You may be able to switch into Spouse visa UK under 5 year route if you are married to a British citizen or settled person and you are not on a Visitor visa. The application for switching into a spouse visa under 5 years route is considered in accordance with the requirements of the Immigration Rules as set out in Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules.

If you need the help of an expert UK Family visa / Spouse visa lawyer with your spouse visa application, extension, or ILR as a spouse, please contact us to get legal assistance.

We at Rex Law Chambers (Manchester) can help with all types of UK Spouse visa applications such as Spouse visa extension, renewal, switching, or ILR on the basis of Spouse visa.

Page Contents

  1. Overview
  2. Requirements for Switching into Spouse Visa UK
  3. Documents Required for Spouse Visa UK
  4. Switching into Spouse Visa UK (10 Year Route)
  5. Extension of Spouse Visa UK (5 Year Route)
  6. Extension of Spouse Visa UK (10 Year Route)
  7. How can we help with your UK visa application?
  8. Do you need an immigration lawyer for the UK Spouse visa application?
  9. Our Fees
  10. Do you need legal help?

Overview

If you came to the UK on a different visa other than the Visitor visa, you might be able to switch to a Spouse visa based on your marriage or relationship with a British Citizen or a person present and settled in the UK.

You can switch at any time before your current permission to stay in the UK expires. 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 Spouse visa under 5 years route, can apply for switching into Spouse visa under 10 years route. An application for switching into a spouse visa from inside the UK is submitted to the Home Office by completing the application form FLR (M).

Requirements for Switching into Spouse Visa UK

The applicant who wants to switch to a UK Spouse visa must meet the following requirements:

  • The applicant must be lawfully present in the UK and must have an extant leave originally granted for more than 6 months and must not be in the UK on a visitor visa
  • The evidence of a relationship between the sponsor and the applicant including evidence of valid marriage, regular contact, and cohabitation
  • The UK Spouse must either be a British or Irish citizen, or a settled person with Indefinite leave to remain ‘ILR’ or an EEA national with either settled status or pre-settled status or have refugee status or humanitarian protection.
  • Must also meet the financial requirement as set out in Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules.
  • Suitability criteria as set out in Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules.
  • English language requirement
  • Adequate accommodation requirement.

You must also meet all the other eligibility requirements. Please contact us for initial assessment to determine your eligibility, and to discuss the options

Spouse Visa UK Financial Requirements

The UK national of the relationship is also known as "the sponsor" and he or she is required to meet specific criteria. First, you will need to prove that you and your partner meet the financial requirement and have enough money to support yourselves without relying on public funds.

The UK spouse needs an income of at least £18,600 before tax if there are no dependent children. If you have one dependent child, you will need an income of £22,400 before tax to meet the financial requirement. For any other children, the sponsor will need an extra £2,400 for each subsequent child.

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 adviser, as you can also rely on savings or other sources to meet the financial requirement.

What sources of income can be included towards the Spouse Visa financial criteria?

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
  • Pensions
  • 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.

Can I use income from benefits for my case?

There are circumstances where you will not need to meet some of the mandatory eligibility criteria, such as if you are claiming any one of the following benefits:

  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Carer’s Allowance
  • Personal Independence Payment
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment or Guaranteed Income Payment under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme
  • Constant Attendance Allowance, Mobility Supplement or War Disablement Pension under the War Pensions Scheme
  • Police Injury Pension

You will, however, need to prove that you have enough money to support your dependents. This is called 'adequate maintenance', and the exact amount you need will depend on your personal circumstances. Typically, you will need at least £120 per week after you have paid for housing. If you have a child or children, this amount will increase.

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 Requirements

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

How can I meet the UK Spouse Visa accommodation requirements?

To qualify, your property needs enough rooms to accommodate the couple and any dependents. Each person needs an individual room, however:

  • Couples can share the same bedroom
  • Living rooms can be included when counting bedrooms
  • Children under 1 do not need their own room
  • Children aged 1-9 years old count as half a person
  • Children aged 10 years or over count as an adult
  • Children aged 10 years or over of the opposite sex cannot share a room

This means that two children aged under 10 years can share one room, and babies under one year old can live in the same room as the couple.

English Language Requirement

Applicants who wish to live in the UK or to apply as a Spouse of a UK person, need to be able to prove that they can speak English. Once you have passed an English Language Test, it will be valid for two years.

The applicant must provide specified evidence that he/she has passed an English language test in speaking and listening at a minimum of level A1 of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) for Languages with a provider approved by the Home Office, UKVI.

You must sit an English test in speaking and listening to get the right to remain in the UK with your UK spouse. Your qualification will be valid only if your English exam is taken through an approved Secure English Language Testing (SELT) Provider.

