The UK Spouse visa category is for partners of British citizens, persons with indefinite leave to remain in the UK or limited leave to remain under Appendix EU or Appendix ECAA, who wish to join, or stay with, their husband or wife in the UK. You can also apply for a UK Spouse visa if your Spouse is outside the UK, but intending to return to the UK with you.

Requirements for a UK Spouse visa application

In order to qualify for a UK Spouse visa you will need to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration that you meet the following requirements:

  • Your partner is British, holds indefinite leave to remain, limited leave to remain under Appendix EU or limited leave to remain under Appendix ECAA;
  • You are both over the age of 18;
  • You have met in person and are legally married;
  • Your relationship is genuine and you intend to live together permanently;
  • Any previous relationships have broken down permanently;
  • You will be adequately maintained in the UK without recourse to public funds;
  • There is adequate accommodation for you and any dependents;
  • You speak and understand English to the required level.

The exact requirements you will need to satisfy will vary depending on your circumstances.  You may want to speak to an immigration lawyer for expert advice.

To discuss your UK Spouse visa application with one of our immigration barristers, contact our UK Spouse visa lawyers on 07810 447971 or complete our enquiry form below.

Financial requirements for a UK Spouse visa

In order to demonstrate that you can be adequately maintained in the UK without recourse to public funds, you will need to satisfy a financial requirement.

The financial requirement for a UK Spouse visa application states that you will need to demonstrate that your Spouse (or both of you jointly if you are in the UK with valid leave to remain) has a gross annual income of at least:

  • £18,600; plus
  • £3,800 for a first child (who is not British, settled or an EEA national); plus
  • £2,400 for each additional child (who is not British, settled or an EEA national).

Satisfying the financial requirement

You can meet the UK Spouse visa financial requirement through salaried and non-salaried income, self-employed income, salary and/or dividends from a company of which you are a Director, property rental income, dividends, and income from investments, stocks, shares, bonds, or trust funds, pension income, insurance payments, maintenance payments and cash savings above £16,000 that have been held for at least six months unless you can demonstrate that they have come from the sale of property or investments within the last 6 months.

In some circumstances, it is possible to rely on a combination of the above sources of income to satisfy the financial requirement.

Different considerations will apply if your Spouse is in receipt of certain benefits.

UK Partner visa processing times 

UK Visa & Immigration aims to process 95% of UK Partner visa applications within 12 weeks.

If you require a faster visa processing timeline, most visa application centres outside the UK offer a Settlement Priority Visa Service. This will ensure that your UK Spouse visa application is placed at the front of the queue at every stage of the decision-making process. The visa processing time for a UK Spouse visa submitted via the Settlement Priority Visa Service is normally not more than 30 working days.  A well-prepared visa application may result in a quicker processing time.

If you apply to switch into or extend your stay as a Spouse from within the UK, you will be able to choose from two processing timelines. If you apply via the Standard Service, your in-country application will normally be decided within 8 weeks. If you apply via the Super Priority Service, you should normally receive a decision on the next working day after providing your biometric information.

UK Spouse visa application fee

The Home Office application fee for a UK Spouse visa application submitted outside the UK is currently £1,523.  The Home Office application fee to switch into the Spouse category from within the UK or extend your stay as a Spouse is currently £1,033.

UK Partner visa validity period

If your application for a UK Partner visa is successful, your visa will be valid for 33 months initially. If you apply for leave to remain in the UK as a Spouse then you will be granted leave valid for 30 months.

Before your initial grant of leave expires, you will need to apply to UK Visas and Immigration to extend your stay.  If your application for further leave to remain as a Spouse is successful then you will be granted further leave to remain for a period of 30 months.

After spending 5 years in the UK as the Spouse of a British citizen or settled person, you will be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain.

Can a Spouse visa holder work in the UK?

Spouse visa holders have a full right to work and study in the UK.

Unable to satisfy the requirements for a UK Spouse visa?

If you are not able to satisfy certain of the requirements for a UK Spouse visa, you may still be able to apply to join or remain with your partner on Human Rights grounds if you can demonstrate that there would be very significant difficulties in your relationship continuing outside the UK.

UK Spouse visa application: How our immigration barristers can help

Our immigration barristers regularly assist foreign national Spouses to relocate to, and settle in, the UK with their British citizens or settled partners.  We have assisted hundreds of foreign national spouses to prepare and submit successful UK Spouse visa applications.

Whether you require expert advice on the requirements of the Immigration Rules, an independent assessment of your prospects of qualifying for a visa or professional assistance with preparing an immigration application, our immigration barristers can help.

The financial requirement rules are particularly complex and include mandatory requirements in terms of the documentary evidence that must be provided to UK Visas and Immigration in order to demonstrate access to the relevant funds. Our immigration barristers specialise in assisting applicants with complicated financial circumstances to secure successful outcomes in their Spouse visa applications.

We pride ourselves on being approachable and proactive in understanding and meeting our clients’ needs. We are a highly driven team of immigration barristers, dedicated to providing clear and reliable immigration advice to family members as part of a professional and friendly service.