London Immigration Lawyers
0204 502 8582 (local rate)

Mon - Sun, 8.30 am - 6pm

Find an office

10 offices in the UK


We are the UK's leading immigration specialists
OISC Accredited UK immigration lawyers
We've had over 5000 applications approved
Get the correct advice from qualified immigration experts
4.7 rating 414 reviews

Spouse Visa UK - Get Assistance from a Spouse Visa Lawyer

The Spouse Visa UK is a type of Family Visa, used by non-UK nationals who want to reunite with their British spouse or civil partner to live in the UK.

Our London immigration lawyers are here to assist you. Call us on 020 4502 8582 for immediate help and assistance. We offer advice and visa application support in person, over the phone, or via Skype.

    Request a call back from our immigration experts

    What is a Spouse Visa?

    This visa category is used by married couples who want to live together and stay in the UK, when one is a British national or ordinary resident and another is a non-UK national.

    This type of UK visa allows the non-UK spouse or civil partner to enter the UK as the partner of a British, settled person, or person with pre settled status. It lasts for up 33 months and can be extended and used as a qualifying time for permanent settled status.

    This should not be confused with the UK Marriage visitor visa, which is issued to those wishing to come to the UK to get married or enter into a proposed civil partnership with a UK citizen or ordinary UK resident.

    To find out more about whether you or your partner is eligible for this visa category, call 020 4502 8582. One of our London Spouse Visa lawyers would be happy to assist with advice, application, or appeal services.

    Immigration Advice Service 4.7 rating 414 reviews Logo

    Spouse Visa requirements

    Before sending an application for this visa category, you should ensure that you meet all the requirements. These are as follows (applying to the foreign applicant):

    • You are in a ‘genuine and subsisting’ relationship with a British citizen or settled person in the UK
    • You are married to them
    • You have physically met your UK partner at least once
    • You can prove your marriage or civil partnership is not for convenience or fraudulent, by demonstrating that your relationship is a genuine one
    • You can show evidence of the above requirements by providing proof of correspondence, time spent together, your marriage licence, gifts, and money exchanged, etc.
    • You meet the financial requirement
    • You meet the accommodation requirements
    • You meet the English language requirements

    Spouse visa applicants are also required to provide their biometric information at a visa application centre, to be issued with a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) if their application is successful. Depending on where you’re applying from, you may also need to take a medical test to prove that you do not have Tuberculosis(TB).

    Spouse Visa document checklist

    Partner Visa applications require the most extensive amounts of supporting evidence, as you need to prove you meet every requirement to be eligible. A few examples of the types of documents you should submit with a Spouse Visa application are:

    • Evidence of your marriage or civil partnership with a British or Irish citizen or someone with UK settled status: documents including a valid marriage certificate or civil partnership certificate
    • Proof of your sponsoring partner’s UK immigration status
    • Proof that your relationship is real: Phone conversations, emails, messages, Skype sessions
    • Proof of your income: Job contracts, your P60, your bank statements
    • Proof that you meet the accommodation requirement: House lease, letting contract, proof of booked temporary accommodation
    • Proof that you meet the English language requirement: IELTS test results from an approved test provider, an English-taught degree, proof that you are a national of an English-speaking country

    There are many different types of documents you can use for a UK Spouse visa application. Proving that your relationship is genuine is subjective, and it depends on the nature of your lives together and communication with each other. As a result, there is no limit to the evidence you can submit to prove this.

    The ‘Genuine Relationship’ test

    Part of the review process for a UK Spouse Visa application is assessing whether you meet the ‘genuine relationship’ criteria.

    This is set out by UKVI and is designed to tell whether the applicant’s relationship to their British sponsor is real and long-lasting. The exact terminology used by UKVI is “genuine and subsisting”, and these are the traits that they will judge you on.

    There are several types of documents you can use to prove this, and this will depend on the type of relationship you have and what works for you. For example, if you have frequent Skype calls with your partner then evidence of this could work in your favour. Equally, if you have attended lots of events together then tickets showing this would work well to support your application. Examples of documents you can use include:

    • Evidence of a shared bank account and/or savings
    • A joint tenancy agreement or mortgage—either in or outside the UK
    • Text messages or social media chats
    • Evidence of gifts bought for one another or money exchanged
    • Evidence of children you have had together (school records, or a birth certificate)

    If you fail to provide enough supporting evidence, it is likely that your application will be refused.

    During their review of your application, the Home Office may invite you to attend a Spouse Visa interview. This typically happens in instances where they have doubts over the genuine nature of the relationship or your intentions in the UK.

