PHONE NUMBER

+44 7853 844688

EMAIL ADDRESS​

info@kqsolicitors.com

UK Spouse Visa New Rules 2024

UK Spouse Visa New Rules 2024

In 2024, the United Kingdom has introduced significant changes to its spouse visa regulations, aiming to streamline the process while ensuring national security and family unity. These alterations have implications for both applicants and sponsors, necessitating a clear understanding of the updated guidelines. The updated spouse visa rules encompass various aspects, including eligibility criteria, financial requirements, and documentation. One notable amendment is the introduction of a new financial threshold aimed at ensuring sponsors can adequately support their partners upon arrival in the UK. Additionally, there are enhanced measures to prevent fraudulent applications and safeguard the integrity of the immigration system.

What is meant by a spouse visa?

Married people who are not subject to any visa restrictions can enter the UK to live, work, or study. This type of visa is sometimes referred to as a spouse visa, or UK marriage visa. Married partners of British or Irish nationals, as well as those who are currently in the nation, have pre-settled status, and possess a Turkish Worker or Businessperson visa, are eligible for the UK Spouse Visa. The visa is also valid for refugees or those under humanitarian protection who want to enter or stay in the UK with their spouse. 

After five years, a UK spouse visa holder may be eligible for permanent residency or settlement in the country.  

The eligibility criteria for Spouse Visa

To obtain a UK spouse visa, you have to show to UK visas and Immigration that you fulfill the following conditions:

1. The sponsoring partner’s status

To be qualified for a UK spouse visa, your spouse must fulfill one of the following conditions:

  • Hold a British or Irish nationality while residing in the UK.
  • Hold one of the following: be a citizen of the United Kingdom or Ireland; have settled status, indefinite leave to stay, or long-term residence in the United Kingdom.
  • Possess the pre-settled status listed in Appendix EU.
  • Under Appendix ECAA, have a limited period of time to stay in Turkey as an employee or business owner.
  • Possess humanitarian protection status or be granted refugee leave in the UK.
  • A British citizen accompanying you to the UK as your spouse is also recognized as a British national. A person having indefinite leave to remain in the United Kingdom is someone who is being allowed for settlement on the same day that you are.

2. Age Requirement for a Spouse Visa

Both you and your partner should be older than eighteen at the time you file your application seeking a spouse visa.

3. Prohibited Level of Relationship Criteria

To be eligible for a UK Spouse Visa, you and your spouse must not be in a prohibited level of relationship as defined by the Marriage Act 1949 and the Marriage (prohibited Level of relationship), Act 1986. 

This implies that there cannot be any of the following types of relationship between you and your spouse:

  • Adopted Child: An individual who has been legally adopted by another person, granting them the status of a child within the family.
  • Adopted Parent: A person who has legally adopted another individual, assuming the role and responsibilities of a parent.
  • Child: A biological offspring of a parent or parents.
  • Prior Adoptive Parent: A person who previously legally adopted a child, but the adoption relationship has ended.
  • Grandparent
  • Grandchild
  • Parent
  • sibling of the parent
  • Sibling
  • Child of a sibling

In this list, a “sibling” is a brother, sister, half-sister, or half-brother. If a person marries someone on the following list, they will not be eligible for a spouse visa. For the visa to be considered, both partners must be at least 21 years old. To be eligible for the visa, the younger party may not have been the other person’s kid before reaching eighteen.

  • Offspring of a previous civil partner
  • Offspring of a previous marriage
  • A previous civil partner of grandparents
  • The former civil partner of the parents
  • The previous spouse of the grandparents
  • The parent’s previous partner
  • grandchild from an earlier civil partner

4. Face-to-Face interaction

  • Face-to-Face Requirement: The couple’s in-person meetings are a vital need for the UK spouse visa.
  • Verification of the Meeting: Applicants must furnish proof of a face-to-face meeting, showcasing its role in establishing a genuine relationship.
  • Exclusion of Remote Interaction: Communication solely through phone or letters post the initial meeting does not satisfy the UK spouse visa requirements.

5. Eligibility for Marriage Recognition in the United Kingdom

  • To qualify for a UK spouse permit, you must be legally wed to your spouse in a a UK-recognized marriage.

