UK Spouse or Partner Visa
What is a spouse visa?
It is Also known as a UK marriage visa, a spouse visa allows married partners of UK citizens to immigrate to the UK because they are married to someone who is 'settled in the UK' - i.e. a person who is ordinarily resident in the UK and has no immigration restrictions on how long they can stay in the UK.
If you intend to travel to the UK to accompany your spouse then you may qualify for UK Spouse Visa or , also known as a UK Partner Visa. This applies also to unmarried and same sex relationships. 1st Contact can assist you in this application if your partner is a British citizen.
In order to apply for the Unmarried partner visa you will need to prove that you have been in a relationship and living together for at least 24 months, and be able to provide evidence of this. You will need documents such as joint tenancy or mortgage agreements, utility bills addressed to you both or individually at the same address, joint bank account statements, and any other correspondence addressed to you both at the same address. Any previous relationship or marriage on either part must have permanently broken down and if either of you have been married before you will need to provide the divorce certificate.
If your spouse is a British Citizen or UK Permanent Resident the visa you will be granted is a 2 year marriage/unmarried spouse visa. If your spouse is an EEA National you will be granted initially with a 6 month visa and on arrival in the UK you will be required to obtain the full 5 year EEA family permit. Alternatively, if your spouse holds a visa for the UK you will be granted with a visa valid until the expiry of the main applicant's visa. The visa you will be granted will allow you full work rights in the UK. At the end of the initial visa you will then be able to apply for ILR (Indefinite Leave to Remain) in the UK.
Spouse visa requirements
To qualify for a UK spouse / marriage visa you must satisfy the following requirements:
- You and your spouse must be 18 years old or over.
- You must have met each other and be legally married - this is to prevent arranged marriages.
- You must intend to live together permanently
- You must have enough money to support yourselves (and any dependents) without claiming public funds.
- Your sponsoring partner must earn more than £18,600 per year or have enough savings to be able to sponsor you. The minimum financial requirement is higher if they are also sponsoring dependant children.
- You must have suitable accommodation for you, your spouse and any dependants.
- You must satisfy the English language requirements.
Spouse Visa Extention
You can apply for an extension for an additional 30 months which can take your total time in the UK on this visa up to five years. At this point you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) provided you are still married and living in the UK with your spouse and continue to meet the maintenance requirements. After you have been granted ILR you may be eligible to apply for naturalisation as British citizen.
Spouse visa entry clearance
f you are seeking to enter the UK on the basis of your relationship with a UK national you must apply for entry clearance before coming to the UK.
If you are applying from inside the UK you must have leave to remain in the UK on a visa that is valid for six months at the time you apply.
You cannot switch to a spouse visa if you are already in the UK and were initially admitted for a period of less than six months - for example, if you were initially admitted entry as a visitor or prospective student.
Spouse visa dependants
Children under 18 years of age can enter the UK as your dependants. You should make an application for them at the same time that you make your spouse visa application. Please note that your sponsoring spouse must show income of a specified amount, the level of which varies depending on the number of dependant children being sponsored.
What if your relationship ends?
If you relationship ends while your partner only has limited permission to enter or remain in the UK (i.e. during the probationary period before they can apply to live here permanently) you should notify the UKBA by writing to:
- Evidence and Enquiry Unit
- Lunar House
- 12th Floor (Long) Corridor
- 40 Wellesley Road
- CR9 2B
Include your partner's full name as shown in their passport, their date of birth, and their entry clearance or UKBA reference number (if known)
The UKBA will decide whether to cancel your former partner's permission to stay in the UK. However, this will not automatically happen if the basis of their stay has changed. For example, they may qualify to remain in the UK on another basis, or there might be compassionate or other reasons why it would be inappropriate to cancel their stay