What is the UK Spouse Visa?
A UK Spouse Visa is also known as a Partner Visa. It enables an individual to apply for leave to enter or leave to remain in the UK on the basis they are married to, or in a civil partnership, with a person present and settled in Britain. If you are outside the UK, you will have to apply for entry clearance for settlement to come in to the UK.
Who is suitable for a UK Spouse Visa?
- Persons – outside the UK – that are married to, or in a civil partnership with, a UK citizen or person with settled status in the UK. You should apply for Entry Clearance for Settlement.
- Persons – in the UK on a Fiancé visa also known as a marriage visa (applied from outside the UK), or married to a UK citizen or person with settled status in the UK while you are on a Tier 1 high skilled worker, Tier 2 Work Visa or a Tier 4 Student Visa, or any other leave to remain which is valid for over 6 months, – can apply for a UK Spouse Visa. You should apply for Further leave to Remain under the marriage route.
- If you are visitor, you cannot apply for a spouse visa within the UK. You are allowed to apply for a spouse visa if you have leave to remain in UK that was initially granted for more than 6 months.
What are the requirements for a UK Spouse Visa?
The following requirements must be satisfied before applying for a UK Spouse Visa:
- Both parties in a marriage or civil partnership have to be at least 18 years old
- Parties must have met each other, be legally married to, or in a civil partnership, with each other and plan to live permanently together in the UK
- You or your partner must have suitable accommodation available for you in the UK
- You or your partner must meet the financial requirements – minimum income threshold of £18,600, increased to £22,400 if one child is involved, plus £2,200 for each additional child. Alternatively, the sponsor can have savings of no less than £62,500 to satisfy the financial requirements – additional financial requirements apply for any dependent children that are not British citizens
- If you intend to apply for a UK Spouse Visa you must be able to support your stay in the UK without accessing public funds
- You will need to satisfy A1 English language requirements in speaking and listening, and A2 for extension after 18th July 2017.
Common questions asked about the Spouse Visa
How long can I stay in the UK?
If you’re applying from within the UK you can remain in the country for 30 months. Applications from overseas are valid for a 33 month period.
Can I extend my Spouse Visa?
Yes. You can extend a Spouse Visa by 30 months.
When can I apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain?
You can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after you have been in the UK, on a Spouse Visa, for 5 years.
Can I bring my children?
Yes. You can make an application for your child or children [under the age of 18] at the same time as you make your application.
Can I work?
Yes. Once a Spouse Visa is granted, you’re allowed to find employment in the UK.
What happens if my marriage or civil partnership breaks down?
UK Visa and Immigration Services must be informed and a decision will be made regarding your permission to remain in the UK. They will consider your circumstances at the time to decide if you can apply for further leave to remain in UK.
What fees do we have to pay to the Home Office?
You have to pay a fee to the Home Office and the Immigration Health Surcharge for using the NHS. Fees usually increase in April every year.
How much is the Immigration Health Surcharge?
The Immigration Health Surcharge is £200 a year. For a spouse visa, you will have to pay £1,523 (outside the UK) and £1,033 (in the UK) for an initial application from 6th April 2018.
If I have overstayed or breached any immigration laws, can I still apply for a UK Spouse Visa?
This primarily depends on whether there were aggravating circumstances (e.g. absconding, not meeting bail or reporting conditions, using multiple identities, making frivolous applications), however everyone’s circumstances are different so please contact us to see what options are available to you.
What if I have a criminal conviction?
You can still apply for a UK Spouse Visa if your sentence is less than 12 months. Even if your sentence is less than 12 months, there are still some circumstances that make your application unfavourable for the Home Office to grant you a spouse visa. We strongly recommend you contact us if you have criminal conviction in the UK or other countries.