UK spouse visa, Marriage Visa

Spouse Visa also is known as a Marriage Visa, which enables spouses of British Nationals or a person who is present and settled in the UK on Indefinite Leave to Remain, to apply for their partner's leave to enter or leave to remain in the UK. 

ICS Legal are the UK’s leading top rated immigration service provider, we have a wealth of experience, as well as a strong track record of success with partner and spouse visa applications. 

We make the process of applying for UK Partner Visas simple. Our caseworkers have expertise on applying for a partner/spouse visa. The service we provide is fast, efficient and affordable, that’s why thousands of people look to us when applying for a Civil Partner Visa. 

If your partner has been refused, we help you to overturn the decision of the Entry Clearance Officer or the Secretary of State decision. E-mail us a copy of the refusal to, so we can advise on the corrective steps. If you wish to discuss the refusal or would like to seek help on applying for a UK spouse visa, why not give us a call on 0207 237 3388. 

Meeting the requirements of spouse visa

Applying for a spouse visa can be a stressful process. It is important that following the changes implemented by Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules, that you and your partner understand the requirements to meet, in order for the application to be approved. In order to meet the requirements of the Civil Partner Visa:

  1. Both parties in the marriage have to be at least 18. 

  2. Parties must have met each other, be legally married to each other and plan to live together in the UK.

  3. You must have suitable accommodation available for you in the UK.

  4. If you intend on applying for a partner Visa you must be able to support your stay in the UK without recourse to public funds.

  5. Meeting the income threshold of £18,600 for sponsoring the settlement of a spouse/partner – Please note there is a higher threshold for any children also sponsored; £22,400 for one child and an additional £2,400 for each further child.

  6. English Language requirement has been satisfied with level A1 course

  7. You may be required to have a TB test before making your spouse visa application. 

Financial Requirement for the spouse visa/marriage visa

The sponsor may meet the level of the financial requirement applicable to their application through employment, self-employment, cash savings, director of a company, rental income, etc. All the categories have the separate set of documents which need to be submitted with the civil partner visa application based specified as to:

  • the permitted sources of income/savings; and 

  • the time periods and permitted combinations of sources applicable to each; 

  • permitted source relied upon; and 

  • the evidence required for each permitted source relied upon.

Exceptions to Financial Requirement for the spouse/marriage visa

If your sponsor is in receipt of any of the below then you are not required to meet the financial requirement as part of the spouse/marriage visa application:

  • Carer's Allowance.

  • Disability Living Allowance.

  • Severe Disablement Allowance.

  • Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit.

  • Attendance Allowance.

  • Personal Independence Payment.

There is a financial adequacy test that is required to be met as part of the spouse/marriage visa application. 

Civil Partner Visa Application Processing Times

The average processing time for a civil partner visa depends on whether the application is submitted in the country or on an entry clearance basis. It can vary from 2 – 12 weeks from the date of submission. There are also fast track applications available on the UK spouse visa/marriage visa. Complete our visa assessment form, by clicking here for more details of whether you would be eligible to apply for a fast track application. 

Duration of the Spouse Visa

The spouse visa/marriage visa is issued for 2.5 years. Then the applicant will need to apply for an extension of stay for a further 2.5 years. Once you have resided in the UK for a continuous period of five years, you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). 

Spouse Visa | UK Marriage Visa Extension Application

  • The initial spouse visa/marriage visa is granted for 2.5 years, thereafter the applicant can apply for an extension providing he or she is able to meet the above criteria. In addition, the applicant will need to also meet the following criteria. 

  • the marriage or civil partnership has not taken place after a decision has been made to deport the applicant or he has been recommended for deportation or been given notice under Section 6(2) of the Immigration Act 1971 or been given directions for his removal under section 10 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999;

Settlement  | Indefinite Leave to Remain under the spouse visa/marriage visa

  • In order to make a successful application for Indefinite to Leave to Remain, the applicant will need to demonstrate that he or she meets the following criteria. 

  • The applicant has completed a period of 5 years in the UK, with a visa or permission to remain here in this category.

  • The applicant remains the husband, wife or civil partner of the person specified in his or her visa or permission to remain.

  • The marriage or civil partnership continues to exist and that the couple is in a real and subsisting relationship.

  • The couple has the intention to live together permanently as husband and wife or civil partners.

  • You couple continue to have recourse to adequate housing for themselves and their dependents without recourse to public funds.

  • The couple can maintain themselves financially without seeking recourse to public funds. 

