Do you Need a Spouse Visa to Live With Your Family in the UK?
You may need a spouse visa to live with your family in the UK but Spouse Visa Solicitors say the answer is not always clear cut as whether you need a spouse visa to live with your family in the UK depends on your spouse’s immigration status. In this article our immigration solicitors look at when you need a spouse visa to live with your family in the UK.
UK Online and London Based Immigration Solicitors
Where is your spouse from?
Whether you will need a spouse visa to join your family in the UK will depend on where your spouse is from.
If your spouse is an EU national or from Norway, Switzerland, Iceland or Liechtenstein and they were living in the UK before the end of free movement on the 31 December 2020 then you may not need a spouse visa if your husband, wife or partner applied for settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme. If they have settled status, you may be able to apply for settled status even though you were not living in the UK before the 31 December 2020. If you can't apply for settled status then a spouse visa application may be the best entry clearance route for you.
If your spouse is a non-EEA national or an EU national who is living in the UK on a work visa or business visa then your route to UK entry clearance may be a dependant visa. For example, you can apply for a dependant visa if your spouse is in the UK on a skilled worker visa or intra company transfer visa or sole representative visa.
If your spouse has:
- British citizenship or
- Indefinite leave to remain or
- Refugee status or humanitarian protection.
Then Spouse Visa Solicitors say the spouse visa may be the best UK visa route for you but to qualify for a spouse visa you must be:
- A husband or wife or
- A civil partner or
- A partner but if you are applying for a spouse visa as a partner you must have lived with your partner for at least two years.
If you are not sure if the spouse visa is the best UK visa option for you then speak to Spouse Visa Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 before making an application. For example, if you are currently in the UK on a student visa then the graduate visa may be a better alternative visa option for you if there are concerns that you and your spouse will not meet the spouse visa financial requirement.
Do you have to make a spouse visa application from outside the UK?
Although you can make a spouse visa application from overseas you can also make your spouse visa application whilst you are in the UK provided that:
- When you entered the UK, you were given leave to remain in the UK for more than six months.
- You are not in the UK on a visitor visa.
If your current visa is for less than six months you may need to leave the UK and make your spouse visa application from overseas but before leaving the UK check that this is correct and that the spouse visa route is your best option. For example, if you are in the UK on a student visa and leave the UK to make a spouse visa application then this may not be necessary and furthermore you may lose the right to apply for a graduate visa as to be eligible to apply for a graduate visa you must be in the UK on a student visa.
Do you need a sponsor for a spouse visa?
If you join your spouse or partner in the UK on a spouse visa then they are referred to as your ‘sponsor’. This is a bit like the skilled worker visa or the intra company transfer visa where a UK employer requires a Home Office issued sponsor licence to sponsor a skilled migrant worker on a work visa. Likewise, an entrepreneur applying for a business visa, like a start-up visa or innovator visa, normally requires endorsement from an endorsing body.
Does the spouse visa allow you to stay with your family in the UK?
Many spouse visa applicants think that if the Home Office grants their spouse visa application, then they will be able to join their family for life. That is not correct as a UK spouse visa is time limited so you need to plan for what you will do when your spouse visa expires.
A first spouse visa lasts for:
- Thirty-three months if you applied for your spouse visa from outside the UK or
- Thirty months if you applied for the spouse visa from within the UK.
Prior to the expiry of your spouse visa, you will need to apply to extend your spouse visa. A spouse visa can be extended for another two years and six months. The initial spouse visa and the spouse visa extension should then mean that you meet the five-year residence requirement to apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK. If you wish to do so you can later apply for British citizenship.
How quickly can I join my family in the UK on a spouse visa?
Spouse Visa Solicitors say that it can take a number of weeks to secure a spouse visa. The timescale to get your spouse visa can depend on the complexity of your circumstances. For example, it can take longer if you are not married or if your spouse is self-employed and therefore the financial requirement is harder to assess. A Spouse Visa Solicitor can give you a better idea of spouse visa application timescales once they have some information about your circumstances.
UK Online and London Based Immigration and Spouse Visa Solicitors