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UK Spouse visa. 

Introduction to UK Spouse visa applications:


To be eligible for a Spouse visa you need to be a married partner of British / Irish citizen, or an overseas nationals married partner who holds Indefinite leave to remain. You, both need to be over 18 years old at the application submission date and either living and settled in the UK or returning together to permanently settle in the UK.


To be successful in your application you will need to demonstrate you can adequately maintain yourselves in the UK without the need to access public funds. Demonstrate you met the visa application requirements under Appendix FM, and demonstrate you are in a legitimate, subsisting relationship together. A UK Spouse Visa can lead to indefinite leave to remain

or settlement in the UK after a period of 5 years.

Section Bar:

Section 1: Eligibility requirements

Section 2: What you need to demonstrate

Section 3: Appendix FM Requirements

Section 4: How I can support you

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 applying you need to check you meet the eligibility requirements so your Spouse visa application will be considered valid:

  1. You and your married 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 legally married and recognised in the UK;

  5. Your relationship is genuine and subsisting;

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

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

  8. You meet the financial requirements under appendix FM;

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

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

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

Prohibited relationship:

This means that you and your spouse 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 UK

In order to qualify for a UK Spouse Visa, you and your partner will need to be legally married and the marriage recognised in the UK. In the UK you are required to give your intention to marry and complete the notice period required. You must have been married 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 UK:

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.


Genuine and Subsisting Relationship:

In order to qualify for a UK Spouse Visa you will need to provide the Home Office with evidence that your relationship is a genuine and sustaining relationship. 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 financial 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 UK Visa & Immigration have any concerns about the genuineness of your relationship they will more likely scrutinise your UK Spouse Visa application and possibly look for grounds to justify an application refusal.


Intention to live permanently in the UK

To qualify for a Spouse Visa, UK Visas & Immigration will want to be satisfied 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 spouse are married to another person at the date of your application for entry clearance as a UK spouse. 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.


Spouse Visa Accommodation Requirement

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


SELT English Test 

If English is not your native language you will need to sit an SELT English language test there are 3 different language levels required for a UK Spouse visa route.


  1. SELT level A1 Test applies for Entry clearance

  2. SELT level A2 Test applies for Further leave to remain

  3. SELT level B1 Test applies for Indefinite Leave to remain


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


What SELT English 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 UK Spouse visa application requirements 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:

When applying through entry clearance for a UK Spouse visa, your spouse must meet the minimum income requirements under Appendix FM in their own rights or demonstrate they have an exemption.

If you are eligible to apply for further leave to remain (FLR-M) from within the UK, you can rely on joint household income if you are eligible to work under your current leave to enter / remain or demonstrate your partner has an exemption.

How to met the financial requirements through ‘adequate maintenance’ when you have an exemption 

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 eligible to apply under "adequate maintenance" requirements through appendix FM.

To meet the financial requirements you will need to provide evidence of “adequate maintenance” rather than demonstrating you meet the minimum income threshold requirements above. Your 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 visa application as long as your spouse/ partner continues to receive any of those benefits or allowances indicated above at the time of your next application submission.


UK Spouse visa Financial Categories under Appendix FM


The financial requirements for everyone else can be demonstrated through one or more of the following 5 categories:

Category A: In employment with current employer for 6 months or more

If you apply from outside the UK your spouse (sponsor) will need to demonstrate they met Appendix FM financial requirements in their own right.  If you are already in the UK holding leave to remain with permission to work your application can be considered under joint household income.


Joint household income is a combination of both "Sponsors & Applicants" joint employment income from all income sources recognised under Category A. You can combine Category C: non-employment income, Category D: cash savings and Category E: pension if necessary to meet the minimum financial requirement of £18,600 per annum.


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


This category is used when your spouse 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 application 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 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:


First, your partner and/or you (with permission to work in UK) must be in salaried employment at the date of application submission and have been in employment with a new employer for less than 6 months, you can count the gross annual salary at the date of application towards the financial requirements if your income exceeds £18,600 under appendix FM for this new employment period.


Part 2:


To meet part (2) your partner and/or you must have received in the 12 months prior to the application submission date combined level of income required to meet part (2) of the calculation for Category B exceeding £18,600 per annum.


Category C: Non-employment income


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

• ongoing payments from a structured legal settlement

• ongoing royalty payments


Category D: Cash Savings


If you and or your spouse have cash 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 cash savings to satisfy financial application requirements should bare in mind the level of cash savings required on a entry clearance & Further leave to remain application is different from the level needed when applying for indefinite leave to remain as a spouse.

(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-employed


If you are self-employed you can use Income generated through your self-employed activities, including income as a company director or employee of a specified limited company in the UK, or yourself if you are in the UK with permission to work.


Category F: Last full financial year


Where the applicant’s partner (and/or the applicant if they are in the UK with permission to work) is in self-employment or is either the director or employee (or both) of a specified limited company in the UK, at the date of application, they can use income from the last full financial years accounts to meet the financial requirement.


Category G: Average of last 2 full financial years


Where the applicant’s partner (and/or the applicant if they are in the UK with permission to work) is in self-employment, or is the director or employee (or both) of a specified limited company in the UK, at the date of application, they can choose instead to rely on Category G. This allows them to use an average of the income received in the last 2 full financial years to meet the financial requirement. A reference to the ‘average’ of the income received in the last 2 full financial years in Category G is a reference to the mean average.


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

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 applications. Whether you require a consultation to understand the Immigration Rules for UK Spouse Visa, or have your 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 a UK Spouse visa application. Our immigration adviser specialises in assisting married applicants with complex financial circumstances complete and submit successful Spouse 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
Book a Free Application Assessment 

MYG LTD - Immigration

79 Winchester Street 



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