UK Spouse Visa

UK Spouse Visa

UK Immigration

A UK spouse visa allows applicants to join their spouse and to live in the UK for an initial period. The most important criteria is that the spouse of the applicant must be a British Citizen, or be settled in the UK through Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), other settled status or have a permanent residence for UK.

Whilst eligible to work on this visa, the non-British spouse cannot claim most of the benefits, tax credits, or housing assistance that a UK citizen would be entitled to.  

You can add children to your application as dependants if they are under 18, or were under 18 when you first applied and do not live an independent life.

Requirements to Apply For Spouse Visa

Genuine Relationship

Your spouse must be over 18 and your relationship must be genuine and you should be able to demonstrate that you intend to live together as a family in the UK. Documentary evidence will be required to prove the genuine relationship.  

Earnings/ Financial Requirements

The British Citizen spouse (sponsor) will need to meet the financial requirements to bring their spouse to UK. This means that you need to show that the British Citizen Spouse and the applicant have a joint income of at least £18,600*  in order to meet the minimum income requirement.  There are several different sources that applicant /sponsor can include, such as; income from employment or self-employment, cash savings.  A trail of income will have to be shown ie bank statements and letter from employer.  


As part of the application process, the applicant must show that the family (including any children) will have adequate accommodation in the UK. This is to prevent individuals later seeking public assistance.

English language

The applicant may need to prove their knowledge of the English language when applying. Unless they are a national of a country which is exempt by the Home Office as being a majority English-speaking country, they will have to prove their knowledge of English by way of evidence of a an academic qualification, or by taking a test.

Tuberculosis Testing

As part of the immigration process, the applicant may need to provide evidence of Tuberculosis (TB) screening if they are a resident of a particular country. This can be checked at the following link


The key documents to be submitted with the application will depend on individual circumstances but the following is a list of documents which are usually required :

  • Passports copies for applicant and spouse.
  • Evidence that the applicant and spouse are married and intend to live together permanently.
  • Documents to show that the parties meet the financial requirements, including, sources of income and savings. 
  • Documents to prove the English language and TB testing requirements, if relevant.
  • Other documents to support the application.  

How much will a Spouse Visa cost?

The Home Office fee for a spouse visa is £1,523*. The Immigration Health Surcharge will be approx. £1,200*. The Immigration Health Surcharge is a compulsory fee that provides applicants with access to the National Health Service (NHS) once he/she is in the UK.

How long will a decision take ?

A decision will usually be made within 12 weeks if you apply outside the UK. However, you can apply via Visa premium service centres outside the UK for an expedited service which provides a decision within 6 weeks.  

How long can you stay in UK ?

If applying from outside the UK, the applicant will have permission to stay in the UK for 2 years and 9 months (2 years and 6 months if applying from inside the UK).  Nearing the end of the initial period of stay, an application to extend the stay will need to be made.  

Once you have lived in the UK for 5 years continuously with permission to stay (‘leave to remain’) as a spouse of a British Citizen, an application can be made to settle in the UK (called ‘indefinite leave to remain’).

Figures are correct at the time of publishing.

The above is a general commentary on the subject matter and should not be construed as specific legal advice.  Updated information as to the relevant Laws, Rules, Regulations and requirement should be sought prior to making any application.   To seek specific advice, please do contact Dee Popat or visit here.

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