Manchester Immigration Lawyers
0161 826 9783 (local rate)

Mon - Sun, 8.30 am - 6pm

Find an office

10 offices in the UK


We are the UK's leading immigration specialists
OISC Accredited UK immigration lawyers
We've had over 5000 applications approved
Get the correct advice from qualified immigration experts
4.7 rating 414 reviews

Spouse Visa UK - Hire Spouse Visa Lawyer

A UK Spouse Visa is part of the Family Visas category of visas. It allows you to join your British settled spouse or civil partner in the UK.

If you need help making a UK Spouse Visa application, our immigration solicitors in Manchester can help you. Call us on 0161 826 9783 to find out whether you meet the requirements and what your next steps should be. Or complete the simple online enquiry form.

    Request a call back from our immigration experts

    What is a Spouse Visa?

    The UK Spouse Visa is a type of UK partner visa that is part of the family visa category. A UK Family Visa allows you to enter the UK to live with your spouse or partner. Specifically, the UK Spouse visa is used by married couples who want to be united and live together in Britain.

    In order to be eligible for a UK Spouse Visa, the applicant must be married to a British citizen or person with settled status in the UK. This includes people with Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). This type of visa lasts for 33 months and can be extended after this time. After spending five years in the UK with leave to remain in the UK as a spouse, the visa holder can also apply for settled status. For many, the UK Spouse Visa is the first step on the route towards becoming a British Citizen.

    There are several requirements that need to be met if a person wants to apply for a Spouse Visa for the UK. These include the genuine relationship test, the accommodation requirements, and the UK Spouse Visa financial requirement.

    To find out more about how our spouse visas lawyers can help, get in touch on 0161 826 9783. We offer advice and application services to suit your needs as a couple or as an individual.

    Immigration Advice Service 4.7 rating 414 reviews Logo

    UK Spouse Visa Requirements

    There are several UK Spouse Visa requirements you need to meet if you want to join your partner in the UK.

    Spouse Visa requirements

    • Like with any other UK Partner Visa, you must be in a ‘genuine and subsisting’ relationship with a British partner. Settled people, including people with Indefinite Leave to Remain, also count as ‘British’ in this sense
    • You must be married to a British citizen or settled person, and this marriage should be recognised by international marriage laws
    • You need to have met your UK national partner, in person, on at least one occasion and you can prove this
    • Your marriage must not be a marriage of convenience and it must not have been conducted for fraudulent purposes (also sometimes referred to as a ‘sham marriage’)
    • You must prove that you and your UK national partner meet the Spouse Visa financial requirement (you must meet the combined income threshold for a Spouse Visa of at least £29,000 [in effect from April 11, 2024])
    • You have accommodation set up for you and your UK national partner to live in that meets the Home Office’s criteria
    • You meet the English language requirements for this visa category

    UK Spouse Visa document requirements

    When applying for a Spouse Visa UK you will need extensive amounts of documents. These need to prove that you meet all of the UK Spousal visa requirements. Some examples include:

    • Proof that your relationship is genuine: photographs, phone conversations, emails, Skype sessions, events attended together, video chat logs
    • Proof of your income: job contracts, bank statements, proof of investments/property
    • Proof you meet the accommodation requirement: house leases, letting contracts, temporary accommodation bookings
    • Proof you meet the English language requirement: degree in English, IELTS test, proof you’re a national of a predominantly English-speaking country

    There is no limit to the documents you can use to prove that you meet the eligibility requirements. However, you can be seen as manipulative by the Home Office if you provide too much evidence. For this reason, it is often best to consult a spouse visa lawyer if you want to ensure you get this right.

    Call our team on 0161 826 9783 to find out more about what you need to provide to demonstrate you meet the criteria for this immigration category.

    ‘Genuine Relationship’ requirements

    To be eligible for this type of Spouse or Partner Visa, you need to prove that your relationship with your British/settled partner is ‘genuine and subsisting’.

    You can use anything you want to do this, but it must show that your marriage is based on a real relationship that you genuinely intend to stay in when you reach the UK.

    There are different forms of evidence you can use to do this, including:

    • Photographs/videos of the two of you together
    • Evidence of phone conversations, texts, or chat logs
    • Tickets from events you attended together
    • Proof of shared finances (e.g bank statements, joint mortgages etc)
    • Social media accounts
    • Proof of travel together/to and from each other

    You should be careful when providing evidence to support your application that you do not provide insufficient documents. This can mean the difference between your UK Spouse Visa being accepted and rejected.