Currently, SELT tests for immigration purposes are only available through the Trinity College London or the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) Consortium.

You do not need an English Language test if you:

  • Are a national of a majority English speaking country
  • Are aged under 18 or over 65
  • Have a long-term physical or mental condition
  • Hold a degree or any educational establishment that was taught or researched in English. Your qualification will only be valid if confirmed by UK NARIC.

Documents Required for Spouse Visa UK

Below is a list of required documents that you need to submit for your Spouse visa application:

  • Valid passport
  • Proof that your relationship is genuine
  • Evidence of meeting the financial requirement
  • Evidence of meeting the adequate accommodation requirement
  • Proof of meeting the English language requirement

Depending on your circumstances, you might also need to provide additional documents. Please contact us for initial assessment to determine your eligibility, and find out required list of documents in support of your UK Spouse visa application.

Switching into Spouse Visa UK (10 Year Route)

You can apply for switching into Spouse visa 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 into 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).

Extension of Spouse Visa UK (5 Year Route)

You can apply for renewal of your Spouse visa under 5 years route from inside the UK by using the application form FLR (M) online prior to the expiry of your initial leave of 2.5 years. As a result of a successful application for extension of your Spouse visa under 5 years route, you will be granted further leave to remain for 30 months (2.5 years) to be able to complete 5 years in the UK and thus apply for ILR as a spouse under 5 years route. An application for Spouse visa renewal will be considered in accordance with requirements of the Immigration Rules as set out in Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules.

Extension of Spouse Visa UK (10 Year Route)

You can apply for an extension of your Spouse visa under 10 years route from inside the UK if you are already in the UK on a Spouse visa under the 10 years route. The application for Spouse visa renewal under the 10 years route is made using the online application form FLR (FP). The applicants applying for renewal of Spouse visa under 10 years route are not required to meet the financial requirement of earning £18,600 gross per year and the English language requirement.

How can we help with your UK visa application?

As part of our immigration services for your immigration application, our expert immigration lawyer will:

  • assess your eligibility for the relevant visa type by fully considering your circumstances;
  • advise you on the required supporting documents to be submitted in support of your immigration application;
  • assess all the documents to ensure that the documents you provide are as per the requirements of the Immigration Rules;
  • advise you on strengths and potential weaknesses in your visa application and how you can overcome such weaknesses if any;
  • complete the online immigration draft application form to share it with you for cross-checking;
  • submit your application online and schedule your biometrics appointments with the relevant commercial partner of the UKVI;
  • prepare a detailed cover letter in support of the immigration application explaining in detail how you are meeting all the requirements of the Immigration Rules so that you have the maximum chances of succeeding in your visa application;
  • upload all the supporting documents online in support of the immigration application in their correct format and order;
  • dealing and responding to any caseworker enquiries or correspondence from the Home Office caseworker for any further documents or information concerning your pending immigration application;
  • do all the follow-up work on your immigration application until a decision is received from the Home Office UKVI.

Do you need an immigration lawyer for the UK Spouse visa application?

UK Immigration law is an extremely fast-changing and complex area of law. There are high chances of getting a visa refusal if you are not fully aware of relevant immigration law(s) and eligibility criteria.

Most of the applicants seek professional legal help with their UK Spouse visa applications from highly experienced immigration lawyers to boost their chances of success. A well-prepared application can significantly increase your chances of success.

Our Fees

Our UK immigration lawyer is an expert in dealing with spouse visa applications under the 5 and 10 years route to settlement. If instructed we will carry out all the work on the application until the decision is received from the Home Office UKVI. Please contact an expert UK immigration lawyer at Rex Law Chambers to fully assess your eligibility for either an entry clearance as a spouse or an extension under the 5 or 10 years route by considering all the relevant information so that we can advise you on the chances of success in your application in particular if you have any exceptional circumstances or any adverse immigration history.

Our fixed fee

We charge a fixed fee starting from £1000 for our professional legal services in relation to Spouse visa application. The agreed fixed fee will depend on the complexity of the matter and the casework involved in the matter.

Do you need legal help?

Contact Rex Law Chambers, if you have any questions or need legal help with any UK immigration law related matter. At Rex Law Chambers, we specialise in a wide range of UK visas and nationality applications and our principal immigration lawyer has wealth of experience and expert knowledge to deal with all types of UK visas and immigration applications. He has successfully handled many complex and high-profile cases and also represented clients in their immigration matters.

We can provide one-off FREE general legal advice via live chat or our "Enquiry Form". The FREE advice does not cover the advice in relation to complex legal issues or advice about documents to be submitted in support of the application. If you would like to to get detailed legal advice then please schedule an in-person, Zoom, Skype or phone consultation by using our "Appointment Request Form".

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