UK Spouse Visa

UK Visa for Married and Unmarried Couples

Living in the UK is a dream for many. The historical sites, culture, architecture, theatre, career opportunities, school system, transport system and healthcare are reasons enough to want to settle in the beautiful island country. For that, you will need a visa.

The institution in charge of visas is a division of the Home Office: UK visas and Immigration. They make millions of decisions yearly on who is allowed to enter or remain in the country, with a strong focus on national security and a culture of customer satisfaction for those who legally entered the country.

If you want to settle with your spouse or seek an unmarried partner visa in UK but don’t know how to proceed, read on to understand the application process, requirements, fees, etc.

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Visa for Married Couples

If you are married to a UK citizen who is settled in the country, you can apply for a UK spouse visa. The partner visa in the UK permits you to be with your partner for 30 months initially, and you get a spouse visa extension for another 30 months when the eligibility criteria have been met.

Additionally, the spouse visa in the UK lets you study, work and travel. Further, after continuously residing in the UK for five years on a spouse visa, you can apply for a settlement and, ultimately, British citizenship.

However, obtaining a partner visa can be a complicated and long process. It is essential to consider your circumstances carefully and seek professional advice before applying for a spouse visa in the UK.

Application Process

You’ll need to compile the information and documentation to submit a spouse visa application. Different UK spouse visa criteria apply depending on whether you’re applying for the 5-year route or the 10-year option.

Spouse Visa Requirements

For a spouse visa in UK, the easiest way to determine which application option is best for you is to speak with a leading Solicitor in the UK. In any case, you must fulfil the following initial conditions to be eligible to apply for this visa. The sponsor needs to fulfil the following criteria:


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A British national residing in the UK is the same as a British national travelling there with you as your partner. A person being admitted for settlement at the same time as you are considered to have indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

You can submit an application and, if approved, receive entry clearance into the UK for 2.5 years. Then, once that time has passed, you can reapply to obtain indefinite leave to remain in the UK. This process usually takes 5 years.

However, before submitting your spouse visa application, you must show the following evidence:

  • You and your partner are over 18.
  • You are married or in a civil partnership recognized in the UK and have been living together for at least two years. This goes for a fiance visa application as well.
  • You are engaged or planning to be married in the UK within six months of arriving, or you are a fiancé or proposed civil partner.
  • There are no other relationships outside the marriage
  • Your relationship must be genuine, and you intend on permanently living with your spouse after arriving in the UK.
  • As the applicant, you must prove that you can understand, speak and have studied English.
  • You need proof of living and maintaining an acceptable life and won’t need to claim public funds.
  • You must be tested for tuberculosis by a clinic approved by the Home Office.
  • The initial entry clearance visa is issued for a period of 33 months (30 months if the application is submitted from within the UK; if you apply as a fiancé or proposed civil partner, you will be issued a 6-month visa to allow you to enter the UK so that your marriage or civil partnership can take effect), upon which you can submit an application for a Spouse Visa Extension of 30 months. You might be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Stay after five years.

Supporting Documents

  • Valid passports
  • Civil partnership or marriage certificate
  • If applicable, divorce certificates of a previous marriage(s)
  • Criminal conviction documents, if any
  • If you have one, submit your national insurance number
  • UK accommodation details
  • Bank statements
  • Your sponsor’s indefinite leave to remain paperwork or British passport
  • For an unmarried partner visa, the requirements to meet are the same as married couples

Relationship Requirement for UK Spouse Visa

There are several components to the UK Spouse Visa relationship requirement:

  • There must not be any level of relationship between you and your spouse that is illegal
  • You must have personally met your partner
  • You must be lawfully married to your partner
  • Your connection must be sincere and ongoing
  • Your intention must be to live together in the UK permanently with your partner
  • Any previous relationship has to have ended permanently

Income Threshold for Spouse Visa

The spouse visa financial requirement is one of the main qualifying requirements you must satisfy if you want to apply for a UK spousal visa, also known as the “minimum income requirement.”