    Accommodation requirements

    As part of the UK Spouse Visa requirements, you must show that there is adequate accommodation set up for when you arrive in the UK, which you must share with your partner.

    This accommodation must meet the UK living standards, and you must be able to show this. To show that you meet this requirement, you can submit:

    • An official description of the property (for example, from a letting agent/letting website)
    • Evidence that you have enough rooms to accommodate yourself and your partner, as well as any dependent children you have*
    • Proof that you/your partner have either paid/can afford to pay for this accommodation

    To meet UK living standards, there must be:

    • One bedroom per couple and baby under one-year-old
    • A further bedroom per each child over the age of 10 (children between one and nine can share one bedroom, but this must be separate from the couple).

    You must provide proof that the accommodation adheres to these standards for a UK Spouse Visa application to be granted. If you do not have adequate accommodation set up in the UK, or the means to fund this, you will not be eligible.

    You can confirm whether your current accommodation is suitable for a Spouse Visa application by referring to the “permitted number of persons” (PNP), which can usually be found on your tenancy agreement or requested from your landlord. Note that children under 1 year old are excluded from the total number of permitted persons, while those between the ages of 1 and 10 are counted as half a person.

    Meeting the Spouse Visa financial requirements

    When applying for a spouse visa, you must meet the financial requirement. These requirements for a Spousal Visa UK are as follows:

    • You must earn a couple’s income of at least £29,000 (gross annual income) to exceed the minimum income threshold (as of 2024; this is set to rise throughout 2024 and 2025)
    • This money can be made of yours and/or your partner’s income
    • This income can come from employment, self-employment, or ownership of a business
    • Income from non-employment, like property rentals, investments, stocks, and shares can also be used
    • You can also use savings if they amount to more than £16,000 and are combined with another means of income and have been held by yourself or your partner by six months or more.

    If your UK partner receives certain benefits in the UK (such as disability allowance, carer’s allowance, police injury pension, guaranteed income payment, or industrial injuries disablement benefit) you will be exempt from the financial criteria for a Partner Visa.

    If you do not or cannot meet the financial requirements, it may still be possible for you to apply if:

    • You have a child in the UK who is a British or Irish citizen or has lived in the UK for 7 years and it would be unreasonable for them to leave the UK
    • It would breach your human rights to stop you coming to the UK or make you leave

    However, note that if you are granted a Spouse visa and do not meet the financial requirements, you will not be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain until you’ve been in the UK for at least 10 years.

    Meeting the English language requirement

    To be eligible to join your partner in the UK, you will also need to meet the UK Spouse Visa English language requirement.

    In most cases, you must pass an English language test. This is to prove that you have enough knowledge of speaking, reading, writing, and understanding English.

    The test must be done through a registered provider – called a Secure English Language Testing (SELT) provider.

    You are exempt from taking the English language test if you:

    • Are a national of a majority English-speaking country (like Australia, Canada, or the USA)
    • Are under the age of 18 or over the age of 65
    • Have a disability which prevents you from being able to take the test
    • Have a degree which was taught in English

    Get in touch with our expert immigration lawyers to learn how to apply for a Spouse Visa. Contact us

      Request a call back from our immigration experts

      Spouse Visa Processing times

      The Spouse Visa application processing time can vary in length and can take anywhere between 30 days and six months. Gathering your evidence, completing your forms, and submitting your case can often take weeks in itself.

      Once your application has been received, UKVI will process it, and assess whether you meet all the requirements. Once the assessing official has made a decision on your case, they will get back to you with a decision. The whole partner visa process can take a while, especially if there is something especially complex about your case and/or you apply with dependent children.

      Spouse Visa Application costs

      The costs of applying for a Spousal Visa are as follows:

      Visa fee: £1,048 if made from inside the UK, £1,846 if made from outside the UK

      English language test: £150

      Immigration Health surcharge: £1,560

      Tuberculosis test: £65-110

      Housing report: £80- £120

      Spouse Visa refusals

      Visas under the Spouse and Partner categories are often refused on the basis that they are thought to involve a fraudulent or ‘sham’ marriage.

      This usually happens when couples are seen to be manipulating the ‘genuine relationship’ requirement. Spouse visa refusal is also common when couples do not submit enough evidence to prove their relationship is real.

      Common reasons for having a UK Spouse Visa refused include:

      • Providing insufficient evidence to prove that your relationship is genuine
      • Providing too much/unbelievable evidence to prove the relationship is genuine (which is seen as manipulative)
      • Providing incorrect information
      • Failing to provide a housing report
      • Failing to provide proof of an English language test
      • Failing to show that the financial requirements are met

      How to appeal a refusal

      If a Partner Visa is refused, you can either appeal (if you have grounds) or make a fresh application.

