Spouse Visa UK Processing Time in 2024

spouse visa UK processing time

As of 2024, the average spouse visa UK processing time is two to three months if you apply from outside the UK and six to eight weeks if you apply from inside the UK. 

It might take a few months or more to get a spouse visa. Most of the time, it takes three months. But it can change depending on several factors that we will talk about later.

Application TypeDuration
Standard applications from outside the country2-3 months
Priority Applications from outside the country30 days
Standard applications in the country6-8 weeks
Super priority applications from within the country1 working day

It can be hard to love someone when they live in a different place, like the UK. Seeking a spouse visa to bring them here could be a bit challenging. The wait can be stressful because the visa process is not easy to understand and can change at any time.

You may worry more and have more questions as the days go by. What’s taking so long? Could we speed it up? What if they don’t decide before my visa runs out? What will happen next?

This guide has the answers to these questions and the exact spouse visa processing time. 

UK Spouse Visa Processing Time in the UK

Getting a UK Spouse Visa can take a different amount of time depending on where you apply from, how full your application is, and the time of year. This means that knowing these things can help you get a better idea of how long the process might take.

When someone from outside the UK applies for a UK Spouse Visa, it usually takes three months to process the application. If the application is made from inside the UK, on the other hand, it usually takes between 6 and 8 weeks to finish. Most applications that don’t use any priority or fast-track services are used to make these predictions.

It is very important to understand that these averages are just that—averages—and should not be taken as promises. The actual British spouse visa processing time can be very different based on many things, such as:

Completion of the Application:

The process can go much faster if the application is full and well-prepared. Applications that aren’t complete or contain mistakes often take longer to process. This is because they require more frequent checks or additional information may be requested.

Time of year:

The number of applications may fluctuate at different times of the year. A lot of applications can come in at once, like during the holidays or big foreign events. This can make spouse visa UK processing time longer.

Situations of each person

Spouse visa UK Processing time can change depending on the details of a person’s case. For example, if a candidate has had immigration or legal problems in the past, their application may take longer to process because more checks and verifications need to be done.

Application TypeDuration
Standard applications from outside the country2-3 months
Priority Applications from outside the country30 days
Standard applications in the country6-8 weeks
Super priority applications from within the country1 working day

Priority and Super Priority Services for UKVI

The UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) has two different services for people who want to speed up the process. These are called the Priority and Super Priority Services. There is an extra fee for these services. However, they are meant to help people who are short on time get things processed faster.

Priority Service

With the Priority Service, your Spouse Visa application will be processed faster. The goal is to have it done within five working days, which is shorter than the normal time frame. This service could be useful if the application form is correctly filled out with all the necessary information and all the necessary papers are sent along with it.

Please note that the five-working-day timeline is flexible. For complicated applications that need extra checks and confirmations from the Home Office, the working time might go over the estimated time.

Super Priority Service

If you need your application processed even faster, the Super Priority Service might be the best option for you. People who use this service say they can process your spouse visa application within 24 hours. This is the fastest way to get your visa accepted.

If you fill out an easy application, you might be able to pick up your visa by the next business day. But, just like with the Priority Service, if the application is complicated, it can take longer to handle. You might have to wait up to five working days for the Super Priority Service to decide on your application if more routine checks and verifications are needed.

Keep in mind that the dates only apply to business days, which are usually Monday through Friday, and don’t include legal vacations. If you use the Super Priority Service to apply for a visa on a Saturday, the first working day that counts would be Monday. So, you should hear back about your entry by the end of Monday or Tuesday.

One important thing to keep in mind about these fast services is that they only promise faster processing times, not a positive result. Your Spouse’s Visa application will still only be approved if you meet all the requirements and provide correct and full supporting documents. 

Can we get a refund for withdrawing an out-of-country spouse/partner visa?

This usually depends on whether the applicant has already been to the visa office for the biometric appointment.

If the applicant hasn’t shown up for the biometric appointment (the meeting at the visa centre), you may withdraw the application and get the Home Office fee (£1,846 per applicant) and the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) back.

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to get the £1,846 Home Office fee back if the applicant has already gone to the biometric meeting. You can get your money back on the IHS, though.

When does the out-of-country UK spouse visa start?

On the online application form, it will ask when the person wants to visit the UK.

If the decision date is before the date that the person wants to travel to the UK, the 90-day entry clearance visa will usually begin on the date that the person wants to travel to the UK.

It’s likely that the 90-day entry clearance visa will begin on or just after the decision date if the planned trip date is after the decision date.

Please note that I said “usually” because the agent from the Home Office doesn’t always do things this way.

When should you avoid the overseas spouse visa priority service?

Both VFS and TLS say that people applying from outside the country shouldn’t pay for the fast settlement visa service if any of the following are true:

The person who applied has been in the UK longer than allowed;

  • Unfortunately, the applicant’s request for leave to remain in the UK has been denied by the Home Office;
  • The person who applied was turned down for a UK visa;
  • The person has been sent back to their home country or forced to leave the UK in some other way;
  • Additionally, the applicant’s request for entry into the United Kingdom has been denied;
  • The person applying has broken the law in any country;
  • The candidate has been arrested, questioned, or charged by the police for any crime in the UK or elsewhere;
  • Moreover, the application now only has a short amount of time to stay in the UK;
  • The person applying has been turned down for a visa to enter Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the US, or any of the Schengen countries; and/or
  • The applicant possesses a criminal record that has not yet been served in any nation.

If any of these things happen, the Home Office may not be able to handle the application within 30 working days.

You might be interested to know that a priority spouse visa application will usually be handled within 30 days if the applicant has only been turned down for a UK visitor visa before.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: How Can I Stay Informed About the Status of My Application from the Home Office?

Ans. The Home Office usually communicates with people through email or its online system. They will use the email address you gave them when you hired them. If there is a lot of information to share, they may also contact you by postcard or phone.

Q2: My visa will expire if the Home Office takes too long to decide. Could this be a problem?

Ans. You can usually stay in the UK until the Home Office decides if you apply to extend or change your visa before it ends. This is true even if your current visa expires during this time. “Section 3C Leave” is the name for this. But you should ask for an extension or a change of visa as soon as possible, not when your visa is almost up.

Q3: Can my processing time be longer than the average?

Ans. Yes, the time it takes to finish your visa application may be longer than usual. This could happen for several reasons, such as if all the necessary documents have been given or if your case is very complicated. You can check on the progress of your application online or call the Home Office to find out what’s going on.

Q4: How do you figure out how long it takes to process a UK Partner Visa?

Ans. The time it takes to get a UK Partner visa is measured in working days. This period typically starts from the day you submit your application and fingerprints to the Home Office. It continues until they decide on your case.

It is important to remember that bank holidays, weekends, and state holidays are not workdays.

Q5: What Happens If My Application For A Spouse Visa Is Turned Down?

Ans. If your application for a Spouse Visa is turned down, you can review the decision if you think something went wrong or if you have more proof to back up your case. When this happens, it’s best to get legal help from a company like UK Immigration Solicitors.

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