Spouse Visa

    A UK spouse visa is a legal document which allows non-UK individuals to immigrate to the UK because they are married to somebody who is settled in the UK. This partner must be a British citizen, or resident in the UK, with no immigration restrictions on how long they can stay in the UK.

    You make the application online to the Home Office using their online form.

    You will usually hear back with a decision within 12 weeks.

    For more information about spouse visas, click here to read our blog articles on:

    What kind of partner qualifies for a UK spouse visa?

    • A husband or wife (in a marriage that is recognised in the UK)
    • A civil partner (in a civil partnership that is recognised in the UK)
    • A fiancé or proposed civil partner
    • An unmarried partner

    How long can someone stay in the UK on a spouse visa?

    If you successfully apply to bring your spouse to the UK on a spouse visa, then your spouse will be able to stay up to 2 years and 9 months in the UK. They can also apply to extend their stay in the UK.

    What are the requirements for applying for a spouse visa?

    If you and your partner are applying for a spouse visa, there are certain conditions you will have to meet.

    You and your partner must be 18 or over. You should both also intend to live together permanently in the UK after you apply for a spouse visa.

    Also, your partner must be either:

    • A British or Irish citizen
    • Have settled in the UK
    • Be from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, or Liechtenstein and have pre-settled status – they must have started living in the UK before 1 January 2021
    • Have a Turkish Businessperson visa or Turkish worker visa
    • Have refugee status or humanitarian protection in the UK

    Do my partner and I have to prove we are in a relationship in order to apply for a spouse visa?

    Yes, there are certain conditions that you and your partner have to meet, in order to make your spouse visa application.

    Here are the requirements you and your spouse must meet:

    • You must be in a genuine relationship and you must have lived together for at least 2 years. You can prove this by submitting your marriage certificate, or a joint bank account statement that shows you live at the same address.
    • You and your partner must not be related (e.g. a half-brother or sister).
    • You and your partner must have met in person- an online relationship would not suffice.
    • If you and your spouse are married, you must have been at least 18 years old (in England and Wales) or 16 years old in Scotland and Northern Ireland on the date you were married.
    • Any previous relationships that you and your partner were in, must have permanently ended. If you or your partner has been previously married, you will have to provide proof that this marriage has ended (e.g. by submitting divorce papers).

    What are the financial requirements for bringing my spouse to the UK on a spouse visa?

    Both you and your partner must be able to demonstrate that you can financially support yourselves in the UK, without relying on public funds (benefits).

    Your spouse must prove they have an annual income of at least £18,600, plus extra money if you have children who are not permanently settled in the UK.

    You will have to prove that you have £3,800 for your first child, and £2,400 a year for each child you have after your first child.

    To submit this financial evidence, you must provide proof of your income with your application. This could be bank statements showing your or your partner’s income, 6 months of payslips, or a letter from an employer, dated and on headed paper.

    Read more guidance here on financial requirements for a spouse visa.

    happy couple

    What supporting documents do my partner and I have to provide with our spouse visa application?

    You and your partner must submit the following supporting documents along with your spouse visa application:

    • Your names
    • Your dates of birth
    • your current passport or other valid travel ID
    • Copies of the photo page and any visa or entry stamps in your previous passports
    • A copy of your biometric residence permit, if you have one
    • Details of any previous immigration applications you’ve made
    • Details of any criminal convictions
    • Your national insurance number, if you have one
    • Your parents’ date of birth and nationality if you are applying from outside the UK
    • Your tuberculosis test results (if applicable)
    • A certified translation of any document that is not in English or Welsh

    You will also need:

    How much does a spouse visa cost?

    If you are applying from outside of the UK, it costs £1,538 to apply for a spouse visa.

    If you are applying from within the UK, it costs £1,048 to apply for a spouse visa.

    You may also need to pay a healthcare surcharge as part of your application.

    Your application form will tell you what your fees are.

    You may be able to pay to get a faster decision on your spouse visa application.