    If you are unsure of how to demonstrate that you meet the genuine relationship criteria, our spouse visa lawyer in Manchester can provide you with comprehensive immigration advice such as support for your Spouse Visa application. Contact us now and we’ll call you back.

    Accommodation requirements

    As part of the UK Spouse Visa requirements, you need to prove that you have accommodation set up for when you arrive in the UK. You must intend to live together permanently in the UK if you are granted a UK Spouse Visa.

    This accommodation must meet UK living standards. You should be able to demonstrate this by providing the following alongside your application.

    • An official description of the property (e.g from a letting agent or from a listing on a website)
    • Proof that you have enough rooms in the property to house you and your partner and any dependents you are bringing with you

    To properly meet the living standards for the UK, the property you intend to live in must have

    • One bedroom per couple and baby under the age of one
    • A bedroom each per child over 10 years old

    You must show that the accommodation you and your UK national partner intend to live in together meets these standards so that your Spouse Visa can be granted. You should set up your accommodation – even if it just temporary – before you make an application. This shows the Home Office that you intend to live together permanently in Britain.

    UK Spouse Visa financial requirements

    When applying for a UK Spouse Visa there are also a number of Spouse Visa financial requirements that you will need to meet to prove that you have enough money to support yourself and any dependents whilst in the UK. This includes meeting the minimum income threshold for a Spouse Visa.

    Spouse Visa financial requirements

    • Your sponsoring partner must meet the Spouse Visa income threshold of £29,000 (from April 11, 2024) with planned increases to £34,500 and eventually £38,700.
    • If your application includes non-EEA or non-British children, you’ll need an additional £3,800 for your child. (There will no longer be a separate minimum income requirement for child if you’re applying after April 1, 2024)
    • Income can include income from employment, ownership of business, or self-employment
    • Non-employment finances (like property rentals, investments, shares, and stocks can also be used
    • You can use savings but only to the amount of £16,000. This has to have been held by either you or your partner for a minimum of six months

    If your British partner receives some types of benefits (including disability allowance, police injury pension, or industrial injuries disablement benefit) you will be exempt from the Spouse Visa financial requirement.

    Please note that rules around financial requirements for the Spouse visa will change in 2024 in light of recent government changes. For the most recent and up-to-date advice for your case, contact us on 0161 826 9783 today.

    English language requirements

    You need to meet the UK Spouse Visa English language requirement in order to qualify for this partner visa route.

    In the majority of scenarios, this means taking and passing an English language test. This allows you to demonstrate that you have enough knowledge of speaking and understanding English. This test must be completed through a Secure English Language Testing (SELT) provider.

    If you have a degree that was taught in English, you do not need to take an English language test. You also do not need to take a test if you are a national of a majority English-speaking country.

    Other exemptions for the English language test include:

    • If you are under the age of 18 or over the age of 65
    • If you have a disability that stops you from being able to take the test (such as a severe learning disability)
    • If you have refugee status or humanitarian protection

    Get in touch with our expert spouse visa lawyer to learn how to apply for a Spouse Visa. Contact us

      Request a call back from our immigration experts

      Spouse Visa Application Process

      To apply for a Spouse visa, you must submit your application online through the site.

      You will need to fill in the online application and also upload your supporting documents to the site.

      As part of the application process, you may also need to attend a biometrics appointment at a local visa application centre (VAC). Although there are VACs located worldwide, note that you may have to travel to a different country to access one.

      The online application is also where you will pay the application fee, the immigration healthcare surcharge and supply your tuberculosis test results (if you’re from a required country).

      You may at some point be asked to attend a visa interview with UK government officials to further verify and confirm your details or motivations for applying for a Spouse visa.

      UK Spouse Visa processing times

      The UK Spouse Visa application processing time can vary depending on how complex or straightforward your case is.

      Once your application has been received by the Home Office, it is likely to take weeks to process. Usually, the average Spouse Visa processing time is around three months but it can be as quick as two weeks and as long as six months if the application is complex.

      Processing times also vary depending on the country from where the visa application is made.

      One of the reasons it can take some time to process a Spouse visa application is that caseworkers are very thorough with UK Spouse Visa applications, as they are trained to detect fraudulent applications.

      Once the assessing official has made a decision on whether or not to grant your UK Spouse visa application, they will get back to you with a decision on it.

