What are the Spouse Visa processing times?
The length of time it takes for your Spouse Visa application to be processed depends on a number of variables. Firstly, your wait time may be affected by where you make the application from. Different countries have different embassy guidelines, which can have a considerable bearing on processing times.
Spouse Visa applications are usually processed within three months. However, this can be as little as two weeks depending on the embassy guidelines of where you are applying from and how fully you satisfy the eligibility requirements. The application process is made more complex in that Home Office need to assess whether or not you meet the ‘Genuine Relationship’ requirement. This is often one of the most time-consuming aspects of the process, as you need to provide the Home Office with proof that your relationship is both genuine and subsisting. In order to determine whether or not you fulfil this requirement, an immigration officer will assess evidence of your relationship. This evidence should pertain to the entire span of your relationship or marriage.
What factors influence the Spouse Visa processing time?
When you submit your Spouse Visa application to the Home Office, there are a number of factors that affect the time it takes to receive a decision.
When the Home Office receives your application, they then need to pass it on to an assigned immigration officer. It is only when it is passed on that it begins to be processed. The time it takes the assigned immigration officer to review the application constitutes a considerable amount of the overall processing time.
At this stage of the process, the officer will assess:
- All financial information
- The details of your accommodation arrangements
- Your supporting documentation
- Evidence of your relationship
- Details of your application
The immigration officer will be notably thorough in their assessment of your application. All aspects of your application will be examined in a lot of detail. However, particular attention will be paid to the evidence of your relationship with your partner. With this in mind, it is advised that extra effort is made to ensure that this element of your application is correct and well-organised.
Once your application and supporting documentation has been reviewed in full by your assigned immigration officer, it will then be passed on to a second party for a further review. Once this has occurred, a final decision will be made on your application. You will receive either a letter of acceptance or rejection via post from the Home Office.
Is there a way to speed up the Spouse Visa processing time?
For Spouse Visa applications made outside of the UK, the Home Office state that the average processing times are as follows:
- 90% of applications are processed within three weeks
- 98% of applications are processed within six weeks
- 100% of applications are processed within twelve weeks
In situations where there is a problem with an application, or where an application is particularly complex, the application may take longer than average to be processed.
In these circumstances, the Home Office will write to you to inform you of the delay. In situations where there is a delay, you may have to wait up to 24 weeks to receive a decision on your application.
If you are experiencing a delay and are concerned about the status of your application, you can get in contact with the Home Office directly and ask for a status update.
If you need to speed up the processing time of your Spouse Visa application, you can submit more supporting documentation to the Home Office.
Other than this, the only way to ensure your application is processed as quickly as possible is to submit the application properly and ensure that all supporting documentation is included.
What documents will I need for my Spouse Visa application?
To successfully obtain this visa type, there are a number of documents that must be submitted. Organising your documents and ensuring that as much as possible is included will reduce the Spouse Visa processing time. The documents you require are:
- A valid certificate proving you meet the English language requirement
- Proof of accommodation
- Evidence that you meet the salary threshold
- A valid passport
- Your original marriage or civil partnership certificate
- Proof that you have been living with your partner for at least two years
- Evidence that your partner is a British citizen or holds settled status (for example, a British passport or permanent residence card can be submitted)
- Evidence that shows your relationship is genuine
If any of your documents are not in English, they must be submitted alongside a translated version. The translation must be carried out by a professional translator. All documents must be in the exact format that is stated by the UKVI.
How much does it cost to obtain a Spouse Visa?
At present, the current Spouse Visa fee is £1,523 for applications submitted from abroad. For applications submitted from within the UK, the cost is £1,033.
There is an increased fee if you are applying with a dependant and the fee is increased for each additional dependant you include on your application.
To apply for a Spouse Visa from inside the UK, you must have been given leave to remain in the UK for more than six months.
You must not be attempting to enter the UK as a visitor. Fiance permits cannot be applied for from within the UK.
Whilst the fees stated above are the current Spouse Visa application fees, there are additional costs to bear in mind when applying. These are:
- Qualified translation services for documents that are not in English or Welsh
- Sitting an approved English test
- Additional fees for those that opt for the UKVI’s Priority Premium Service. This guarantees an answer within five working days.
What are the Spouse Visa requirements?
To successfully obtain a Spouse Visa, there are a number of requirements that must first be satisfied. You will need to:
- Possess all necessary documentation
- Pass the ‘Genuine Relationship Test’
- Demonstrate that you possess the required level of English language proficiency
- Have your biometric information recorded
- Satisfy the minimum salary threshold
- Demonstrate that you have adequate accommodation arrangements for yourself and any dependants that you intend to bring with you
- Depending on your country of origin, you may need to pass a medical test to show that you do not have Tuberculosis (TB)
What does the ‘Genuine Relationship Test’ involve?
A successful Spouse Visa applicant needs to be able to prove that the relationship they are in is genuine in nature. There are various types of evidence that can be submitted to the Home Office in order to prove this. These include:
- Text messages or social chat logs
- Photographs that prove you spend time together on a regular basis
- Evidence pertaining to any children you have together- this can take the form of birth or adoption certificates
- A joint bank or savings account
- Travel documentation that proves that you visited each other at least once prior to getting married
- A joint tenancy agreement or mortgage
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In order to successfully obtain a Spouse Visa, you will need to demonstrate to the Home Office that your accommodation arrangements meet UK living standards.
Your partner- who must be a UK national- needs to act as your sponsor for your application. They must demonstrate that appropriate accommodation will be provided for both of you and for any dependants that you intend to bring to the UK with you.
In order to prove that your accommodation is adequate, you will be required to provide:
- Evidence that you have enough physical space to accommodate everyone
- Evidence that you can afford to pay for the accommodation
- A description of the property
In order to meet the accommodation requirements, you must ensure that your property has enough rooms for yourself, your partner and any dependants.
It is important that each person has their own room. However:
- Couples can share the same bedroom
- Living rooms can be classed as a bedroom
- Children under the age of one do not require their own room
- Children aged between one and nine are classed as half a person
- Children over the age of 10 are classed as an adult
- Children over the age of 10 cannot share a room with a child of the opposite sex
With this in mind, children under the age of one can sleep in the same room as the couple, and children (of either sex) under the age of ten can share a room.