What is Spouse Visa UK
The Spouse Visa is a good way for non-UK residents to join their partners and family members in the United Kingdom. It allows individuals who are married or in a civil partnership with a UK citizen or someone who has settled in the UK to live, work, and be eligible to gain permanent residency. This comprehensive guide aims to provide an in-depth look into the spouse visa process, detailing various requirements, how to apply for a spouse visa in the UK, the associated fees, and potential pitfalls like major refusal reasons.
Spouse Visa UK Requirements
To be eligible for a Spouse Visa, the applicant must satisfy several criteria:
- Relationship Status: The applicant must be in a genuine and subsisting relationship with a UK citizen, or someone settled in the UK and can provide their marriage certificate, civil partnership certificate or proof of living together if you apply from inside.
- Financial Requirements: The UK sponsor must have an income of at least £18,600 per year or have enough savings to support their spouse. The threshold increases if children are involved; sponsor bank statements and payslips can prove this.
- English Language Requirements: The applicant must prove English language proficiency, usually by passing an approved English language test, which is A1, but we suggest doing a B1 test that can be used at the time of the applicant’s spouse visa extension.
- Accommodation: The couple must have suitable accommodation in the UK, which shows that if the applicant gets a visa, housing will be open.
Spouse Visa Processing Time
Spouse Visa Processing Time Outside UK:
The processing time for a UK spouse visa can vary depending on several factors, including the applicant’s country of residence, the completeness of the application, and whether priority service is used. The standard processing time is usually up to 12 weeks from the biometrics date if you are applying form outside the UK. However, the priority service can expedite this to four weeks at an additional cost.
Spouse Visa Processing Time Inside UK:
If you apply from inside the UK, you will get an answer on standard service in six to eight working weeks. Still, if the applicant has paid for priority service, they will get a response in five working days. If the applicant has paid for super-priority, then the term time of the spouse visa application decision is one working day.
1. Online Application: The initial application is usually made online through the UK government’s official website, where you provide all necessary information like address, how you met your spouse, when the marriage date, etc.
2. Document Submission: Required documents must be gathered and submitted. These can include proof of relationship, financial stability, and English proficiency. At this stage, Applicants can select the upload option or take documents to the visa application centre and let them scan, but this service is not free. You have to pay for it.
3. Biometrics and Photograph: The applicant must visit a Visa Application Centre nearby and identify at the start of filling out the spouse visa application form to have their biometric details and photographs taken.
4. Interview: Some applicants may be required to attend an interview if an Immigration case worker has any suspicion that the marriage is fake or proxy.
5. Decision: Await a decision from the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) service; it matters that when you have given your biometrics, your application processing time starts after that.
Outside the UK: The current fee for applying outside the UK is approximately £1,523, and the IHS Health Surcharge is £624 per year for each individual.
Inside the UK: If you are applying from within the UK (e.g., switching from another visa), the fee is around £1,033, and the IHS Health Surcharge is £624 per year for each individual.
These fees are subject to change, and additional costs like healthcare surcharges may apply.
Spouse Visa Priority and Standard Service
- Standard Service: This is the regular application process with a processing time of up to 12 weeks or three months and is included in the common application fee if you are applying from outside the UK, and if you are applying from inside UK then the standard time is six to eight weeks.
- Priority Service: If you are applying from outside the UK and selected priority service, then you will get your answer in most probably four working weeks, and if you are using it for any settlement application from inside, the applicant can pay £500 extra on top of other feeses and get an answer in 5 working days and if the applicant pays £800 additional then decision will be reviewed in 1 working day.
UK Spouse Visa Document Checklist
We have divided spouse visa checklist documents into two categories which are following
- Application form: The spouse visa application form can easily be accessed from the gov. uk website, where you have to give all details about the applicant, their home address, etc. It is mandatory to fill out this form and submit it; you can only get a visa if you fill out this spouse visa application form uk.
- Valid Passport: The passport must be valid for six months if you can apply for a UK spouse visa.
- Proof of relationship: Proof of relationship is mandatory, and the applicant can provide a marriage certificate and photographs.
- Proof of English proficiency: This is a mandatory requirement. Applicants must provide an A1 English proficiency test certificate, and here, KQ Solicitors will suggest doing a B1 English test. Otherwise, after 2.5 years at the time of spouse visa extension, the applicant has to do an A2 test. If the applicant has done B1, they can save time and cost.
- Criminal record certificate: It’s good if you provide a criminal certificate as excessive proof, but it’s not mandatory, and you can also get a visa without it.
- TB Test Certificate: Tuber colosis test is mandatory for most countries like India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, but it’s exempt for many countries. Please check the list by clicking here.
- Proof of Accommodation: As accommodation proof, the sponsor has to provide a tenancy agreement that clearly shows how many rooms the property has and that it will not get crowded if the applicant receives a visa.
- Proof of Financial Stability: Sponsors must provide evidence of financial stability that they are making more than £18600 a year and can support their spouse if they get a visa, for this sponsor can provide payslips and bank statements etc.
Spouse Visa UK Refusal Reasons
Applications can be refused for several reasons, such as:
- Insufficient evidence of a genuine relationship: An honest Relationship can be proved by wedding pics, children’s birth certificates, marriage certificates, or any missing documents that can cause delay or refusal.
- Failure to meet the financial requirements: If the sponsor cannot show that they are meeting the economic criteria of £18600 a year, it’s a big reason for refusal.
- Inadequate English language proficiency: Applicant has provided an English proficiency certificate, but it does not meet the A1 or B1 Listening and speaking requirements; there will be a high chance of reseals and delay in decision.
- Missing or incorrect documents: mandatory documents at the end of the application submission spouse visa checklist. If the applicant needs to complete even one required paper, you will be refused immediately or might get a decision late.
- Criminal history or other security concerns: If the applicant has a criminal history or is involved in some crimes, it can be a refusal reason for a spouse visa in the UK.
Applying for a Spouse Visa in the UK is a multifaceted process with several moving parts. The process can be daunting, from ensuring you meet all requirements to navigating through various forms and fees. Understanding the specifics, such as processing times, conditions, and potential pitfalls like refusal reasons, can significantly aid in putting together a successful application. Always consult official sources or legal professionals like KQ Solicitors for the most current and personalized Spouse Visa Free advice; email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and book your free 15-minute telephonic slot.
How Long Can You Stay Outside UK on Spouse Visa?
No limit exists on how long you can stay on a spouse visa outside the UK. However, if the applicant wants to apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) based on a spouse visa in the UK after five years, you must have spent at most 180 days outside the UK in any 12 months during the qualifying period.
What is Spouse Visa Outside UK Processing Time?
The processing time for a spouse visa outside the UK is typically eight to twelve weeks. However, it can take longer if your application is complex or if the applicant still needs to provide some additional information.
How Much Bank Balance is Required for UK Spouse Visa?
The bank balance required for a UK spouse visa depends on your circumstances. Sponsors must show they have enough money to support themselves and their families without seeking public funds. The minimum bank balance required is a gross yearly income of £18,600.
Which English Test is Required for UK Spouse Visa?
The English test required for a UK spouse visa is the A1 English Proficiency test. This test assesses your knowledge of English language listening and speaking. You must pass this test to get a spouse visa.