Spouse Visas & Civil Partner Visas

Let us help you reunite with your partner using our Application Package

If you would like to join your partner in the UK and they currently hold settled status, you can apply for something known as a Spouse Visa, Partner Visa, Fiance Visa or Unmarried Partner Visa. This type of Settlement Visa will allow you to live in the UK for up to 30 months, after which you can apply for a further extension of 30 months if you continue to meet the requirements. This can then lead to an application for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).

Non-European nationals can apply to enter or remain in the UK as either the spouse/partner of a British citizen or a person with settled status, refugee leave or humanitarian protection under a Spouse Visa, Partner Visa or Unmarried Partner Visa. Settled status, also known as Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), means having been given permission to settle here permanently. If you are outside the UK you must obtain your Spouse Visa or Partner Visa before travelling.

Spouse Visas have a notoriously high refusal rate. At IAS, we will do everything we can to make sure that your chances of success in your Spouse Visa application are maximised. One of our lawyers will spend time discussing your situation, requirements, and eligibility for a Spouse Visa with you. He/she will make sure that you have sufficient proof that your relationship to your partner is genuine so that the Home Office does not suspect marriage fraud. Your lawyer will also prepare a Letter of Representation which will be submitted alongside your application. This letter tells the Home Office the reasons your application should be accepted and cites relevant immigration laws to support this Contact us now to speak with one of our immigration lawyers about your options for a Spouse or Partner Visa.


What are the Spouse Visa requirements?

As the non-European spouse, civil partner, unmarried or same-sex partner of a British citizen or a person with settled status, subject to satisfying the criteria for the relevant visa under the Immigration Rules (including suitability, relationship, financial and English language requirements), you will be given permission to stay in the UK for 30 months. If you continue to meet all the requirements you can apply to stay for a further 30 months.

After a 5-year period, you can apply for settlement (ILR) in the UK. Alternatively, you may be eligible to apply under the less stringent 10-year route which overlooks the financial and English language requirement, although you will need to show insurmountable obstacles to family life with your spouse or partner continuing overseas.

If you do not meet the Spouse Visa requirements for either route you may be given permission to remain here on the basis of your private life, subject to evidence that you have resided continuously in the UK for a required period of time. Both the private life and 10-year settlement route can only be made via applications from within the UK.

Can I switch to a Spouse Visa?

If you have already joined your spouse or partner in the UK you may apply to switch to a Spouse Visa or an Unmarried Partner Visa from a different immigration category. You will not be allowed to switch categories if you are here as a visitor on temporary admission if permission to stay was given for a period of less than six months (unless that leave was specifically as a fiancée or proposed civil partner on the relevant visa), or if you are in breach of the Immigration Rules (a period of overstaying of less than 28 days will not be taken into account).

What happens if my relationship ends?

If you decide to end your relationship or divorce your partner, it is important to let the Home Office know as soon as possible as this can have an impact on future visa applications.

You will need to inform the Home Office of your separation or divorce so they can issue a Spouse Visa curtailment.  There are options available for the dependent spouse after a divorce, but it is important to act quickly.

More information on your options following Spouse Visa curtailment

What happens if my Spouse Visa is refused?

If you receive a letter saying your Spouse Visa was refused, you will need to act quickly in order to appeal the decision or apply for another visa. Overstaying on an expired Spouse Visa can be very problematic and should be avoided.

How do I take the first steps towards a Spouse Visa or Unmarried Partner Visa?

Spouse Visa and Partner Visa applications can be complex and using the services of an immigration expert is highly recommended. IAS has an excellent track record with Spouse Visa cases and our solicitors are highly experienced in this field. Get in touch with IAS today for friendly, no obligation advice from the professionals. If you are unsure whether you need a Spouse Visa, you can check using our Visa Wizard which gives answers based on your situation.

What is the minimum income I need to sponsor my spouse/partner to join me in the UK?

The minimum income required in order to sponsor your spouse or partner to come to the UK was set in July 2012 by the Home Office at £18,600. However, this caused a stir throughout the country, resulting in the UK High Court ruling that the minimum income requirement was ‘unjustified and disproportionate’ if the sponsor was either a refugee or a British Citizen. This judgement came in July 2013 and since then, all decisions in relation to sponsors that do not meet the criteria have been placed on hold until further notice.

The monetary amount is higher if the sponsor is also sponsoring dependent children, with the amount increasing for each dependent child.  However, this does not apply to any children who are British.

Am I eligible for a Spouse or Civil Partner Visa?

In order to be eligible for a Spouse or Civil Partner Visa, you must satisfy the following requirements:

  • you and your partner must be over the age of 18;
  • you must have met each other in person and be legally married;
  • you must intend to live together;
  • you must have enough money to support yourselves and any dependants without claiming public funds;
  • the sponsoring party must earn more than £18,600 per year, or have enough savings to support yourselves. This number increases if you have dependent children;
  • you must have suitable accommodation for you, your partner and any dependent children; and
  • your partner must satisfy the English language requirements.

If you’ve been living with your spouse in another European country, you may also be eligible through the ‘Surinder Singh’ route.

