UK Spouse Visa

Spouse Visa For UK: All your Questions Answered

Getting your spouse to the UK can be a chore, especially if you do not know your way around the immigration laws set up by Her Majesty’s Government.

Luckily for you, you don’t have to spend endless hours on the Government’s immigration website pouring over every bit of information to get your family to London before the festive season. Here’s a quick rundown of everything you need to get your significant other into the country with minimal fuss.

Spouse Visa UK

Your spouse other needs a spouse visa to come and live with you in the UK. A spouse visa, or a UK marriage visa, can only be granted if one of you has a UK citizenship.

A resident of the U.K is someone who has no immigration restrictions on how long they can stay in the United Kingdom and have a permit to work in the country.

A spouse visa allows your partner to live and work in the UK. To some extent, the permit provides a sort of free stay in the country with very little in the way of restrictions.

Requirements for a Spouse Visa UK

A couple of years ago, the UK government introduced several elements that made it a bit hard to get a spouse visa for the UK granted. The new requirements proved a bit frustrating, especially for married people used to the old visa regime.

The checklist below covers all the new requirements to help you prepare for the visa application process, and improve your chances of success.

  • You and your partner must be over 18 years old
  • You must be legally married: a measure put in place to prevent sham marriages
  • You must show intention to stay married permanently
  • The partner with British residency must show sufficient financial muscle to support his or her partner. The government requires a person to earn more than £18, 600 per year as a sign of financial sturdiness
  • The resident partner should have suitable accommodation for both partners
  • The partner seeking the visa should possess sufficient command of the English language

That’s all you need to start applying for a spouse visa for the UK.

The list might seem timid enough, but there are a lot of failed spouse visa for UK application which indicates many people are missing a step.

Getting Citizenship

Once the visa is granted, your spouse can stay in the UK for the next two years and months. After that, your spouse is required to apply for a visa extension giving you an additional 30 months. Once the approved, consider applying for an Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), which will help give your spouse British citizenship.

UK marriage visa

Looking for a UK Marriage Visa?

The UK marriage visa allows a person to stay in the UK on account of their spouse being settled in the UK. It is also called a spouse visa. With this visa, the spouse can stay in the UK indefinitely. The spouse is also allowed to work in the UK.


Those outside the UK, European Union, and the European Economic Area including Switzerland can apply for this visa at the British embassy, consulate or high commission nearest to them. Online application is accepted except for North Koreans who have to do a hard copy application.

If the spouse is already in the UK on another visa, for example, a student visa, applying for a UK marriage visa can be done while still in the UK. People who have married while within the UK and intended to remain are also allowed to make the application in the country. For anyone applying for the marriage visa while still in the UK, the process starts with applying for a Further Leave to Remain. This gives the spouse 2 ½ years within which to kick off the process of applying for an Indefinite Leave to Remain or permanent residency.


To qualify for the UK marriage visa, the sponsor and the dependent must meet certain requirements:

  • Settled sponsor

The sponsor must have the permission to remain in the UK indefinitely. This could be a native British citizen, a naturalized citizen, and those on an Indefinite Leave to Remain Visa. If the sponsor is outside the UK, he/she must show the intention of returning to the UK before the dependent arrives in the UK.

  • Legal marriage

The sponsor and dependent must be legally and validly married. If the marriage took place outside the UK, it must meet the definition of marriage under UK law. Also, the couple must demonstrate to UK Border Agency that the marriage is genuine and not one of the convenience of the visa.

  • Legal age

Both the applicant (spouse) and the sponsor must be 18 years of age which is the legal age in the UK.

  • English language

Starting 2010, applicants of a UK marriage visa must show proficiency in English if coming from a country where English is not a taught language. Nationals of countries where language is taught in schools, used in business and research are exempt from an English test.

  • Economic ability

The sponsor must show that he/she can adequately take care of the applicant without making demands on public funds. A couple will be expected to show earnings of £18,600 per year and an additional £2,400 for every other dependent.

UK partner visa

Looking for a UK Partner Visa?

The UK immigration laws allow for a partner of a person residing for a long time, to come to the UK and stay in the UK under the rules of the UK partner visa. The UK laws recognize a partner as one who has had a relationship with the sponsor for over 2 years.


