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Spouse Visa Application Process

Navigating the UK Spouse Visa Application Process: Your Comprehensive Guide 

Dreaming of building a life together in the UK with your spouse? The UK spouse visa application process can seem daunting, but with the right information and preparation, it can be a smooth and successful journey. This guide delves into everything you need to know, from eligibility requirements to application steps, ensuring you approach the process with confidence. 

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Eligibility: Laying the Foundation

Before embarking on your application, understanding the basic eligibility criteria is crucial. To qualify for a UK spouse visa, you must: 

  • Be married or in a civil partnership with a British citizen or someone settled in the UK. This includes individuals with indefinite leave to remain (ILR). 
  • Be over 18 years old. 
  • Meet the English language requirements. We’ll explore this in detail later. 
  • Intend to live together permanently in the UK. 
  • Meet the financial requirements. 
Spouse Visas Application Process
Spouse Visa Application Advice

Living Together: Demonstrating a Genuine Relationship

A central aspect of the spouse visa application is proving the genuineness of your relationship. You’ll need to gather evidence that demonstrates your shared life, including: 

  • Proof of your marriage or civil partnership certificate. 
  • Joint financial documents like bank statements, bills, or mortgage agreements. 
  • Photographs of you together throughout your relationship. 
  • Correspondence evidence like emails, letters, or social media messages. 
  • References from friends or family who can vouch for your relationship. 

Financial Requirements: Proving You Can Support Yourselves 

To meet the financial requirements, your sponsor (either your spouse or someone settled in the UK who earns at least the specified minimum income) must demonstrate the ability to financially support you without relying on public funds.

Currently, the income threshold for your sponsor depends on your family size:

No children: £18,600 annually
One child: £22,400 annually
Two children: £24,800 annually
Additional £2,400 for each child exceeding two

Remember, these are minimums. Exceeding them strengthens your application.

On 11th April 2024, the financial requirements will change for any new application submitted from this date.

The spouse/partner visa minimum income will increase to £29,000 on 11 April 2024; to around £34,500 at an unspecified time later in 2024; and finally, to around £38,700 by early 2025.

Those already on a family visa in the five-year partner route would not need to meet the new income requirement when applying for an extension.

The child element to meet the financial requirements will be scrapped on 11 April 2024 so there will no longer be an additional income requirement for each child dependent

English Language Requirements: Communicating Effectively

For your first Spouse visa application, you must pass your English language test at A1 level or higher for speaking and listening skills on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale. If you wish to extend your Spouse visa to stay in the UK longer than 2.5 years, the minimum language pass threshold will raise to A2.

Application Process: Taking the Next Step

Ready to apply? Here’s a breakdown of the key steps: 

  1. Gather all required documents and evidence. 
  2. Complete the online application form and pay the application fee. 
  3. Attend an English language test (if required). 
  4. Book a biometric appointment to capture your fingerprints and photo.
  5. Submit your application and supporting documents.  
  6. Await a decision from the Home Office. 
Spouse Visa Application Process

Applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR): Settling Down Permanently

After living in the UK with your spouse visa for a specified period (5 years if you met the financial requirements throughout), you can apply for indefinite leave to remain, also known as “settlement.” This grants you permanent residency in the UK and removes the need to renew your visa. 

Marriage or Civil Partnership within the UK:

If you haven’t married or formed a civil partnership already, you can also do so within the UK and subsequently apply for a spouse visa based on your established relationship and marriage certificate. 

Humanitarian Protection

In exceptional circumstances, if you face a real risk of harm upon returning to your home country, you may be eligible for humanitarian protection in the UK, regardless of your visa status. However, this falls outside the scope of the standard spouse visa application process. 


This guide provides general information and should not be considered legal advice. Seek professional guidance for complex cases or specific concerns. 

 The UK immigration system is subject to change. Stay updated on the latest regulations and requirements on the official Home Office website. 

Embarking on your journey together can be exciting and empowering. By understanding the process and meticulously preparing your application, you’ll be well-equipped to navigate the path towards creating a fulfilling life in the UK with your loved one. 

Why Choose BPA Immigration Lawyers

At BPA Immigration Lawyers, we are highly rated experts in helping businesses obtain a Sponsorship License, your Skilled Work visa needs and remaining compliant with the stringent Home Office regulations. We operate in all areas of Immigration Law. 

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