More information on Spouse and Civil Partner Visa requirements.

Am I exempt from the financial requirements for the Spouse/Partner Visa?

There are some occasions where you may be exempt from the financial requirements for a UK Spouse or Partner Visa, for example, if you have a disability or you are a carer. There are, however, only a limited number of instances where exemptions apply.

We would advise you to consult a professional immigration lawyer for more information. Whilst you may be exempt from meeting the current income threshold you will need to prove that you can adequately maintain your spouse/partner and/or any dependants.

Does my language certificate satisfy the English Language requirement for my Partner/Spouse Visa?

To be accepted for a Spouse or Partner Visa, you must prove that you are able to speak and understand English as part of the application process. If you are from a country outside of the European Economic Area (or Switzerland) that is not predominantly English speaking then you will need to pass an English Language test that has been conducted by an approved test provider.

If your certificate has been provided by one of these approved providers then it should satisfy the language requirement. The need to take the English Language test does not apply if you have earned a degree in English, as your degree should be sufficient proof of your English language abilities.

If you are unsure of where to find an approved test provider, consult an immigration specialist who will be best positioned to point you in the right direction.

Do I need to have a TB test certificate to apply for my Spouse/Partner Visa?

Most countries now require an applicant to have a Tuberculosis (TB) test before making an application to come to the UK for more than six months.

You will need to have a test in order to complete your application for a Spouse/Partner Visa, as well as many other UK visa categories. The TB test for your UK visa will need to be completed by a Home Office approved clinic.

Please also be aware that for some countries the TB test will need to be carried out in a neighbouring country due to lack of approved testing centers.

Can my partner/spouse’s income be included in the Financial Requirement?

No, your spouse or partner’s income cannot be included as part of the Financial Requirement unless they are already residing in the UK (and with permission to work), in which case the Financial Requirement can be based on household income.

However, if you are struggling to meet the minimum financial income requirement, get in touch with our team to discuss how recent changes to the law could help your application.

Can I still get a Spouse Visa if I don’t meet the Financial Requirements?

Recent changes to immigration law mean that the Home Office must now take into consideration specified circumstances if the UK spouse does not currently meet the minimum income threshold. Since August 10th 2017, decisions for Spouse Visa applications must take into consideration other methods of financing.

This might include self-sustainability, self-employment or continued financial support from a relative. These changes will offer some hope for those who have previously had their Spouse Visa or Unmarried Partner Visas rejected, or for those who have put off applying.

How can IAS help?

At IAS, we understand the importance of being close to loved ones and we make it our priority to maximise your chances of doing this.

Our team of specialist immigration advisers can guide you through each step of your application process for a Spouse or Civil Partner Visa.

Our services include:

  • liaising with you in person, via phone or Skype at a time that suits you;
  • assessing your eligibility;
  • checking your documents to ensure that they are sufficient for your Partner Visa application;
  • ensuring that you have enough proof that your relationship is genuine;
  • preparing a Letter of Representation to accompany your application;
  • liaising with the Home Office during your application process;
  • completing each part of your application form to the highest standard.

Contact us now to speak with one of our immigration lawyers about your application for a Spouse or Partner application.

Our Spouse Visa Packages

Advice Package

Comprehensive immigration advice tailored to your circumstances and goals


Application Package

Designed to make your visa application as successful, smooth and stress-free as possible


Fast Track Package

Premium application service that ensures your visa application is submitted to meet your deadline


Appeal Package

Ensure you have the greatest chance of a successful appeal. We will represent you in any hearings/tribunals


A few of

our experienced

immigration lawyers

Case studies

We are proud to have changed lives for the better. Here are some of their stories:

Matthew: Working on a Student Visa

Matthew, a US national, had been studying in the UK for three years with a Tier 4 General Student Visa.
He found a potential employer in the UK but… Read More

Gaston: Switching from Tier 2 to Tier 4

Gaston had been working in the UK for two years and decided that he wanted to stay in the UK and study.
He was unclear about the process and the… Read More

Priyanka: Family Visa

Priyanka was an Indian National who wanted to visit her daughter, of whom she had had very little contact with, in the UK.
However, she was unsure of what the… Read More

Parents Visiting in the UK

Harriet is dual Canadian-British Citizen who was currently living in the UK. She needed guidance on whether her Canadian Citizen parents would need a visa to enter the UK… Read More

Fred and Robin: Relocating to the UK

Fred and Robin wanted to relocate from the USA to the UK. They were unsure of their options so they contacted IAS to seek guidance. Fred is a UK National… Read More

Melissa’s Daughter’s British Citizenship

Melissa and her child are Filipino nationals who came to the UK to join Melissa’s husband.
Complications with their initial application and insufficient information being provided resulted in her child’s… Read More

Latest reviews

The ISA team especially Mr. Guppy Singh were a tremendous help when applying for my wife spouse visa. Their knowledge… Read More
The IAS team were enormously helpful in guiding us through the complex process of applying for a spouse visa. They… Read More
My name is Angelo Chaves, I applied to the company IAS - Immigration Advice Service Ltd, to deal with England… Read More

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