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Applying for Spouse Visa to the UK. 

Introduction to applying for Spouse Visa to the UK:

 

When applying for spouse visa to the UK you need to be a partner of Irish / British citizen, or an overseas nationals partner who holds ILR. You, both need to be over 18 years old at the submission date and either living and settled in the Great Britain or returning together to permanently settle in the United Kingdom.

 

To be successful in applying for spouse visa UK application you will need to demonstrate you can adequately maintain yourselves without the need to access public funds. Demonstrate you met the criteria under Appendix FM, and demonstrate you are in a legitimate, subsisting relationship together. A spouse visa can lead to indefinite leave or settlement after a period of 5 years.

Section Bar:

Section 1: spouse visa Eligibility

Section 2: What you need to demonstrate

Section 3: spouse visa Appendix FM

Section 4: How I can support on your spouse visa

visual map guide of step-by-step process of submitting a UK Spouse visa
Section 1: Eligibility rquirements
Section 2: Whatyo need to demonstrate
Section 3: Appendix FM Requirements

Before submitting you need to check you meet the correct criteria so your spouse visa will be considered valid:

  1. You and your partner are both over the age of 18;

  2. You and your partner are not in a prohibited relationship;

  3. You and your partner have met in person;

  4. You and your partner are in a legally recognised marriage in the United Kingdom;

  5. Your relationship is genuine and subsisting;

  6. You and your partner intend to live permanently together in the United Kingdom;

  7. Any previous relationships you both have been in are permanently dissolved;

  8. You meet the wife visa UK income threshold requirements under appendix FM;

  9. You have adequate accommodation for you and any dependents without requiring access to public funds

  10. Passed an English Language test if English isn't your native 1st language

  11. You may need a TB (tuberculosis) certificate if applying from outside United Kingdom

Prohibited relationship:

This means that you and your partner must not be directly related in anyway:

 

Required to have met in person

You must have met face-to-face in person which developed into a mutual acquaintance and from their developed into a relationship.

Marriage in the United Kingdom

In order to qualify for a wife visa in the UK, you and your partner will need to be in a legally recognised marriage in the UK. In the United Kingdom you are required to give your intention to marry and complete the notice period required. Your marriage must have taken place at an authorised place of marriage and your marriage must have been conducted by a person authorised to register marriages. A marriage in the UK must be evidenced using a marriage certificate.

 

Marriage outside the United Kingdom

An overseas marriage will be recognised in the UK if the marriage is formally recognised in the country in which it took place and the marriage correctly followed and satisfied the legal requirements of the country in which it took place. There is nothing in the laws of either person’s country of domicile at the time of the marriage to prevent the marriage from being recognised; and any previous marriages of the couple had broken down permanently. A marriage outside the UK must be evidenced by a reasonable equivalent to a UK marriage certificate valid under the law in force within the relevant country to meet the spouse visa UK requirement.

 

Genuine and Subsisting Relationship:

To meet spouse visa UK requirement you need to provide the Home Office with evidence that your relationship is genuine and sustaining. UKVI make their decisions on whether a relationship is genuine and subsisting on a case-by-case basis, taking into account all evidence you provide and using balance of probability around your individual circumstances to make their decision.

 

Factors UKVI may consider:

  1. The length of your relationship;

  2. Whether you are now living together or have done so in the past

  3. Do you have children together (biological, adopted or step-children) and shared responsibility for them;

  4. Whether you have shared responsibilities;

  5. Whether you have visited one another’s home country

  6. Whether you have meet each others families;

  7. Whether you have made or discussed plans of living together in the UK;

 

Should UKVI have any concerns about the genuineness of your relationship they will more likely scrutinise your UK Spouse Visa and possibly look for grounds to justify an refusal.

 

Intention to live permanently in the UK

To qualify for a family visa, fiance visa, spouse visa, partner visa & civil partner visa, UK Visas & Immigration want you to clearly satisfy them that you and your spouse intend to live together permanently in the UK immediately following the successful issue of your spouse visa or as soon as your circumstances allow.

 

Previous Relationships are Permanently dissolved

UKVI will want proof neither you or your partner are married to another person at the date of your application for entry clearance as a UK married partner. If either of you have been previously married then you will need to provide evidence that any marriage outside your current relationship has ended. Divorce certificates are the easiest way of demonstrating the end of a marriage but other documentation can also be used. A divorce in the UK is demonstrated through a decree absolute from a civil court. Overseas divorces must be evidenced using an equivalent to a decree absolute that's lawfully valid within the relevant country.

