To be eligible and apply for a UK Spouse visa, applicants must meet the latest requirements of 2023 in accordance with Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules.
It's important to note that the requirements for a Spouse visa can be complex and can vary depending on your individual circumstances. It's advisable to seek guidance from an immigration lawyer to ensure that you understand the requirements and have the best chance of success in your Spouse visa application.
Table of Contents
- What are the UK spouse visa requirements?
- UK Spouse visa financial requirement
- Genuine & subsisting relationship
- Adequate accommodation requirement
- English language requirement
- UK spouse visa document checklist
- Switch to Spouse visa (5-year route)
- Switch to Spouse visa (10-year route)
- Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
- Need legal advice or help from an immigration lawyer?
What are the UK spouse visa requirements?
To be eligible for a UK Spouse visa, you must meet the following requirements:
- Age: You and your partner are both over the age of 18.
- Genuine & subsisting relationship: You must be in a genuine and subsisting marriage or civil partnership with a British citizen or settled person in the UK.
- Financial requirement: You and your partner must meet the financial requirement, which is currently set at a minimum income of £18,600 per year. If you have children, the financial requirement may be higher.
- English language requirement: You must be able to speak and understand English at the required level. You can demonstrate this by passing an approved English language test or by having an academic qualification that was taught in English.
- Adequate accommodation requirement: You must have suitable accommodation for you and your partner, and any dependents, without relying on public funds.
- Immigration history: You must not have breached any UK immigration laws, and must not have any criminal convictions that would make you ineligible for a visa.
You must also meet all the other eligibility requirements depending on type of application and your personal circumstances. Please contact us for an initial assessment to determine your eligibility, and to discuss the options.
UK Spouse visa financial requirement
The financial requirements for a UK spouse visa are as follows:
- Income requirement: If your partner is employed in the UK, they must have a gross annual income of at least £18,600. If you have children who will also be applying for the visa, the income requirement will be higher.
- Savings requirement: If your partner is not able to meet the income requirement, you may be able to use your own savings to meet the financial requirement. You must have at least £62,500 in savings, which must have been held for at least six months prior to the visa application.
- Combination of income and savings: If you and your partner cannot meet either the income or savings requirement individually, you may be able to combine your income and savings to meet the financial requirement. For example, if your partner earns £16,000 per year, you would need to have at least £46,000 in savings to meet the financial requirement.
What if I do not meet the financial requirement?
If you do not meet the financial requirement from employment or self-employment to meet the mandatory Marriage Visa financial requirement, or you are unsure about your income, seek the advice of our specialist immigration lawyer, as you can also rely on savings or other sources to meet the financial requirement.
What sources of income can be included?
To meet the minimum income requirement for your UK Spouse Visa application, you can use:
- Savings over £16,000
- Earnings from employment or self-employment
- Maternity, paternity, adoption or sick pay
- Other income such as that generated from rent or shares
If your partner is applying from outside the UK, they can use their savings to contribute towards the total income amount but not their earnings. Nevertheless, if your partner is working in the UK, their earnings can count towards the total amount.
You can also use a combination of savings and earnings to help you meet the minimum income threshold. However, you will need to prove you have enough financial support for the entire length of the permit.
To see how much you will need in savings, first subtract any other eligible income from your minimum requirement. Then, multiply this figure by 2.5 and add 16,000.
Genuine & subsisting relationship
The UK Spouse visa applicant needs to be able to prove they are in a genuine relationship, such as a civil partnership, with their British citizen or settled partner. There are lots of different types of evidence you can send to the Home Office depending upon your personal circumstances, most common documents which you can provide to meet the genuine relationship test are:
- A joint mortgage or tenancy agreement, either in the UK or outside the UK.
- Evidence of any children you have together, such as a birth certificate.
- Photographs that show you have spent time together frequently.
- A shared bank account or savings.
- Text messages or social media chat logs.
- Travel documents that prove you have visited each other at least once before you got married or have met in person.
- Any documents which prove that you intend to live together in the UK.
Adequate accommodation requirement
As part of your UK Spouse Visa application, you will need to provide proof of accommodation that meets UK living standards.
Your UK national partner, who acts as your sponsor, will need to show that he or she can provide adequate accommodation for themselves, the applicant, and any dependents who intend to live in the UK.
For proof of accommodation, the Home Office will ask you to provide:
- A description of the property where you intend to live with your spouse
- Proof that there are enough rooms in the property to accommodate everyone and that there is no overcrowding issues
- Evidence that you can afford to pay for your family’s accommodation
English language requirement
To apply for a UK Spouse visa, you must prove you can read, write, speak and understand English to a certain level on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale.
You must prove you can read, write, speak and understand English to at least level A1 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale.
If the applicant has completed a degree-level course that was taught in English, they may be exempt from the English language test requirement.
If an applicant is a citizen of a country where English is the majority language, they will automatically meet the English language requirement.
UK spouse visa document checklist
To apply for a UK Spouse visa, the following documents are typically required:
- Valid passport or other travel documents to prove your identity
- Proof that your relationship is genuine & subsisting
- Evidence that you meet the financial requirements
- Evidence of meeting the adequate accommodation requirement
- Evidence of your knowledge of the English language
- Proof of any dependent family members (if applicable)
- Tuberculosis (TB) test results (if applicable)
This is a general list of documents. Depending on type of application and your personal circumstances, you might also need to provide additional documents.
Please contact us for an initial assessment to determine your eligibility, and find out the required list of documents in support of your application.
Switch to Spouse visa (5-year route)
You can apply to switch to 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 the requirements of the Immigration Rules as set out in Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules. If you meet all the requirements as set out in Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules, you will be granted 30 months (2.5 years) leave to remain under the 5 years route to settlement.
Those applicants who cannot meet all the requirements for switching into a Spouse visa under a 5-year route, they can apply for switching into a Spouse visa under a 10-year route.
Switch to Spouse visa UK (10-year route)
You can apply for switching to a Spouse visa under 10 years route if you are in the UK and you are married to a British Citizen or a settled person and you cannot meet all the requirements of the Appendix FM for switching to a Spouse visa under 5 years route.
Application for leave to remain as a spouse under 10 years route is usually made by those applicants who cannot meet the financial requirement, immigration status requirement or English language requirement. An application for a Spouse visa under the 10 years route is made using the online application form FLR (FP).
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Here are some commonly asked questions about UK Spouse visa:
Yes, it is possible to switch from a Fiancé(e) visa to a Spouse visa if you get married to your fiancé(e) within the validity period of the Fiancé(e) visa.
Yes, you are allowed to work in the UK on a UK Spouse visa. You do not need to apply for a separate work visa or permission to work.
Once you have been granted a UK Spouse visa, you will be granted permission to work in the UK without any restrictions. You can work full-time or part-time, and you do not need to have a job offer before you arrive in the UK.
You'll usually get a decision on your Spouse visa within 24 weeks if applying from outside the UK using standard service. However, you may be eligible to use Priority Service to get a decision faster.
If the spouse visa application is granted, the initial leave will normally be granted for 2.5 years under the 5-year route to settlement.
After you have been in the UK for an initial period of 30 months, you can apply for a spouse extension to extend your stay for another 2.5 years.