British citizens and individuals living in the United Kingdom who wish to bring their spouse or civil partner to the UK to live with them require a visa to do so – the UK spouse visa
A UK spouse visa is for the residents of other nations who are over 18 years of age and are married or engaged to or have a civil partner who is a resident of the UK (She/he must be 18 years and above).
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The UK spouse visa is a type of visa for settlement and permits to bring in your spouse or civil partner who is a non-UK resident to live with you.
UK Spouse Visa is mandatory for those who wish to live with their non-UK resident partner/ spouse for more than 6 months.
The criteria for qualifying for this visa differs based on the circumstances of your partner. Those of you who wish to bring in your spouse/partner to the UK permanently must apply for this visa beforehand.
UK Spouse Visa – Eligibility
You can apply for a UK Spouse visa if you satisfy the following.
- You are married/in a civil partnership with a UK resident/ British citizen
- Both partners are over 18 years of age
- The marriage/ civil partnership is recognized in the UK
- You have a UK Fiancé Visa
- You are engaged and your marriage will take place within 6 months of entering the UK
If you are a British citizen you have the right to submit a ‘leave to remain’ form on behalf of your spouse or partner. This can be done only if your partner satisfies the criteria for eligibility.
You have to enter your spouse/partner’s name and details where the applicant’s information is required.
Requirements To Get A UK Spouse Visa
The requirements to get a UK Spouse Visa includes the following
- All the necessary documents
- Clear the ‘Genuine Relationship Test’
- Clear the English Language Test (IELTS/SELT)
- Meet the minimum financial requirement to support her/his spouse
- The minimum amount required is 18,600 Pounds
- Good accommodation facility
- The accommodation should be enough for your spouse/partner and dependents if any
- In the event where the ‘leave to remain’ form is submitted (By the British citizen), it is important to get your partners biometrics done
- Medical test reports proving that your she/he does not have tuberculosis
Genuine Relationship Test
The visa applicant for the UK Spouse Visa has to prove that she/he is in a genuine relationship with the British partner. You can attach several types of evidence along with your application to prove that your relationship is genuine.
- If you have any children: Attach their birth certificate
- Photographs that prove that you spend time with each other
- This could include vacations, time spent with parents/family/relatives, etc
- Travel documents that prove that you’ve visited and spent time with each other before getting married or entering into a civil partnership contract.
- Text messages
- Chat logs on social media/ emails
- Marriage certificate
- A joint account for savings or in a bank
- Evidence to prove that you intend to live in the UK together (Documents that are legal)
- A joint tenancy contract within the UK or in any other country
UK Spouse Visa Processing Time
In general, the visa processing time for a UK Spouse Visa could be anywhere between 2 weeks and 12 weeks.
Depending on the types of documents that were submitted and the country to which your spouse/ partner/ fiancé belongs, the visa processing time could vary.
Can This Visa Be Extended Or Renewed?
You apply for a Spouse Visa extension before the current visa expires. On successful processing of the renewal application, the UK Spouse Visa gets extended for another 30 months (Two and a half years).
Once you have lived in this nation for 5 years in total, you become eligible for an ILR (Indefinite Leave to Remain).
Financial Requirements For A Spouse Visa In UK
The British citizen/ the UJK resident is the sponsor who is required to meet certain criteria.
The sponsor along with his/her partner should be able to meet the financial requirements. They should have sufficient funds to support themselves without having to depend on any public funds.
The British Spouse/partner should have a minimum income of 18,600 pounds (before tax) to meet the money requirements for a Spouse Visa.
The minimum requirement goes up to 22,400 pounds if you have a dependent child. For each additional child, the sponsor will have to put in 2,400 pounds per child.
The Documents Required To Get A Spouse Visa In The UK
It is important that you attach all the required documents for the acceptance and processing of your application. This will also ensure that you get your visa without any unwanted delays.
The following documents have to be attached to your application and sent to the Home Office.
- Certificate of marriage or certificate of civil partnership. (Originals)
- Evidence to prove that the two of you’ve been living together for at least two years
- A valid passport (To get leave to remain in the UK)
- Documents to prove that you are married to a British resident/citizen
- English language requirement certificate
- Document to prove that you’ve cleared ‘Genuine Relationship Test’
- Proof of Sufficient Income (Minimum Income Requirement)
- Proof of accommodation in the UK
Copies of the translated version of the documents need to be attached if the attached documents are not in English. The format of these documents should be as instructed by the Home Office.
