UK Spouse/Civil or Unmarried Partner Visa Application Guidance

spouse visa uk
UK visa application guidance

Bring your spouse/partner to the UK with an effortless UK Spouse Visa application. We make visa applications easy through professional legal consultation and guidance.

spouse visa uk
UK visa application guidance
Our Immigration Lawyers Are Ready To

Guide You Through Your UK Spouse Visa Application Process

For individuals that are in a relationship with a relevant individual (either settled in the UK, holding British or Irish citizenship or holding a relevant visa) may be eligible to apply for a  UK spouse visa. 

We will continue to call this a spouse visa going forward but keep in mind that civil partnered and unmarried partners can also apply. There are various requirements and eligibility criteria to get a spouse visa, depending on various factors. 

With so many requirements to fill and documents to go through, it can be difficult for the average person to understand which visa is applicable to them. Our highly skilled immigration lawyers based in London can provide expert guidance to allow your spouse or partner to apply for a Spouse visa.

  • We take full responsibility for the day to day management of your application.  
  • We advise and walk you through the application process at every step. 
  • We can help you navigate through the complex immigration laws.  

If you need a spouse visa to reunite with your partner, we are the right law firm to help you get started. Contact us now to learn more about applying for a Spouse visa.

What Is a UK Spouse Visa?

A spouse visa allows people in a relationship to live, work and study in the UK whilst they remain in a genuine and subsisting relationship with their partner. If you are the spouse, civil partner or unmarried partner of a partner that holds the relevant status to sponsor you, you may be able to apply for a UK spouse visa.

A spouse visa is granted for 33 months if applied for outside of the UK, or 30 months if applied for in the UK. After five years you should be eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK. This means that you will need to apply for an extension to be eligible for ILR. ILR means you can permanently settle in the UK, with no restrictions on your visa.

Who Can Apply for a UK Spouse Visa?

Individuals must meet the following criteria:

Be in a genuine and subsisting relationship that neets one of the following:

  • Be married or civil partnered; or
  • Have been in a relationship akin to marriage for at least two years (i.e. you must have cohabited during this two year period)

Be in a genuine and subsisting relationship with an individual that holds one of the following status’:

  • Is a British or Irish Citizen
  • Holds ILR or settled status
  • Holds pre-settled status
  • Holds leave under the Ankara Agreement (i.e. they hold a Turkish worker or Turkish business person visa)
  • They hold protection status

You are both over the age of 18

Meet the English Language requirement (the requirement depends on whether you applying for your first visa, an extension of your visa or ILR)

Meet the accommodation and maintenance requirements (this includes evidencing your earnings or savings and where you will live in the UK)

There may also be other requirements depending on which country you are applying from.

Additional Requirements If You Have Children

If you have children who are not Irish or British citizens, you must prove that you have sufficient income or savings to maintain them and that your accommodation is not overcrowded.  

For one child, you must have an income of £3,800 over and above the minimum savings of £18,600 per year. For each additional child, you must have an extra £2,400 a year over and above £22,400 (£18,600 + £3,800 (for first child)). 

The Tuberculosis Requirement

You should note that some individuals that have been resident in a country listed in the Immigration Rules for more than six months are required to provide evidence that they are free from TB at an approved UKVI TB testing Clinic. 

The countries are the following: 

  • Afghanistan 
  • Algeria 
  • Angola 
  • Armenia 
  • Azerbaijan 
  • Bangladesh 
  • Belarus 
  • Benin 
  • Bhutan 
  • Bolivia 
  • Botswana 
  • Brunei 
  • Burkina Faso 
  • Burundi 
  • Cambodia 
  • Cape Verde 
  • Central African Republic 
  • Chad 
  • Cameroon 
  • China 
  • Congo 
  • Côte d’Ivoire 
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo 
  • Djibouti 
  • Dominican Republic 
  • East Timor 
  • Ecuador 
  • Equatorial Guinea 
  • Eritrea 
  • Ethiopia 
  • Gabon 
  • Gambia 
  • Georgia 
  • Ghana 
  • Guatemala 
  • Guinea 
  • Guinea Bissau 
  • Guyana 
  • Haiti 
  • Hong Kong 
  • India 
  • Indonesia 
  • Iraq 
  • Kazakhstan 
  • Kenya 
  • Kiribati 
  • Kyrgyzstan 
  • Laos 
  • Lesotho 
  • Liberia 
  • Macau 
  • Madagascar 
  • Malawi 
  • Malaysia 
  • Mali 
  • Marshall Islands 
  • Mauritania 
  • Micronesia 
  • Moldova 
  • Mongolia 
  • Morocco 
  • Mozambique 
  • Myanmar (Burma) 
  • Namibia 
  • Nepal 
  • Niger 
  • Nigeria 
  • North Korea 
  • Pakistan 
  • Palau 
  • Papua New Guinea 
  • Panama 
  • Paraguay 
  • Peru 
  • Philippines 
  • Russia 
  • Rwanda 
  • São Tomé and Principe 
  • Senegal 
  • Sierra Leone 
  • Solomon Islands 
  • Somalia 
  • South Africa 
  • South Korea 
  • South Sudan 
  • Sri Lanka 
  • Sudan 
  • Suriname 
  • Swaziland 
  • Tajikistan 
  • Tanzania 
  • Togo 
  • Thailand 
  • Turkmenistan 
  • Tuvalu 
  • Uganda 
  • Ukraine 
  • Uzbekistan 
  • Vanuatu 
  • Vietnam 
  • Zambia 
  • Zimbabwe 