  • The applicant does not have any unspent convictions within the meaning of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. 

  • The applicant has successfully passed the life in the UK test and is able to meet with the requisite English language requirements.

Frequently asked questions on the spouse visa/marriage visa Can I work or study whilst on a spouse visa

Yes, once your spouse visa/marriage visa application is approved you are eligible to work or study in the UK.

Do I have to be outside the UK to apply for spouse visa/marriage visa?

No. If you are currently in the UK under another visa category, like a Tier 5 Visa, you can apply to switch over to a Spouse Visa/marriage visa. However, you cannot switch in the UK from a visitor’s visa. If you are currently outside the UK, you would apply for the Spouse Visa or Settlement  Visa. However, depending on your personal circumstances, you can apply for a human rights spouse visa application from the UK. Click here to read more information

Does my UK spouse visa/marriage visa expire?

When your application is successful, you will be allowed to live and work in the UK for 30 months. After the initial 30 months, you can extend for another 30 months and then you can apply for permanent residency (or what they call ‘indefinite leave to remain’).


Switching Into Spouse Visa

You can apply for a spouse visa on the basis of your marriage with a British Citizen or a person present and settled in the UK. The application will be considered in accordance with requirements of the Immigration Rules as set out in Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules.

For a spouse visa application to succeed, there are 4 main requirements:

  • The evidence of relationship between the sponsor and the applicant;

  • The documentary evidence to comply with the financial requirement as set out in Appendix FM;

  • The adequate accommodation; and

  • English language requirement.

Additionally, the applicant should also meet the suitability criteria as set out in the immigration rules.

Switching Into UK Spouse Visa

A person who is in the UK with leave to remain which was originally granted for the period of more than six months and who is married to:

  • a British Citizen, or
  • a person with ILR, or

  • a person with refugee status, or

  • as a person with humanitarian protection

can apply to switch into spouse visa from inside the UK as long as he meets all the relevant requirements of the Immigration Rules.

An application for switching into spouse visa from inside the UK is submitted to the Home Office by completing application form FLR (M). We can provide Same Day Visa Service for FLR (M) application for switching into spouse visa.

Same Day Visa Service For FLR (M) Application

We are registered with the Home Office, Public Enquiry Office (PEO), Croydon to provide same day visa service for an application for switching into spouse visa as a spouse of a British Citizen or a person present and settled in the UK i.e. FLR (M) application. We can prepare and submit your FLR (M) application to the Home Office, PEO, Croydon and get quick decision on your application. As FLR (M) application is a biometric application, therefore you will have to attend the Home Office, PEO, Croydon along with our legal representatives for your biometrics and submission of your application. Our legal representative will accompany you to the Home Office, Public Enquiry Office (PEO) and assist you with the enrollment of your biometrics and submission of your application. The application submitted through our same day visa service is generally decided the same day.

Settlement – ILR for  Spouse Visa Holders

After 5 years in the UK with Spouse Visa status you and your children should be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain, (also known as ILR or Permanent Residence). Applicants who applied for a Spouse Visa prior to 8 April 2012 might qualify for Settlement after 2 years in the UK.

If your relationship ends then you may still be able to remain in the UK and qualify for ILR in due course depending on the length of time in the UK and how the relationship ended.

Can I apply for a Spouse Visa while I am in the UK?

If you are in the UK with a visitor visa or other visa granted for less than 6 months then you would usually be expected to leave the UK and submit your Spouse Visa application from your home country. In most other cases where you are in the UK with a visa granted for more than 6 months, you should be able to submit your visa application from within the UK. If you are currently outside the UK then you should submit your Spouse Visa application from your home country.

How To Avoid Spouse Visa Refusal For The UK

There are many ways to avoid a possible refusal of spouse visa for the UK, grounds might have different from the others or likely similar too, but how can you battle to present the application that would have a better chance of the approval than a refusal? Here are some tips for information on which you may use to prepare your application.

1. Check which route would best apply to you i.e. Family permit (Surinder Singh) or Spouse/Partner of a person settled in the UK/Citizen.

