A spouse visa is required for anyone who wishes to become resident in the UK by virtue of their marriage to a British Citizen or person legally resident in the UK. Permission to reside in the UK will be granted if certain criteria are met.
Those from non-EEA.EU countries should apply for a settlement visa to the British Consulate, Embassy or High Commission in their place of permanent residence. If successful, applicants will be granted a multiple entry visa (or entry clearance) valid for two and a half years. There is an option to apply for further leave to remain before the end of this period.
If you are in the UK on a visa which is valid for more than 6 months, then you can apply for a spouse visa from within the UK. This is also the case for those in the UK on a Fiancé(e) visa who have married their spouse and who intend to reside permanently in the UK following their marriage.
A spouse visa gives the spouse the right to reside and work in the UK for up to two and a half years. This is the first step to being granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK.
The requirements for being granted a UK settlement visa are:
Present and Settled – The sponsoring spouse must be resident in the UK, with no restrictions on their stay. This means, in practice, that they must either be a British Citizen or be permanently resident in the UK (i.e. have indefinite leave to remain).
The Marriage must be Valid – The parties must be legally married. The marriage must be valid according to the law of the country where it took place and must be recognised under UK law. If a marriage certificate is in a foreign language it must be translated into English.
The parties must have reached the age of 18 – Both parties must be 18, or be about to turn 18. If one or both parties are about to turn 18 then the Home Office is not bound to grant a visa, but they may do so on a discretionary basis.
The parties must be able to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Home Office that the marriage is genuine and the relationship is ongoing. In short, the Home Office must be satisfied that the marriage has been entered into genuinely and that it is not an attempt to subvert UK immigration law.
Finance and Accommodation – The sponsor must be capable of financially supporting their new foreign spouse and dependants without relying on public funds. The sponsor must also provide suitable accommodation for their spouse and dependants, and this must not be overcrowded.
The sponsor must earn a minimum of £18,600 p/a, and have done so for the 6 months (12 months if self-employed) leading up to the date of the application. If children are involved, the threshold amounts are as follows:
- £22,400 if there is one child/dependant
- £24,800 if there are two dependants
- £27,200 if there are three dependants
- And £2,400 more for each additional child.
Requirement to speak English – Most visa applicants are required to speak English. To demonstrate this, they must pass a mandatory English Language Test in advance of their application. Only nationals of English-speaking countries and those who have been educated to degree level in English are exempt.
Why us? In your UK Marriage Visa Matter
- Extremely high success rate in these types of cases
- Fixed fees so you stay in control
- Handled hundreds of matters successfully
- Wealth of experience and knowledge as to the best way forward for you and your family.
- Direct access to qualified solicitors – with in-depth experience
- Specialist solicitors who can get the application right the first time
- Succeeded in complex cases where others have failed. This can include a situation where the foreign national has a complex immigration history or the refusal involves a re-entry ban of 1, 5 or 10 years
- Consultation with a specialist solicitor to assess your eligibility, avoid disappointment and wasted fees.