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Spouse Visa UK: Document Checklist

The UK government recently announced an increase to the minimum income requirements from £18,600 to £29,000, with planned increases to £34,500 and eventually to £38,700. This comes into effect in April 2024 and affects three-quarters of Brits. Get in touch with us now for advice and support.

Spouse Visa UK application is a complex and often stressful process. In an effort to restrict the number of fake marriages, the UK government have introduced a number of measures & documents intended to confirm that a relationship is genuine. We have detailed the documents below.

The lawyers at IAS can provide a comprehensive UK Spouse Visa document checklist based on your circumstances. Call us today on 03334149244.

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What are the UK Spouse Visa Requirements Documents?

The Spouse Visa UK requirements include a strict financial threshold, accommodation expectations and passing the genuine relationship test. Making an application to the UK authorities will require a great deal of evidence to show the applicant meets every single requirement and avoid a refusal on minor grounds such as missing documents or incorrectly completed forms.

Here’s an overview of all the documents you will need:

  • A valid passport or other valid travel documents
  • Proof that your relationship is genuine (such as marriage certificates and photographs)
  • Evidence that you meet the financial requirements
  • Evidence that you meet the English language requirement
  • Proof that you will have adequate accommodation in the UK
  • Your tuberculosis test results if you’re from a country where you have to take the test
  • Complete UK spouse visa application forms
  • Other documents, depending on your circumstances

We have provided a more in-depth checklist below and an explanation of each document/requirement.

A complete application improves your chances of getting a Spouse visa that is valid for 30 months, for which you can apply for a Spouse visa extension, and then Indefinite Leave to Remain.

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Non-British applicant’s documents

This section of your UK Spouse Visa document pack will include your travel documents, such as your passport. You will also need to provide your English language certificate or degree certificate if this is applicable and your TB certificate if you are from a country with this requirement for the spouse visa application process.

Furthermore, you will need to give your biometric (fingerprints and photograph); this is not a document but something you give at a visa application centre. Lastly, if you are already in the UK on another visa, you may need to provide your National insurance number.

UK sponsor’s documents

Your UK husband or wife will need to include their travel documents and a Spouse Visa letter of support, written by them and providing details on your relationship and why the Home Office should grant your visa.

UK sponsor’s financial documents

The UK spouse visa requirements include a financial threshold of £18,600 for the UK sponsor. This must be money earned in the UK and cannot include your earnings if you are outside the UK.

There are a number of alternative ways a UK sponsor can meet this income requirement. They include:

  • Pension;
  • Maternity, paternity, adoption or sick pay;
  • Non-employment pay, such as from rent or shares; and
  • Cash savings of over £16,000

Some benefits can exempt your sponsor from the financial requirement, such as Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payments. For more information on these or for any questions about the UK Spouse Visa financial requirements, contact an immigration expert.

Evidence of appropriate accommodation

When moving to the UK to join your spouse or partner, you will need to show that you intend to live with them and that there is enough space at the property for both of you and any children who may be accompanying you.

In some cases, you may need to provide an immigration housing report to prove that you meet the accommodation requirement. Depending on your circumstances, you may also need to provide a letter from your landlord or owner of the property you will be living in.

Documents showing your relationship is genuine

This part of the Spouse Visa document checklist aims to meet the genuine relationship requirement. This can include evidence like:

  • Chat logs from social media/texting
  • Travel documents on visits to each other
  • Pictures of you throughout your relationship
  • Marriage certificate (if applicable)
  • Divorce certificate (if applicable)

There have been reports of Spouse Visa applications refused for both too little evidence and too much. The genuine relationship requirement is very limited: finding the right balance of providing the correct level of evidence and avoiding the common pitfalls the Home Office are looking out for can be very difficult.

The process of applying for a Spouse Visa is now an online application like most UK Visas.

The online form will include questions on:

Part 1: Passport and travel information – this will include your personal information, current immigration status, planned arrival in the UK and how long you will be staying.

Part 2: Personal details and travel history – you will need to provide details on your current address, travel history and criminal background, including any immigration charges you may have.

Part 3: Family details – your sponsor’s information, your parents’ information and whether you are travelling with any children.

Part 4: Employment – information on your work history and your current employment status.

Part 5: Medical treatment – a question on any past medical treatment you may have received in the UK.

Part 6: Sponsor details – your sponsor’s details, including their current immigration status.

Part 7: English language – your English language proficiency level or how you qualify for an exemption (e.g. you are a citizen of an English-speaking country).

Part 8: Additional information – this could include further detail about something you discussed earlier in the application but ran out of space to explain or any other information that you think could influence the Home Office’s decision.

Part 9: Declaration – a declaration by you that all the information and documents are genuine and accurate.

UK Spouse Visa Document Checklist

Now you have an understanding of all the documents you need, here is a UK spouse visa document checklist to help you prepare your application.

  • Complete spouse visa application forms
  • A valid passport or other forms of valid travel documents
  • Clear copies of the photo page of your passport and any visa or entry stamps in your previous passports
  • Spouse visa letter of support
  • Your civil partnership or marriage certificate to prove you are married to or in a civil partnership with a British citizen/settled person
  • Other documents to prove your relationship is genuine, such as:
    • Photographs of you throughout your relationship
    • Shared tenancy agreements or mortgage/property purchase documents
    • Booking confirmations of holiday you have taken together
    • Chat logs from social media/texting
    • Travel documents on visits to each other
  • Evidence of appropriate accommodation in the UK which may be a:
    • Tenancy agreement
    • Immigration housing report
    • Letter from your landlord/owner of the property you’d be living in
  • Proof you meet the English language requirement such as one of the following:
    • An English language certificate from an approved English language test certificate at a minimum of level A1
    • Proof you are from one of the English language speaking countries that are exempt from taking a test
    • Proof you have a degree or academic qualification that was taught/researched in English and recognised by the UK NARIC
  • Evidence that you meet the financial requirements of a combined income of at least £18,600 per year, which may be from employment, non-work, or self-employment income, cash savings, or pensions. Such proof may include bank statements
  • Divorce certificate from any previous marriages (if applicable)
  • Tuberculosis test results (if applicable)
  • Details of any criminal convictions

How much is the UK Spouse visa fee?

The UK Spouse Visa fees are:

  • £1,048 for in-country applications*
  • £1,538 for out of country applications*

*as of 2023

Each dependant in your spouse visa UK application will also need to pay the same amount for their application. For example, to join your spouse with two children from outside the UK will cost £4,569.

There are other fees included in the Spouse visa application process, so what you spend in total may be more than what is listed above.

How can IAS help?

Spouse Visa UK application is a complex and often stressful process. In an effort to restrict the number of fake marriages, the UK government has introduced a number of measures intended to confirm that a relationship is genuine. However, for many genuine couples with no experience of the UK immigration system, these measures can cause great difficulty and can result in refusals.

With such complicated, often discretionary requirements, make sure you give your application for a UK Spouse Visa the best chance by seeking advice from an immigration expert from IAS. Your personal lawyer will provide you with a full Spouse Visa UK document checklist created to suit your circumstances. Our service also includes support from your lawyer to complete the Spouse Visa application form before submitting it.

Need help from a UK immigration lawyer? We have highly-trained immigration lawyers with expertise in UK immigration law and are situated in many areas across the UK, including London and Birmingham. Call us free today on 0333 363 8577 to discuss your circumstances with a professional or make an enquiry using our online contact form.

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