How to Obtain a UK Visa for Your Spouse or Partner
A British citizen or a permanent resident is eligible to bring their spouse living outside the UK into the country and join them through a spouse visa.
The spouse visa, which is also called the Marriage Visa, is the type of visa you should apply for if you wish to enter and remain in the UK to live with your partner longer than six months.
How do you qualify for the spouse visa?
To qualify for the spouse visa, your partner who lives in the UK and you who wants to join your partner or spouse must meet the criteria set by the UK immigration authority. The primary condition for a spouse visa application is that the applicant and the UK resident should be 18 years old. British law does not recognise marriages of people below 18 years of age.
The other eligibility conditions are:
- The person the visa applicant wants to join is a citizen of the United Kingdom.
- The UK recognises civil partnership or marriage.
- The relationship between the involved parties has existed for at least two years before you file the visa application.
- If you are engaged to a UK resident, show proof that you will get married within six months.
- Show proof that you and your partner will enter the partnership within six months if the proposal is for a civil partnership (same-sex relationship).
- The partner who is in the UK must meet the financial requirement set by the immigration authorities.
- The visa applicant must meet the English language requirement.
Spouse visa application checklist
When you apply for a UK spouse visa, you must prepare several documents. To ensure that you will have everything, here’s the list of documents.
- Spouse visa application (Form VAF4A)
- Valid passport with an empty page and your previous passports
- Two passport-sized colour photos (following the guidelines)
- Proof of financial capability
- Proof of English language requirement
- Evidence of your relationship
- Your full name and date of birth
- Previous immigration applications, if any
- National insurance number, if any
- Certificate of criminal record
- Date of birth and nationality of your parents
- Biometric information
- Proof of accommodation in the UK
- Receipt of payment of spouse visa fees
The financial requirements
The law requires that you and your spouse in the UK prove that you have a combined income that is about £20,000 per annum. The proof of financial subsistence of the partner living in the UK may be the salary (earned in the UK), cash savings, pension money, and non-work income. The proof of income of the UK resident includes bank statements, copies of payslips (6 months), and a letter from the employer stating the title, employment history, and the current salary.
The spouse visa applicant who is outside the UK should apply online. The visa application process, if everything is in order, is about 12 weeks or longer if there are issues with the application. If approved, you may stay in the UK for two years and six months.
It might be difficult to navigate the UK spouse visa application process. It will be helpful to hire an immigration solicitor to ensure that you can prepare all the requirements, arbitrate for you, and do all things legally possible to get your spouse visa.