UK Spouse Visa

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What is a UK spouse visa?

A spouse visa allows those applying (“applicants”) to join their UK partner (“sponsor”) in the UK

How long is it granted for?

UK spouse visa is granted initially for a period of 33 months

Can UK spouse visa be extended?

Yes, assuming that you meet all the criteria. Your extension will be valid for 30 months, after which you can apply for UK Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)

Can I claim benefits on this visa?

You usually can not claim claim most benefits, tax credits or housing assistance. There are however exceptions.

Can I work on this visa?

Yes, you are free to take up any employment, self-employment, running business in the UK etc.

How much does it costs?

The Home Office currently (08/01/2020) charges £1,523. You may also be required to pay the Health Surcharge. Please note that the fees change often, and usually increase.

What is the typical UK immigration route under this visa?

  • Leave to enter application: usually granted for 33 months
  • Leave to remain application: FLR(M) visa (usually granted for 30 months)
  • Indefinite Leave to remain application: Indefinite Leave to remain
  • Naturalisation as a British Citizen: British citizenship

What are the UK spouse visa requirements in 2020?

In order to be granted a fiancé(e) visa UK, you must meet the following:

  1. Your UK spouse must be present and settled in the UK or a British Citizen
  2. You must be married or in civil relationship
  3. Your relationship must be ‘genuine’ and ‘subsisting’
  4. You must meet the English language requirement
  5. You must show that you are free from tuberculosis (TB)
  6. You must show that you meet the financial requirements
  7. You must show that there will be adequate accommodation for when you in the UK, and for all dependants that you may have

UK spouse visa in details


  • Your UK partner is likely to be ‘Present and settled’ in the UK if they are in the UK and have:
    • Indefinite Leave to Remain; or
    • Permanent Residence status under EU law; or
    • Settled status under the Immigration Rules – appendix EU; or
    • Your UK partner can be in the UK with refugee status or with humanitarian protection.


      • Both of you must be aged 18 or over
      • You must have met your UK spouse in person
      • You must not be in a prohibited degree of relationship
      • You must intend to live with your UK partner permanently in the UK
      • Your relationship must be ‘genuine and subsisting’


 You must provide evidence that you meet the English language requirement. There are four ways that you can do this:

  • The most common way is to pass a Home Office approved English language test at A1 level. There are currently two approved tests that you can take at A1 and above:
    • Graded Examinations in Spoken English by Trinity College London
    • IELTS Life Skills by IELTS SELT Consortium
  • If you have a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree or a PhD that is taught in English, you may not have to take the A1 English language test
    • If your English-taught degree was taught in the UK, this will meet the English language requirement.
    • If, your degree was taught outside the UK, you must include the original certificate and original certification from UK NARIC
  • If you are from one of the majority English speaking countries, you do not have to pass the English language test:
      • Antigua and Barbuda;
      • Australia;
      • the Bahamas;
      • Barbados
      • Belize;
      • Canada;
      • Dominica;
      • Grenada;
      • Guyana;
      • Jamaica;
      • New Zealand;
      • St Kitts and Nevis;
      • St Lucia;
      • St Vincent and the Grenadines;
      • Trinidad and Tobago;
      • the United States of America.
  • You may be exempt from having to take the test if one of these apply:
      • You’re aged 65 or over when you submit the application
      • You’re unable to take the test because of a physical or mental condition that prevents you from being able to sit the test;
      • There are ‘exceptional’ circumstances. What is exceptional will depends on the facts.


  • TB test is required for those applying for a UK partner visa if you are resident in one of the following countries
    • Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Burma, Burundi, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Cameroon, China, Congo, Congo Democratic Republic, Côte d’Ivoire,Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Hong Kong or Macau, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Malysia, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Micronesia, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palau, Papu New Guinea, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor Leste, Togo, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Vietnam, Zambia, Zimbabwe


  • You must be able to show that there will be adequate accommodation for you in the UK.. This accommodation must be ‘owned or occupied exclusively’ by your family and must be what the Home Office deems as ‘adequate’ and it must not be statutorily overcrowded. The documents required to prove the above vary – it may be sufficient to provide rent or lease agreement. If your spouse owns a property you may want to obtain documents from Land registry


    • Your UK spouse must earn in excess of £18600 gross per annum or must have sufficient capital to make up for any deficiency.


  • In addition your UK spouse must show £3600.00 gross per annum for the first dependant, and £2400 for each next dependant or sufficient capital to make up for a difference, unless the dependants are British or EU citizens. Your UK spouse can be employed, self-employed a director/shareholder of a limited company etc. The financial requirement however is very detailed and proscriptive – your spouse must provide specified documents in a specific format, or your visa application will be refused. The financial requirement is somewhat relaxed if the sponsor is in receipt of a permitted benefit, different test will apply in place of the standard minimum income of £18,600.

SUITABILITY – mandatory grounds for refusal.

  • Do you meet the suitability requirements? If not, your application will be refused if any of those is true:
    • You have been informed by the UKVI that you are not allowed in the UK.
    • Your previous behaviour has made it undesirable to grant you UK spouse visa.
    • You failed to comply with one of the following requirements without a reasonable excuse:
      • Attend an interview
      • Provide physical data
      • Provide information
      • Take a medical examination or provide a medical report.
      • You have been notified of a deportation order.
      • You have been sentenced to jail term for a significant amount of time.
      • You have a medical reason which makes it undesirable to grant you a spouse visa.
      • You are considered to be a risk to your partner or his/her child.
      • You left or were removed from the UK as a condition of a caution that was given to you under section 22 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 less than 5 years ago.

SUITABILITY – other grounds for refusal.

  • You may be refused if any of the following is met:
    • You previously included false information, made false representations or provide forged/false documents,
    • You failed to pay NHS charges that are owed that are greater than £500.
    • You have a bad criminal history.
    • You did not pay litigation costs that have been awarded to the Home Office.
    • A maintenance and accommodation undertaking has not been provided when requested.

Our experienced immigration lawyers can represent you before the UK immigration authorities to ensure that your application is successful. Contact us now!

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