How To Meet The Criteria For Finance Required For UK Spouse Visa?
You can use the following sources of income to meet the finance required for the UK Spouse Visa.
- Earnings from employment in the UK
- Money earned from self-employment
- Maternity/paternity pay
- Pensions received
- Sick pay
- Adoption pay
- Income received from market investments/shares
- Earnings from rent
Your partner can also contribute to this financial requirement. If the partner submits the visa application from another nation:
- She/he can contribute their savings
- However, they cannot contribute to their earnings.
If your spouse/partner is working in the UK she/he can contribute their earnings as well.
You can meet the minimum threshold of the required income by using a combination of earnings and savings. You have to provide proof of evidence showing that you have the finances required for the entire duration of the visa.
Income From Governmental Benefits
The financial criteria for this visa will not be mandatory if you are claiming one of the following benefits from the UK government.
- Allowance for caretaker
- Allowance for severely disabled
- Allowance for disability living
- Payment for Armed forces independence
- Benefits for disablement due to industrial injuries
- Mobility supplement pension
- Pension for war disablement
- Guaranteed income payment (Armed forces compensation)
- Payment for Armed forces independence
- Allowance for constant attendance
- Payment for personal independence
- Police injury pension
Even though you do not have to meet the minimum financial requirement it is important that you prove you have sufficient money to support your spouse and dependents if any.
A minimum amount of 120 pounds is required per week (After paying off your expenses for housing). The required amount will increase if you have one or more dependent children.
Cost Of The UK Spouse Visa Application
The fee for a Spouse Visa application set by the Home Office is 1,523 Pounds at present. This is for those applications that are submitted from other nations.
The charges for submitting the application from the UK is 1,033 Pounds.
In case there are dependants the charges will increase depending on the number of dependents.
Additional Charges Involved
The following are some of the additional charges that can be expected depending on the requirement.
- To get a reply within 5 working days from the UKVI you are required to pay additional fees to the Home Office
- These charges are referred to as Priority Premium Service
- Charges for qualified services for translation
- In case your documents are not in English/Welsh
- Fees for the English language test
English Language Test
It is important for visa applicants to prove that they can speak English. She/he must appear for an English language test in speaking and listening to qualify for this visa. The validity of this test is for two years.
You can choose to appear for one of the following tests.
- SELT (For the purpose of immigration)
- IELTS (International English Language Testing System)
You are exempted from appearing for this test in the following situations.
- You are below 18 years of age
- You are above 65 years of age
- You are from an English speaking nation
- Hold a degree in English (Approved by UK NARIC)
- Have a mental/physical condition (long term)
UK Spouse Visa Requirements For Accommodation
It is important to submit proof of accommodation along with the application to get qualified for the UK Spouse Visa. Your British partner has to prove that her/his house will be sufficient enough to accommodate the partner along with the dependents if any.
You are required to submit the following as proof.
- A detailed description of that residential property
- Evidence to prove there are enough rooms for everyone
- Evidence to prove you have sufficient income to meet the expenses of accommodation
The following are some of the requirements regarding the number of rooms.
- Enough rooms to house the couple and their children/dependents
- A bedroom can be shared by the couple
- You can include your living area while counting the number of bedrooms
- Children below the age of 1 do not require a separate bedroom
- Children between 1 and 9 years of age treated as half a person
- This means two children who belong to this category may share a bedroom
- Children over 10 considered adults
- Children of the opposite sex who are over 10 years of age require separate bedrooms
When Your Application For UK Spouse Visa Is Accepted
Once your application for UK Spouse Visa has been accepted:
- You’ll get ‘leave to remain’
- This permits you to enter the UK within 30 days
- Once you arrive in the UK you are required to collect BRP (Biometric Residence Permit).
- This must be done within 10 days
- If you are unable to enter the UK within 30 days an application for an extension has to be submitted
- The extension will be for another 30 days
- Additional charges are applied for the same
What If Your Application For Spouse Visa Gets Rejected?
In the event where your application for Spouse Visa gets rejected you need to do the following.
- The need to appeal against the verdict given by the Home Office
- The process could be challenging and long
- Seek the advice of an immigration lawyer
The UK Spouse Visa grants your partner/ spouse the right to work in the United Kingdom like all citizens of Britain or UK residents.
However, she/he does not have the right to most of the benefits including access to public funds, tax credits, and allowances for housing.