UK Marriage or Spouse Visa
UK Marriage Visa or UK Spouse Visa
The UK marriage or spouse visa is a visa granted to a non-EU national who is married to a person holding Indefinite leave to remain in the UK or who holds British Citizenship. Commonly, people who arrive in the UK on a UK fiance visa switch to a UK spouse visa after marrying. A UK marriage visa allows the non-EU citizen to stay in the UK for a period of up to 33 months (if the application is made from outside the UK) or 30 months (if you apply from within the UK). Once you have completed 60 months (i.e. 5 years) on a UK marriage visa, ou can apply for indefinite leave to remain and - after that - British Citizenship under section 6 of the British Nationality Act 1981.
If you are in the UK on any visa which allows you to stay for more than 6 months (including a fiance visa) then you can change your visa to a UK spouse visa from within the UK.
Our immigration specialists make the process of applying for a marriage settlement visa in the UK simple. Our lawyers are qualified and regulated to take full care of your case and guide you through the process until your spouse is in the UK. Furthermore, If your partner has been previously refused a marriage visa for any reason, we can help you appeal to overturn the decision of the Entry Clearance Officer or the Secretary of State.
Benefits of a Spouse or Marriage Visa
There are various of benefits to applying for a marriage or spouse visa in the UK. These include:
The applicant can settle in the UK permanently;
The applicant is free to undertake any type of work in the UK without restrictions;
The applicant is entitled to the same benefits (except public funds) as other UK citizens;
The visa serves as a route to permanent stay in the UK and - ultimately - leads to being naturalised after applying for British Citizenship.
UK Marriage Visa Requirements & Eligibility
If you are not currently married, you may be able to apply for a UK fiance visa in order to get married in the UK.
In order to gain a UK spouse or marriage visa, you need to satisfy the following conditions and eligibility requirements:
The parties in the marriage must be at least 18 years of age;
Parties must have met each other, be legally married to each other and plan to live together in the UK as a married couple;
A marriage visa applicant must prove that the sponsor will be able to accommodate them in the UK without any recourse to public funds;
For sponsoring the settlement of a spouse or partner, you must meet the income threshold of £18,600;
In the case of any dependent child, this limit is £22,400 for one child and an additional £2,400 for each further child;
The applicant must satisfy the English Language requirements with a level A1 course for the purpose of Entry Clearance and A 2 for the purpose of leave to remain within the UK;
In order to obtain a marriage visa the relationship must, without any doubt, be proved as genuine or subsisting with substantial evidence.
We have seen that the Home Office will refuse the application if any of the requirements above are not satisfied. If you have been refused, you should contact our team who will help you to decide whether you should appeal or submit a fresh application.
Financial Requirements and Exceptions
UK sponsors (a person with Indefinite Leave to Remain or British citizen) or applicant may meet the level of the financial requirement as applicable through employment, self-employment, cash savings, director of a company, rental income, and so on. A separate set of documents needs to be submitted with your application according to the way you are satisfying the financial requirement which may include:
Sources of income and savings, as applicable;
Time periods and permitted combinations of sources as applicable to each permitted source relied upon for the purpose of the application;
Documentary proof for each permitted source of income relied upon
There are, however, exceptions to meeting these thresholds. For example, sponsors - if in receipt of any of the following benefits and allowances - are not required to meet the aforementioned financial requirements:
Disability Living Allowance
Severe Disablement Allowance
Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
Personal Independence Payment
There are also other exceptions if your partner or spouse cannot meet the financial requirements. An exception may be made for “in-country” applicants if they do not qualify or meet the requirement for a grant of leave under the “EX.1” (Exception) paragraph of Appendix FM under the Immigration Rules. These exceptions generally apply where there is a child under 18 years of age involved, if they are British, settled or have lived in the UK 7 years before the date of the application, or if they will be faced with insurmountable difficulties if relocating outside the UK.
English Language Requirements
Like many other UK immigration applications, applications for a marriage visa require that specific English language requirements are met.
You can fulfill the English language requirements for a UK spouse visa by proving that you are a national of a majority English-speaking country or hold a degree - equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree or above - that was taught in English. Aside from this, you can also pass a test at the appropriate level.
In order to prove your English language ability, you should use the Home Office’s list of approved English language tests. In the case of UK marriage or spouse visa applications, you are required to pass at CEFR A1 level for Entry Clearance. The requirement changed to level A2 for applicants submitting an application for a marriage or spouse visa extension after May 2017.
Each visa category - including the UK spouse or marriage visa - have a particular set of required documents which need to be completed and submitted with your visa application. These documents provide evidence for fulfilling the UK marriage visa requirements and include:
Your passport and 2 recent passport photographs;
Evidence of your and your spouse’s age if just turned 18 years old;
Evidence that you are married and intend to live together permanently;
Documents to show that you meet the necessary financial requirements, including:
Relevant sources of income and necessary savings;
The time periods and permitted combinations of income sources applicable to each permitted source relied upon;
Reliable evidence for each permitted source of income.
Documents to prove the successful achievement of the relevant English language requirements
How Long Can You Stay in the UK?
A UK spouse visa is granted for an initial period of 33 months if applying from outside the UK and 30 months if you’re applying from inside the UK. After this period, you would need to apply for an extension to your marriage settlement visa. After completing 5 years in the UK, you would become eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK or British Citizenship.
How Long Does it Take to Get a Marriage Visa to the UK?
The application can be submitted from within or outside the UK. The in-country application can only be made if you are in a category which allows you to switch from within the UK. Generally, the process takes between 8 to 12 weeks from outside the UK unless you are purchasing priority service, which has an additional fee. In-country applications take 8 weeks or you can opt for 24-hour service by paying an additional fee. Once the applicant has completed the application, they should provide evidence to meet the above requirements for the Home Office to consider the application. Once the application is approved from outside the UK, the applicant will be given a one month visa and they will collect their Biometric residence permit from the relevant post office. If the application is made within the UK, then the applicant will get 2.5 years to leave to remain. Once the applicant has completed 5 years, they can apply for settlement (Indefinite Leave to Remain) in the UK.
The application fee from outside the UK is £1,523 and an additional Immigration Health Surcharge of £1,200. From inside the UK, you will pay a Government fee of £1,033 and Immigration Health Surcharge of £1,000.
UK Marriage Visa Refusal Reasons
It may be the case that your initial application for a UK marriage or spouse visa is refused. There are a variety of reasons why this can happen, including supplying incorrect documents, not disclosing previous visa or immigration issues, or assuming that the Home Office would be lenient or would find information themselves.
You should avoid such mistakes so that the Home Office does not get a chance to refuse your visa application. In order to get expert legal advice on your UK marriage or spouse visa application, get in touch with us. We guarantee you the successful outcome in cases where you provide us with all the documents we request from you.
How We Work
- We assess your circumstances and provide you a quote for our services
- You pay a 50% deposit of our fee - so you never part with all your money before a full application is made
- Provide you with a comprehensive checklist of required documents
- Provide you with templates, approved and accepted by the Home Office
- We advise you on the evidence and process of submitting the application from the country you apply from
- We review all the evidence and suggest any amendments you may require, including drafting letters or templates for you where necessary
- We do not leave any scope for refusal of your application - if there is anything which is of concern, we point this out to you and help you to remedy the issues
- We fill and prepare the application forms; we always send this for you to review and confirm in order to avoid any simple mistakes
- We prepare and finalise your application for submission and book you an appointment in the country where you will provide your biometrics
- Should there be a delay beyond the expected visa processing times, we will chase the application for you.