Spouse / Partner Visa 

This visa provides an opportunity for non-British partners to live and work in the UK. You can apply for this family visa if you are the husband, wife, civil partner, unmarried partner (living together in a relationship for at least 2 years) , fiancé, fiancée or proposed civil partner (will marry or enter into a civil partnership in the UK within 6 months of arriving)of a specified partner.

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What Are The Requirements For A UK Spouse Visa Or Partner Visa?

To successfully obtain a family visa as a partner or spouse, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You and your partner both need to be 18 or over.
  • Your partner must either:
    • be a British
    • have settled in the UK – for example, they have ILR, settled status or proof of permanent residence
    • be from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, or Liechtenstein and have pre-settled status – they must have started living in the UK before 1 January2021
    • have a Turkish Businessperson visa or Turkish Worker visa
    • have refugee status or humanitarian protection in the UK
  • You are in a civil partnership or marriage that’s recognised in the UK or you’ve been living together in a relationship for at least 2 years when you apply or you are a fiancé, fiancée or proposed civil partner and will marry or enter into a civil partnership in the UK within 6 months of arriving
  • If you are a fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner, you must be seeking entry to the UK to enable your marriage or civil partnership to take place in the United Kingdom.
  • The relationship between you and your sponsor must be genuine and subsisting
  • You intend to live permanently with your sponsor in the UK and have adequate accommodation without recourse to public funds
  • Your sponsor meets the financial requirement. This would normally mean having an income of at least £18,600 per year (this increases if you have children) and/or having sufficient savings
  • You meet the English language requirement
It is important to note that the visas issued in this category are nonimmigrant visas. This means that you can’t use them for residency, permanent settlement, or similar purposes. If you are applying for any type of Global Business Mobility visa, the experienced immigration lawyers at the London-based Adam Bernard’s law office can help you. Our UK Global Business Mobility visa solicitors offer tailored help and guidance.

What Supporting Documents Do I Need For Spouse Visa Or Partner Visa?

  • Your current passport or other travel documents
  • Your marriage or civil partnership certificate
  • Divorce certificate for any previous marriages, if applicable
  • Details of any criminal convictions, if applicable
  • Details of your accommodation in the UK (Housing Assessment Report)
  • Bank statements of the last 6 months
  • Evidence of employment income (employers letter, payslips – last 6 months)
  • Your sponsor’s British passport or BRP documenting Indefinite Leave To Remain status
  • Proof of genuine relationship ( whatsapp conversations, emails, call logs, wedding photos )
  • Sponsorship Declaration
  • Appendix II form

Senior or Specialist Worker visa

This type of visa is aimed at highly paid individuals who want to continue working with their current employer at a UK branch or location. It replaces the previously offered Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) visa.

You must meet several requirements to be eligible for this type of visa. The most notable among these is the minimum salary threshold, which may make this visa accessible only for those who work in senior positions.

The key requirements for a Senior or Specialist Worker visa include the following:

  • You must be employed by a Licensed Sponsor who is approved by the Home Office
  • Your employer must be paying you £42,400, or the average going rate for your role, whichever of these is higher
  • You must have been working with your current employer outside the UK for at least 12 months before you apply for this visa
  • If you haven’t been with your employer for at least 12 months, you may be eligible if you earn £73,900 or more per year
  • Your job must be on the list of eligible occupations
  • You must have received a Certificate of Sponsorship from your employer

You must also meet specific financial requirements to demonstrate that you can support yourself once you arrive in the UK.

The visa application fee for a Senior or Specialist Worker visa is £625 if your visa duration is up to 3 years. For a visa duration of above 3 years, the fee is £1,235. You can expect a decision on your visa application within three weeks.

You can consult our Senior or Specialist Worker visa solicitors for help and guidance with the visa application process.

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How Do I Apply For A UK Spouse Visa Or Partner Visa?

You can apply online. You would also need to attend an appointment at a visa application centre to enrol biometric data (photograph and fingerprints) as part of the process.

Not only will you need to fill in the application form correctly, you will also need to upload copies of the required supporting documents, which can be extensive.

If the caseworker examining your application has doubts about the genuineness of your relationship, you may be asked to attend a Spouse Visa Interview. You will be asked questions about your relationship and each other to see if your marriage is authentic, and not a sham.

How Long Does The UK Spouse/Partner Visa Process Take?

You need to complete an online application to attend a physical (biometric) appointment whether applying from inside or outside the UK.

An application made from outside the UK could take around 3 months to be processed. Priority services are available in some countries, for expedited processing. On approval, your passport would be endorsed with a “vignette” to allow you to travel to the UK. You would need to collect your biometric residence permit on arrival to the UK from a pre-selected Post Office.

Although the decision would normally be issued within 12 weeks of your biometric appointment your biometric residence permit will usually take a further 10 working days to be issued from the date of the decision.

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How Much Does It Cost To Apply As A Partner Or Spouse?

From outside the UK the spouse visa (classified as a “settlement visa” for the purpose of entry clearance) the visa cost is £1523. The settlement priority service, if available in the country of application would be an additional £573.

The applicant must also pay the Immigration Health Surcharge, which is £624 per year (£312 for every 6 month period). The spouse visa is granted for a 30 months (2.5 years) inside the UK, therefore the total surcharge would be £1560 for leave to remain. From outside the UK, the visa is granted for 33 months, therefore the total surcharge would be £1,872.

What Is The English Language Requirements For Entry On Spouse Visa?

Applicants need to show they meet the English language requirements, in Speaking and Listening. For your initial application you will need to pass an approved English language test at least a CEFR level A1 in speaking and listening, which is beginner’s level. For your extension after 2.5 years, you must prove that you pass an approved English language test at least a CEFR level A2.

Is There Any Exemption For English Language Requirement For UK Spouse Visa?

Those who hold a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree or a PhD, awarded by an educational establishment in the UK can rely on this to meet the English language requirement.

Individuals who hold a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree or PhD that was awarded by an educational institute outside of the UK, will be required to obtain confirmation from UK NARIC  that the award is at an equivalent level to a UK degree. This is still the case even if the award was issued in a majority English speaking country.

In addition, certain applicants will be required to obtain UK NARIC confirmation that the award was taught or researched in English to a suitable level of the CEFR.

Get in touch with our expert Spouse Visa Solicitors today.