    How to extend a spouse visa

    Remember that the spouse visa allows your spouse to stay up to 2 years and 9 months in the UK.

    After your spouse visa expires, you can apply to extend it by 2 years and 6 months.

    You should apply to extend your visa in the 28 days before it ends.

    To extend your spouse visa, you must apply online by filling out the form FLR (M).

    To extend your spouse’s stay in the UK, you must qualify for the following conditions:

    Your spouse must be:

    • a British citizen
    • or someone who is settled In the UK with either indefinite leave to remain in the UK
    • person with pre-settled status under the EUSS in the UK
    • person who has refugee leave or humanitarian protection in the UK
    • person who has leave as a Turkish ECAA worker or business person in the UK
    person signing document with engagement rings placed on the document

    Can a spouse visa application be rejected?

    It is possible for your spouse visa application to be rejected. Your rejection letter will outline the reason(s) for rejection and tell you your next steps.

    If your spouse visa application has been rejected, you can:

    • Appeal the decision
    • Make a new visa application

    If you make a new application, you will have to pay the full application fee again.

    If you decide to appeal, you will need to appeal within 14 days if you are in the UK, or 28 days if you are outside the UK.

    Read the UK guidance on appealing decisions for applicants inside the UK and outside the UK here.

    What if my spouse visa expires and I haven’t applied to extend it?

    If you have brought your spouse to the UK on a spouse visa, and you have failed to extend it, then it is no longer legal for your spouse to stay in the UK.

    Your spouse will be in breach of UK immigration laws, which means they will be classed as an overstayer. They will have 30 days to leave the country voluntarily.

    If they don’t leave in this time, they could be deported and this may be held against them on future visa applications.

    Can I bring my children with me to the UK on a spouse visa?

    Yes, you can apply to bring your children with you to the UK when you apply for a spouse visa.

    This is called bringing children with you as your ‘dependants’. If the dependant is over 18, they must not be living an independent life (e.g. if they have left home, got married, or had children.)

    For each child you apply for, there is a fee.

    You and your partner must prove that you have the financial means to care for the children if you are applying for them to come to the UK on your spouse visa.

    If a child is not the biological child of the applicant, (e.g. they are the step-child), then the applicant must prove that they have a responsibility towards that child’s upbringing.

    Click here to read more guidance on bringing children as dependents to the UK on a spouse visa.

    Will my spouse automatically gain British citizenship if I bring him/her to the UK on a spouse visa?

    No, a spouse visa does not automatically grant British citizenship to someone who marries a British national.

    If you are married to a UK national (or in a civil partnership with them), then you can apply for British Citizenship by Marriage.

    You must have lived in the UK for at least 3 years before the date of your application.

    To find out more about British citizenship, click here to read our blog article on ‘Can you gain British citizenship?’

    Where can I get help on my spouse visa application?

    The immigration professionals at Synergy Immigration Solutions understand the complexity of the UK’s immigration laws and the issues that can arise during the application process.

    That is why we house all the support services you need for immigration applications, under one roof. This means one cost only, for complete support on your visa application.

    We enjoy working with individuals who need assistance with their visa applications.

    • We will liaise with the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) on your behalf- saving you time, effort, workload, and stress.
    • We will answer your questions and address any concerns. We are proud to offer a bespoke personalised service, tailoring our advice to suit your needs and ensure that your application has the best chance of success.
    • We process all applications in an efficient and timely manner and keep our clients well-informed throughout the process.

    It is vital that the correct documentation is in place to ensure the application is approved.

    We would always recommend that you appoint a specialist such as Synergy Immigration Solutions to manage this process for you.

    Click here to contact Synergy Immigration Solutions and submit your query.

    Alternatively, email info@synergy-immigration.com or call 020 315 05359. We will get back to you within 24 hours and we are more than happy to help.

    FAQs

    There are rules in place which you must follow, if you have separated or divorced from your partner and your visa is based on your relationship.

