UK Spouse Visa Requirements: What are the Normal time scales in UK
Updated: Oct 17
General Application Guidance: Basics You Need to Know
In reading our guide in full you with gain a basic understanding of the requirements relating to Spouse & Partner visas.
If you believe your requirements are more complex and need help.
Introduction to UK Spouse visas:
Who we fall in love with shouldn't prevent us from living together in a loving & meaningful way. I believe everyone has the right to live a meaningful life with the ones they love and through the Spouse settlement visa UK process be able in time to permanently settle with their loved one here in the UK.
If you are planning to apply for a UK marriage or civil partnership visa, it's important to familiarize yourself with the basic requirements set out by the UKVI. Meeting these requirements is essential for a successful submission. An overseas national married to a Irish / British national or other overseas national holding settled status whether you are applying within the United Kingdom or from overseas, you will need a spouse visa to come into the United Kingdom or continue living here long term.
To be eligible to qualify for a Spouse visa (extension) or other permission to stay you must be in a genuine and legally recognised relationship with your partner. The UK also recognises both opposite-sex and same sex marriage, Civil partnership and unmarried partners, follow those links for more information about those routes via our website, all Spouses must be settled in the UK and Overseas partners must hold indefinite leave to remain for there wives or husbands to qualify.
To apply on your behalf for a UK spouse / partner you first need to meet the following core requirements
Eligibility requirements for a UK Spouse visa:
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UK Spouse visas Eligibility requirements:
Your partner and you both need to be over 18 years old to qualify for a UK spouse visa, or Civil partner visa. You must be in a genuine and legally recognized relationship with you spouse or civil partner. The United Kingdom recognises both opposite-sex and same-sex marriages, the application requirements for opposite-sex & same-sex marriages are the same as those applying as a spouse as long as you hold a valid marriage certificate, those on civil partnerships are required to demonstrate there relationship in the same way however the documentation may be different due
What you need to demonstrate:
Meet the minimum age requirements
Your marriage is legally recognised in UK
Intend to live together in the UK
Your in a genuine relationship
Meet the financial requirement
Meet the English language requirement or qualify for exemption
You can financially support yourselves and any dependents without accessing public funds
You have adequate accommodation for any dependents and you to live in
Appendix FM financial requirement:
Your Partner must meet the minimum income requirements under Appendix FM if you are returning with them to the UK. If you apply in UK holding valid leave to remain joint household incomes can be used to apply.
Partner's gross annual income must be more than £18,600 plus
£3,800 first child dependent (who are not British or a settled national)
£2,400 each additional child (who are not British citizen or a settled national)
Documents required to meet UK Spouse visas requirements:
Whether you decide to submit your own application or use my representative services.
Preparing your spouse / civil partner visa application for submission is key:
You will need to set up an electronic visa application file for the applicant & sponsor.
Applicants document folder
Sponsors document folder
English Language documents
Step-by-step process to applying for UK Spouse visas / UK Civil Partner visas:
Check out our comprehensive post step-by-step guide on applying for a UK spouse visa
Step 1: Determine your eligibility
Questions you should to consider:
Can I apply from the UK? or
Do I need to apply from outside the UK?
Does your sponsor meet Appendix FM income requirements?
Do I need a English language test certificate?
Do I need a TB (tuberculosis) certificate
Step 2: Collect Application Documents
You need to make sure all your application documents are in a format that either UKVI local partner accepts when applying from overseas or UKVCAS accept when applying from within the UK. I recommend all documents should be saved in PDF A4 format @ DPI 300 in black font so it reduces the overall size of the document. I recommend documents should not exceed more than 6mbs in size otherwise you will not be able to upload them onto the appropriate document portals.
Step 3: Complete UKVI online application form
You can find the UK spouse visa / partner visa online application form on GOV.UK website.
Step 4: Book your spouse visa Biometrics appointment
Once you have completed & paid your visa application and IHS fees, UKVI online application form will direct you to upload your application documents onto UKVI (Home Office) local commercial partner’s document upload portal if applying from outside the UK or UKVCAS if applying from within the UK.
