Also known as a UK marriage, a UK spouse visa enables you or your partner to live in the UK for up to five years. When you first apply for a UK spouse visa, it is granted for two and a half years and can then be extended by a further two and a half years. If you and your partner’s plans are more long term than this, it is also possible for a UK spouse visa to lead to being granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK and eventually British citizenship.
So how do you apply for a UK spouse visa?
There are a number of basic eligibility requirements you will need to check in order to see whether you meet them before commencing the process. These include being able to prove that you are in a genuine relationship and that your UK based partner earns an appropriate income each year. Currently, the income threshold is set at £18,600 per year. If you meet these requirements and are married to a British person, a person with settled status or a UK refugee, then you will be able to apply for a UK spouse visa.
At the application stage, you will need to provide evidence that you will have adequate accommodation in the UK and also that you have a level of proficiency with the English language. You will have to pass a test on your language ability, which will include both speaking and listening skills. If you have evidence of any existing English language qualifications or courses, this may mean you do not have to take the test.
There is also an associated fee to apply for a UK spouse visa, which must be paid to the UK government on application. The fee is set at £1,523 for an application being made from outside of the UK. It is worth noting that this fee increases if you also have children or other dependents; this increase is incremental for each additional dependent.
Applying for a UK spouse visa can be complex but more than 130,000 family-related visas were granted by the UK Government in 2017, so don’t be disheartened. There is lots of information available online to help guide you through the process and the UK Government’s own website is a particularly helpful starting point. However, using the services of an immigration company such as can make the process smoother and remove some of the risk of being unsuccessful simply because the forms hadn’t been correctly completed or all the right information was not included.
A good company such as AY & J Solicitors should be able to check your documents and establish whether they have been correctly completed and ensure that you are providing sufficient proof of your relationship. They should also be able to liaise with the UK Government throughout the process of your application for a UK spouse visa. If for any reason your application for a UK spouse visa is not successful, they will be able to support you, ensuring that you have the greatest chance of a successful appeal.