    You must notify the Home Office that your circumstances have changed because your marriage or relationship has permanently ended.

    Once you have notified the Home Office of your separation, your visa will be curtailed. You will no longer be eligible to live in the UK.

    You will usually have a curtailment period of 60 days to sort out your next steps. There can be exceptions to this 60-day curtailment, however.

    You must either apply to stay in the UK or leave the UK.

    You must send an email to the Home Office to inform them that the relationship has ended.

    The email must include both you and your ex-partner’s:

    • name
    • date of birth
    • address
    • passport number
    • Home Office reference number (which you will find on letters sent from the Home Office)

    If you or your ex-partner have children in the UK, you must also include:

    • their names and dates of birth.
    • names of their parents or guardians, and whom they live with.
    • how much time do they spend with you or your ex-partner?
    • how much child maintenance or financial help you give each other
    • details of any family court cases you are involved in.

    You will need to print, sign, and attach one of these forms to your email to the Home Office:

    • public statement if you do not want the Home Office to tell your ex-partner any details from your email
    • consent form if you are happy for the Home Office to tell your ex-partner the details from your email

    You should attach a scan of the signed form to your email.

    Both forms give the Home Office permission to contact your ex-partner at the address you give.

    Send your email to the following email address: RelationshipBreakdown@homeoffice.gov.uk, with the subject line ‘MARRIAGE BREAKDOWN’.

    If you do not have access to email, you can post a letter with your signed form to:

    UK Visas and Immigration
    MARRIAGE BREAKDOWN
    Status Review Unit
    7th Floor
    The Capital
    New Hall Place
    Liverpool
    L3 9PP

    You can apply to stay in the UK after separating from or divorcing your partner.

    You must make the application as soon as possible after your relationship has ended. Do not wait until your current visa expires to apply.

    How to apply to stay in the UK

    You may be able to apply for a new visa, such as:

    Alternatively, you may be able to apply to settle in the UK. This is known as ‘Indefinite Leave to Remain’. This means that you can live, work, study or claim benefits in the UK without time restrictions. You can use it to become a British citizen if you are eligible.

    You may be able to settle in the UK:

    If your visa expires, and you haven’t applied to stay in the UK or left the UK, then you will be classed as an overstayer, who is in the UK illegally.

    You will have 30 days to leave the country from the date it expired, or you may be deported. This can affect you if you wish to re-enter the UK at a later date.

    Click here to read guidance from Citizens Advice on:

    You can apply for a Skilled Worker Visa, but you must have a job offer, and meet the eligibility requirements.

    If you already have a job, you may be able to ask your employer to sponsor your visa- they would need a valid Sponsorship Licence to do so.

    Both you & your partner must be able to demonstrate that you can financially support yourselves in the UK, without relying on public funds (benefits).

    You must prove that your spouse has an annual income of at least £18,600, plus extra money if you have children who are not permanently settled in the UK.

    You will have to prove that you have £3,800 for your first child, and £2,400 a year for each child you have after your first child.

    To submit this financial evidence, you must provide proof of your income with your application- this could be bank statements showing your or your partner’s income, 6 months of payslips, or a letter from an employer, dated and on headed paper.

    Read more guidance here on financial requirements for a spouse visa.

    If you bring your partner to the UK on a spouse visa, see below on the benefits:

    • Your partner will be able to reside in the UK for up to 2 years and 9 months in the UK.
    • Your partner can apply to extend their spouse visa and stay for another 2.5 years.
    • If they work, your partner may be entitled to statutory sick pay, maternity allowance, and statutory maternity sick pay.
    • Your partner will have access to the NHS because they will have paid the healthcare surcharge as part of your spouse visa application.
    • Your partner will be able to travel overseas from the UK, but they will have to live continuously with you.
    • You cannot claim public funds (benefits) such as housing benefits, Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Disability Living Allowance and Carer’s Allowance.
    • You cannot break immigration laws.
    • If you come to the UK on a spouse visa and you give birth to a child on UK soil, this does not mean that your child is automatically a British citizen- check out our blog post to find out more about what qualifies you for British citizenship.