 

UK Accommodation Requirement

Whether you apply for a spouse visa from outside or within the UK, you need to provide evidence of adequate accommodation is available to you and your partner on arrival to the UK. Which you own or occupy exclusively without the need to access public funds.

 

SELT Test English Language requirement 

To meet the English language requirements when English is not your native language you will need to sit an SELT language test to meet the spouse visa UK requirements there are 3 different language levels required for family visas, spouse visa extension(s) and when you apply for indefinite leave to remain before acquiring your British Citizenship.

 

  1. SELT level A1 Test applies for Entry clearance

  2. SELT level A2 Test applies for FLR

  3. SELT level B1 Test applies for ILR

 

For an in-depth look at obtaining an appropriate SELT language certificate check out:

 

What SELT Test do I need to sit:

 

TB (tuberculosis) certificate if applying from outside UK

Depending on where you live when applying from outside the UK you may need a TB certificate as part of your  spouse visa UK requirement for more information on when and from where you will need to obtain a certificate check out my post:

Do I need a TB Certificate:

To meet the financial requirements under Appendix FM for a UK Spouse visa, applicants have several options depending on their circumstances:


Minimum Income Threshold:

 

  1. New applicants on or after April 11, 2024, need to meet a minimum income threshold of £29,000.

  2. Existing applicants under the 5-year partner route applying to stay with the same partner benefit from transitional arrangements, requiring a minimum income of £18,600, capped at £29,000.

  3. Applicants who applied before April 11, 2024, must meet the previous threshold of £18,600, without a cap.

  4. First-time applicants as partners or children of HM Armed Forces on or after April 11, 2024, have a threshold of £23,496.

  5. Existing partners or children of HM Armed Forces who applied before April 11, 2024, have a lower threshold of £18,600, capped at £23,496.


Dependent Children:

 

Additional gross annual income requirements apply for sponsored children: £3,800 for the first child and £2,400 for each additional child. The total income requirement is capped at £29,000 if the total exceeds this amount due to the number of children.


Exemptions through Adequate Maintenance:

 

Applicants whose UK partner receives certain benefits due to a long-term illness or disability can apply under "adequate maintenance" instead of meeting the minimum income threshold. If your UK married partner has a long-term illness or disability and receives any of the following benefits or allowances through the Department of Work & Pensions in the UK, then you may be able to apply under "adequate maintenance" through appendix FM. To meet Appendix FM, you will need to provide evidence of “adequate maintenance” rather than demonstrating you meet the minimum income threshold spouse visa UK requirements above. Your family application can be considered on “adequate maintenance” grounds by providing supporting evidence of any of these benefits.


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


“Adequate Maintenance” threshold requirements will continue to apply on your next family visas application as long as your partner continues to receive any of those benefits or allowances indicated above at the time of your next  submission.


Financial Categories:

 

Category A: Employment with the current employer for 6 months or more.

 

For new applicants on or after April 11, 2024, the minimum income threshold is £29,000. However, existing applicants under the 5-year partner route, who are applying to stay with the same partner, benefit from transitional arrangements. They need to meet a minimum income of £18,600, capped at £29,000 if they have dependent children.

If you are applying from outside the UK, your partner (sponsor) must demonstrate that they meet the financial requirements specified in Appendix FM on their own. However, if you are already in the UK with Leave to Remain (LTR) or Further Leave to Remain (FLR) and permission to work, your application can be considered under joint household income. Joint household income includes both the sponsor's and applicant's combined employment income from all income sources recognized under Category A. Additionally, you can combine income from Category C (non-employment income), Category D (cash savings), and Category E (pension) if necessary to meet the minimum financial requirement.

 

Category B: Less than 6 months with the employer or variable income.


This category is used when your partner and/or you are in the UK with permission to work. Either your partner and/or you are in salaried or non-salaried employment at the date of submission, haven't been with the same employer and/or not earning the same income level relied upon in the application for at least 6 months prior to the submission date of your spouse visa application. Category B can be used by anyone who has been with their current employer for less than 6 months, or who has been with their current employer for more than 6 months but their earnings our variable and need to be considered under category B rather than under Category A.


Category B, financial requirements must be met and evidenced in 2 parts.

