What exactly is the Spouse Visa in UK?
A Partner Visa UK, also called a UK Spouse Visa, is a settlement visa that lets you live in the UK for up to 30 months with your British partner. It is one of the types of visas for families.
If you meet certain requirements, it can be extended for another 30 months. Getting a Partner Visa is the first step toward getting Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) and, eventually, British citizenship.
To get a UK Spouse Visa and enter the UK, you must be married to or in a civil partnership with a British citizen, UK settled person, or UK refugee. The main requirements for eligibility are showing proof that you are in a real relationship and meeting certain financial requirements.
Contact our immigration lawyers to get professional advice on your UK Partner Visa case and to find out how you can enter the UK and get permission to stay with your UK citizen partner.
Note that this visa is different from the UK Marriage visitor visa, which only lets you come to the UK to get married or start a civil partnership, whether your partner is a British citizen or not.
What is a Spouse Visa for the UK?
A UK Spouse Visa is for people over 18 who don’t live in the UK but are engaged, married, or planning to be civil partners with someone over 18 who lives in the UK. The UK partner visa is a type of settlement visa.
Whether or not your partner meets the requirements depends on their situation. You need to apply for a UK Partner Visa if you are coming from outside the European Economic Area to live with your partner or spouse in the UK.
With a Spouse Visa in the UK, you can work just like a British citizen. But you can’t get most benefits, like government money, housing allowance, or tax credits.
Who is eligible to apply for a Spouse Visa?
A UK Spouse Visa can be requested if you are:
- 18 years old or older
- Marriage or a civil partnership that the UK recognizes
- married to a British citizen or a person who lives in the UK
- You’ve been in a relationship for two years and have been living together.
- You are engaged or have a Fiance Visa UK and will get married in the UK within 6 months.
- If their partner is eligible, a British citizen can send the leave to remain forms on their behalf. You must write down their name and information as the applicant’s details.
What do you need to get a Spouse Visa?
Before you apply for a UK Spouse Visa, you need to do the following:
- Have all the paperwork you need.
- Give the “Genuine Relationship Test” a try.
- Meet the minimum financial and income requirements.
- Show how well you know the English language.
- Have proof that you, your partner, and any dependents will have a place to live.
- Get your fingerprints and photo taken to get permission to stay.
- Depending on where the applicant lives, they may also need to pass a medical test to show they don’t have Tuberculosis (TB).
What does “Genuine Relationship Test” mean?
The person who wants a UK Spouse Visa must be in a real relationship with their British citizen partner, such as a civil partnership. You can send the Home Office a lot of different kinds of proof, such as:
- A joint mortgage or rental agreement in or outside of the UK
- Proof that you have children together, like a birth certificate
- Photos that show you two have spent a lot of time together
- A joint checking or savings
- Text messages or records of online chats
- Proof that you’ve both been to see each other at least once before you got married.
- Any papers that show you plan to live together in the UK
What are the money requirements for a Spouse Visa?
The UK citizen in the relationship is called the “sponsor,” and he or she must meet certain requirements.
First, you will need to show that you and your wife/husband/partner have enough money to support yourselves without getting help from the government.
If there are no children who need help, the UK spouse needs to make at least £18,600 before taxes.
If you have one child who depends on you financially, you will need a pre-tax income of £22,400. The sponsor will have to pay an extra £2,400 for each child after the first one.
What if I don’t have enough money to meet the requirement?
If you don’t have enough money from all the listed sources of income to meet the mandatory Partner/Spouse Visa financial requirement, or if you’re not sure about your income, talk to one of our expert immigration lawyers, as there may be special circumstances.
What are the documents you need for a Spouse Visa?
Making sure you have all the right documents to back up your application for a UK Spouse Visa will help make sure it is accepted and prevent delays.
Here are the papers you need to send to the Home Office to get the right to stay in the UK:
- Your original certificate of marriage or civil union
- Proof that you and your partner have lived together for at least the past two years
- To get permission to stay in the UK, you need a valid passport.
- A valid certificate to show that you can speak and write in English
- Proof of where to stay
- Demonstrating that the relationship is real
- Proof that you make enough money and meet the other requirements.
- Proof that you are married to a British citizen or a person who lives in the UK (for example, UK citizens can submit a copy of their passport)
- Please keep in mind that any documents that are not written in English need to be accompanied by a professional translation. All proof must be in the exact format that the Home Office asks for.
What kinds of income can be used to meet the financial requirements for a Spouse Visa?
To meet the UK Spouse Visa application’s minimum income requirement, you can:
- Savings over £16,000
- Earnings from a job or from working for yourself
- Pay for childbirth, adoption, or being sick
- Other sources of income, such as rent or shares,
- If your partner is applying from outside the UK, they can use their savings, but not their earnings, to help reach the total income amount. Still, if your partner works in the UK, their income can be added to the total amount.
