If you want to come to the UK to live for more than six months and your husband, wife or civil partner is already a resident you may be eligible to apply for a spouse visa. If your UK spouse visa application is accepted by the Home Office, you will be allowed to remain in any part of the UK for up to 33 months. You will be able to get a job whilst in the UK if you would like to.
Who can apply
Only certain people in certain situations will be eligible to apply for a UK spouse visa. If you are:
- A non-EEA national, and
- Married to, in a civil partnership with, or have been cohabiting for at least two years with a UK resident or citizen
then you may be able to apply. If you are from an EEA country or Switzerland and you want to join your partner or spouse in the UK then you should apply for an EEA family permit instead of a spouse visa.
If you plan to marry your partner in the UK and then stay to start your life together here afterwards, you should apply for a fiance/proposed civil partner visa. This visa will give you an initial period of six months’ leave in the UK, after which you can make your application for a UK spouse visa. Unlike with a spouse visa, with a fiance/proposed civil partner visa you aren’t eligible to work at all in the six months of leave so will have to have funds to support you for this period.
If you and your partner aren’t married or in a civil partnership yet, want to tie the knot in the UK but do not want to stay after the wedding or ceremony, you should apply for a marriage visitor visa. This will allow you to stay in the UK for six months, after which you must leave or risk facing a re-entry ban. You can apply for a spouse visa from outside the UK once you have left.
UK spouse visa requirements
In order to be successful in your UK spouse visa application you must meet the requirements set out by the Home Office. You should provide them with the evidence they require in order to give yourself the best chance of being granted your visa.
You must have all of the below in order to be considered a spouse visa:
- Proof of English language ability
- Evidence of accommodation in the UK
- Proof that you and your partner intend to live together permanently
Proof of relationship
Although it may seem a little bit invasive, you will have to provide quite a lot of evidence to the Home Office to prove that your relationship with your partner or spouse is genuine. Types of evidence you can use include:
- Joint tenancy agreements or deeds to a property
- Joint bills
- Email or text conversations
- Phone or video call logs
In addition to having to prove that your relationship is real, in order to be successful in your spouse visa application you will also have to prove that you meet the financial requirements set out by the Home Office. These say that:
- Your partner (sponsor) must be earning at least £18,600 per year
- On top of this, if you have a child together your partner must earn an extra £3,800 per year at least
- Any additional children will add an extra £2,400 on top of your partner’s minimum earning threshold
Your partner can meet these requirements through a combination of earnings; a pension; maternity, paternity, employment or sick pay; rent or shares income; or cash savings of over £16,000 held for 6 or more months.
If your partner doesn’t meet the Home Office’s financial requirements, your spouse visa will be refused.