If you are a British national living in the UK (or anywhere else in the world) and have found the man or woman of your dreams who is not a UK citizen, then you can apply for them to join you in the UK. You would be required to apply for a spouse visa to enable them to join you in the UK. So ‘how do I apply for a UK spouse visa’ is a common question.

If you thought it would be a simple enough process, you may want to think again.

What is UK spouse visa?

UK spouse visa is for foreign spouses of UK citizens to join the main applicant (also called as sponsor in the UK). If your spouse is a EU/EEA national, then they would not need to apply for a spouse visa (yet). This is mainly for foreign spouses who are from outside the EU/EEA.

Eligibility of the UK national (sponsor)

In order to sponsor a foreign spouse to join you in the UK you would be required to demonstrate that you are either:

  • A British citizen
  • Have settlement or indefinite leave to remain in the UK
  • Have asylum or humanitarian protection in the UK

The Process

To apply for UK spouse visa, your partner will be required to complete an online application and submit in their ‘Home country’. Generally, you cannot switch to a spouse visa if you are in the UK on a visit visa. If you have children, then a separate form will need to be filled for each child.

What does the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) at UKVI look for while deciding your UK visa application:

Every time a case worker is evaluating an application they will look for the following factors. Please note that this is merely an indicative list.

Meeting the financial eligibility requirement

The UK National and/or their spouse if they are in the UK with a valid permission to work need to meet the financial requirements for your partner to successfully apply to join you in the UK. The salary threshold currently stands at:

£18,600 per annum for partner only; £22,400 per annum if applying for partner and first child; £24,80 per annum if applying for partner and 2 children; £27,200 per annum if applying for partner and 3 children. If there are more children than the requirement goes up by £2,400 for each additional child

The financial requirement is usually evidenced by earned income or through a combination of income from employment, self-employment, savings, pension etc.

If you are unsure of how you meet the financial requirement it is a good idea to speak to a qualified and experienced Immigration Law Firm.

UK nationals in receipt of one or more of the following benefits:

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, bereavement benefits. Would not be required to meet the financial requirements specified above, however a different calculation would apply.

Provide evidence of a genuine Relationship

The UK citizen and their foreign national spouse must be over 18 and your relationship must be genuine and that you intend to live together as a family in the UK. When submitting the application to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), they will wish to see evidence that the marriage or civil partnership is legal and that the relationship is one that exists and is not a ‘sham marriage’.

Availability of accommodation

The UK citizen needs to show that there will be adequate accommodation for their spouse and children if granted UK spouse visa.

Partner needs to meet English language requirement

The foreign spouse of UK citizen will need to show that they have a knowledge of the English Language when they apply for uk spouse visa. However, if the spouse is a national of majority English language, their language skills will be implied. Nationals on this list include citizens of Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, New Zealand, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, US.

As an alternate the spouse will require a valid test certificate from an approv