    You can only claim Child Benefit if you have:

    • British citizenship and can prove you are ‘habitually resident’
    • pre-settled status from the EU Settlement Scheme and another right to reside
    • indefinite leave to remain or settled status from the EU Settlement Scheme

    You cannot claim Child Benefit if you are subject to immigration control unless you are:

    • a sponsored immigrant – someone else has agreed to be financially responsible for you
    • from Albania, Morocco, San Marino, Tunisia or Turkey and working in the UK
    • from a country that has an agreement with the UK for Child Benefit

    If you quickly search the subject, you may be a bit overwhelmed by the various options available. The process is, however, simple once you are armed with the correct information. In fact, more than 134,000 people were approved for visas in 2021, meaning they had successfully passed some form of English examination.

    Whilst there are lots of different test options around, only the following options are legally recognised when it comes to making your application. This is because the content included is best matched to the everyday tasks and life that people living within the UK will need to carry out. Anything from making a phone call to the bank to making conversation in a shop is included to ensure that only those who have a genuine grasp of the language can stay in the UK. This also means that even if you have a spouse here already, your stay is not guaranteed.

    You must have completed an A1 level English exam for your initial application. This is the most basic level of English testing and ensures that users understand the English language. This test ensures that the student can speak, write, and understand everyday phrases, introduce themselves and take part in everyday conversations in a way that all can understand. In other words, the level of English should be good enough to participate in all activities as part of the local and broader community. 

    To extend your Spouse Visa, an additional A2 English text is required. The A2 examination is a more in-depth test which requires a deeper understanding and use of the English language to be displayed. This includes being able to take part in longer conversations and take part in more activities in which more complex language is required. Otherwise known as the GESE Grade 3 examthe test itself consists of a 7-minute speaking and listening exam. This will be based on a range of topics but don’t worry, as we can help prepare you for all eventualities. 

    Once you have taken your A2 test, results will be available the following day, and the certificate will be received within a week. However, it would help if you left some additional time, as this will ensure you have all the information needed when you submit your visa application with us.

    To take the A2 test, you must provide proof that you are currently in the UK on a Spouse Visa and that you are eligible to apply for an extension to that status. You will also need to have an A1 English-level qualification and be able to provide proof of this.

    Yes, unfortunately, this is one of the core requirements, so not meeting this need means your application will be rejected. Therefore, we recommend taking the test early on in your application journey so that you still have enough time if you must re-take it. The guidelines are in place as they provide you with all the correct foundations needed to flourish in the UK. It also means you are likely eligible for more work and educational opportunities during your time in the UK and after if you decide to leave.

    Being proficient in the English language is not just a box that you have to tick to be allowed to enter the UK but is a skill that will genuinely make your time here much more enjoyable. When deciding who should be allowed to enter the UK to have residency, the government need to ensure that everyone who is approved will be able to contribute successfully to the economy and culture.

    By being adept in English, you will benefit from the following:

    • Having access to more opportunities in both work and social fields. This could be carving out your own position in a company or taking part in community events which allow you to become more integrated with culture in the UK.
    • Not having any issues when it comes to personal admin such as managing finances or dealing with utilities. If you did run into any financial or legal issues whilst being the UK on your VISA, you may end up losing the right to stay as you would not be adhering with the requirement to be fully self sufficient during your time here.
    • Being able to help any other family members integrate themselves in the UK. This is particularly important for children who will be attending British schools as international options with different core languages are not that common.
    • By having a strong understanding of the English language, you will understand the most widely spoken language in the world. This means you will have more opportunities to interact not just in the UK, but other countries if you intend to travel.

    Taking the test and proving that you can be self-sufficient within the UK will mean that there is no reason you cannot contribute to work and social life which is the eyes of the government is very important.