UK marriage

  • Legal wedding requirements: For a marriage to be recognized as legitimate in the UK, it must comply with the guidelines provided by the Marriage Act 1949 (as amended), the Marriage Act (Scotland) 1977, or the Marriage Act (Northern Ireland) 2003.
  • Notice of Intention: Couples must give appropriate notice of their intention to marry.
  • Approved Location: Marriages must take place in a location approved by law.
  • Authorized Officiant: Marriages must be performed by or in the presence of a person with the authority to register marriages.
  • Minimum Age Requirement: Both parties must be at least eighteen years old in England and Wales, or sixteen years old in Scotland and Northern Ireland, on the day of marriage.
  • Requirement of Marriage Certificate: A valid marriage in the UK necessitates the possession of a marriage certificate.

Getting married outside of the UK

In the UK, a marriage registered outside will be recognized if:

  • Recognition of Marriage Type: The UK Spouse Visa considers marriages valid if they are recognized in the country where they occurred.
  • Compliance with Legal Requirements: For a marriage to be eligible for the UK spouse visa, it must fulfill every legal criteria in the nation in which it is performed.
  • Previous Marriages: Prior marriages of both partners must have ended in divorce for the current marriage to be eligible for the UK Spouse Visa.
  • Valid Marriage License: Proof of marriage performed outside the UK requires a valid marriage license issued by the relevant national government.UK Visa Applications for Foreign Marriages and Civil Partnerships.

6. Sincere and Ongoing Relationship Requirement

  • Proof of Genuine Relationship: Applicants for a UK Spouse Visa must provide evidence demonstrating the authenticity and continuity of their relationship with their partner.
  • Comprehensive Evaluation: The Home Office assesses each case individually, taking into account all relevant information to determine the legitimacy of the relationship.
  • Varied Situations: Whether couples are in long-distance relationships, have cultural differences, or face other challenges, the Home Office considers all circumstances when evaluating the genuineness and ongoing nature of the connection.

7. The UK Spouse Visa’s Financial Conditions

You must demonstrate that you can sustain yourself financially in the UK without the need for government assistance by meeting the financial criteria for the spouse visa. According to the economic requirements for a UK spouse visa application, if you do not qualify for an exemption

, you must show that your spouse (or both of you jointly if you are in the country with legal permission to stay) makes at least:

  • The spouse must have a yearly gross income (or both, if they are in the UK and have legal leave)
  • £18,600 is the minimum income threshold; additional
  • A non-British child with a particular immigration status would cost £3,800 for the first child.
  • £2,400 for each additional eligible child

Methods to meet the financial requirement for a Spouse Visa to the UK

The financial criteria for a UK spouse visa can be achieved in a number of ways, including by relying on:

Income from Employment:

  • Spouse’s Income: Income from spouse’s paid or non-salaried work can be relied upon.
  • Applicant’s Income: Applicant’s income can be considered if they are a worker in the UK with authorization.

Revenue from Other Sources:

  • Non-Employment Sources: Revenue from sources other than employment, such as:
  • Dividends from shares.
  • Rental income from real estate.

Cash Savings:

  • Savings Criteria: Savings over £16,000 controlled by either spouse for at least six months.
  • Eligibility: Savings can be from either spouse.

Financial Support:

  • State or Private Support: Support from state (UK or overseas), private sources, occupational, or pension from spouse.
  • Applicable Income: Various forms of financial support can contribute to meeting the requirement.

Income from Self-Employment:

  • Self-Employment: Self-employment income is one source to take into consider.
  • Director or Employee Income: You can also rely on income from your spouse’s employment or directorship in a designated private business.

In certain situations, a combination of the aforementioned revenue streams may be sufficient to meet the required spending. As previously stated, if your spouse receives specific state benefits or privileges, then alternative rules will be applied. 

Required Minimum Income for a UK Spouse Visa

Current Requirement (Before Spring 2024)
Minimum income: £18,600
Higher if accompanied by non-British citizen children
Spring 2024
Proposed minimum income requirement: £29,000
January 2025
Further increase in minimum income requirement
New threshold: £38,700

8. Spouse Visa Accommodation Requirement

To apply for the spouse visa for the UK, some spouse visa accommodation requirements are needed which are as follow

Purpose of Evidence

  • Necessary for permission to enter or further leave to stay as a spouse.
  • Ensures availability of adequate accommodation without public fund reliance.

Ownership and Occupation Evidence

  • Evidence of property ownership or exclusive occupation is mandatory.
  • Legal entitlement to property occupation must be demonstrated.

Compliance Assurance

  • Confirmation that accommodation won’t overcrowd.
  • Compliance with public health regulations is essential.

Evidence Needed

  • Documentation regarding property ownership or exclusive occupancy.
  • Proof of legal entitlement and absence of overcrowding is necessary.

9. Spouse Visa English Language Test Requirement

Are you trying for a spouse visa in the UK and want to rejoin your partner in the town? you must know the basic English language test requirements which concerns a lot to apply for a spouse visa.

