If you are in UK already and want your spouse to join you in UK then he/she needs to apply for UK spouse visa. If they want to join you in UK for less than 6 months then you or your partner can apply for UK Visit Visa but if they are looking to join you in UK for over 6 months then you or they need to apply for UK spouse visa. Your spouse can be husband, wife or civil partner. Your fiancé can also join you for initial 6 months and then for further leave as a spouse after this time. In such situation your spouse or fiancé is called ‘dependent’ and you are known as ‘sponsor’. Your spouse needs to make visa application from outside UK.
Though this is always considered as Spouse Visa but what visa category they need to apply depends on your actual status in UK. Like if you are a British Citizen or a settled person in UK which means you have ILR status or then your spouse needs to apply for ‘family of a settled person’ visa. But if you are in UK on Tier 2 General Visa or Tier 4 Student Visa then your partner needs to apply for dependent of Tier 2 and Tier 4 visa holder respectively. Visa application can be made both by you and your spouse or partner. If you make the application for them you can do from within UK and if your spouse applies for UK spouse Visa then they need to it from outside UK. Those applying from outside UK must meet certain requirements for successful spouse visa. They are following:
Once you and your sponsoring partner meet all the above conditions you can apply for UK spouse visa from outside UK. You must apply online from outside the UK. You need to fill in information and send required documents. You also may have to go for an interview as part of the UK Spouse Visa application and it may take long time for an interview as well. During the interview you will be asked questions about the relationship between you are your partner in UK and if you both are already married then they can ask for the evidence like marriage certificate.
Spouse (husband, wife and civil partner) can stay in UK for up to 33 months after successful visa and after this period they can apply for extension for another 2 years and 6 months. After 5 years you can apply to settle in UK....