2. If you choose to apply for an Entry Clearance as Spouse or Partner for a route such as 2.5 years, one must have a valid application, make sure all the necessary documents as to evidence your genuine relationship is genuine and subsisting, the case officer will scrutinise as a whole if the relationship is genuine or not

 3. The more evidence of documents the better, but the consistency, accuracy and credibility of the documents are the primary concern, that is material for your application. Avoid presenting documents or evidence that is not relevant to your claim to evidence a particular requirement which might bring confusion to the officer

4. Provide a submission letter to your application as possible and arrange your documents depending on how you would like to see it by the case officer, for example, you put Annexure of it

5. Never withhold any relevant information from your previous and current circumstances. Recheck all the information you have provided online on your visa application page and review them all together prior to the submission

6. There should not be a record of the offence or conviction of the applicant (unless the penalty or punishment of that office has rendered and served, and a period of 5 or 10 years have passed since the end of the sentence (depending on the weight of the offence/conviction)

7. Do not fail to provide additional information if there is a request of the case officer to provide additional information or to provide medical report

8. Provide evidence as that of the English requirement is met (unless you are exempt)

9. Don’t try to provide or declare false information or documents submitted, or fabricate the documents in relation to your application for the purpose to enter and remain in the UK, it is better to declare the information or documents are unobtainable, lost, in nature rather than providing a fabricated one

10. The financial requirement must be met E-ECP.3.1, E.LTRP.3.1 and therefore the applicant should not recourse to the public funds 11. There is strong documentation that the applicant will live permanently with his/her sponsor in the UK

12. If your sponsor declared that the financial requirement is met, through a combination of a certain category such as;  Category A – salaried and non-salaried for a person in the UK for a period of 6 months or more. With the combination of your Category C- Source of income from non-employment, e.g., Rental income, interest from the bank, stocks or bands and etc. Or with the combination of Category D- Cash savings in the bank  These combinations may apply depending on the situation of the sources of your sponsor in the UK, as to meet the financial requirement, however a clear sources and valid requisites of documents should support the sources of the upper mentioned income or savings

 13. Recheck the bank statements if they are in a valid format as required by the guidance of the financial requirement for a family member, bank statements should cover the period for which the income is relied upon

14. The applicant/sponsor must not submit the sources of funds/income derived from: third party, loans or credit, income from related benefits, job seeker’s allowance, incapacity allowance, child benefit, working tax credit, employment support allowance (or equivalent), universal credit, unemployment allowance – because these are not permitted as sources to meet the financial requirement

15. Provide the original and photocopy of each of the documents as required and check them again if the information listed is clear and readable enough to understand in English One may choose to appeal the application if you are being told to do so, as usually the refusal letter comes with the appeal form (which may take some time to get the decision) Or the same goes, by with the request for the administrative review within the 28 days of the issuance of refusal (in case you are permitted), wherein you can point out the viable points were the reasons of refusal is due to some error or overlooking of the documents by the case officer.

Spouse Visa Appeal Service

We understand that appealing the decision made against your Spouse Visa application is a life changing event. That’s why we have Spouse Visa appeal Solicitors, Lawyers and Barristers waiting to help you with the complex rules and regulations of the Spouse Visa appeal process.
Our  Spouse Visa appeal experts are available and waiting to help you. Call us now on  020 7237 3388

A UK Spouse Visa Appeal allows a foreign national the opportunity to obtain a Spouse Visa in order to live in the UK with their wedded partner.

UK partner and spouse visa fees

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) increase the application fees, As a result, some visa categories will see a significant increase in 2017. Most notably, UK settlement partner, fiancée and spouse visa application processing fee is set to rise from its current rate of  £1,195 to £1,464 per applicant. The UKVI settlement priority service fee will go up from £360 to £450 per applicant. Defendants must pay a separate application fee. All fees are non-refundable regardless of the outcome.

Postal indefinite leave to remain (ILR) and further leave to remain (FLR) applications for temporary visa holders with no dependents will cost more – £2,297 (£422 increase) and £993 (£182 increase), respectively. Those who wish to apply in person (same day service) at the local UKVI public enquiry offices will have to pay an additional fee of £590 on top of the standard application fee. Defendants must pay a separate application fee, which is non-refundable regardless of the outcome of the principal applicant’s immigration application.

The UKVI settlement priority (fast track) visa service fee will rise to £551 (currently £450) per applicant, including any dependents, regardless of age. This additional service is available to eligible applicants in participating countries which guarantee the settlement partner, fiancé or spousal visa application will be processed at the front of the UKVI queue, normally within 10 to 15 working days. It should be noted that this service does not guarantee a successful outcome, as settlement priority applications not meeting the UKVI criteria for approval will be refused. Unsuccessful applicants are not entitled to a refund.


ICS Legal can advise and support on your UK spouse visa/marriage visa application. Call us today on 0207 237 3388

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