      If you apply with a family member this could make the decision-making process longer, as caseworkers have more evidence to review.

      UK Spouse Visa fees

      The current UK Spouse Visa fees are:

      • Application fee: £1,048 if applying from inside the UK, and £1,846 if applying from outside the UK
      • Life in the UK test: £50
      • Immigration Health Surcharge (fee to use the NHS during your time in the UK): £1,035 (£3,105 for a 3-year visa)
      • TB test: £65-£110
      • Housing report (to demonstrate that you meet the accommodation requirement): £80 – £120

      family visa

      UK Spouse Visa refusals

      UK Spouse and Partner visas are often refused. This can be for several different reasons, but the main reason is usually related to the ‘genuine relationship’ requirement.

      If an application is refused on this basis it is because caseworkers judge it to be fraudulent.

      Common reasons for UK Spouse Visas being refused

      • If you provide too much evidence to prove your relationship is genuine and subsisting (which can sometimes be seen as manipulative)
      • Providing too little information to prove your relationship is genuine and subsisting
      • Providing false/fraudulent information
      • Not providing a housing report
      • Not providing evidence that you meet the UK Spouse Visa financial requirement
      • Not providing evidence that you meet the English requirements for this category

      Appealing a UK Spouse Visa refusal

      If you have a UK Partner Visa refused by the UKVI you may be able to appeal the decision. This applies if you have grounds for appeal. If you do not have grounds for appeal you will need to make a fresh application.

      You can lodge an appeal if you feel a decision was genuinely unfair, or if your Spouse Visa was denied because your caseworker made a mistake on your application.

      You can make an appeal either on paper or in person (a caseworker can represent you). In both of these scenarios, a judge will review your case for an appeal and decide whether or not the decision should be sustained or overturned. If you opt to lodge an appeal in person your case will be reviewed at a Tribunal hearing.

      You won’t have grounds for an appeal if you submitted an application you weren’t eligible for or that you made a mistake on yourself (without legal representation).

      Most immigration lawyers will recommend that you make a fresh application unless there are clear grounds for refusal, as this is usually the more straightforward and reliable option.

      Spouse Visa UK extensions

      You can apply to extend a UK Spouse Visa once yours has expired.

      This will let you stay in the UK for a further 2.5 years.

      Spouse Visa extension requirements

      • Apply for an extension within 28 days of your current visa’s expiry
      • Show that you have continued to live with your partner and that your relationship is still genuine
      • Show that you still live in accommodation with your partner and any child dependents and that this accommodation meets the UK living requirements.
      • Show that you and your partner still meet the income requirements

      Although renewals are often more straightforward than your initial application, you should ensure the process is not rushed. If you fail to submit the right evidence, or a mistake is made on your form, you will not be eligible for a refund.

      Our spouse visa lawyers can assist you with your Spouse Visa extension application, simply get in touch on 0161 826 9783 to find out more, or complete the online enquiry form.

      Switching from a Spouse Visa to Indefinite Leave to Remain

      Once you have held your spouse visa for 5 years, you can qualify for a form of settled status, called Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).

      ILR status means you will no longer be bound by the terms of your visa. You will be able to work, study, and travel in and out of the UK without being restricted, although there are absence restrictions.

      You can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain as the spouse of a British citizen/settled person if you meet the following eligibility requirements:

      • You have lived in the UK for a continuous five-year period while holding and abiding by the terms of your Spouse Visa
      • You have not been absent from the UK for more than 180 days in the final 12 months of your time in the UK
      • You have taken and passed the Life in the UK test
      • You meet the English requirements for ILR

      Immigration rules whilst in the UK on a Spouse Visa

      If you are successfully granted a UK Spouse Visa then you will be able to live, work and study in the UK.

      However, current UK immigration rules mean that you will not have a right to access public funds or benefits.

      Whilst you are in the UK, you must follow the immigration rules, if you don’t do this then any future visa applications could be jeopardised. This means that you should not remain in the UK when your Spouse Visa has expired and if you split up with your partner then you also must inform the Home Office and apply for a new visa.

      spouse visa uk

      How our Spouse visa solicitors can help

      Manchester Immigration Lawyers’ Spouse visa solicitors are highly experienced in dealing with UK Spouse and Partner visa cases. We have worked with clients from all over the world looking to settle in the UK with their loved ones, and are well equipped to advise on a range of issues and situations.