However, only some countries have TB testing centres approved by the Home Office. If you are from one of those countries, you must get tested for TB from another country. The following countries do not have approved TB testing clinics: 

  • Benin 
  • Burkina Faso 
  • Cambodia  
  • Cape Verde  
  • Central African Republic  
  • Chad  
  • Congo  
  • Djibouti  
  • East Timor  
  • Equatorial Guinea  
  • Eritrea  
  • Gabon  
  • Guinea  
  • Guinea Bissau  
  • Kiribati  
  • Kyrgyzstan  
  • Lesotho  
  • Liberia  
  • Macau  
  • Mali  
  • Marshall Islands  
  • Mauritania  
  • Micronesia  
  • Niger  
  • Palau  
  • São Tomé and Principe  
  • Solomon Islands  
  • Somalia  
  • South Sudan  
  • Suriname  
  • Swaziland  
  • Togo  
  • Tuvalu  
  • Vanuatu 

If you are from one of these countries, you must get your testing done from one of the countries with an approved testing centre. Some countries that have approved clinics but not listed above are: 

  • Canada 
  • France 
  • Iran 
  • Israel 
  • Japan 
  • UAE 
  • USA 

Please note that those resident in Canada, France, Iran, Israel, Japan, the UAE and USA are not required to undertake a TB test, unless they have been resident in those countries for less than six months, and they were previously resident in a TB testing country for more than 6 months prior to living in those countries. 

All applicants (including children) are required to undertake a TB test. Please note that children under 11 years of age do not require a chest X-ray. The approved clinician will give you a certificate to include in the visa application. 

If you are pregnant, you can choose one of the following: 

  • A chest x-ray with an extra shield to protect your unborn child during the 2nd and 3rd trimesters 
  • A sputum test (you may have to wait up to 2 months for results) 
  • You can wait until after delivery 

If you don’t want to choose the above, you can use a chest x-ray taken within the last three months at any UKVI-approved clinic.

What Are the Required Documents for a UK Spouse Visa?

The documents depend on your circumstances. There are core documents that the Home Office will also expect to see which are listed below:

  • Your current passport
  • Your partner’s passport and/or evidence of them being able to sponsor you (i.e. that they fall under one of the categories listed above)
  • Your relationship evidence such as cohabitation documents or marriage certificates
  • Evidence that you meet the English Language requirement
  • Evidence that your accommodation meets the minimum requirements
  • Evidence that you meet the maintenance requirements
  • TB test results (If applicable to you) 
  • Certified English Language translations of any document that is not in English or Welsh 

If you have had previous partners, you will also need to provide evidence that your previous relationships have irretrievably broken down.

All the requirements are in the spouse visa UK gov website, but they can be complex and it can be difficult to understand what documents you need to provide. If you want to apply for a spouse visa, an immigration lawyer can significantly help you. Immigration lawyers are qualified professionals that can help you apply for a spouse visa.

Not only that, but immigration lawyers can also assist you in understanding the spouse visa application form, document checklist, and spouse visa process. If you are confused, don’t hesitate to contact a qualified immigration lawyer now!

What Is the Application Process?

Step 1: Organise your documents  

Step 2: Complete the application form

Step 3: Pay the application fees; organise your biometric appointment, and upload your documents

Step 4: Attend your biometric appointment

Step 5: Wait for a decision  

Step 6: Arrive in the UK 

How Long Does the Process Take?

The estimated processing time for a UK Fiancé Visa is approximately 24 weeks, which is the standard processing time. However, you can choose to use the priority service, which typically takes 30 working days, but it comes with an additional cost. It’s important to note that Home Office processing times are subject to change and not guaranteed.