      To lodge an appeal, you can present your case to an immigration judge. You are eligible to appeal if you feel the decision was genuinely unfair, or that your visa was refused because a mistake was made by a legal representative.

      An appeal can be made on paper, or in person. In both cases, an independent immigration judge will review your case and decide whether to overturn or agree with the original decision. In the latter, your case will be heard at a Tribunal hearing, which you will likely need to attend.

      If you do not have grounds for appeal – as is the case if you make a mistake in your form yourself, or UKVI judges your application to have insufficient evidence – you can make a fresh application instead. An immigration lawyer will typically recommend this over an appeal if there aren’t clear grounds, as it is often the faster and less expensive option.

      How to apply for a Spouse Visa extension

      You can apply to extend a UK Marriage Visa once your visa has expired. This will allow you to stay and live in the UK for a further two and a half years.

      To be eligible for a UK Spouse Visa extension, you must:

      • Apply within 28 days of your visa’s expiry date
      • Demonstrate that you have continued to live with your partner and that your relationship remains ‘genuine and subsisting’
      • Provide evidence to show that you still have adequate accommodation for yourselves and any children accompanying you
      • Show that you still meet the UK Spouse Visa financial requirements that were in place when you first applied for your visa

      How to apply for ILR after a Spouse Visa

      After living in the UK for five years with a Partner Visa, you become eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).

      ILR grants you unrestricted access to work, study, movement, and property.

      You can apply for ILR as a spouse if:

      • You have lived in the UK continuously for five years with a UK Spouse Visa
      • During the last 12 months of your time in the UK, you have not been absent from the country for more than 180 days
      • You have passed the Life in the UK test
      • You meet the ILR English requirements

      If you would like any information about Indefinite Leave to Remain, please do not hesitate to contact our expert immigration lawyers on 020 4502 8582.

      Do I need a Spouse Visa Lawyer?

      Although it is not required by the government, it is highly recommended that you work with a spouse visa lawyer to ease the process and increase your chances of success. Proving that you meet the UK Spouse visa requirements can be complicated because the documents that are enough for one couple would not be for another. A spouse visa solicitor understands every aspect of UK immigration law and how to navigate its complexities.

      We can help ensure that your application is of the highest quality, with enough supporting evidence to prove your case. Furthermore, we will include a letter of representation in your application, if needed, to strengthen your case.

      Get in touch with us today for immediate assistance. Call 020 4502 8582 or complete our contact form by clicking on the button below.

      If you wish to retain legal support or advice for your spouse visa application, our team is happy to assist. Learn more

        Request a call back from our immigration experts

        Advice Package icon

        Advice Package

        Comprehensive immigration advice tailored to your circumstances and goals.

        Application Package icon

        Application Package

        Designed to make your visa application as smooth and stress-free as possible.

        Fast Track Package icon

        Fast Track Package

        Premium application service that ensures your visa application is submitted to meet your deadline.

        Appeal Package icon

        Appeal Package

        Ensure you have the greatest chance of a successful appeal. We will represent you in any case.

        Advice Package image

        The Advice Package

        During this untimed Advice Session with our professional immigration lawyers in London, you will receive our comprehensive advice, completely tailored to your needs and your situation.

          Request a call back from our immigration experts

          Request the Advice Package
          Application Package image

          The Application Package

          With our Application Package, your dedicated immigration lawyer will advise you on your application process and eligibility. Your caseworker will then complete and submit your forms to the Home Office on your behalf.

            Request a call back from our immigration experts

            Request the Application Package
            Fast Track Package image

            The Fast Track Package

            Our Fast-Track Application Package is a premium service for those who need to submit their application in time with their deadlines. Your case will become a top priority for our lawyers and you will benefit from our highest-quality services.

              Request a call back from our immigration experts

              Request the Fast Track Package
              Appeal Package image

              The Appeal Package

              By choosing our Appeal Package, you can rely on our lawyers’ legal knowledge and experience to ensure you have the highest chance of a successful appeal. We will also fully represent you in any hearings/tribunals.

                Request a call back from our immigration experts

                Request the Appeal Package

                Related pages for your continued reading.

                Frequently Asked Questions

                At the end of 2024, biometric residence permits (BRPs) will be phased out and be replaced with eVisas.

                eVisas are a completely digital form of visa. Many people have already transitioned to eVisas.

