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What is a UK spouse visa?

A UK Spouse visa - a family type visa known as a UK partner visa is permission to stay, allowing you to live in the UK for up to 33 months.

You can extend it for the next 30 months if you meet specific eligibility requirements. Holding a partner visa is the step toward settlement or indefinite leave to remain (ILR) and, finally, British citizenship.

To apply and enter the UK, you must be married to or have a civil partnership with:

The most important eligibility criteria

This visa type differs from the UK Fiancé (Fiancée) or Marriage Visitor visa, allowing you to enter the UK only to enter a marriage or a civil partnership, whether your partner is a UK citizen.

UK Spouse Visa: eligibility

Home Office issue a UK spouse visa for a non-UK resident who is over 18 and is engaged, married or has a prospective citizen partner over 18 who resides in the UK.

Eligibility criteria vary depending on partner status.

If you hold a spouse visa in the UK, you have the same right to work as any UK citizen.

However, you cannot claim most benefits, including public funds, housing benefits, and tax credits.

Spouse Visa: general

Apply for a UK spouse visa if you are over 18 year and

Spouse Visa: requirements

Applying for a UK Spouse Visa, you need to take and provide:

Genuine Relationship Test

The UK Spouse Visa applicant must prove they are in a genuine relationship with their British citizen partner. Provide the following confirmation:

Financial requirements

The income of Sponsor, a UK partner, should satisfy the certain requirements

Exceptional circumstances may exist. It is when not enough money from all listed income sources suits the mandatory financial requirements. In this case, contact an immigration lawyer.

Spouse Visa: documents

Basic list of proper documents for UK spouse visa applications to be successful and avoid delays:

Non-English documents should be accompanied by translated versions by a professional translator.

All supporting documents must be in the exact format required by the Home Office.

Financial Spouse Visa criteria

To meet the minimum income requirements for a UK spouse visa application, you can use eligible income:

Use a combination of savings and income to meet the minimum income limit. However, you must prove that you have sufficient financial support for the entire duration of your visa.

To find out how much you need to save:

  • a. from the minimum requirement £18,600 (or more with dependants) subtract all eligible income
  • b. then multiply that number by 2.5
  • c. add £16,000

Spouse Visa and benefits

You may not need to meet the financial requirements and criteria if a Sponsor using any of the following:

However, applicants must prove that they have sufficient funds to support dependents. It is called "reasonable maintenance", and the exact amount needed depends on individual circumstances.

Usually, a family will need at least £120 a week after paying for their accommodation. This amount increases if they have children.

English Language

Applicants wishing to live in the UK with a British spouse must be able to speak English. If you pass a test, it should be valid for two years.

Level A1 and A2 (extension). Credentials are only valid if tested by an accredited Secure English Language Testing (SELT) provider. SELT tests for immigration purposes are available only through Trinity College London or the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) consortium.

An English language test is not required if a person:

  • Is a national of English-speaking country;
  • Under 18 or over 65;
  • With long-term physical or mental conditions;
  • Have a degree or educational institution that teaches or conducts research in English. Your eligibility is only valid when confirmed by UK NARIC.

Proof of Accommodation

The UK Sponsor must demonstrate they can provide adequate accommodation that meets UK living standards for the applicant and any dependents. As a proof, the following is required:

A property should have enough rooms to accommodate spouse and all dependents to be eligible. Take into account:

  • Each person needs their room;
  • Couples can share the same bedroom;
  • You can count the living room when you count the bedroom;
  • Children under one do not require their space;
  • Count children aged 1-9 as half servings;
  • Consider children aged ten and over as adults;
  • Children of the opposite sex over the age of 10 cannot share a room

Apply for a spouse visa

Note that some conditions and documents must be completed with sufficient supporting evidence to increase chances of getting a visa.

When the Home Office reviews the application, they can invite an applicant for a spouse visa interview. During the interview, an officer will ask questions to ascertain the authenticity of the relationship and intentions in the UK.

UK Spouse Visa: fees

The Home Office fees

Consider additional costs, approximately

The Home Office fees increase if an applicant applies with dependants and increases for each dependant

Spouse Visa application

If accepted

A visa (permit) to enter the UK within 30 days will be issued. A holder can get a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) within ten days of arriving in the UK.

If a holder does not enter the UK within this period, they can apply for an additional 30 days entry permit. Additional charges will apply.

If rejected

An applicant may appeal the Home Office's decision. A qualified immigration adviser best assists this complicated process.

Extension

Options to extend a stay in the UK:

Processing time

Between 2 and 12 weeks is the usual time for UK spouse visa application processing depending on the documents provided and the country of the application.

Appeal Procedure

If you wish to file a spouse visa appeal, you must act quickly and follow the steps

An appeal process can be relatively long. Applicants may wait up to 12 months or more for a decision to appeal a spouse visa denial.

We recommend to consider authorised immigration advice services from professionals

Reasons for visa application refusal are:

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