Your Ultimate Guide to Securing a Spouse Visa UK 

Happy couple smiling, representing success in obtaining a Spouse Visa.

What is the Spouse Visa UK?

Do you know what a UK Visa Spouse Visa is? A Spouse Visa UK is also known as a marital visa UK that allows you to live with your partner in a well-established country UK. The time for a UK Spouse Visa is up to 30 months and comes under the Family visa category.

If you fulfil specific eligibility requirements, it may be extended for an additional 30 months. In order to gain British citizenship, Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), and other benefits, a Partner Visa is required.

You have to be in a civil partnership or married to a British citizen, UK permanent resident, or UK refugee to apply for a UK Spouse Visa and visit the country. The basic eligibility requirement for getting a Spouse Visa UK is to prove that you are in a genuine relationship and fulfil certain financial requirements.

For non-UK citizens who are over the age of 18 and engaged to, married to, and have a prospective civil partner who is above 18, a UK Spouse Visa is available. The UK Partner visa is one kind of settlement visa.

Who can apply for a Spouse Visa UK?

To be eligible for a Spouse Visa in the UK, you should meet these requirements:

  • Both are older than 18.
  • You should be legally married or in a UK-recognised civil partnership.
  • Furthermore, your spouse needs to be in a protected status (that is, be a person with humanitarian protection, have permission to live as a refugee, or have leave to remain a refugee).
  • End all previous relationships.
  • You have to prove that you have been living together for the last two years in a relationship.
  • You hold a Fiancé Visa UK and plan to marry within six months of arriving in the UK.

As long as they are eligible, British nationals can submit the leave to remain papers on behalf of their partners. For the applicant’s details, you have to include their name and details.

What are the main requirements for Spouse Visa?

The following are the primary requirements for a Spousal Visa UK:

  • You must have all the documents required to process your visa.
  •  Should have a strong command of the English language.
  • You have to qualify for the ‘General Relationship Test’.
  • Ensure that you, your spouse, and any dependents have suitable accommodations.
  • Fulfill the financial requirements and the minimal income threshold.
  • Take your biometrics to obtain leave to remain.
  • Depending on the applicant’s place of residency, you have to pass a medical test that proves you’re TB-free to stay in the UK.

What is a genuine relationship test?

A genuine relationship is one in which formalities don’t matter and the relationship is sincere. To get a Spouse Visa UK you have to pass this test.

Smiling couple enjoying a genuine moment together
Genuine Relationship Test

To qualify for this test, you have to send multiple shreds of evidence to the Home Office including

  • A combined mortgage or rental contract, whether inside the country or outside.
  • Evidence of any child you may have together, like a birth certificate. 
  • Pictures showing how often you have spent time with each other.
  • Savings or a joint bank account.
  • Chat logs from social media or messages.
  • Travel records prove the two of you had at least one visit before getting married.
  • Documents proving your intention to live together in the UK.

What are the financial requirements for a UK Spouse Visa?

You have to first prove that you and your wife/husband/partner are financially capable of supporting yourselves without the need for public assistance. The UK spouse must make at least £18,600 before taxes if they don’t have any children who rely on them.

Stack of British pound notes symbolizing financial requirements for spouse visa
Calculating the pounds needed for spouse visa application

If you have a child who depends on you, you will need an extra £3,800 before taxes in order to meet the requirements. For each extra kid, the sponsor will need an extra £2,400.

Read about Spouse Visa financial requirements and how to fulfil them in detail.

What are the documents required for a Spouse Visa?

Ensure you have all the necessary papers to increase the chances of getting your UK Spouse Visa application successful and to avoid delays. Moreover, to get approval to stay in the UK, you must submit the following documents to the Home Office:

  • The original certificate that proves you are married or in a civil relationship.
  • You and your partner need to provide evidence showing that you have lived together for at least two years.
  • An authentic passport is necessary to obtain permission to stay in the UK.
  • A valid English language certificate.
  • Accommodation proof.
  • Evidence that the relationship is real.
  • Show proof that you meet the income standards and the threshold.
  • You need to prove that you are married to a British national or someone who lives in the UK. For example, UK citizens can show a copy of their passport.

Woman holding a stack of documents for spouse visa application
Gathering necessary paperwork for a successful spouse visa application

Please remember to provide a properly translated copy for any documents not written in English. Also, ensure that all proof is in the precise format specified by the Home Office.

Which forms of income count towards meeting the financial requirements for a Spouse Visa?

To fulfil the minimum income prerequisite for your application for a UK Spouse Visa, you may use:

  • More than £16,000 saved
  • Income from a job or by doing business for yourself
  • Pay for adoption, maternity, paternity, or illness
  • Pensions
  • Additional revenue from sources like shares or rent

The applicant’s spouse may contribute to the overall income amount (but not their earnings) if they are applying from outside the United Kingdom using their savings. However, if your partner works in the UK, their income might be included.

Additionally, you can use your earnings and savings to assist you in reaching the minimal income required. But, you will have to demonstrate that you can sustain yourself financially for the duration of the permit.

You can calculate your necessary savings amount by subtracting your minimum need from any other income that qualifies. Then, multiply this number by 2.5 and add 16,000 to it.

