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Home » UK Spouse Visa: Eligibility Criteria, Cost, and Steps to Apply

UK Spouse Visa: Eligibility Criteria, Cost, and Steps to Apply

Immigrate to the United Kingdom with a UK Spouse Visa if your partner is from the UK. This is because the UK marriage visa, otherwise known as the UK spouse visa, allows married partners of UK citizens to immigrate to the UK as long as they are married to someone who is settled in the United Kingdom.

Moreover, If you hold a Spouse Visa in the UK, you have the right to work like all British citizens. However, you cannot claim most benefits, such as public funds, housing allowance, or tax credits.

Although, the qualifying criteria for a UK spouse visa vary according to your partner’s situation. For example, you need to apply for a UK Partner Visa if you are coming to the UK to join your partner or spouse from outside the European Economic Area.

However, we will be properly guiding you in this article on how to apply, the eligibility criteria, and other requirements you need to apply for a UK spouse visa.

Qualifications for UK Spouse Visa

Qualifications for a UK spouse visa are for both partners. That is the UK resident and the applicant that wants to join them in the UK. They must fulfill some criteria set by the UK Immigration Authorities. The main condition for the Spouse visa is that the resident and the applicant must be over 18 since British law does not recognize marriages under 18.

The other eligibility criteria are as follows:

  • The person you want to join must be a British citizen.
  • Your marriage or civil partnership must be recognized in the UK.
  • Your relationship must be at least two years old when you apply (this is to prevent arranged marriages which British law does not recognize).
  • If you are a fiancé, you must show proof you will marry within six months.
  • If you are a proposed civil partnership, you must show proof that you will be entering into a civil partnership within six months.
  • The partner living in the UK must meet the financial requirement.
  • The applicant must meet the English language requirements.

Relationship Legitimacy for UK Spouse Visa

You will be eligible for a UK Spouse Visa when the UK authorities recognize your relationship. This is the first part of your application for obtaining a UK visa.

You should be very careful when submitting proof of your marriage/relationship because if the embassy or consulate where you are applying suspects that you are in a fake marriage/relationship for visa benefits, they will automatically refuse your visa application.

Clarifications of terms

Term Clarification

Registered Marriages The applicant and the UK resident need to submit the marriage certificate issued by the government or other formal governments from other countries as evidence of a registered marriage.

Civil Partnership Civil Partnership is called the relationship between a same-sex couple. Though not recognized as a marriage, Civil partnership couples have the same rights as married couples.

Traditional Marriages Traditional marriages that are not registered are not legally recognized; therefore, these relationships must be registered at Home Affairs.

Fiancé, fiancée or proposed civil partner If you’re applying as a fiancé, fiancée or proposed civil partner, you will have to submit proof that your previous marriage(s) or civil partnership(s) have ended if any. And also, you will have to show proof that you plan to marry your partner within six months of arrival in the UK.

UK Spouse Visa Required Documents

The UK Spouse visa required documents that you will have to submit when you go to meet with the consular officer are the below listed:

  • UK visa application form. For the spouse visa, you will need to submit the form VAF4A.
  • Valid passport with at least an empty page to affix a visa.
  • Your previous passports.
  • Two passport-sized color photos are in line with the requirements set by the UK.
  • Proof of English language requirement.
  • Your full name.
  • Proof of financial means.
  • Your date of birth.
  • Proof of relationship as photos of you two together, etc.
  • Details of any previous immigration applications, if any.
  • Your national insurance number, if any.
  • Certificate of a criminal record.
  • Your parents’ date of birth and nationality if you’re applying from outside the UK.
  • Proof of accommodation. You will need to present a document that shows where
  • You will be accommodated while in the United Kingdom.
  • Biometric information. This includes giving your fingerprints and a digital photograph at the appropriate application center.
  • Proof of paid spouse visa fees. You should submit the receipt that confirms you have paid the visa fee as required.

What Are the Financial Requirements for the Spouse Visa UK?

If you are bringing your spouse to the UK, you must prove that you have a combined income of at least £18,600 a year.

Many must fulfill this essential part of their application and therefore have their visas rejected. The UK doesn’t want to bring people that are not capable of financially maintaining themselves; consequently, they require them to be able to earn a minimum amount of money.

What counts as proof of financial subsistence?

The following sources of income can be counted for you to meet the UK Spouse Visa income requirements:

  • Your salary, if you earn it in the UK.
  • Cash savings above £16,000.
  • Pension money.
  • non-work income, i.e., property rentals or
  • Dividends.