The amount of time required to complete this process will be dictated by your application complexities based on your overall application needs and how many documents your are uploading.
You can opt to use UKVCAS or the local commercial partners own upload services. However I don't recommend using them. I always recommend uploading your own visa application documents directly to their document portal as relying on them to complete the process correctly can’t be guaranteed.
Your application preferences are generally dictated by your chosen submission method which you have a couple of options. When uploading your documents you can choose to either use the UKVI standard visa application service or you can opt to use their priority service.
Step 5: Attend your spouse visa Biometrics appointment
Refer to UKVCAS website for in-country application submissions & refer to local commercial partner’s website for out-of-country visa application submissions in regards to what documentation and information you need to take with you to your biometrics appointment.
Step 6: Wait for a UK spouse visas decision
When a decision has been made on your visa application you will receive an email from UKVI either confirming the outcome of your visa application or requesting you to collect your passport at which point the outcome will be confirmed.
Common mistakes to avoid when applying:
Not providing accurate information
Not submitting your application documents correctly
Not demonstrating you met Appendix FM requirements correctly
Not demonstrating you met English language requirements correctly
Fees & Assessment time scales for UK Spouse visas /
Standard UKVI application charges:
UKVI standard visa application fee is currently £1538.00 (subject to change) for out-of-country applications & £1048.00 for Further leave to remain (subject to change) in-country applications.
Standard applications are normally completed within 60 working days from the date you complete your biometrics appointment.
In-country expedited services:
There are expedited services available through UKVCAS (UK Visa & Citizenship Application Service) who process in-country biometric appointments on behalf of UKVI (Home Office).
They offer priority services (7-10 days) & Super priority services (24hr service).
Out-of-country Settlement priority spouse visa application services:
If you prefer to use their Settlement priority application service (availability is restricted periodically due to service limitations) there is an additional service charge of around £800 this is charged by the local commercial partner not UKVI (Home Office).
Settlement priority application services are offered in addition to the UKVI standard visa application fee on Out-of-Country Applications generally made within 30 working days from submission.
Immigration Health Service:
There is also a IHS (Immigration Health Service) fee of £1560.00 (also subject to change) when you apply for a 30 month spouse visa. Which increases in cost if you're eligible to apply for a longer visa.
How long can you stay:
When you apply to come to the UK for the first time you will receive an entry clearance visa your BRP card will be awarded for 33 months. Out of country applications are initially granted as a entry clearance vignette stamped into your passport allowing travel up to 28 days from the date of issue.
When entering the UK for the first time on your vignette visa stamp don’t use e-passport gates in doing so, you will not trigger the issuing of your new “BRP” ID visa card which is requested by the entry clearance officer at the arrival hall from where you enter the UK for the first time. After completing entry into the UK it normally takes up to 10 working days for your new BRP ID visa card to arrive at your UK home address.
When applying from within the UK under an extension application or further leave to remain when switching from a different category you will be awarded a 30 month visa.
If you entered UK on fiancé (entry clearance) visa granted for 6 months you can apply for a spouse visa (inside UK) if you are married before your visa expires. A spouse visa of 30 months will be granted you must also apply to extend your visa before your fiancé visa expires.
Natural progression to Permanent Residence:
Before your "Entry clearance" or "further leave to remain" expires you will need to apply for an extension visa under "further leave to remain" again, if successful you will receive a further 30 months.
Once you have been 60 months in the UK, you can apply for Indefinite leave to remain otherwise know as settlement or permanent residence provided you can demonstrate you met the application requirements.
Once you receive your ILR and depending on your personal circumstances you may be eligible to apply for Naturalisation (British Citizenship) immediately after receiving your Permanent residence BRP card.
Legal representative service:
Selecting the right legal representative is a key part of the visa application process and it’s an important one to get right if your considering using an immigration adviser or Solicitor to submit your application for you.
Lets get your application started together
Disclaimer: The information provided above is for general purposes only relating to Immigration visa application procedures and these rules change regularly. I highly recommended you contact me directly for more in-depth advice and assistance. All enquiries receive a free initial application assessment to clarify how you meet the general application requirements of the above application route.