      Whether you’re looking for a Spouse visa lawyer to help confirm your eligibility for this route, need expert advice on a difficult or unusual case, or just need reassurance from an immigration professional about your chances, we are here to help.

      We offer a range of services and packages to suit all needs. From simple ongoing advice to full-on application and document support, we can help resolve your issues and maximise your chances of visa approval.

      For more information about the services we offer and how we can help you, don’t delay in getting in contact today. Reach out to us on 0161 826 9783 or contact us online.

      Spouse visa lawyer fees

      When considering UK Spouse visa lawyer fees, it’s important to remember that not all legal cases will be the same in terms of their complexity or requirements. There are many different pertinent details surrounding each Spouse visa application, each of which could influence the level a legal professional needs to be involved.

      Here at Manchester Immigration Lawyers, we are keenly aware of these aspects and are highly sensitive to the individual needs of our clients. That’s why we always aim to offer the most affordable and appropriate fees for each individual case, ensuring that you get both the best deal and the best level of service for your immigration case.

      For more information about our fees, the services we offer and what we could do for you, reach out to book an advice session with one of our immigration solicitors today on 0161 826 9783 or contact us online.

      Advice Package icon

      Advice Package

      Comprehensive immigration advice tailored to your circumstances and goals.

      Application Package icon

      Application Package

      Designed to make your visa application as smooth and stress-free as possible.

      Fast Track Package icon

      Fast Track Package

      Premium application service that ensures your visa application is submitted to meet your deadline.

      Appeal Package icon

      Appeal Package

      Ensure you have the greatest chance of a successful appeal. We will represent you in any case.

      Advice Package image

      The Advice Package

      During this untimed Advice Session with our professional immigration lawyers in London, you will receive our comprehensive advice, completely tailored to your needs and your situation.

        Request a call back from our immigration experts

        Request the Advice Package
        Application Package image

        The Application Package

        With our Application Package, your dedicated immigration lawyer will advise you on your application process and eligibility. Your caseworker will then complete and submit your forms to the Home Office on your behalf.

          Request a call back from our immigration experts

          Request the Application Package
          Fast Track Package image

          The Fast Track Package

          Our Fast-Track Application Package is a premium service for those who need to submit their application in time with their deadlines. Your case will become a top priority for our lawyers and you will benefit from our highest-quality services.

            Request a call back from our immigration experts

            Request the Fast Track Package
            Appeal Package image

            The Appeal Package

            By choosing our Appeal Package, you can rely on our lawyers’ legal knowledge and experience to ensure you have the highest chance of a successful appeal. We will also fully represent you in any hearings/tribunals.

              Request a call back from our immigration experts

              Request the Appeal Package

              If you wish to find out how you can settle in the UK with your partner, our team is happy to assist. Learn more

                Request a call back from our immigration experts

                Related pages for your continued reading.

                Frequently Asked Questions

                From 11 April 2024, the minimum salary requirement has increased from £18,600 to £29,000 for UK Spouse and Partner visas, and may increase further to £34,500 and eventually £38,700 in future. This may also effect applications for extensions and permanent settlement for those already in the UK. Contact us for further guidance and assistance.

                If you are a UK citizen and you intend on bringing a spouse to the UK then you will need to act as their sponsor. Sponsoring a spouse to come to the UK requires you to be able to meet the Spouse Visa financial requirements alongside the partner you intend to sponsor. As well as this your will also need to provide a letter of sponsorship to support your partners UK spouse visa application.

                In it, you should include information such as your legal position in the UK (for example, British by birth, settled with Indefinite Leave to Remain, etc) and your income. You should also include the sources of this income (for example, if your income is £32,000 per annum and it comes from working as a doctor at a local practice).

                You should also include information that backs up your spouses’ claim that your relationship with them is genuine. You should include information that says when you and the applicant:

                • Met each other
                • Began your relationship
                • Were married

                Our expert immigration lawyers can help you to bring your spouse to the UK and can assist you with your Sponsorship support letter. To get started, call them today on  0161 826 9783.

                There is nowhere in the Home Office’s guidelines that say that a person with a Spouse Visa must stay inside the UK.

                But if you hold this kind of visa and you plan to either extend it or use it as a route to settlement, you must be wary of leaving the UK for too long during your time.

                If you wish to do either of these things, you should avoid spending “the majority” of your time outside Britain.

