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UK Visa

UK Marriage or Spouse Visa

Do you need to apply for a UK Marriage or Spouse Visa?

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 UK Marriage Visa or UK Spouse Visa 

The UK Marriage or Spouse visa is a visa granted to an applicant who is married to a British Citizen, a person holding Indefinite Leave to Remain, EEA National with limited Leave to Remain (pre-settled status) or a person holding limited leave as a ECAA person under Appendix ECAA of the immigration rules. Commonly, people who arrive in the UK on a UK fiance visa switch to a UK spouse or marriage visa after getting married in the UK. A UK marriage or spouse visa from outside the UK is granted for for a period of 33 months and 30 months if the applicant is applying from within the UK. Once you have completed 60 months (i.e. 5 years) on a UK marriage visa, you can apply for indefinite leave to remain and immidiately after you can apply for British Citizenship under section 6 (2) of the British Nationality Act 1981.

The UK Marriage and Spouse Visa falls under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules. You are not allowed to switch to this visa if you are in the UK on a visit visa or a visa for 6 months or less. 

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 application 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 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 by applying indefinite leave to remain;

  • 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 as a British Citizen.

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 in person, be legally married to each other and plan to live together in the UK;

  • A marriage visa applicant must prove that the sponsor will be able to adequately accommodate them in the UK without additional recourse to public funds;

  • You must meet the income threshold of £18,600 or £29000 if you are applying after April 2024 or unless exempt

  • In the case of any dependent child, this limit is £22,400 for one child and an additional £2,400 for each further child - this does not apply After April 2024;

  • 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 or spouse 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/Minimum Income Requirement and Exceptions

If you are applying on or after 11 April 2024 then you must be able to show earnings of £29,000. However, if you initially applied before this date then you need to continue with the earnings of £18600. If you had or have children the amount increases according to the number of children you have starting with £3800 for first child and £2400 each for any additional children. With the new rules in April 2024 you do not need to show additional income for children and only income of £29000 is sufficient.

There are various ways to meet the financial requirement –

  • Earnings from employment for last 6 months;
  • Earnings from employment for last 12 months if you are not employed by the same employer for last 6 months;
  • Non-employment earnings – if you are receiving hourly wages
  • Self-employment earnings in the full last tax year from 06 April to 05 April or average of last 2 tax years;
  • Company director earnings received during the company tax year;
  • Earnings through shares held in a company (dividends);
  • Pensions
  • Rental Income
  • Overseas employment where you are returning to the UK with your husband or wife;
  • Overseas self-employment or company earnings if you are returning with your husband and wife to the UK;
  • Earnings during Maternity and Paternity pay;
  • Savings held by you or your spouse for last 6 months £88500 after 11 April 2024 or £62500 before 11 April 2024;
  • Gifts held as savings or money received from sale of property, shares, bonds or assets;
  • Grants or Stipends can also be counted towards financial requirement.

You can combine some of your sources of income to meet financial requirement.
The specified evidence of financials needs to be provided according to Appendix FM SE of the Immigration Rules.

Certain applicants do NOT need to meet the financial requirement and rather only need to meet the maintenance and accommodation requirement at the levels of income support if their spouse is in receipt of either –

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

However, the applicant must meet the maintenance and accommdation requirement if they are in receipt of above benefits.

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. In such cases the applicant is placed on 10 year Partner Route.

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.

Required Evidence:

The documents required depend on circumstances of the applicant. The applicant must make sure that all the evidence is being submitted in accordance with the Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules. You must make sure that all the evidence is provided to meet the Eligibility requirements.

You should submit - 

  • A fully completed application form meeting the validity requirements; 
  • Your valid passport; 
  • Your two-passport size photos; 
  • Valid Marriage Certificate;
  • Evidence to show that your relationship is genuine and subsisting (evidence of communication or meeting or proof of living together); 
  • Evidence of financial requirement like payslip or self-employment documents or proof of savings, etc;
  • Evidence that you meet the English Language requirement - relevant SELT Test certificate or UK Degree, etc; 
  • Translation of documents if not in English; 
  • Attending the biometric appointment; 
  • TB test certificate where you have been residing in a relevant country under Appendix T

It is your responsibility that you provide evidence in a legible format which discharges your burden of proof to satisfy the Eligibility requirement of the immigration rules. It is important to note that the documents requirements can be complex according to a relationship or the way you meet the financial requirement. It is advisable to seek immigration advise from an immigration lawyer or solicitor. 

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. Currently the processing timing is 24 weeks due to Ukrainian crisis. 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 £1,538 and an additional Immigration Health Surcharge of £1872. From inside the UK, you will pay a Government fee of £1,048 and Immigration Health Surcharge of £1,560.

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
  • 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.


Can I switch to the UK Spouse Visa or UK Marriage Visa from Visitor Visa?

The Immigration Rules generally restrict a person on visitor visa to switch into UK Spouse or Marriage Visa unless there are exceptional circumstances or there is a child involved who is British or its not reasonable for the child to leave the UK after residing for 7 years.

Do I need to pay Immigration Health Surcharge when applying for a UK Spouse Visa or UK Marriage Visa?

Yes, you will need to pay for the Immigration Health Surcharge for UK Spouse Visa or UK Marriage Visa

How Long is the UK Spouse Visa or UK Marriage Visa visa granted for?

The UK Spouse Visa or UK Marriage Visa is granted for 30 months and after this you need to extend your unmarried partner visa.

Do I need to provide a TB test with UK Spouse Visa or UK Marriage Visa?

If the applicant is made form outside the UK, the immigration rules provide a list of countries where the applicant may have resided for 6 months or more will require a TB test from an IOM approved clinic.

Do I need to provide English Language Test?

Yes, you will need pass an English Language Test if you do not have a degree from the UK or certified by UK Ecctis, however, if you are between 18 and 65 years old you would need to meet the English Language requirement or if you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, you do not need to pass the English language test. For initial application you need to meet the A1 speaking and listening and for extension you need to pass level A 2 speaking and listing test. 

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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Visa and Migration is a private OISC regulated company (F201500999) and is not an official Government body. If you would like to prepare and submit your UK immigration application yourself you can do so by visiting the UKVI website.