It states that you and your partner must make a combined annual income of at least £18,600. It’s important to note that after 2.5 years, you must still satisfy the financial criterion to apply for a spouse visa renewal.

There are several ways to satisfy the financial requirements for a spouse visa, but this usually involves income, cash savings, or a mix of the two.

If you have children, you will need an additional £3,800 annually for the first child and £2,400 annually for each additional child in addition to the base requirement of £18,600 annually. For instance, if you have three children, you must have an income of £18,600 (base requirement)+ £3,800 (first child) + 2,400 (second child) + 2,400 (third child) = £27,200.

Proof of income to meet financial requirements are as follows (any of the following can be submitted):

  • Employment income
  • Self-employment income
  • Cash saving more than £1,600
  • Income earned in the UK while serving as a director of a limited company
  • Pension
  • Dividend income, property rental, passive income (non-employment income)

Post Application Acceptance

If your application is accepted, you will receive a biometric residence permit valid for 33 months (entry clearance) or 30 months (leave to remain).

If you apply as a fiancé, you will also receive a 6-month visa that will allow you to enter the UK in order to consummate your marriage or civil partnership here.

When applying from abroad, you will first receive a passport with a 30-day “vignette” that will enable you to travel to the UK.

Within 10 days of your arrival in the UK, you must pick up your biometric residence permit from a Post Office you pre-selected throughout the application procedure.

You can reside and work in the UK for the duration of your visa. While on a spouse visa, you won’t be able to use public funds, but you will be allowed to use the NHS because you paid the Immigration Health Surcharge as part of your visa application.

Although you are allowed to travel abroad, to be eligible for an extension of leave or ILR after 60 months, you must live in the UK constantly with your partner.

Bills, bank statements, and other official letters and communication addressed to you and your spouse at your shared residence are examples of the documents you should maintain as proof that you have been cohabiting since your visa was approved.

Unmarried Partner Visa in the UK

The unmarried partner visa enables an unmarried partner to enter the UK on the understanding that they are in a relationship with someone currently settled in the UK.

Both heterosexual and same-sex relationships are eligible for the unmarried partner visa if you can demonstrate that your union is genuine and has been going on for at least two years.

The requirements to meet are the same as married couples, with a few differences:

  • Before proceeding with the fiance visa application, you need proof that you have lived together for 2 years minimum (a letter from your landlord or joint lease document).
  • The Home Office will require you to be able to present proof that you and your partner have shared an address for at least two years in order to qualify.
  • Unless you are from an English-speaking nation or have successfully finished a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree in English, you must take a level A1 CEFR language test.
  • You must have personally met your unmarried partner before. The prerequisite to having “met” entails being able to prove a face-to-face encounter that led to the formation of a friendship.

A long-term online relationship does not count. The conditions for a UK Unmarried Partner Visa can only be met by meeting in person and then communicating by phone or writing.

The UK Spouse Visa Fee

To apply for a UK Spouse Visa, you must pay either £1,523 or £1,033, depending on where you are applying from within or outside UK. However, the spouse visa UK fees only cover the application; they do not include additional expenses.

Fiance Visa UK Cost

The UK fiance visa cost is £1,523 for applications made outside the UK. This fee includes the cost of processing your application and is non-refundable, even if your application is refused.

In addition to the application fee, you may also need to pay other charges, such as the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) and the cost of any required biometric appointments or translations.

The current IHS rate is £624 per year for each applicant, and it must be paid upfront as part of the visa application process.

Get Professional Help

It is important to get professional help from during this long and arduous process from our experts at Osbourne Pinner. We are one of London’s premier Solicitors with an unmatched track record! Here’s why:

Expertise: We thoroughly know immigration law and the visa application procedure. We can offer helpful guidance on your eligibility for a visa, the kind of visa you should apply for, and the required paperwork and supporting evidence.

