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What is a Spouse visa?

A Spouse visa allows British Citizens and individuals who are present and settled in the UK to bring their spouse or civil partner to live with them in the UK.

Spouses and civil partners of British Citizens and individuals who are present and settled in the UK require such a visa to live with their partner in the UK for more than 6 months.

Once the visa is granted, you will be able to work in the UK without restriction.

What criteria must I meet to be eligible for a Spouse visa?

All of the following criteria must be met in order to successfully qualify for a Spouse visa:

Eligibility criteria as set out in the Immigration Rules:

  • Both partners must be aged 18 years or over
  • Both partners must have met and be legally married
  • The relationship must be genuine and subsisting
  • The couple must intend to live together permanently in the UK
  • Any previous relationship of either partner must have broken down permanently
  • The British Citizen or settled individual or the applicant (if they are in the UK with permission to work) must have a gross annual income of at least £18,600 or have adequate cash savings to support his or her spouse. If there are children, the gross annual income or savings requirement is increased.
  • The couple must have adequate accommodation for themselves and their dependants in the UK
  • The applicant must satisfy a basic English language requirement in speaking and listening to at least level A1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages

Suitability criteria as set out in the Immigration Rules:

  • The applicant must not be the subject of a deportation order
  • The applicant’s exclusion from the UK must not be conducive to the public good (for example, because he/she has been convicted of an offence for which he/she has been sentenced to a period of imprisonment or because their conduct, character or associations make it undesirable to grant them entry clearance)
  • The applicant must not have submitted false information, representations or documents in relation to the application or have failed to disclose material facts in relation to the application
  • Within the period of 12 months prior to the date on which the application is submitted, the applicant must not have been convicted of or admitted an offence for which he/she has received a non-custodial sentence or other out of court disposal that is recorded on their criminal record
  • The applicant must not have failed to pay litigation costs awarded to the Home Office or have failed to pay charges in accordance with the relevant NHS regulations

Exemption from the £18,600 financial requirement:

If your British Citizen or settled partner is in receipt of one of the following benefits, then you do not need to satisfy the £18,600 financial requirement:

  • Attendance allowance
  • Carer’s allowance
  • Disability living allowance
  • Personal independence payment
  • Armed forces independence payment or guaranteed income payment under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme
  • Constant attendance allowance, mobility supplement or a war disablement pension under the War Pensions Scheme
  • Severe disablement allowance
  • Industrial injury disablement benefit
  • Police injury pension

Should this apply, the applicant must also provide evidence that their British Citizen or settled partner is able to maintain and accommodate themselves, the applicant and any dependants adequately in the UK without recourse to public funds.

How long is a Spouse visa valid for?

The visa will be granted for an initial period not exceeding 33 months after which you will be eligible to apply for an extension for 30 months. After the five-year period, you will be eligible to apply for settlement in the UK.

How long will my Spouse visa application take to process – outside of the UK?

Typically, a decision is made within a few months due to the complexity of the supporting documentation required. The UK government provides a guide to processing times to identify how long it takes to get a visa in your country.

However, if you pay for the Priority visa for settlement service which is £573, your application will be placed at the front of the queue for priority processing and most people get a decision within 15-30 working days.

How long will my Spouse visa application take to process – inside of the UK?

If you apply from within the UK, the application can take several months to process. However, if you pay for the Super Priority visa for settlement service which is £800, you can get a next working day decision for your application.

Why use Setfords for Spouse visa matters?

  • Expert legal advice specific to your matter
  • Excellent technical knowledge of all aspects of Spouse visa applications
  • Extensive experience in making successful applications under a number of provisions of the Immigration Rules for such applications especially in relation to attaining the financial requirement based on cash savings, salaried employment, self-employment, investment liquidation and property sales
  • Cost effective service with upfront fixed fees so that clients know what to expect
  • Being able to contact your lawyer out of office hours
  • Unwavering commitment to delivering excellent client care
  • Meticulous preparation of all paperwork and supporting documentation to expedite the process

We are happy to answer your enquiry by email or on the telephone and can do so outside office hours if you prefer. To receive more information, please complete the form below or call our enquiries team on 0330 058 4011.

Lawyer spotlight: Nicola Anne Wilkins

Consultant Solicitor - Business and Personal UK Immigration Law

Quotes from previous clients

“We had the pleasure of working with Nicola in 2014 when we needed visas for my American family to move to the UK. Nicola paid lots of attention to detail, prepared everything perfectly, came up with creative ways to overcome some hurdles and had great knowledge of UK immigration law. She was always very personable and happy to explain any issues that came up. It all went seamlessly and now we are all happily living in the UK. Happy clients!”.

“I highly recommend Nicola as a solicitor as she successfully helped to secure a visa for my wife to move to the UK in 2018. I found Nicola to be thorough, dedicated, professional and personable and I would certainly enlist Nicola's services again in the future”.

“Nicola picked up our case when the timing of paperwork to be submitted was absolutely critical. She had to play catch up extremely quickly in order to give us the professional service which we required. Nicola's response was impressive and filled us with confidence. Once we were working with Nicola our application went smoothly and her efficiency and responsiveness was very much appreciated by us both”.

To receive more information, please complete the form below or telephone Nicola on direct line 020 8103 2006.