Who can apply for UK Spouse Visa?
In order to be eligible for the Spouse Visa UK, the applicant is required to meet the UK Spouse Visa requirements laid out by the immigration laws. These requirements state that the applicant and the sponsor must both:
- Be at least 18 years old;
- Not be related to each other in a way that would be impermissible for marriage according to the UK Law;
- Have met in person;
- Be in a genuine and subsisting relationship;
- Be in a valid marriage or civil partnership in accordance with the UK law (if married or in a civil partnership);
- Meet the suitability requirements;
The sponsor can be either:
- A British citizen or
- A settled person in the UK (they must have the ‘Indefinite Leave to Remain’ or proof of permanent residence); or
- A holder of refugee status or under humanitarian protection in the UK
Note: UK spouse visa rules provide that if the applicant is in the UK with permission to work then their income can also be considered to meet the requirement. Savings held by the applicant can also be considered.
UK Spouse Visa requirements further entail that the sponsor:
- Meet the gross annual income threshold of at least £18,600 or alternatively provide evidence for savings of £62,500.
- Provide adequate accommodation in accordance with the UK housing space standards.
Note: UK Spouse Visa rules provide that if the applicant is in the UK with permission to work then their income can also be considered to meet the total income requirement. Savings held by the applicant can also be considered.
UK Spouse Visa requirements state that the applicant must:
- Meet the English language requirement;
- Have taken a TB test (if they are from a country on the Home Office’s list of prescribed countries);
- Not have any adverse immigration history (overstaying, breaching conditions, illegal entrant, using deception in an application)
- Not fall under the mandatory general grounds of refusal.
Both applicant and sponsor are required to prove that they:
UK immigration Rules are subject to change. If you would require advice specific to your UK Spouse Visa circumstances, call our UK Immigration experts on +91 98191 27002 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
How to apply for a UK Spouse Visa
The applicant needs to make a UK spouse visa application to the Home Office. The applicant can make this application from overseas or from within the UK [subject to meeting the requirements].
As the UK and rest of the world continues its efforts to limit the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic – it is possible that there could be disruption of services at some of the UK’s visa application centres. It is advisable for the applicants to confirm the most current process at the time of applying.
Generally, to apply to enter the UK as a spouse or partner, the applicant is required to:
- complete the UK visa application form in English
- pay the UK spouse visa fee online (in most cases)
- pay the immigration health surcharge
- provide biometrics (fingerprints and digital photograph)
- provide tuberculosis test results if the applicant is resident in a country on the specified list
- provide their passport and other supporting evidence
How long does the UK Spouse visa application take?
For applicants applying from outside the UK the decision on the UK spouse visa application will usually be made within 12 weeks.
For applicants applying from within the UK the decision will usually be made within 8 weeks of your application date.
Applicants have the option of selecting the super priority service where a decision will usually be made:
- by the end of the next working day after providing your biometric information for weekday appointments or
- within 2 working days after providing your biometric information for weekend appointments.
Note: Working days are Monday to Friday, not including bank holidays.
The timelines mentioned are indicative and could vary due to complexity of the case.
English Language requirement to get a UK spouse visa in 2021?
According to UK Immigration rules, applicants for UK spouse visa are required to provide evidence that they meet the English Language requirement. An applicant can meet the English language requirement in either of the following ways:
- The applicant can submit their degree or academic qualification which is recognised by UK NARIC as being equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree or higher.
- You have a degree or academic qualification that was taught or researched in English.
- The applicant is required to pass the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with at least a CEFR level A1 in speaking as well as listening and provide the pass certificate.
Applicants are exempted from meeting the English language requirement if:
- The applicant is over 65
- The applicant has a physical or mental condition that prevents you from meeting the requirement.
- You are a national of a majority English speaking country.
- The applicants are being taught from a UK university and have a degree confirming the same.
Financial requirement for UK Spouse visa in 2021
- The minimum financial requirement for a UK Spouse visa is to evidence gross annual income of £18,600 or alternatively evidence savings of £62,500.
- In certain circumstances you may be able to combine your income with savings to meet the financial eligibility requirement.
- The decision makers cannot exercise any discretion or flexibility with regard to the level of the financial requirement that must be met.
What is – ILR UK Spouse Visa
After completion of stay on a UK Spouse Visa, applicants can then further extend their stay, given that they are still married and living in the UK with their spouse, and continue to meet the maintenance requirements. If the applicant has lived up to 5 years through extension of their spouse visa, they are eligible to apply for an Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).
If you would like to confirm your eligibility for a UK spouse Visa, or have had a UK Spouse Visa refused, you can book an appointment for an initial consultation with our UK immigration experts. Call us on +91 9819 127002 or email us at email@example.com.
We understand that applying for a UK Spouse Visa can be challenging given the vast amount of information on the topic. You can be free of all the hassles by opting for a full representation service.
How to renew UK Spouse Visa
The applicant after completion of 30 months, can further apply for UK spouse visa extension and can stay for an additional 30 months which can take the applicant’s total time in the UK on this visa up to five years. At the time of extension of the UK spouse visa, the applicant is required to meet the spouse visa requirements for ‘leave to remain’ in the UK. UK spouse visa extension applications can be submitted by post or by visiting the Premium Service Centres (PSC) for same day processing.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) concession
The Home Office recognises that the Covid-19 pandemic has had an impact on the finances of the applicants/sponsors impacting their ability to meet the financial requirement of minimum income requirement for entry clearance, leave to remain or indefinite leave to remain applications.
In its guidance to case workers the Home Office has set out the approach that is required to be taken so as not to put applicants/sponsors affected by Covid-19 at a disadvantage.
The guidance provides that Income received via the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme or the Coronavirus Self Employment Income Support Scheme can count as employment or self-employment income.
In the instances where there has been temporary loss of income due to COVID-19 during the period 1 March 2020 and 31 May 2021 the following concessions will apply:
- a temporary loss of employment income between 1 March and 31 May 2021 due to COVID-19, will be disregarded provided the minimum income requirement was met for at least 6 months immediately prior to the date the income was lost – this is for a loss of employment income between 1 March 2020 to 31 May 2021 due to COVID-19 an applicant or sponsor furloughed under the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will be deemed as earning 100% of their salary
- a temporary loss of annual income due to COVID-19 between 1 March 2020 and 31 May2021 will generally be disregarded for self-employment income, along with the impact on employment income from the same period for future applications.
- evidential flexibility may be applied where an applicant or sponsor experiences difficulty accessing specified evidence due to COVID-19 restrictions