UK Fiance(e), Spouse, or Settlement Visas allow British citizens and settled persons to sponsor their married or unmarried partners to come and settle with them in the UK.
The Settlement visa category also include the following UK Family visas:
Frequently asked questions about UK Spouse Visas
On this page we outline some of the most frequently asked questions relating to Settlement visas.
What is a UK spouse or settlement visa?
UK spouse visa, also called marriage/settlement visa, allows married, unmarried and civil partners of citizens and permanent residents of the UK to immigrate to the UK. These visas lead to permanent settlement in 5 years hence the name: settlement visa.
Can I work on a spouse visa?
Yes. Those with spouse visas are able to work, study and do business in the UK as any other British citizen. You may however not have access to benefits until you become settled.
What are the legal requirements for the Spouse or Fiance(e) visa?
To qualify for a UK spouse / marriage or settlement visa, you must meet the following legal requirements:
- ♠ You and your spouse must be 18 years old or over
- ♠ You must have met in person and be legally married
- ♠ If not married, you should either intend to get married in the UK or be able to evidence 2 years’ cohabitation as partners
- ♠ You must intend to live together permanently
- ♠ You must have enough money to maintain and accommodate yourselves (and any dependents) without seeking recourse to public funds
- ♠ You must satisfy the English language requirements
- ♠ You must also not fall for refusal under the applicable immigration rules
Please visit the UK Spouse, Fiance(e), Settlement Visa page for further information on the applicable legal requirements.
How can I apply for a UK Spouse, Fiance(e), or Settlement Visa?
The UK visa application system has recently been overhauled and updated. Now most applications including the Spouse, Fiance(e) and Settlement visas are required to be made online. You will need to first ensure that you meet all applicable legal requirements for the visa and have the supporting documents in place to demonstrate the same before you make the application. For expedited decision-making, you may be able to book premium service for an extra fee.
Should I get legal advice & representation for my UK Spouse, Fiance(e), or Settlement Visa application?
As with any other legal matter, you should consider getting specialist legal advice and representation in your spouse, fiance(e) or settlement visa application. Otherwise, you may end up making a costly mistake resulting in refusal of your application. That refusal may also complicate things further as any future application may also be impacted by the initial refusal.
What are the application fees for my UK Spouse, Fiance(e), or Settlement Visa application?
There are two sets of official fees payable for these visa applications, namely: the application fee and the healthcare surcharge. The application fee for a an application from outside the UK is around: £1565. If however the application is made from inside the UK, the fee is around: £1033. Then there is healthcare surcharge which is £1000. The fees for legal advice and representation will be on top of these costs. As it’s an expensive application with repercussions for your future, it’s best if you get specialist legal advice and representation for your application which may increase the prospects of success. Check the up to date fee information here on UK Visas & Nationality Application Fees page.
How long does it take to get a Spouse Visa?
It may take up to 12 weeks to get a decision from outside the UK. For applications made inside the UK, the time-frame is 6-8 weeks. It’s possible to book premium service for an extra fee to expedite the decision making process.
How long is a spouse visa granted for?
If the applicant is overseas, the spouse visa is granted for 1 month enabling the applicant to fly to the UK. Once in the UK, the applicant can collect a Bio-metric Residence Permit for 33 months. For applicants based in the UK, the visa validity is 30 months.
Can I extend my spouse visa?
As long as you continue to meet the applicable legal requirements, you can apply to extend the visa for another 30 months.
Can I apply for permanent settlement in the UK?
Permanent settlement, also knows as Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), is possible once you have completed five years in the UK. You will need to meet the applicable legal requirements when making the application.
Can I apply for British citizenship?
Once granted the ILR, you’ll be able to apply for British citizenship provided that you meet the applicable legal requirements outlined int he British Nationality Act 1981.
Can my children apply for the UK visa?
Children under 18 years of age can apply at the same time you make your own spouse visa application. Applying for children will however mean that the income threshold you’re required to demonstrate will rise.
What are the financial requirements for UK Spouse, fiance(e) or Settlement Visa?
The financial requirement for the Spouse, fiance(e) or settlement visa is to have income at the levels outlined below:
- ♠ £18,600/year for the main applicant
- ♠ an additional £3,800/year for the first child; and
- ♠ an additional £2,400/year for each additional child.
The income threshold above can be met from employment or non employment income alone or in combination with the specified savings of-
- ♠ £16,000; and
- ♠ additional savings of an amount equivalent to 2.5 times the amount which is the difference between the gross annual income and the total amount required.
Are there any exemptions from the financial requirements for UK Spouse, fiance(e) or Settlement Visa?
You may be exempted from meeting the financial requirements if your British or settled partner is in receipt of one or more of the following –
- ♠ disability living allowance;
- ♠ severe disablement allowance;
- ♠ industrial injury disablement benefit;
- ♠ attendance allowance;
- ♠ carer’s allowance;
- ♠ personal independence payment;
- ♠ Armed Forces Independence Payment or Guaranteed Income Payment under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme;
- ♠ Constant Attendance Allowance, Mobility Supplement or War Disablement Pension under the War Pensions Scheme; or
- ♠ Police Injury Pension.
Although you’ll be exempted from the main financial threshold of £18600 or more in income, you’ll still need to evidence that you will have resources allowing you to maintain and accommodate yourselves adequately without recourse to public funds.
Is third party support permissible in Spouse, Fiance(e), Settlement Visa applications?
In certain limited circumstances you may be able to rely on third party support. You should get legal advice on the legal requirements.
Is it possible to apply for a Spouse or Settlement visa if I am an over-stayer?
In certain limited circumstances you may be able to apply as an over-stayer. If you’re an over-stayer, you should either leave the country to make an application for leave remain. You should get legal advice on both options.
How can I get legal advice on a Spouse or Settlement visa application, appeal or refusal?
We provide specialist legal advice and representation for all UK visa, immigration and citizenship matters for affordable fixed fees. The consultation can be delivered via telephone, email, Skype or in person at our London and Birmingham offices.