How To Apply for Spouse Visa UK | UK Spouse Visa Requirements

**Important Update 2016** New rules imposed by the Tory Government include a minimum income threshold of £18,600 per year according to ITV news. Meaning that the spouse in the UK must have an income of at least that amount. I have not read up in more detail but I wouldn’t give up on it. If your income threshold is lower than that then I would suggest getting supporting letters from friends and family members offering financial support.

Since July 9th 2013, the rules for applying to come to the UK as a partner have changed slightly. I will go into more detail about that shortly.

First I must mention that the Spouse visas include the following categories.

1. husband | 2. wife | 3. civil partner | 4. unmarried partner | 5. Same-sex partner

It can be viewed as more a partner visa than just a husband or wife visa.

The sponsor inviting their partner must be a British citizen OR someone settled in the UK with leave to remain.

Since July 9th 2013 there is a restriction on some with leave to remain bringing there spouses as detailed below:-

“You cannot apply for leave to remain or indefinite leave to remain in a partner category if your last leave was as the partner of a former points-based system migrant who:

  • is settled in the UK and was granted settlement as a points-based system migrant; or
  • has British citizenship having been granted settlement as a points-based system migrant.

Instead, you must apply as a dependant under the relevant category of points-based system.”

The above information is listed on the British Home Office website.

Requirements for Spouse Visa UK

Right, so now you are aware that the person living in the UK must be a citizen or a non points based immigrant. If that’s ok then let’s move on to the requirements.

Financial Requirements

You and your partner must have an income of at least £18,600 per annum. If you are on benefits I think it would be safe to include your rent/council tax and other benefits as income. This is a step up from when I applied for my wife’s spouse visa. There was no minimum income bracket then, which was probably implemented by the Tory government.

If you are sponsoring a child too, the annual income requirement rises up to £22,400 along with another £2,400 per additional child. This is probably so you have enough income to feed your loved ones, as they AND you are not allowed to claim any benefits for them until they have leave to remain. Your spouse and any children over 16 should be allowed to work, but I’m not 100% sure on that and I recommend checking the UK Borders Agency website for more information.

**IF THE SPONSOR IS DISABLED THE GOVERNMENT MAY WAIVE THE MINIMUM ANNUAL INCOME REQUIREMENT DEPENDING ON WHAT BENEFITS YOU RECEIVE** (The spouse can still not claim public funds until they have indefinite leave to remain).

You MUST meet a financial requirement from the list below:-

“You can meet the financial requirement through:

  • The income from employment or self employment of your sponsor;
  • The income from your employment or self employment if you are in the UK;
  • Certain income from sources other than employment, such as rent from property;
  • State or private pensions of you and your sponsor;
  • Maternity allowances or bereavement benefits received in the UK; or
  • Cash savings over a certain level (the amount of savings that you need to have will depend the level of other income that you and your sponsor have . If you are applying to enter the UK, you will need to have a higher level of savings than if you are applying to extend your stay).”

You are required to provide documents proving you can meet the financial requirements or receive a specified disability-related benefit.

Other Requirements

“ 1. You and your partner are both aged 18 or over at the date of application;

2. Your partner is not related to you in a way that means you could not marry in UK law;

3. You and your partner have met in person;

4. Your relationship with your partner is genuine and subsisting;

5. If you are married or in a civil partnership, your marriage or civil partnership is valid in UK law;

6. You meet the suitability requirements (more on this below);

7. You meet the financial requirements as listed above;

8. Any previous relationship has permanently broken down (this does not apply to certain polygamous relationships);

9. You and your partner intend to live together permanently in the UK;

10. You meet the English language requirement; and

For those already in the UK who want to extend their leave or apply for settlement in the UK will need to meet the suitability requirements below.