Reducing errors and mistakes: Applying for a visa may be time-consuming. If you make mistakes or errors in your application, you risk delays, rejection, or even being denied entry to the UK. Osbourne Pinner can assist you in avoiding these mistakes and improving your chances of having your application accepted.

Time-Saving: Filling out and completing a visa application can take some time. Giving the duty to our qualified counsel may free up your time to concentrate on other crucial areas of your life.

Ease: You can feel at ease knowing that your application has been handled by our professionals and that you have the best possible chance of success using our consultants.

We advise you to seek assistance from a reputed and qualified solicitor such as Osbourse Pinner.

Our client testimonials reflect our work ethic and vision; to be warm and friendly while assisting you with whatever you need. 

The positive claims highlight that the team goes above and beyond to solve their issues. The team is said to be friendly, knowledgeable, responsive, patient, supportive and highly professional.


How long does it take to apply?

When the application is submitted to the UKBA, the processing time for a spouse visa application ranges from 2 to 12 weeks. Depending on the nation where the application is submitted, processing times change.

How long is the spouse visa valid?

A spouse visa is initially provided for 33 months to those who apply from outside. A spouse visa is granted for 30 months if you apply from within the UK.

What happens if the UK spouse visa application is denied?

If your application for a UK spouse or fiance visa is denied for whatever reason, you should speak with the lawyer appointed to you by Osbourne Pinner; they will examine your case and help you file an appeal.

Can a spouse visa be extended?

You can extend your visa for two and a half years (30 months) at a time, assuming you meet the requirements. To fulfil your five years (60 months) requirement for settlement as a spouse or partner, you must extend your visa at least once.

If, after five years, you still don’t completely satisfy the criteria for settlement—for instance, if your level of English isn’t yet sufficient for settlement or if you don’t pass the Living in the UK test—you might need to extend.

How do I renew my spouse visa?

You must fill out an online form, also referred to as an FLR(M) form, in order to renew your visa. After paying the necessary application fees, you have to upload scanned images of your supporting documentation to an online site run by the Home Office’s business partner, Sopra Steria (UKVCAS).

You must schedule and show up at a real appointment to enroll your biometrics with Sopra Steria, which also handles appointments for UK visas.

Moreover, applicants can bring the required documentation to their appointment, where it will be scanned and uploaded to the online portal by UKVCAS employees (additional fees might apply).

What are the spouse visa interview questions?

The caseworker who conducts the spouse visa interview will determine the types of questions that may be asked. However, some instances might be:

  • How did you two first meet?
  • What does your husband make a year?
  • Have you ever met their family and friends?

Our team can do a mock interview with you and your spouse to assist you in getting ready for the interview.

What Happens If The Spouse Visa Requirements aren’t Satisfied?

On the basis of human rights, you might still be permitted to visit or remain in the UK even if you are unable to meet the requirements for the UK Spouse Visa if, for instance:

  • You have an Irish or British citizen child in the UK
  • You have a child in the UK who has been there for at least 7 years and whose departure from the UK would be unreasonable
  • If you and your spouse lived together as a couple outside of the UK, there would be very real challenges that you and your spouse could not overcome.

It would be against your human rights to keep you from entering the UK or to force you to leave.

What condition of the spouse visa is the most challenging?

When an applicant’s partner holds a directorship in a UK company, presenting the necessary evidence might be particularly challenging because it requires a lot of documentation.


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Osbourne Pinner in London I could have ever dealt with. From how my case was handled, the communication, replying to my calls and explaining to me in detail about the law. Special thanks to Kanchan Gooransingh ’s my personal advisor in getting my spouse visa processed very quickly and professionally.If you are looking for a professional and exceptional value for money service then, look no further. The team at Osbourne Pinner are thorough, professional and pleasant to work with. I highly recommend you give them a call, give them a try and judge for yourself. 5 Star is an understatement. All the best to all especially, Kanchan Gooransingh. Many thanks for your assistance & brilliant service.
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