You can apply for spouse visa entry clearance UK online if you are married to a British Citizen or settled person and resident outside the UK. If the applicant meets the requirements for entry clearance as a partner the applicant will be granted entry clearance for an initial period not exceeding 33 months, and subject to a condition of no recourse to public funds.

Need legal help and assistance with spouse visa entry clearance application? Contact our expert team of spouse visa solicitors in London, Manchester and Birmingham for fast, friendly, reliable and affordable fixed fee legal services for your spouse visa entry clearance application.

Contents Table

How to apply?
Eligibility Requirements
Financial requirement
Adequate accommodation requirement
English language requirement
Challenging refusal
Re-applying after the refusal
How we can help?
How much we charge?
Useful Online Resources
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How To Apply For Spouse Visa Entry Clearance?

An application for spouse visa entry clearance from outside the UK is made online. Upon completion and submission of the online form for spouse visa entry clearance UK, the spouse visa entry clearance fee and Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) is paid online. All the supporting documents in support of the spouse visa application are then uploaded online. An appointment is then booked with the Application Centre for the enrolment of biometrics and submission of the Applicant's passport at the designated application centre in the country of residence of the applicant.

Requirements For Spouse Visa Entry Clearance UK

The applicant applying for entry clearance as a spouse of a British Citizen or a person settled person must meet the following requirements:

  • Suitability criteria as set out in Appendix FM to the Immigration Rules;
  • Genuine and subsisting relationship as a spouse of a person present and settled in the UK; 
  • Financial requirement whereby the UK spouse of the applicant must be earning at least £18,600 gross per year or savings of £62,500 if the UK spouse of the applicant has no earnings from employment, self-employment or other means of income;
  • Adequate accommodation for the applicant and the UK spouse to be accommodated in the UK without recourse to public funds;
  • English language requirement to show that the applicant has English proficiency at CEFR level A1 as required by the UK Immigration Rules.

Financial Requirement For Spouse Visa Entry Clearance UK

Meeting the financial requirement is one of the key requirements for an application for spouse visa entry clearance UK.

Calculating The Financial Requirement

The applicant must provide evidence that the sponsor's gross annual income is at least:

  • Partner with no children – £18,600;
  • 1 child in addition to the partner – £22,400;
  • 2 children in addition to the partner – £24,800;
  • 3 children in addition to the partner – £27,200; and
  • an additional £2,400 for each additional Non-EEA child.

The higher financial requirement for applicants applying with child(ren) will apply until the applicant partner qualifies for settlement, even if the child turns 18 before then. However, the 18+ year old’s income and savings will be permitted to count towards the financial requirement.

When Does Financial Requirement Does Not Apply To A Child?

The financial requirement does not apply to a child who:

  • Is a British Citizen (including an adopted child who acquires British citizenship);
  • Is an EEA national (except where the child is a child of a former relationship and does not have a right to be admitted to or reside in the UK under the Immigration
    (EEA) Regulations 2006 or the Immigration (EEA) Regulations 2016);
  • Is settled in the UK (holds ILR in the UK) or who qualifies for indefinite leave to enter (ILE); or
  • Qualifies under Part 8 or Appendix Armed Forces of the Immigration Rules in a category to which the financial requirement does not apply.

Meeting The Financial Requirement For Spouse Visa Entry Clearance?

According to Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules, the applicant must meet:

  • the level of the financial requirement applicable to their application; and
  • the requirements specified as to:
    (a) the permitted sources of income/savings; and
    (b) the time periods and permitted combinations of sources applicable to each permitted source relied upon; and
    (c) the evidence required for each permitted source relied upon.

Income and cash savings must be in the name of the applicant, their partner or jointly. However, income and cash savings of a dependent child of the applicant can also be included once the child has turned 18 years of age.

All employment or self-employment income must come from working legally. All income and savings must be lawfully derived.

What Are The Various Sources Of Meeting The Financial Requirement?

