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UK Marriage or Spouse Visa

Do you need to apply for a UK Marriage or Spouse Visa?
Speak to our experts to find out about our fast, friendly and affordable service

Marriage Visa Applications

What is a Marriage Visa?

Also known as a spouse visa, a marriage visa allows you to bring your husband or wife to the UK. It is commonly applied for after a UK fiance visa, allowing a married couple to remain in the UK for a period of up to 33 months. You can get your spouse (wife or your husband) to the UK if you are present and settled in the UK - in other words, if you hold indefinite leave to remain or you are a British citizen.

Our experts and immigration specialists make the process of applying for a UK spouse visa simple. Our experienced caseworkers and regulated advisers 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 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 Marriage Visa

There are various of benefits to applying for a marriage or spouse visa in the UK. These include:

  • The applicant who marries the UK citizen can settle permanently in the UK

  • The applicant is free to undertake any type of work in the UK without restrictions

  • The applicant is entitled to the same benefits as other UK citizens

  • The visa serves as a route to permanent stay in the UK and becoming a British national

Marriage Visa Requirements & Eligibility

If you are not currently married, it may save time to apply for a marriage visa once married, rather than having to make two separate applications.

UK spouse visa or marriage visa applicants 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

  • There must be suitable accommodation for you to live in the UK

  • A marriage visa applicant must be able to support his or her stay 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

In order to obtain a spouse visa, the relationship must, without any doubt, be proved as genuine or subsisting with substantial evidence. In the case of refusal, the applicant will be given a form to appeal with the refusal (if applicable). Our expert team will examine the matter matter and give you the appropriate advice. Depending upon your circumstances, this could mean opting for appeal or submitting a fresh application.

Financial Requirements and Exceptions

Sponsors 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 marriage visa application, including:

  • 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:

  • Carer's Allowance

  • Disability Living Allowance

  • Severe Disablement Allowance

  • Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit

  • Attendance Allowance

  • 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. In such cases, the applicant has to show that he or she is a partner of a British or settled person in the UK and that there are “insurmountable obstacles” to continuing their family life outside the UK. Those in a parental relationship with a child (under 18) who is British, settled or has lived in the UK 7 years before the date of the application may also be eligible for exceptions if it can be shown that it would be detrimental to the child should they be forced to leave 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 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. This requirement changes to level A2 for applicants submitting an application for a UK marriage visa extension after May 2017.

Required Documents

Each visa category - including spouse and marriage visas - 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

  • Evidence that you are married and 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. Note too that after completing 5 years in the UK, you would become eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) and, accordingly, British nationality.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Marriage Visa to the UK?

UK marriage and spouse visa processing times differ depending on a number of different factors. For example, processing times for marriage visas will depend upon the country you are applying from. In general, processing times can range from just a couple of weeks to several months or more. There can also be delays in visa processing times in the UK, so you should research your options and speak to one of our experts in order to avoid this prior to making your spouse visa application.

UK Marriage Visa Refusal Reasons

Your initial application for a spouse visa can be refused. There are a number of different reasons why this can happen. For example, you may supply incorrect documentation, fail to disclose previous marriage visa or immigration issues, or you may assume that the Home Office would be lenient with their decision on your visa application.

You should try avoid these mistakes so that the Home Office does not get a chance to refuse your marriage visa application. In order to get expert legal advice on your UK spouse visa application, get in touch with us or read more about common reasons for visa refusals.

Do you need to apply for a UK Marriage or Spouse Visa?
Speak to our experts to find out about our fast, friendly and affordable service

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We specialise exclusively in UK Immigration and Nationality Law. We are regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner(OISC). We provide immigration services to clients from worldwide. Immigration law is complex and with the rules constantly changing we strongly recommend that you use specialists to support and represent you from the start. Call us now for an honest opinion of your case, possible costs and options.

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