Can I use benefit income in my case?

There are situations in which you won’t have to fulfill the requirements for eligibility, as when you’re claiming any of these benefits:

  • Disability Living Benefit
  • Benefits for Severe Disablement
  • Benefits for Industrial Injuries Disability
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Carer’s Benefit
  • Payment for Personal Independence
  • Guaranteed Income or the Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • Reimbursement under the Military Compensation Scheme
  • Continuous Attendance Benefit, Supplementary Mobility Allowance, or War
  • Pension for Disablement under the War Pensions Program
  • Pension for Police Injuries

However, you have to show that you are financially able to maintain your dependents. This is referred to as “adequate maintenance,” and how much you require will depend on your particular circumstances. You would usually require a minimum of £120 per week to cover your housing costs. This sum will rise if you have a child or children.

English Language Test for Spouse Visa

Those who want to reside in the UK must demonstrate their English language proficiency. When you pass an English Language Test, it is valid for two years.

Woman taking an English language test for spouse visa
Demonstrating proficiency in English language for spouse visa application

To gain permission to stay in the UK with your UK spouse, you need to pass a listening and speaking English test. Your certification will be legitimate only if you pass your English exam through an accredited Secure English Language Testing (SELT) Provider.

An English language test is not necessary if you:

  • Are you a native of an English-speaking country?
  • Have a chronic illness, either mental or physical
  • Are younger than 18 or older than 65 

Possess a degree, or be enrolled in any type of school where English was used for research or instruction. Only UK NARIC’s confirmation will make your qualification official.

How do I meet the accommodation requirements for the UK Spouse Visa? 

You must submit documentation of housing that satisfies UK living standards with your application for a UK spouse visa. As your sponsor, your spouse who is a UK native must show that they can support the application, themselves, and any dependents who plan to reside in the UK.

The following documents will be asked for by the Home Office as proof of accommodations:

  • A description of the land where you and your partner want to live.
  • Proof that the block has enough rooms for everyone 
  • Proof that you have enough money to pay for your family’s home
A cozy house symbolizing accommodation requirement for spouse visa
Accommodation Requirement for Spouse Visa

For you to be eligible, your home must have enough rooms for the couple and any children or other relatives. But each person requires their own room:

  • Couples may share one bedroom.
  • It is possible to include living rooms when calculating the number of bedrooms.
  • Children under one do not require a separate room.
  • Kids from 1 to 9 years old are equal to half a person.
  • Children who turn ten years old or older are considered adults.
  • The opposite sex’s children are unable to share a room if they are ten years of age or older.

How to apply for a Spouse Visa UK?

Make sure you apply for a spouse visa well in advance of the day you intend to move to the UK and wait to schedule your journey or purchase a ticket until after the Home Office issues your visa.

Applying for a UK spouse visa online requires completing Appendix FM and additional paperwork when residing outside of the country. However, as part of the procedure, you might have to go to a visa application centre to provide your biometrics.

To increase your chances of obtaining a UK Spouse or Partner visa, ensure that you correctly fill out all required papers and documentation with sufficient proof.

The application procedure is different if you are applying from within the United Kingdom since you will have to provide evidence that you are in the country on a valid visa to convert to a UK spouse visa.

If the Home Office has any concerns after reviewing your application, they may ask you to attend an interview for a spouse visa. During the interview, they might ask you questions to assess the seriousness of your relationship and your plans to live in the UK.

What is the Spouse Visa application fee?

Currently, the Home Office charges £1,538 for any overseas application for a spouse visa. If you apply from within the UK, the fee is lowered to £1,048. If you apply with dependents, this fee will be increased for each dependent.

You can only apply from within the UK if you are not attempting to enter the country as a guest or if you have been granted leave to stay for longer than 6 months. It’s also not possible to apply for a fiancé (e) or planned civil partner visa from inside the UK.

When you submit your documents, keep in mind that your UK Spouse Visa application may come with additional expenses. This comprises

  • Professional translation services for your non-Welsh or English papers
  • A valid English language test is a prerequisite that most applicants must meet.
  • There are extra costs for the Home Office’s Priority Premium Service if you want a response from UKVI in less than five business days.
  • Immigration-related health premium

What should I do if my application for a UK Spouse Visa is accepted?

Upon acceptance of your UK Spouse Visa application, you will be granted “leave to remain” in the UK. As a result, you have 30 days to enter the UK. You can obtain a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) within ten days of arriving in the UK.

You may apply for a new 30-day entry permit if you miss the entry date, however, there will be an extra charge for this service.

What if my application is denied?

If your Spouse Visa application is rejected, you have the option to appeal the decision made by the Home Office. It is highly recommended to obtain guidance from an immigration adviser due to the known complexity and length of the appeal procedure.

Can a UK Spouse Visa be extended or renewed?

If your current permission to stay is still valid, you can choose to renew or extend your UK Spouse Visa for another 2.5 years. You can apply for settled status, also referred to as Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), if you have been a resident of the UK for a total of five years under the terms of your marriage visa.

What is the processing time for a Partner Visa?