Documents to prove financial subsistence for UK Spouse visa

To prove your income, you will have to submit proof such as the following:

  • Bank statements of the partner already residing in the UK.
  • Six months of payslips.
  • A letter from an employer which includes the job title, the period he or she has worked there, the current salary, and also payslips

In case you want to bring your children with you, you will have extra funds for them. That is, If you are planning to bring to the UK your children who aren’t British nationals or EEA nationals, alongside your partner, you will have to:

  • Earn an extra £3,800 for your first child.
  • Earn an extra £2,400 for each child you have after your first child.

Language Requirements for UK spouse visa

Another very important UK Spouse visa requirement is the knowledge of the English language. Therefore, when you submit your visa application, you shall also submit some document that proves your English knowledge. Such documents are:

  • Submitting a document or academic qualification that was taught or researched in the English language. UK NARIC must recognize such documents as equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree or higher.
  • Or you take an approved English language test and pass it with at least a CEFR level A1 in speaking and listening.

Exemption from the proof of English language proficiency

You will be exempted from the English knowledge requirement if you are a child, sick, or over 65 years old. And for the residents of these countries in this list below:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • The Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Canada
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Jamaica
  • New Zealand
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • USA
  • St Lucia
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines.

UK Spouse Visa Application

Application for a UK spouse visa will go through these simple few steps. You will begin with the online application when applying from outside the United Kingdom.

Fill VAF4A form online

Make an online application if you are applying from outside of the UK. To begin your UK spouse visa application, you have to complete the form VAF4A.

On the other hand, if you are applying from within the UK, you have two choices. You can apply online or by post. You can also apply at a premium service center. To do so, you will have to fill in the form and book an appointment or make an online application and book an appointment.

UK Spouse Visa Fee

The UK Spouse Visa application fee depends on how you apply. If you apply for a UK spouse visa from outside the UK to join your partner, you will have to pay a fee of £1,464.

Whereas, if you apply for a Spouse Visa from within the UK online or by post, the fee will be £993, and £1,583 if you apply in the UK in person with the premium service.

Moreover, you will have to pay an extra £1,464 for each dependent if you apply outside the UK, £993 if you apply in the UK online or by post, and £1,583 if you apply in the UK in person with the premium service.

UK spouse visa application time

Application to get a UK spouse visa takes up to 12 weeks, or up to 8 weeks if you apply from within the UK, either online or by post. On the other hand, if you apply in person in the UK, then you will get an answer regarding your UK Spouse Visa application within a day.

Nevertheless, application processing time might take longer if the following happens:

  • You do not meet the income requirement.
  • Cannot prove your English knowledge.
  • I need to attend an interview.
  • Have a criminal record.
  • Haven’t provided all of the required documents.

Benefits of a UK spouse visa

There are many advantages attached to a UK spouse visa. But the main advantage of the UK spouse visa is that it has no work restrictions. Unlike a work visa, where you are only allowed to work for your sponsored employer, you may be employed by anyone on a spouse visa.

Moreover, in terms of income, the spouse visa is a more lenient route, with a combined (both you and your partner) financial requirement of £18,600. In contrast, the work visa requires that you earn at least £25,600 per year or the “going rate” for your job.


How long are UK spouse visas taking?

Applications for family visas may take up to 24 weeks to process. However, you should get a decision within 24 weeks once you attend your appointment at the visa application center if you are applying to settle in the UK as the spouse, partner, or family member of someone who has British citizenship or is settled in the UK.

Is a spouse visa easy to get in the UK?

It’s free and easier than applying for a visa. Your partner might be able to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme even if they weren’t in the UK by 31 December 2020. You can check if your partner can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.

How much is the bank balance required for a UK spouse visa?

The requirements that an applicant must meet to obtain a spouse visa are in Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules. These rules contain a minimum income requirement of at least £18,600 or a cash savings requirement of at least £62,500 (or a combination of both).

Why would a spouse visa be refused?

Lack of evidence to prove a genuine and committed relationship is the most common reason for the refusal of partner visas. Applicants and their partner/spouse sponsor need to provide evidence in the following four aspects, namely, financial, social, nature of the household, and nature of commitment to one another.

How Long Can I Stay in the UK With a Spouse Visa?

If you have applied to join your spouse, you will get permission to stay in the UK for two years and six months, whereas if you have applied as a fiance or proposed civil partner, you will be permitted to stay for six months. After this period, you will have to extend your stay.

How Can I Apply for an Extension of the Spouse Visa in the UK?

You will be permitted to apply for a UK spouse visa extension 28 days before your current UK visa expires. You will have to prove that you and your partner have been continuously living together during your time in the UK to get a visa extension.

What Are Other Types of Family Visas for the UK?

Besides the Spouse Visa, other types of UK Family visas include:

  • Parent visa.
  • Child visa.
  • Visa for a relative who will provide long-term care for you.


You have understood how to apply for a UK spouse Visa and its requirements. Therefore, you can follow our guide to applying. Also, Check out Norway Family Visa – Requirements, Application, and Duration.

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