What is a Spouse Visa?
If you are married to a British citizen or national, you may both wish to settle together in the UK. However, before you can enter the country, you must apply for a Spouse Visa. This permit allows you to immigrate to the UK and start your journey through UK naturalization.
Ensuring you follow a correct Spouse Visa application process is essential. If you fail to provide adequate documentation or you make any mistake in your form, you will receive a Spouse Visa refusal.
What are the Spouse Visa requirements?
Being married to a person who is settled in the UK does not automatically grant you a Spouse Visa. To qualify, you and your spouse must:
- Be legally married.
- Intend to live together permanently.
- Be able to support yourselves financially without claiming public funds. This means you and your partner must earn at least £18,600 per year, or have access to adequate cash savings. However, the Spouse Visa financial requirement is higher if you are applying with dependent children.
- Have a suitable accommodation for both you and your dependants.
- Satisfy the English language requirements and pass an accredited language test. Nevertheless, the test is valid only if taken with a provider approved by the Home Office.
What is the Spouse Visa application process?
You can apply for a Marriage Visa either from overseas or from within the UK. In other words, if you are already in the country on different immigration status, you can apply to change your permit before your current visa expires.
If you fail to switch your status before your authorised stay terminates, you will need to go back to your home country and submit a new application for a Spouse Visa.
What documents do I need to include in my Spouse Visa application?
When applying for a Spouse Visa, it is essential to include the right evidence to support your eligibility. Most importantly, you must prove that you are in a genuine relationship.
To demonstrate that you and your partner are sincerely in love and ready to settle in the UK together, you can submit several pieces of evidence. However, every document needs to be in the exact format required by the UKVI guidelines. Furthermore, you must provide an accredited translation for each documentary evidence that is not written in English.
To qualify as a genuine couple, you must prove that you:
- Have met at least once before getting married;
- Have spent time together and have been in frequent contact;
- Have children together (if applicable);
- Have a shared bank account or savings.
Spouse Visa Document Checklist
Some of the evidence that you can provide to show your eligibility are:
- Communication between the couple, such as text messages and social media chat logs;
- Travel documents, to prove that you have been visiting each other;
- Pictures of you spending time together;
- Written statements from people who know you as a couple and can testify that you are genuinely in love;
- Marriage or civil partnership certificate;
- Divorce certificate to prove that any previous relationship has ended.
How long does the Spouse Visa processing time take?
The average processing time for a Spouse Visa is about twelve weeks from the date you submit your application forms. However, your waiting time varies depending on the country where the application is made. In other words, if you are applying from outside the UK, you may need to wait longer until the UKVI processes your case.
In addition, if you fail to attach adequate evidence of your status, you may be summoned for an interview. This will delay your Spouse Visa application, making you wait longer before you can move to the UK with your partner.