The UK Spouse Visa is a visa that allows a non-UK citizen to join their spouse or civil partner in the UK. The visa is initially granted for up to 2.9 years, and can then be extended for a further 2.5 years. After 5 years of living in the UK with a Spouse Visa, you may be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) in the UK.
To be eligible for a UK Spouse Visa, you must meet the following requirements:
- Your spouse must be a British citizen, settled in the UK, or have pre-settled status in the UK.
- You and your spouse must both be over the age of 18.
- You and your spouse must not be within a prohibited degree of relationship.
- You and your spouse must be legally married.
- Your relationship must be genuine and subsisting.
- You and your spouse must intend to live together permanently in the UK.
- You must meet the financial requirements for sponsoring a spouse visa.
- There must be adequate accommodation for you and your spouse.
- You must speak and understand English to a required level.
The exact requirements you will need to satisfy in order to qualify for a UK Spouse Visa may vary depending on your personal circumstances. You may want to speak to an immigration lawyer for expert advice.
Here is a more detailed explanation of some of the requirements for a UK Spouse Visa:
- Relationship requirement: You and your spouse must be legally married. Your marriage must be recognised in the UK. If you were married overseas, your marriage must be evidenced by a reasonable equivalent to a marriage certificate, valid under the law in force in the relevant country.
- Genuine and subsisting relationship: You and your spouse must be able to demonstrate that your relationship is genuine and subsisting. This means that your relationship is real, based on genuine affection and shared values, and that it is ongoing at the time of the application. The Home Office will consider a range of factors when assessing whether your relationship is genuine and subsisting, including:
- The length of your relationship
- Whether you have met in person
- Whether you have lived together
- Whether you have children together
- Whether you have shared financial responsibilities
- Whether you have made plans to live together in the UK
- Intention to live together permanently in the UK: You and your spouse must intend to live together permanently in the UK. This means that you must intend to make the UK your home and to build a life together here.
- Financial requirement: You must be able to show that you have enough money to support yourself and your spouse in the UK. The amount of money you need to show will depend on your circumstances.
- Accommodation requirement: You must have suitable accommodation for you and your spouse in the UK. This accommodation must be:
- Adequate in size and standard in accordance with the Housing Act 2004 for overcrowding.
- English language requirement: You must be able to speak and understand English to a required level. The level of English you need to show will depend on your circumstances.
If you are considering applying for a UK Spouse Visa, it is important to get professional advice from an immigration lawyer. They can help you to make sure that you meet all of the requirements for the visa and that your application is successful.
Here are some additional things to keep in mind about the UK Spouse Visa:
- The application process for a UK Spouse Visa can be complex and time-consuming. It is important to allow plenty of time to gather all of the required documentation and to complete the application form correctly.
- The Home Office may require you to attend an interview as part of the application process.
- The decision on whether to grant a UK Spouse Visa is made by the Home Office. The Home Office has discretion to refuse any application, even if you meet all of the requirements.
If you are granted a UK Spouse Visa, you will be able to live, work and study in the UK for up to 2.5 years. After 5 years of living in the UK with a Spouse Visa, you may be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) in the UK. ILR gives you the right to live and work in the UK permanently.
If you have read UK Spouse Visa Guidance 2023 and still need advice and representation please call us 0207 8368505.