You can also use a mix of savings and earnings to help you meet the minimum income threshold. But you will have to show that you have enough money to cover the whole length of the permit.
To figure out how much you will need to save, take your minimum requirement and subtract any other income that you can use. Then, take this number, multiply it by 2.5, and add 16,000.
Can I use benefits money to help my case?
In some cases, you won’t have to meet the mandatory eligibility requirements. For example, if you want any of the following benefits:
- Disability Allowance for living
- Allowance for a severe disability
- Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit Attendance Allowance
- Allowance for Carers
- Personal Independence Payment
- Armed Forces Compensation Scheme Armed Forces Independence Payment or Guaranteed Income Payment
- Constant Attendance Allowance, Mobility Supplement, or War Disablement Pension through the War Pensions Scheme.
- Police Pension for Injuries
- You will need to show that you have enough money to take care of your dependents, though. This is called “adequate maintenance,” and the exact amount you need will depend on your own situation.
After paying for housing, you will usually need at least £120 per week. This amount will go up if you have a child or children.
What is the English Language Test for the Spouse Visa?
Those who want to live in the UK have to show that they can speak English. After you pass an English Language Test, the result is good for two years.
If you want to stay in the UK with your UK spouse, you must take an English test that checks how well you can speak and listen in English. Only if you take your English test through an approved Secure English Language Testing (SELT) Provider will your qualification be valid.
At the moment, SELT tests for immigration purposes are only available through Trinity College London or the IELTS Consortium.
You don’t need to take an English test if:
- Are a citizen of a country where most people speak English
- Are younger than 18 or older than 65 Have a long-term physical or mental illness
- Have a degree or some other type of education where English was taught or researched. Your degree will only be valid if UK NARIC says it is.
What are the rules for housing for a UK Spouse Visa?
As part of your application for a UK Spouse Visa, you will need to show proof that you have a place to live that meets UK living standards.
Your UK national partner, who acts as your sponsor, will need to show that he or she can provide enough housing for themselves, the applicant, and any dependents who plan to live in the UK.
The Home Office will ask you for the following as proof that you have a place to live:
A description of the home where you and your spouse plan to live
Proof that the property has enough rooms for everyone. Proof that you can afford to pay for your family’s room and board.
How can I meet the requirements for housing on a Spouse Visa?
To be eligible, your home needs to have enough rooms for the couple and any dependents. Each person needs his or her own room, but:
- Two people can sleep in the same room.
- You can include living rooms when you count bedrooms.
- Children under 1 don’t need their own room.
- Children between the ages of 1 and 9 are counted as half a person.
- Children who are 10 or older are considered adults.
- Children of the same gender who are 10 years old or older cannot share a room.
- This means that two kids younger than 10 can share a room, and babies younger than a year can live with the couple.
How to get a visa for your spouse
Make sure you start your Spouse visa application before you move to the UK, and don’t book your flight or travel before you hear from the Home Office that your visa has been approved.
The process of applying for a UK Spouse visa can start online from outside the UK by filling out Appendix FM and other forms. But as part of the process, you may need to go to a visa application center to give your biometrics. Keep in mind that you need to fill out several forms and documents correctly and provide enough proof to improve your chances of getting a UK Spouse or Partner visa.
If you want to switch to a UK spouse visa from inside the UK, the process is different. You will need to show proof that you are in the country on a valid visa.
When the Home Office looks over your application, if they have any doubts about it, you may be asked to come in for a Spouse visa interview. During the interview, you will be asked questions to find out if your relationship is real and if you really want to live in the UK.
The process of getting a Spouse visa can be long and hard to do by yourself. We can assist. Call us now at 0333 363 8577 or send us a message online to talk to one of our immigration lawyers about your Spouse Visa UK application.
How much does it cost to get a UK Spouse Visa?
The current fee for an application sent from outside the UK to the Home Office is £1,523. The cost goes down to £1,033 if you submit your application from inside the UK. This fee will go up if you have dependents, and it will go up again for each dependent.
You can only apply from inside the UK if you are not trying to enter as a tourist or have permission to stay for more than 6 months. You also can’t apply for a fiance(e) or proposed civil partner permit from inside the UK.
When you send in your forms for a UK Spouse Visa, you should think about the extra costs that come with it. Among these are:
- Documents that are not in English or Welsh will be translated by professionals.
- An approved English test, which is a requirement for most people who want to apply.
- If you want a response from the UKVI within five working days, you will have to pay extra for the Priority Premium Service from the Home Office.