Where the applicant has to meet the minimum income threshold, the financial requirement can generally be met in the following five ways:

  • Income from salaried or non-salaried employment of the partner (and/or the applicant if they are in the UK with permission to work). This is referred to as Category A or Category B, depending on the employment history.
  • Non-employment income, e.g. income from property rental or dividends from shares. This is referred to as Category C.
  • Cash savings of the applicant’s partner and/or the applicant, above £16,000, held by the partner and/or the applicant for at least 6 months and under their control. This is referred to as Category D.
  • State (UK or foreign), occupational or private pension of the applicant’s partner and/or the applicant. This is referred to as Category E.
  • Income from self-employment, and income as a director or employee of a specified limited company in the UK, of the partner (and/or the applicant if they are in the UK with permission to work). This is referred to as Category F or Category G, depending on which financial year(s) is or are being relied upon.

Evidence Flexibility For Financial Requirement

The evidential flexibility is set out in paragraph D of Appendix FM-SE. Under Appendix FM-SE there is discretion for decision-makers to defer an application pending submission of missing evidence or the correct version of it, within a reasonable deadline set for this. Decision-makers will not have to defer where they do not think that correcting the error or omission will lead to a grant.

Decision-makers are also able to grant an application despite minor evidential problems (but not where specified evidence is missing entirely). There is also discretion for decision-makers where evidence cannot be supplied because it is not issued in a particular country or has been permanently lost. Decision-makers have general discretion to request additional information or evidence before making a decision.

Exemption From Financial Requirement For Spouse Visa Entry Clearance UK (Adequate Maintenance)

Where the applicant’s partner is in receipt of any of the following benefits or allowances in the UK, the applicant will be able to meet the financial requirement at that application stage by providing evidence of “adequate maintenance” rather than meeting an income threshold of £18,600 or above:

  • Carer’s Allowance.
  • Disability Living Allowance.
  • Severe Disablement Allowance.
  • Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit.
  • Attendance Allowance.
  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment or Guaranteed Income Payment under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme.
  • Constant Attendance Allowance, Mobility Supplement or War Disablement Pension under the War Pensions Scheme.
  • Police Injury Pension.

If the applicant’s partner is in receipt of one of the above benefits or allowances on behalf of their child, the applicant will be able to qualify by meeting the financial requirement through “adequate maintenance”. The evidence required to demonstrate that the applicant’s partner is in receipt of a specified benefit or allowance is specified in Appendix FM-SE.

Adequate Accommodation Requirement For Spouse Visa Entry Clearance UK

The applicant must provide specified evidence that there will be adequate accommodation, without recourse to public funds, for the family, including other family members who are not included in the application but who live in the same household, which the family own or occupy exclusively: accommodation will not be regarded as adequate if-

  1. it is, or will be, overcrowded; or
  2. it contravenes public health regulations.

English Language Requirement For Spouse Visa Entry Clearance UK

The applicant must provide specified evidence that he/she:

  1. is a national of a majority English speaking country; or
  2. has passed an English language test in speaking and listening at a minimum of level A1 of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) for Languages with a provider approved by the Home Office, UKVI; or
  3. has an academic qualification recognised by UK NARIC to be equivalent to the standard of a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree or PhD in the UK, which was taught in English; or
  4. is exempt from the English language requirement because at the date of application:
    • the applicant is aged 65 or over;
    • the applicant has a disability (physical or mental condition) which prevents the applicant from meeting the requirement; or
    • there are exceptional circumstances which prevent the applicant from being able to meet the requirement prior to entry to the UK.

How To Challenge The Refusal Of Spouse Visa Entry Clearance?

If your application for spouse visa entry clearance is refused by the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) and you believe that the refusal decision is unlawful, you can challenge the refusal of your spouse visa entry clearance by filing an Entry Clearance Appeal Against Spouse Visa Refusal with the First Tier Tribunal within 28 days of receiving the refusal letter.

Re-Applying For Spouse Visa Entry Clearance After The Refusal

If your application for spouse visa entry clearance has been refused by the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) and you believe that the decision to refuse your application is valid and lawful and therefore cannot be challenged by way of Entry Clearance Appeal Against Spouse Visa Refusal, you have the option to re-apply for spouse visa. We can provide the required legal help and assistance with re-applying for spouse visa entry clearance after the refusal.

How We Can Help With Your Spouse Visa Entry Clearance Application?

