FIRST TIME APPLYING FOR SPOUSE VISA
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Have a question?
Where can I make my UK Spouse visa application from?
You can apply from either your country of nationality or your country of residence. If you are UK resident (you have been granted leave other than as a visitor and for more than a period of six months) you can apply to switch without having to leave the UK. If you are here on a visitor visa or on a visa granted for a period of 6 months or less you will normally need to return to your country of residence and make the application from there.
We got married outside of the UK, will the UK recognise our marriage?
The Home Office will recognise a marriage or civil partnership which has taken place
overseas where:
  • The type of marriage or civil partnership is recognised in the country in which it took

place

  • The marriage or civil partnership was properly conducted to satisfy the requirements
of the law of the country in which it took place
  • There is nothing in the laws of either person’s country of domicile at the time of the
marriage or civil partnership which prevents the marriage or civil partnership being
recognised
  • Any previous marriages or civil partnerships of the couple have broken down
permanently

There are some additional requirements about age and prohibited degrees of relationship and previous divorces, but broadly if the country in which your marriage took place will recognise you as married then so will the UK.
What is unmarried partner?
Individuals who are in a relationship akin to marriage and can provide evidence that they are in a relationship and have been co-habituating for at least 2 years can be considered as unmarried partners.
What is the financial requirement for UK spouse visa?
Immigration rules state that sponsor (or in certain cases the applicants) are required to
demonstrate that they meet the financial eligibility requirement of £18,600. The threshold is higher for applicants who are applying with children.

The applicant may demonstrate a savings requirement of £62,500, instead of the income threshold.
What is the English requirement for UK Spouse visa?
Applicants who are applying to join their family members in the UK are required to
demonstrate that they are proficient in English language at CEFR Level A1. Applicants can take IELTS UKVI Life Skills and achieve a pass. This requirement is for applicants applying first time for this type of visa.
How long will it take the Home Office to decide my UK Spouse visa application?
Home Office currently states that most applications are decided within 12 weeks. More
complex applications can take up to six months. Applicants have the option of choosing Priority processing service, that puts their application ahead in the queue.

Applicants who would like to extend their spouse visa from within the UK can also opt for same-day processing by paying a premium fee.
Will I be able to work in the UK when I am here as a Spouse?
Yes. Those who are granted leave in the Spouse category have a full right to take up
employment or establish their own business in the UK. You will also be entitled to medical care in the UK under the NHS system.
Can we live in shared accommodation or with relatives when I get my spouse visa?
Yes, as long as you receive permission to reside in the property from whomever that owns the property and residing in the property will not cause it to be overcrowded.
The Immigration Rules require that you will have "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"
When can I apply for a British nationality?
When you first enter the spouse visa category you will be granted a period of two and a half years. You will then have to make an extension application before the expiry of this leave and will be granted a further two and a half years. You may qualify for settlement after spending a residence period of 5 years on this route. Once you are settled in the UK, you can consider applying for British nationality as the next step.
What happens if my Spouse visa application is refused?
If your application is refused you may have a right of appeal. The appeal will be heard at the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) in the UK. However, this is highly dependent on your circumstances, it may be advisable to re-apply. We strongly recommend seeking legal advice from a qualified immigration lawyer as each visa refusal will pose an adverse effect on your immigration history.
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