refusal of spouse visa for the UK, grounds might have different from the others or likely similar too, but how can you battle to present the application that would have a better chance of the approval than a refusal? Here are some tips of information on which you may use to prepare on to your application.
1. Check which route would best apply to you i.e. Family permit (Surinder Singh) or Spouse/Partner of a person settled in the UK/Citizen.
2. If you choose to apply for an Entry Clearance as Spouse or Partner for a route such as 2.5 years, one must have a valid application, make sure all the necessary documents as to evidence your genuine relationship is genuine and subsisting, the case officer will scrutinize as a whole if the relationship is genuine or not
3. The more evidence of documents the better, but the consistency, accuracy and credibility of the documents are the primary concern, that is material for your application. Avoid presenting documents or evidence that is not relevant to your claim to evidence a particular requirement which might bring confusion to the officer
4. Provide a submission letter to your application as possible and arrange your documents depending on how you would like to see it by the case officer for example you put Annexure of it
5. Never withhold any relevant information from your previous and current circumstances. Recheck all the information you have provided online on your visa application page and review them all together prior to the submission
6. There should not be a record of the offense or conviction of the applicant (unless the penalty or punishment of that office has rendered and served, and a period of 5 or 10 years have passed since the end of the sentence (depending on the weight of the offense/conviction)
7. Do not fail to provide additional information if there is a request of the case officer to provide additional information or to provide medical report
8. Provide evidence as that of the English requirement is met (unless you are exempt)
9. Don’t try to provide or declare false information or documents submitted, or fabricate the documents in relation to your application for the purpose to enter and remain in the UK, it is better to declare the information or documents are unobtainable, lost, in nature rather than providing a fabricated one
10. The financial requirement must be met E-ECP.3.1, E.LTRP.3.1 and therefore the applicant should not recourse to the public funds 11. There is strong documentation that the applicant will live permanently with his/her sponsor in the UK
12. If your sponsor declared that the financial requirement is met, through a combination of certain category such as; Category A – salaried and non salaried for a person in the UK for a period of 6 months or more. With the combination of your Category C- Source of income from non employment, e.g., Rental income, interest from the bank, stocks or bands and etc. Or with the combination of Category D- Cash savings in the bank These combinations may apply depending on the situation of the sources of your sponsor in the UK, as to meet the financial requirement, however a clear sources and valid requisites of documents should support the sources of the upper mentioned income or savings
13. Recheck the bank statements if they are in a valid format as required by the guidance of the financial requirement for a family member, bank statements should cover the period for which the income is relied upon
14. The applicant/sponsor must not submit the sources of funds/income derived from: third party, loans or credit, income from related benefits, job seeker’s allowance, incapacity allowance, child benefit, working tax credit, employment support allowance (or equivalent), universal credit, unemployment allowance – because these are not permitted as sources to meet the financial requirement
15. Provide the original and photocopy of each of the documents as required and check them again if the information listed is clear and readable enough to understand in English One may choose to appeal the application if you are being told to do so, as usually the refusal letter comes with the appeal form (which may take some time to get the decision) Or the same goes, by with the request for the administrative review within the 28 days of the issuance of refusal (in case you are permitted), wherein you can point out the viable points were the reasons of refusal is due to some error, or overlooking of the documents by the case officer.