There are 4 different types of UK partner visas:

  • Spouse visa for a husband or wife
  • Civil partner visa for same-sex partners
  • Fiancé visa for one who intends to get married in the UK
  • Unmarried partner visa for students and other people in long term relationships


Partners of British citizens can apply for a 2-year spouse or unmarried partner visa. Partners of European Economic Areas, EU and Switzerland people who are already in the UK on a permanent residence visa can apply for a 6 months UK partners Visa.

Those who are already in the UK on a visa can make an application to switch their visa by applying for Further Leave to Remain. This will allow an additional 30 months extension which can then be extended for 2 more years and 5 years an application for Indefinite Leave to Remain can be done.

Partners in the UK on a short Visa have to leave and make the application at the British embassy or consulate where they made their initial application. They can then be allowed to come in with for 33 months which can be extended to 30 months to make the 5 years needed to apply for the Indefinite Leave to Remain.


A successful application for a UK partner visa is needed to meet certain requirements:

  • Sponsor status

The sponsor must show that he has the leave to remain unrestricted in the UK either as a native British or naturalized citizen, or a holder of an Indefinite right to remain permit.

  • Age

Both partners must show that they are 18 years or older which is the legal age in the UK.

  • Long term relationship

The partners must show they have been in a relationship for over 2 years. If there was a separation of up to six months, the partners must demonstrate it was due to unavoidable circumstances and that the relationship existed over a long distance or any other means.

The relationship should also be exclusive meaning that neither partner was married or involved legally involved with another person. The partners must also amply demonstrate that they intend to live together in the UK after being granted the UK Partner Visa

  • Sponsor financial ability

The sponsor must show that he/she can support the partner financially without support from public finances.

Help to get your Spouse visa for UK

Getting a UK spouse Visa might look intimidating for a person applying for the first time. However, with the correct information on visa types and durations, it is relatively straightforward. The UK allows a spouse and even a fiancé to come to the UK and stay with the probability of permanent residence once they are in the country.


For a visit of fewer than 6 months, a UK spouse visa is not needed. Your spouse simply needs to apply for a visit visa. The legal status of the spouse determines the length of stay if the visit is to last longer than 6 months.

A husband, wife or civil partner is allowed to stay for up to 33 months. This visa can then be renewed for a further 2 years. The spouse can then apply for a permanent residence UK Spouse visa after he/she has been in the country for 5 years.

A fiancé with proven strong ties to the sponsor is allowed to stay up to 6 months. In this duration, the fiancé has to legalize the status to spouse if he/she would like to apply for a further stay. As a spouse, they can apply for a visa extension of 2 years and then permanent residence after 5 years.

Types of Visa

There are different kinds of the UK spouse visa. The type needed by your spouse depends on your citizenship status.

  • Family of a settled person Visa – This visa is given to foreign spouses of British citizens, naturalised citizens, and persons who have obtained visas of ‘indefinite leave to remain.’ Also included in this category are persons getting married in the UK and who intend to remain after marriage.
  • EEA family part – This is for a spouse of a person who is from European Economic Areas (EEA), but the spouse is not from the EEA
  • Family reunion Visa – This visa is for spouses of people who came to the UK as refugees or any other humanitarian grounds
  • Dependent of Tier 2 visa holder – This is the visa for your spouse if you already have a general visa to the UK.
  • Dependent of Tier 4 visa holder – Tier 4 is a student visa. The spouse of a student can apply for this visa.


For your spouse to qualify for a UK spouse visa, you need to show you can support him/her and any other family member. For a couple without children, the sponsor has to show earnings of £18,600 per year while for a couple with 1 child the sponsor must show earnings of £22,400 per year.


Migrate Me is registered and regulated with Australia’s MARA and Canada ICCRC to offer the most up-to-date Immigration advice. We are not affiliated with any Government and you are free to make an application directly to the Government who will only charge you their visa fees. Please note that the Government will not assist in the preparation or building of your application before its submitted. The ways in which to do this are not always clearly set out by the immigration authorities and result in many applicants presenting their cases incorrectly, inevitably leading to a refusal. Migrate Me has the expertise to ensure that all your options are made clear to you and your application completed to the highest standards. We provide a free assessment and only charge for additional services agreed in advance and in writing with no hidden charges. Migrate Me will also provide a full relocation and employment preparation service.

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