Part 1: Initially, you or your partner, both having permission to work in the UK, should be engaged in salaried employment at the time of submitting the application. If either of you has been employed with a new employer for less than 6 months, you can consider the gross annual salary at the application date to meet the financial requirements if it surpasses the minimum income requirements under Appendix FM for this recent employment period. For new applicants on or after April 11, 2024, the minimum income threshold is £29,000. However, existing applicants under the 5-year partner route, applying to remain with the same partner, are subject to transitional arrangements, necessitating a minimum income of £18,600, capped at £29,000 when dependents are applicable. Applicants who lodged their application before April 11, 2024, are required to demonstrate the previous income threshold of £18,600, without any cap.

Part 2: Furthermore, to meet part (2) of the requirement, you and/or your partner must have received income collectively over the 12 months preceding the application submission date, meeting or surpassing the income level required to fulfill part (2) of the Category B calculation. This will depend on whether it exceeds either the £18,600 or £29,000 per annum income threshold requirement based on your individual circumstances.


Category C: Non-employment income (e.g., property rental, dividends).


Non-employment income, is from property rental or dividends from shares. Property rental dividends or income from investments, stocks and shares, bonds or trust funds interest from savings maintenance payments from a former partner of the applicant. UK Maternity Allowance, Bereavement Allowance, Bereavement Payment
Widowed Parent’s Allowance, payments under the War Pensions Scheme, Armed Forces Compensation Scheme
The Armed Forces Attributable Benefits Scheme. Maintenance grant or stipend (not a loan) associated with undergraduate study or postgraduate study or research. Ongoing insurance payments or ongoing payments from a structured legal settlement or ongoing royalty payments


Category D: Cash savings (savings above £16,000)


If you and or your partner have savings above £16,000, these can be used solely or in combination with salaried or non-salaried employment. UK spouse visa applicants who rely on savings to satisfy financial application requirements should bear in mind the level of savings required on a entry clearance & FLR spouse visa application is different from the level needed when applying for ILR under spouse visa.

 

(Savings value – £16,000) ÷ 2.5 = (£) qualifying value


Category E: Pension income.


If your partner or both of you are retired you can use your State (UK or foreign), occupational or private pension to demonstrate you meet Appendix FM requirements.  Pension income can be combined with categories A-D in order to meet Appendix FM requirements.


Category F & G: Self-employment.

 

Under Category F and G of Appendix FM, self-employed individuals have options for demonstrating their income to meet the financial requirement for a UK Spouse visa:

 

Income from the Last Full Financial Year:

Self-employed individuals, including company directors or employees of specified limited companies in the UK, can use income from their self-employment activities in the last full financial year. This income can be used to meet the financial requirement.


Average of the Last 2 Full Financial Years:

Alternatively, self-employed individuals can choose Category G, which allows them to use an average of the income received in the last 2 full financial years to meet the financial requirement. This average is calculated as the mean average of the income over the two years.


Both Category F and G incomes can be combined with income from salaried and non-salaried employment, non-employment income, and pension income to meet the financial requirement. However, cash savings cannot be combined with income under Category F or G.

Self-employed individuals can also consider joint household income, combining various sources of income from different categories, to meet the minimum financial requirement. It's essential to carefully assess and choose the most appropriate category based on individual circumstances to ensure compliance with immigration regulations.

How our Immigration adviser can help you

Marc Gibson our immigration adviser specialises in assisting foreign national spouses relocate and settle in the UK with their partners.  Marc has supported hundreds of UK and other settled nationals sponsor their foreign married partners to prepare and submit successful UK spouse visa renewal applications. Whether you require a consultation to understand the Immigration Rules for UK married partner visas, or have your partner visa application professional checked by him before submission or use his representation service to prepare and submit your own Spouse Visa application for you, Marc can help.

Appendix FM financial requirements are particularly complex and include mandatory requirements in terms of the documentary evidence needed to demonstrate you can meet the requirements of the spouse visa application. Our immigration adviser specialises in assisting married couples with complex financial circumstances complete and submit successful marriage applications.

Marc prides himself on being friendly, approachable and professional in meeting his clients’ needs, he is dedicated to providing clear and reliable immigration advice to his clients when providing his UK Spouse Visa service.

Section 4: How I can Supprot you
Request a Spouse Visa Application Assessment

MYG LTD - Immigration

79 Winchester Street 

Salisbury

SP1 1HS

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