Our expert team of immigration solicitors specialise in UK spouse visa entry clearance applications. If instructed to represent you regarding your application for UK spouse visa entry clearance, we will carry out all the work on your application until a decision is made by the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) on your spouse visa entry clearance application. The immigration casework to be carried out by our expert team of immigration solicitors will include the following:

  • Assessing your eligibility for spouse visa entry clearance by considering all your personal circumstances;
  • Advising you on the weaknesses and strengths of your spouse visa entry clearance application;
  • Advising you on the relevant documents to be submitted in support of your spouse visa entry clearance application;
  • Assessing your documents to ensure that the documentary evidence is as per requirements of the Home Office UKVI immigration Rules;
  • Completing and submitting the online application form to apply for spouse visa UK entry clearance by gathering all the relevant information from you and your spouse;
  • Helping you with paying the spouse visa application fee and the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) for the application;
  • Where necessary, preparing detailed witness statement of the applicant and/or the sponsor explaining the background of their relationship and other relevant factors pertaining to the spouse visa entry clearance application;
  • Preparing a detailed cover letter to introduce and support your spouse visa entry clearance application;
  • Uploading online all the relevant supporting documents and scheduling an appointment for submission of passport and enrolment of your biometrics;
  • Liaising with the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) for a timely decision on your spouse visa entry clearance application.

Our Fees For Spouse Visa Entry Clearance UK

Our fixed fees for spouse visa entry clearance application from outside the UK are given in the table below:

Our Service Our Fee
One-Off immigration consultation for spouse visa Entry Clearance £80 (no VAT)
One-Off Application Checking Service / Documents Assessment £240 (no VAT)
Full service for spouse visa Entry Clearance to cover all the work until decision by the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) From £1,000 To £2,000 (no VAT)

The agreed fixed fee will depend on the complexity of the spouse visa entry clearance application and the volume of casework involved in the application. In addition to our fixed fee for spouse visa entry clearance, the applicant also have to pay the Home office UKVI fees for the entry clearance application.

Useful Online Resources

FAQs - Spouse Visa Entry Clearance UK

How long does a UK spouse visa entry clearance application take?

The processing time of the spouse visa entry clearance application are as follows:

Standard Service

An application under standard service is decided normally within 12 weeks after the enrolment of biometrics at the UK visa application centre.

Priority Service

An application under Priority Service is normally decided within 6 to 8 weeks after the enrolment of biometrics at the UK visa application centre.

Super Priority Service

An applicaton for spouse visa entry clearance under Super Priority Service is normally decided within 24 hours after the enrolment of biometrics at the UK visa application centre. The Super Priority Service is not available from most of the countries at present.

What documents do I need to apply for UK spouse visa entry clearance?

The documentary evidence to be submitted in support of the spouse visa entry clearance for UK varies from case to case depending on the personal circumstances of the applicant and the sponsor. Our specialist spouse visa solicitors can provide you a comprehensive list of supporting documents after fully assessing the personal circumstances of the applicant and the UK sponsor.

Can I track my UK spouse visa application online?

It is no longer possible to track the status of your spouse visa application online. To know the current status of your spouse visa application, you must use Home Office UKVI email or phone option, which unfortunately is NOT FREE. You must provide your GWF number when calling or emailing them.

For how long the UK visa is granted if my application for spouse visa entry clearance is successful?

As a result of your spouse visa entry clearance application being successful, you will be issued with vigenette endorsed on your passport valid for 30 days to facilitate your entry in the UK.

Within 10 working days after your entry in the UK during the given 30 days, you should collect your Biometric Resident Permit (BRP) card from the designated pre-selected post office. Your UK visa entry clearance will be valid for 33 months on your Biometric Resident Permit (BRP) card.

How much is UK visa for spouse visa entry clearance?

Home Office UKVI charges for spouse visa entry clearnce will be as follows:

UK visa application fee: £1523

Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS): £400 per year which totals £1200 for 33 months

How much do you have to earn to bring your spouse to the UK on spouse visa?

Your sponsor must be earning not less than £18,600 gross per year if you are applying for spouse visa with no dependent children.

Will I get right to appeal against the refusal decision if my spouse visa entry clearance application is refused by the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO)?

If your spouse visa entry clearance application is refused by the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) of the Home Office UKVI, you will get a right of appeal to challenge the refusal of your spouse visa entry clearance application. You should file appeal against spouse visa entry clearance refusal within 28 days after receiving the refusal decision.

Am I allowed to work in the UK on spouse visa?

Yes, you will have right to work full time whilst living in the UK on spouse visa.

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