Mandatory Language Requirement

Required unless exempted, a crucial part of the Spouse Visa application.

CEFR Levels for Language Competence

For clearance to enter or to move to the spouse visa route, a CEFR level A1 is needed.

For additional leave to stay as a spouse, CEFR level A2 is necessary.

Methods to Meet Requirement

  • Being from a nation where English is the primary language.
  • Passing a test of English language proficiency at the appropriate CEFR level.
  • Academic qualifications (Bachelor’s, Master’s, or PhD) meeting set criteria.

Updated Spouse Visa UK fee (2024)

Application Made Inside UKApplication Made Outside UK
Visa Fee: £1,048Visa Fee: £1,846
Immigration Healthcare Surcharge: £1,035 per year (starting from 6 February 2024)Immigration Healthcare Surcharge: £1,035 per year (starting from 6 February 2024)
Biometric fee: £19.20Biometric fee: £19.20
Super priority service charge (for expedited decision): £1,000 (decision by end of next working day)Super priority service charge (for expedited decision): £1,000 (decision by end of next working day)

Document checklist for UK spouse visa

Required DocumentsDescription
Completed application formSubmission of fully filled application form along with the requisite application fee.
Valid passportPresenting the current valid passport.
Previous passportsIncluding any previous passports held.
Evidence of relationshipPresenting evidence of a real and ongoing relationship, including joint bills, pictures, texts, letters, etc.
English language proficiency
Passport-sized photosSupplying two passport-sized color photos adhering to UK specifications.
Financial proofDemonstrating meeting financial requirements through bank statements, savings statements, wage slips, etc.
Previous immigration detailsRevealing details on any past applications for immigration that may have existed.
Information on penalties for crimesRevealing any past convictions for crimes.
A national insurance number If you have one, please provide your national insurance number.
Evidence of accommodationsSubmitting evidence of accommodation arrangements in the UK.
Biometric informationProviding biometric information, such as digital photos and fingerprints.
Test results for tuberculosisPresenting tuberculosis test results if required by your country of origin.

Causes of Spouse Visa Refusal

have you applied for spouse visa for the UK? Are you facing any hurdle in visa application acceptation? Or your spouse visa is being rejected by the UK government? lets discuss here the possible reasons of your spouse visa refusal.

Conducive to Public Good

The Secretary of State’s determination that it is in the public interest to exclude the applicant from the UK.

Deportation Order

When the application is submitted, the applicant is in violation of a deportation order.

Conduct, Character, or Association:

Applicant’s conduct, character, or associations are deemed detrimental to the public good, leading to exclusion from the UK.

Failure to Comply

The applicant is unable to present a valid cause for missing a mandatory interview, submit required documentation, get a medical checkup, or make the required reports.

Medical Reasons

Entry clearance is considered undesirable due to medical grounds.

Non-payment of Fees

Mandatory Immigration Healthcare Surcharge (IHS) and other compulsory charges have not been paid.

Insufficient Evidence:

Lack of adequate evidence provided regarding maintenance and accommodation.

How KQ Solicitors can assist

Applicants for Spouse Visas are frequently advised by our immigration lawyers at KQ Solicitors on the documentation that the Home Office requires to verify that their relationship is legitimate. We never use lists of pre-made templates for documentation; instead, we always counsel our customers on the specific documents required to demonstrate a sincere and ongoing relationship based on their unique set of circumstances.

Why Choose Our KQ Solicitors Law Firm

Working with knowledgeable immigration solicitors like ours is essential in this complex and changing environment. Our team of specialists at KQ Solicitors, located in Luton, United Kingdom, is knowledgeable about every aspect of the UK Spouse Visa, including the upcoming modifications to the minimum income criteria.

The following are the advantages of selecting our leading KQ Solicitors law firm:

  • Professional advice: Our immigration lawyers offer professional advice suited to your particular circumstances.
  • Responsive Approach: We anticipate developments and modify our plans in response, ensuring quick and efficient implementations.
  • Complete Support: We provide end-to-end assistance, from comprehending the new requirements to preparing and completing your application.

Contact Us

Our advisors at KQ Solicitors are considered to be among the top immigration and human rights lawyers in the United Kingdom. Reach out to our knowledgeable personal immigration team right now, and we’ll be happy to discuss your choices and arrange an in-person or phone consultation. Please use our contact form to send us a message, or you can reach us by phone at 44 7853 844688, email at info@kqsolicitors.com, or both. Select our renowned KQ solicitors Law Firm for expert advice and assistance to guarantee a smooth and legal visitation experience in the UK.