- Health fees for immigrants
What will happen if my application for a UK Spouse Visa is accepted?
If your application is accepted, you will be given permission to stay in the UK, which lets you come back within 30 days. You will have 10 days from the time you arrive in the UK to get a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP).
If you don’t make it to the UK within this time, you can apply for another 30-day entry permit. You will be charged an extra fee, though.
What happens if my application for a Spouse Visa is turned down?
If your case is turned down by the Home Office, you can file an appeal. This is a long and difficult process that is best done with the help of an immigration consultant.
Tahmidur Rahman Remura Wahid can help you in every way with your case. If you need help with your Spouse Visa appeal, please contact us, and one of our immigration experts will be able to help you.
We have offices in London, Manchester, and Birmingham, among other places in the UK. You can also use the office finder to locate the branch that is closest to you.
Can I extend my UK Spouse Visa or renew it?
If your current leave to remain hasn’t run out, you can renew and extend your UK Spouse Visa for another 2.5 years.
After living in the UK on a Marriage visa for a total of 5 years, you can apply for settled status (ILR). If you need to renew your UK Spouse Visa, talk to one of our lawyers.
How long does it take to get a Partner Visa?
Processing a UK Spouse Visa case usually takes between 2 and 12 weeks.
The time it takes to process a Partner Visa depends on what documents are sent and where the application comes from.
Spouse Visa appeal process:
If you want to file an appeal for a Spouse Visa, you should move quickly and follow the steps below:
- Send your appeal to the Immigration and Asylum Chamber within 28 days if you are outside the UK or 14 days if you made your application in the UK.
- Make sure the reasons you want to appeal are valid and likely to be accepted.
- Prepare your case so that you can send the Immigration Tribunal the best application you can.
- Collect the documents that show why your application should be approved.
- Go to the Tribunal for your hearing (if relevant)
- How long does it take to appeal a Spouse Visa?
- The appeals process can take a long time, which is not good. Some people who want to appeal a Spouse Visa denial may have to wait up to a year or even longer for a decision.
Some of the reasons why someone might say no are:
- Not meeting the language or money requirements
- Not being able to prove that the marriage is real and still going on
- Not sending in the right documents to back up your claim
- Incomplete or inaccurate application
- The best way to avoid having to go through the Spouse Visa appeal process is to make sure that your first application is as accurate as possible.
Application form FLR(FP)
You must complete the form FLR(FP) to make a Spouse visa application under 10 years route. You can use FLR(FP) form online to extend your stay as a Spouse.
What is the Spouse visa 5-year route?
If you meet all the requirements of Appendix FM, you can apply or switch to a Spouse visa 5-year route to settlement. It means you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) as a Spouse after spending 5 years on a spouse visa.
Can I switch from a Spouse visa 10-year route to a 5-year route?
Yes, you can switch to a Spouse visa 5-year route anytime if have leave to remain as a spouse under the 10-year route and you meet all the requirements of Appendix FM of the immigration rules.
If you do switch to the Spouse visa 5-year route from the 10-year route, then any time spent on the 10-year route will not count towards your qualifying period for ILR.
Appeal against Spouse visa refusal
If your UK spouse visa application under the 10-year route has been refused and you think the spouse visa refusal is unlawful, then you may be able to appeal against the decision.
Book an appointment with our immigration solicitors to discuss the spouse visa refusal letter, appeal process, costs involved and the appeal processing time.
How can Tahmidur Rahman Remura Wahid help?
Applications for a spouse visa can be complicated, so it’s best to hire an expert in immigration. You’ll need to make sure you meet all of the necessary requirements, fill out the right forms, and gather your proof to send in. This will need to be detailed and show that you are really in a relationship.
At Tahmidur Rahman Remura, we know how important it is to be close to your loved ones, so as the only international law firm in Dhaka, we do everything we can to help you do this.
Our team of experts on immigration can help you with every step of the process for getting a Partner Visa in the UK. Our services include:
- communicating with you face-to-face, by phone, or via Skype at a time that works for you;
- figuring out if you are eligible, making sure your documents are enough for your Partner Visa application,
- making sure you have enough evidence to prove your relationship is real;
- putting together a Letter of Representation to send along with your application;
- communicating with the Home Office until your case is resolved; filling out each part of your application form to the highest standard.
Hire the best Immigration law firm in Dhaka:
The best immigration lawyer in Bangladesh works for Tahmidur Rahman Remura. We have long-term experience helping our local and expatriate clients get work permits, permanent residences, and visas all over the world. When processing visas for clients, the immigration law firm in Bangladesh looks for a number of things. Such as following the rules when it comes to documents, processing, and keeping in touch with the Bangladesh passport offices regularly.