Suitability Requirements

New Entry and Extension Applicants (People applying from outside the UK and those extending from inside the UK)

“Your application for entry or permission to stay in the UK as a family member will be refused if:

  • The Home Secretary has decided that it would be in the public interest for you to be excluded from the UK;
  • You are the subject of a deportation order;
  • It is in public interest to exclude you from the UK because you have been sentenced to more than 12 months in prison if your conviction is not yet spent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974;
  • It is in the UK’s public interest to exclude you from the UK because of your character, conduct, associations, or other reasons;
  • You have not attended an interview, provided information, had a medical examination or produced a medical report when asked to do so;
  • There are medical reasons why you should not be allowed to enter the UK;
  • You have provided false information or documents or not told us relevant information;
  • You have NHS charges of more than £1000 that have not been paid; or
  • You have not provided a maintenance and accommodation undertaking that we requested. “

Settlement Applicants

“Your application for settlement in the UK as a family member will be refused if:

  • You are the subject of a deportation order;
  • Your presence in the UK is not in public interest because you have been sentenced to more than 4 years in prison;
  • Your presence in the UK is not in public interest because you have been sentenced to more than 12 months but less than 4 years in prison, unless it is more than 15 years since the end of your sentence;
  • Your presence in the UK is not in public interest because you have been sentenced to less than 12 months in prison, unless it is more than 7 years since the end of your sentence;
  • In the last 2 years you have been convicted of or admitted to an offence that is recorded on your criminal record;
  • Your presence in the UK is not in public interest because your offending has caused serious harm or you are a persistent offender who has shown particular disregard for the law;
  • Your presence in the UK is not in public interest because of your character, conduct, associations, or other reasons;
  • You have not attended an interview, provided information, had a medical examination or produced a medical report when asked to do so;
  • You have provided false information or documents or not told us relevant information;
  • You have NHS charges of more than £1000 that have not been paid; or
  • You have not provided a maintenance and accommodation undertaking that we requested”

All the parts in inverted commas were excerpts from the Home Office website. For more information you can visit their UK spouse visa page by clicking here.

A final note, don’t fear the Visa officials. They are very fair, just insure your intentions are sincere and provide the documents to back this up. The Border and Immigration laws are only in place to weed out the few who try to play the system. I highly recommend not faking any documents or stories as you will likely get a ban from the visa application process.

UPDATE: One other thing I haven’t mentioned is that you must write an invitation letter for your partner. Read my post on how to write a letter of invitation for a UK visa.

Well that’s it. I hope this information helps you!

Immigration advice

More UK Visa Information

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8 Responses to How To Apply for Spouse Visa UK | UK Spouse Visa Requirements

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  2. Sue says:

    I have been married Englishman for 1 year but we have been together for 5 years. I visited UK 2 times but last time I was in jail and I have been sentenced to more than 12 months but less than 4 years in prison. I applied for visitor visa last year and home office refuse my application. Can I apply for spouse UK visa ?? And I will have a chance to get it if I hire solicitor in UK to do all process? The solicitor said, I will have more chance for human right ground,that is correct? Do you think solicitor just want money and I will waste of my time ,feeling and money for this case???

    • Jamie says:

      Hi Sue, I don’t know what stance the UK Visa people have on criminal records but after a brief search online I didn’t see any concrete evidence that a criminal record affects visa applications. I think you should just be honest with the visa officials all the way through the visa application and have legal help too. Just check the legalities on applying for a UK visa with a criminal record then by all means go ahead with the spouse visa application if it’s allowed.

  3. Pingback: How to Write an Invitation Letter for Visa to the UK

  4. Rafaqat Ali says:

    I’m British citizen born in UK moved back to Pakistan 9 years ago, started my own furniture business where I’m doing export to UK and other countries.Few years back got married got a child 3 years old who’s holding British passport too try to apply for visa for wife to UK last summer they refused her than again this summer same thing.I got few properties in UK which r on my name and told them we be staying their for summer.
    But no luck could u please give me a advice what to do
    Thanks

    • Jamie says:

      From what I hear. There have been a lot of changes in immigration by the current coalition Government. My advice to you would be to consult a specialist in the matter and maybe contact the home office to see what help they can give you.

  5. jasmine says:

    I am irish citizen and working in England.
    My spouse in Pakistan.
    Can I apply a spouse visa from England.?
    Please tell me proper website for filling form.
    Thanks

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