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Bringing Your Spouse to the UK on a Spouse Visa

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If you are a British citizen or a person with settled status in the UK, understandably, you want to bring your spouse to the UK. However, if they are subject to UK immigration controls because they are not a British citizen or they don’t have settled status, they will either need either a spouse visa or another type of visa to secure entry clearance to live in the UK.

In this article, our immigration solicitors run through the spouse visa criteria and the application process to bring your spouse to the UK on a spouse visa.

UK Online and London-Based Immigration Lawyers and Spouse Visa Solicitors  

For advice on spouse visa applications call the immigration lawyers at OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online.

Choosing your Spouse Visa Solicitor

One of the first things you need to do when applying for a spouse visa is to carefully choose your Spouse Visa Solicitor  It is generally recommended that you make an early selection as then your specialist immigration solicitor can help you with your queries on evidential requirements to meet the financial requirement or assist you with your questions on how to best prove your relationship is genuine and subsisting.

Most visa applicants don’t realise just how important choosing the right Spouse Visa Solicitor is until they have had their first application refused, lost the Home Office application fees, and have had to spend longer apart from their husband or wife as well as endure the stress of making another visa application and awaiting a decision.

If you have experienced a spouse visa refusal, or you are just not certain about your choice of Spouse Visa Solicitor, call OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online. Our friendly experts will talk to you about our spouse visa services and explain how we can help you.

The UK spouse visa requirements

To qualify for a spouse visa, you need to be married to either someone with British citizenship or who has settled status. Indefinite leave to remain counts as settled status. If you aren’t married then you may qualify for a partner visa.

The spouse visa criteria are:

  • You and your sponsoring husband or wife must both be at least 18 years old
  • You must be in a genuine and subsisting relationship – this means you can't be in a sham marriage or separated. You need to be able to prove your relationship is genuine and ongoing. You should not assume that the production of a marriage certificate proves to the Home Office that you love your spouse and want to live together in the UK
  • You must intend to live in the UK – in other words you can't use the spouse visa as a means to eventually secure indefinite leave to remain or British citizenship unless you intend to live in the UK with your husband or wife
  • You and your sponsoring husband or wife must meet the spouse visa financial requirement. Normally the financial requirement is met by the sponsor alone as the visa applicant won't have a job in the UK. The rules for evidencing that you meet the spouse visa financial requirement are complicated if a sponsor is self-employed or if you are relying on savings to meet the financial requirement. Even if a spouse receives a good salary, you will still need to provide substantial evidence of their income, such as 6 months of pay slips
  • You must meet the English language requirement – this may not be necessary if you fall within an exception such as coming from a majority-speaking English country

The UK spouse visa document requirements

Frustratingly, for spouse visa applicants the documents you need to produce in support of your application depend on your personal and financial circumstances. It is a given that you will need to produce your marriage certificate but other paperwork depends on your situation and that of your sponsoring husband or wife. For example, if you have non-British children who are accompanying you to the UK on dependant visas, the financial requirement increases from a gross annual income of £18,600 by an extra  £3,800 for the first child dependant visa applicant and by an additional £2,400 for each subsequent child.

The UK spouse visa application process

Spouse Visa Solicitors say the spouse visa application process is relatively simple. What is complicated is filling in the visa application paperwork correctly to give you the best chance of getting your spouse visa and understanding what documents you need to lodge in support of your application. Some applicants assume the Home Office will understand that they are a genuine applicant so they think that they don’t need to prove it (they do) and other applicants want to provide far too much information or irrelevant documents.

In general, the spouse visa application process is:

  1. Submit the spouse visa application to the Home Office
  2. Provide documents in support of the application, such as evidence that the sponsoring spouse is a British citizen or has settled status
  3. Pay the visa application fee and immigration healthcare surcharge
  4. Obtain biometrics (identity evidence consisting of fingerprints and photograph) by making an appointment at a visa application centre

The application process can be speeded up if you are able and willing to pay the Home Office for a priority service so your application is given priority over others.

If you have questions about the spouse visa eligibility criteria or the application process our friendly Spouse Visa Solicitors can help you with:

  • Your spouse visa application
  • Advice after a spouse visa application has been refused
  • Spouse visa administrative reviews and appeals
  • Spouse visa extension applications
  • Settling in the UK after entering on a spouse visa
  • Returning visas for spouses with indefinite leave to remain
  • Dependant visas for children of spouse visa applicants

UK Online and London-Based Immigration Lawyers and Spouse Visa Solicitors  

For advice on spouse visa applications call the immigration lawyers at OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online.

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