Conclusion

The changes to the UK Spouse Visa regulations in 2024 bring significant implications for applicants and sponsors, necessitating a thorough understanding of the updated guidelines. With alterations ranging from eligibility criteria to financial requirements, applicants are advised to take action promptly, especially if their combined income falls below £38,700 annually. Our knowledgeable immigration solicitors at KQ Solicitors provide expert guidance on navigating these changes and exploring options such as verifying eligibility for benefits, utilizing savings, or seeking exemptions based on exceptional circumstances. With our professional advice and comprehensive support, applicants can ensure a smooth and legally compliant visa application process. Contact us today to discuss your options and secure a successful visitation experience in the UK.

FAQs

Q:  What is the duration of the spouse visa processing?

A:  After showing up for your appointment at the visa application center, you should expect to hear back within 12 weeks with a decision. Depending on where you are applying from, the length of time it takes to process your visa will vary. You can opt for the Super Priority Service for an additional £800 if you’re in a hurry. If you do this, you will, in most circumstances, receive a decision the following working day.

Q: Can an unemployed person sponsor their spouse?

A:  You only need to meet the financial requirements for a spouse visa in order to sponsor your spouse; you do not need to be employed. This can be accomplished with savings or money from other sources (such investments and rental income).

Q: On a spouse visa, how long can I stay outside of the UK?

A:  If you have a partner and spouse visa, there is no time limit on any absences you may take. This is so that family visa holders are not subject to the 180-day requirement for absence before obtaining ILR. However, it is crucial to remember that you declare your desire to live in the UK with your spouse when you apply for a partner and spouse visa. Any extended absence could prevent you from applying for an ILR or extending your visa.

Q: Can I include my child or children in my application for a spouse visa?

A:  You may include your kids in your application for a partner or spouse visa, yes. In addition to proving that you fulfill the increased financial income requirements for your children, you will need to pay an additional application fee.

Q: Does a UK spouse visa allow me to work?

A:  According to your spouse visa, you are allowed to work in the UK either full- or part-time.

Q:  How much savings is required for a spouse visa to the UK?

A:  You must have funds of more than £16,000 in order to use them to meet the minimum income criterion for a partner and spouse visa. In the event that you have sufficient savings (£62,500), you won’t be required to provide proof of income. You will be required to declare where your cash savings come from and sign this declaration when you file your application for a spouse visa.

Q: If I have a spouse visa, can I still receive benefits?

A: No, a spouse visa holder is not eligible to receive any state benefits, such as housing allowance, tax credits, or universal credit.

Summart Table

Topic Summary
Introduction to UK Spouse Visa New Rules (2024)In 2024, the UK introduced significant changes to spouse visa regulations, impacting eligibility, financial criteria, and documentation.
UK Spouse Visa Eligibility Criteria– Lawfully married – Genuine and subsisting relationship – Meeting financial requirements – Providing evidence of accommodation – Demonstrating proficiency in English
English Language Test RequirementIf not excluded, mandatory. CEFR level A1 is for clearance of entry, while level A2 is for extended stay.
Recent Changes to Financial RequirementsMinimum income threshold, currently £18,600, rising to £29,000 in Spring 2024 and £38,700 in January 2025.
Documents ChecklistCompleted application form, valid passport, evidence of relationship, English language proficiency, financial proof, immigration details, criminal convictions details, accommodation proof, biometric information, tuberculosis test results (if required).
UK visa fee 2024 Inside UK: £1,048 (Visa), £1,035/year (Surcharge). Outside UK: £1,846 (Visa), £1,035/year (Surcharge).
Causes of Visa RefusalConducive to public good, deportation order, conduct, character, or association concerns, failure to comply, medical reasons, non-payment of fees, insufficient evidence.
Assistance from KQ SolicitorsOffers advice on required documentation, tailored to individual circumstances. Experienced in spouse visa complexities.
FAQsFAQs cover the processing time, unemployed sponsorship, duration of stay, child inclusion, work rights, savings, benefit eligibility.

Share This Post:

3 thoughts on “UK Spouse Visa New Rules 2024”

Leave a Comment

Our Head Solicitor
Khurram Amir Qureshi

Khurram Amir Qureshi has been an advocate of Pakistan since 2004, a Solicitor of England and Wales since 2009, Solicitor of Ireland since 2015. He has extensive experience in family law, Immigration law, Personal injury cases, and Civil and Commercial litigation gaining over 13 years of continuous practice in England and Wales.

Recent posts
Follow us on
Get Expert Advice From Our Legal Team