How Much Does a UK Spouse Visa Cost?

Please see the details of the fees for a spouse both inside and outside the UK:


Outside the UK

Inside UK

Visa fee:

£1,538 per applicant

£1,048 per applicant

Immigration Skills Charge

£1,872 per applicant

£1,872 per applicant

Immigration Skills charge for children (under 18)

£1,410 per child

£1,175 per child

Priority Services

£573 per applicant

£800 per applicant

What Should You Do If Your UK Spouse Visa Is Refused?

It is important to consider the reason for refusal, did the Home Office not consider all your documents if so apply for an Administrative Review (this costs £80 and this will be refunded if successful). 

Alternatively, was it for another reason such as not believing that you are in a genuine relationship? When processing applications the Home Office must consider your article 8 rights under the European Convention of Human Rights, which states that you have the right to a private and family life. 

The government cannot interfere with your private life unless there is a good reason, for example you are a risk to national security. In those circumstances, the best option is to appeal on the basis of your article 8 rights. This is a complex area of immigration and you should consult with an immigration lawyer to get the best advice.

Top 05 Mistakes Individuals Make When Applying for a Spouse Visa

1. Not Fully Understanding the Requirements

The first and most common mistake applicants make is failing to fully understand the requirements and eligibility criteria for a spouse visa. Before you apply, make sure you undertake thorough research and read the guidelines carefully. Understand the documents you must provide, the financial requirements, and any other criteria you must meet. 

2. Providing Old Payslips and Bank Statements

When submitting your application, remember to provide recent payslips and bank statements. Financial documents must cover the period you are trying to claim for, and your most recent financial documents are required which should be dated within the last 28 days.

3. Incomplete Forms

Another common mistake is incomplete forms. Ensure the form you submit is completed and accurate. Any inaccuracies or omissions could result in your application being refused.  

4. Missing Supporting Documents

Check the supporting documents you must submit along with your visa application. These documents are necessary for your application to be approved. Make sure you include all the required copies of documents and certificates, such as your identity documents, employment records, and marriage certificate etc.  

5. Selecting the Wrong Online Visa Type

When applying online, most individuals select and apply for the wrong visa category. You will have heard many horror stories in the press of individuals being refused visas, usually its because they applied for the wrong visa so didn’t meet the requirements, for example unmarried partner’s applying for Fiancé visas, spouses of British citizens applying for dependent visas instead of spouse visas. 

The Home Office will not guide you towards the correct visa and ask you to re-apply, they will refuse your application instead. 

How Can WestBridge Help with Your Spouse Visa Application?

Obtaining a visa can be daunting for those looking to move to another country with their spouse. It is especially true for those who are unfamiliar with the process and the necessary paperwork that needs to be completed. WestBridge has the expertise to help you every step of the way. WestBridge Business Immigration can provide comprehensive services tailored to each case. 

WestBridge is dedicated to providing the best services for your spouse application, with an expert team of lawyers to ensure the success of your application. We recognise the significance of family and are committed to keeping them united, granting them an opportunity to start anew in the UK. 

Our comprehensive services are custom-made to suit your requirements, delivering the best quality of service and giving your application the best chance of approval. We can provide expert assistance regarding your spouse visa application. 

We can assist with preparing all necessary paperwork, including the legal forms, supporting documents, and the financial requirements of the visa. WestBridge will help you to understand the specific needs of the visa and to ensure that everything is in order. 


UK Spouse Visa FAQ's

Q. How Long Will a UK Spouse Visa Take?

The processing time for a UK Spouse Visa is currently 24 weeks, or 30 working days if the priority service is utilized.

Q. Can My Partner Work in the UK on a Spouse Visa?

Yes, once granted a spouse visa, individuals can work in the UK except as a professional sports person.

Q. What Happens after Five Years on a Spouse Visa?

After holding a spouse visa in the UK for a consecutive period of 5 years (60 months), it is possible to apply for indefinite leave to remain as a spouse. You must have been in a relationship with the same partner for the entire five years period. Each time you get a new partner, the five year period starts again.

Q. How Can I Get My UK Spouse Visa Faster?

You can get a faster UK spouse visa by choosing a priority service. You will need to pay extra fees for use of this service.

Q. Why Is a UK Spouse Visa Taking So Long for the Home Office to Process?

This is due to the complex requirements for the visa. The Home Office will want to check that you and your partner meet the very strict requirements, and that they have taken into account your article 8 rights.

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