The processing time for a marital visa UK application typically ranges from 2 to 12 weeks. However, the exact duration may vary depending on the completeness of your documentation and the country from which you apply.

Spouse Visa Appeal Process

If you find yourself in a situation where you need to submit a Spouse Visa appeal, it’s essential to act promptly and follow these steps:

On-time Submission:

You have to appeal to the Immigration Asylum Chamber within 14 days if you applied in the UK and within 28 days if you are outside of the UK after getting the decision that you were not granted asylum.

Grounds for Appeal:

Ensure that the grounds for your appeal are legitimate and likely to be accepted by the Immigration Tribunal.

Strong preparation for the application:

Carefully prepare your case so that you can send the Immigration Tribunal the best application possible. In this case, you may need to gather proof to demonstrate why the authorities should accept your application.

Tribunal Hearing: Attend your hearing at the Tribunal if it is relevant to your appeal.

How much time does it take to appeal for a spouse visa?

Regrettably, the Spouse Visa appeal process can be quite lengthy. Some applicants may have to wait up to a year or even longer before they hear back about their appeal against a Spouse Visa rejection.

Common reasons for Spouse Visa refusal include:

  • Not having enough money or proficiency in the language.
  • Failing to provide the appropriate additional documents.
  • Not being able to show that the marriage is real and lasting.
  • Any application that is missing information or isn’t complete.

The most effective way to avoid going through the Spouse Visa appeal process is by ensuring that your initial application is as accurate and complete as possible, addressing all the requirements and documentation.

Final Thoughts

UK Immigration Solicitors provides valuable assistance to individuals navigating the intricacies of UK Spouse Visa applications. Moreover, we recognise the complexity of these applications and the importance of reuniting with loved ones.

Our priority is to enhance your prospects of achieving this goal. We are dedicated immigration advisers who offer comprehensive support throughout the Partner Visa application process.

If you want a UK Spouse Visa, get in touch with us online or call us today at 0203 483 4389 for expert advice and help, with no obligation. We are here to support you through the UK Spouse Visa process.


We have compiled a list of faqs that people mostly ask about Spouse Visa UK.

Q1: What are the basic requirements for a Spouse Visa UK?

There are similarities in the qualifying standards for UK partner visas, such as the fiancée, spouse, and unmarried partner visas.

The requirements for a UK Spouse Visa include:

  • A minimum income of £18,600.
  • Proof of English language skills.
  • Also, evidence of suitable housing.

Passing the “genuine relationship test,” often involved being in a civil partnership. Keep in mind that certain conditions can change depending on your spouse’s circumstances or whether you’re applying on behalf of dependent children.

Q2: Can I apply for a UK Spouse visa?

Regardless of where you now reside or are in the UK, you and your spouse can apply for a UK Spouse Visa if you both align with the strict requirements for living in the UK. Moreover, gathering substantial evidence about your relationship is crucial to demonstrate eligibility. 

Q3: What will happen if my Spouse Visa application is denied?    

In most cases, you can file an appeal if your spouse’s visa application is denied and you believe the decision was unfair. If you think the decision was unfair, you usually have the right to appeal. Moreover, your right to file an appeal will be stated in your letter of refusal.

When you first apply, you have the option to provide fresh proof of your eligibility. If you are already in the UK, you must move quickly to file an appeal or obtain a new visa in order to avoid problems arising from exceeding your allowed stay in the country.

Q4: Can I still get a Spouse Visa even though I don’t have enough money?

Since August 10, 2017, other forms of funding, such as self-sufficiency, self-employment, or ongoing family support, must be taken into account when making decisions about Spouse Visa applications.

Moreover, these changes offer hope for those who have delayed applying or had their marriage visas denied in the past.

Q5: Can a Spouse Visa allow me to settle in the UK?

You may want to apply for an Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) to permanently change your status after you and your spouse or partner move to the UK. Despite being governed by immigration laws, ILR enables you to settle in the UK. In general, if you continue to meet the requirements, you can apply for ILR five years later. In addition, a 10-year path to ILR exists, with somewhat softer requirements for the income threshold.

Q6: Can I switch to a Spouse Visa UK?

You are eligible to apply for a Marriage Visa instead of a different immigration category if you have already joined your partner in the UK.

However, if you are a visitor in the UK with a visa issued for a period shorter than six months (except for fiancées or those with proposed civil partner permits), or if you violate any immigration laws, you cannot switch.

Q7: What happens if my relationship ends?

Notifying the Home Office right away of your decision to separate or divorce your partner will have an impact on your ability to apply for visas in the future.

The Home Office may grant a curtailment of your spouse’s visa, giving you time to reapply using a different path to remain in the UK or to depart. In these situations, quick action is crucial.

Q8: Is it possible to incorporate my partner’s income into the required amount?  

No, unless your spouse currently lives in the UK and is authorized to work there, their income cannot be included in the required amount. In these situations, household income may serve as the basis for the financial requirement.

Q9: What level of English language proficiency do I need for my UK Spouse Visa?

You must pass an English language test administered by an authorized provider if you are from a non-EU (or Switzerland) country where English is not the primary language of communication. Moreover, English-language degrees or certificates from recognised providers usually meet the language requirement.

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