                If you are applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain you also need to make sure that you meet the ‘continuous residency requirement’ which means you can’t have left the UK for more than 120 days in the last 12 months before you apply for your Spousal Visa.

                This type of UK visa lasts for 2.5 years. Once this period is over, you can apply for a UK Spousal Visa extension and, after 5 years, for Indefinite Leave to Remain (settled status).

                If you are in a serious, long-term relationship with someone from outside the UK, and you are not married, you may still be able to sponsor them to come to the UK.

                To do this, you can apply for an Unmarried Partner Visa. This visa falls under the same category as the UK Spouse Visa category, but it has different requirements.

                As well as proving that your relationship is genuine and subsisting and that you and your partner meet the financial, accommodation and English language requirements, you also need to have lived with your partner for a minimum period of 2 years in a relationship “akin to marriage”.

                Alternatively, if you intend to bring your partner over for the purpose of marrying them in the UK, you can apply for a Fiance Visa. This entitles the applicant to six months leave in the UK, providing you get married during this time. After this, the non-British partner can switch to a Spouse Visa.

                If you are the civil partner of a British citizen you can apply for a Civil Partner Visa. This falls under the same category as the UK Spouse Visa, and the application process and requirements are the same.

                If your relationship/marriage ends while you hold a UK Spouse /  Partner Visa then your leave to remain in the UK will be curtailed. This means you will need to apply for a new visa or leave the UK once the relationship is ended.

                If you are the victim of domestic abuse within your relationship you are eligible to remain in the UK once the relationship ends. You also qualify for legal aid if you need advice or assistance claiming this.

                Yes, you can work on a UK Spouse Visa. You can work in a majority of roles, and also be self-employed or study at a UK institution.

                You cannot work as a professional sportsperson or coach.

                You cannot claim any benefits or public funds such as jobseeker’s allowance while living in the UK with this visa.

                You need to show that you can speak and understand English to the required level in order to meet the English language requirement and be eligible for the Spouse Visa.

                You can prove your knowledge of English with an academic qualification, or by taking a test. For the test, you must pass at least level A1 for your first visa application.

                If you are a national of a majority English speaking country, you may be exempt from the English language requirement.

                A Partner Visa application can be delayed for a number of reasons. According to the UKVI’s decision-making unit, the aim is to make a decision on UK visa applications within 15 working days, but this is not a guarantee.

                Sometimes, your case may be delayed because there is a discrepancy in information. Also, if the initial reviewing caseworker is unsure of whether to grant or refuse your application, they will ask for the application to be reviewed by another caseworker. This means that the decision-making period can be doubled to 30 days.

                If your case is particularly complex, it will naturally take longer for it to be considered.

                You should also factor in delays caused by factors outside your control, such as the Covid-19 pandemic. This has led to many civil servants being furloughed or made redundant and because of this, processes are being delayed and decisions are taking longer to reach across the board. Some visa categories are seeing 6-month delays because of this reason, so it is important to bear this in mind when factoring in processing times.

                Applications for UK Spouse Visas can be complicated.

                Because of this, using the services of a legal professional is highly recommended. This will help ensure that you meet all the mandatory requirements before you apply. If your visa is refused because you are not eligible or you make a mistake on your application you will not receive a refund.

                To start your application process, you need to complete the relevant forms (usually form FM) and compile your supporting evidence. This must prove you meet the financial, genuine relationship, accommodation, and language requirements for the Spouse Visa UK. This bundle is then submitted to the UKVI, who will make a decision on it.

                You should not book your travel until you receive the Home Offices’ decision.

                In 2017 it was ruled that some exemptions to the UK Spouse Visa financial requirements would be put in place. These allow some people to get a Spousal Visa for the UK even if they do not meet the financial criteria through the usual means (employment salary).

                Alternative methods of reaching the minimum UK Spouse Visa income threshold requirement now include self-employment, self-sustainability, or continued financial aid from a relative.

                If you have a disability or are a carer you may be exempt from meeting the financial requirements for a Spouse/Partner Visa at all.

                If you have joined your partner in the UK through another visa category, you might be eligible to switch to a Spouse Visa.

                For example, if you are the fiancé of a British/settled person, you can use a six-month type of UK visa called a Fiance Visa. This grants you leave to remain on the basis that you will be marrying a UK citizen whilst in the UK. Once you have been married, you qualify to switch immediately onto the Spouse Visa category, providing you can demonstrate you meet all the usual spouse visa requirements.