                They are visas that are digitally tied to your passport, which means that you won’t have to carry around any additional physical documents when travelling to the UK.

                eVisas have the benefit of not being able to be lost or damaged, and can be processed quicker.

                You will be contacted by the Home Office later in 2024 about how to convert your BRP to an eVisa.


                According to the Home Office’s official guidelines, there is nowhere in the Rules which means you must stay in the UK for the entire period of a Spousal Visa.

                However, it does say that if a person chooses to spend “the majority” of their time outside the UK, they may be judged on this when making an extension or settlement application.

                As it stands, each case is judged on its individual merits, and it would be likely that the Home Office would take the reasons for your leave into account when considering this in further applications.

                It is worth mentioning that if you are absent from the UK for more than 180 days in the last 12 months of your time spent in the UK, you will not qualify for ILR. In this case, you would need to wait another 12 months to apply.

                If you want to make an application on behalf of your non-EEA partner, you can do this.  You can gather the evidence, complete the forms and pay the fee. When completing the application however, ensure you fill out your overseas spouses’ name and details.

                If you are in a civil partnership rather than being married to a British citizen, you can apply for a Spouse Visa. The rules are the same for couples in an existing civil partnership, only instead of a marriage certificate, they need to send proof of their registration as a Civil Partner.

                You are eligible to take up work while living in the UK with a Spouse Visa. This means you can take on employment at a UK company, be self-employed, or earn an income via property or stock investments.

                You cannot, however, claim any kinds of benefits on a Spousal Visa as you have no recourse to public funds.

                If your relationship ends while on a Spouse or Partner Visa, and you seek a divorce or separation, your visa becomes curtailed.

                This means that it is no longer valid and you are therefore required to switch to another category or leave the UK.

                But if you are the victim of domestic abuse as the holder of a Spousal Visa, you can remain in the UK after your visa is curtailed. You are also eligible for Legal Aid. If you’re able to demonstrate that you are the victim of abuse, you will be granted leave to remain on your own accord. This means you are no longer restricted by your visa, and that you can remain in the UK as a single person.

                To learn more about your options to remain in the UK following Spouse Visa curtailment, please contact us to discuss your particular circumstances with our immigration lawyers.

                While hiring an immigration lawyer to represent you when submitting a Spouse Visa application isn’t mandatory, seeking the expert advice and assistance from a lawyer who fully understands the UK immigration rules can making applying easier, increasing your chances of success.

                Our immigration specialists can help ensure that all of the various forms and documentation required for an application are completed correctly and that your application meets all of the necessary requirements.

                Call us today to discuss your particular circumstances and application either in person, via Skype, or over the phone. Our immigration lawyers are always happy to asses your eligibility and provide you with the guidance and expertise needed to complete your Spouse visa application.

                If you’re successful in your application, you will be granted to leave to remain and will usually be required to enter the UK within a 30-day period from the date that your Spouse Visa was granted. Once in the UK, you will need to collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) within the first 10 days following your arrival.

                If for whatever reason you fail to enter the UK within this time, it is possible to apply to for an additional 30-day entry permit issued to you, however, this will usually incur an additional fee.

                As part of a spouse visa application, you will be required to pay an additional fee to access NHS services—this is known as the Immigrant Health Surcharge (HIS).

                The fee is £624 per year, per adult, and is required to be paid ahead of time for a duration that matches that of your visa. For instance, when applying for a Spouse Visa you will need to pay £1,560 before submitting your application, covering the whole two years and six months validity of this visa.

                If you intend to submit applications for dependent children to join you and your spouse in the UK, you will also need to pay for each child. The fee for children is less than for adult applicants, being £470 per child, per year.

                The Immigration Health Surcharge (HIS) provides access to NHS healthcare services, however, it doesn’t include individual treatment costs, such as dental treatment or prescriptions.

                To learn more about the NHS fees when applying for a spouse visa, please refer to our article on the topic.

                The baseline minimum income requirement for the Spouse visa is £29,000 (as of April 2024; this is set to rise in increments throughout 2024 an 2025).

                This doesn’t mean that you have to have £29,000 in your bank account at the time off application, but rather that the sponsoring partner’s annual income must amount to £29,000 or more.

                You may be able to make up the difference using cash savings in a current or savings account if you do not fully meet the income requirement.

                In April 2024, the minimum income requirement for the Spouse visa rose to £29,000.

                This figure will be set to rise again in increments throughout 2024 and 2025, eventually reaching a maximum threshold of £38,700.

                Another significant change is that partners will no longer have to show additional funds if they wish to bring dependent children with them to the UK.