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UK Spouse Visa - NEW 2021 Requirements & Guide

A UK spouse visa, also known as a UK marriage visa allows the married partner of a UK citizen to immigrate to the country. The UK-based partner must be 'settled in the UK'. 

The spousal visa grants a stay of up to 2.5 years for married partners. If the application is lodged by a fiance, s/he is allowed to stay up to 6 months. In either case, you can lodge an application for an extension before your visa validity expires.  

Once you are thorough with the requirements and have all your documents ready, you can proceed with your online application. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to apply for a UK spousal visa.

UK Spouse visa application process

To start the process, you need to visit the online application link here. You will first be required to confirm the visa type. If you are not sure of the exact visa categoryThe, please visit this page and check what visa type is ideal for your circumstances. For more detailed information, it is recommended to go through the UK immigration rules in this link.

Step 1:

Choose the visa type between these two categories:

  • Appendix FM Partner
  • Appendix FM Child

Step 2:

Confirm where you will be submitting your biometrics, which includes fingerprints and facial photographs. Once you have entered the relevant country, you can proceed to the next step. Please note that you must check the available biometric enrolment locations for your country of application. You cannot change your origin country once you have submitted the application. If your country has no biometric enrolment location, you can travel to the nearest country to submit the information. For making an easy choice, here is the list of approved UK visa application centers according to the nation of origin.

Step 3

If you are applying to enter the UK as a partner, you can continue on this same link. However, if you have child dependants who are joining or accompanying you they must apply separately here.

Step 4

To complete the application form in English, you must first register yourself by entering an email address and password. You will then receive a unique link to let you log back into your application later, if required. After you have filled in all the required fields, you can proceed to the next step. For a detailed insight on the information you need to provide, you can visit our UK spouse visa requirements link.

Step 5

Now, you will need to pay the visa fee online. In order to know the exact amount that is applicable for your visa, you can check out this page. All you need to do is select the country you are making your application from and choose the visa category you would like to see fees for, which, in this case is to join the family. Next, pick the exact family visa type and you will get your answer!

NOTE: The current fee for a UK spouse visa is £1,523 for applications submitted from a foreign country. If you are submitting your application from inside the UK, the cost is £1,033. This charge will further increase if your application includes dependents.

NOTE: You have the option to fill in an online fee waiver request form if you cannot pay the fee because you do not have a place to live and cannot afford to buy or rent one, you have a residence but you cannot afford essential living costs like food or heating, or you earn a very low income and paying the fee might hamper your child’s wellbeing.

You will additionally need to pay the health surcharge also called ‘immigration health surcharge’ as part of your immigration application. The amount you need to pay depends on the immigration status you’re applying for. Following this, once your payment is verified and your visa is approved, you can use the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK. You must carry your BRP when you avail these services.

Step 5

Once you click the submit button after following the above steps, take a print of your application form and book an appointment with your chosen visa center. On that day, you will need to visit the branch to provide your biometrics, which include scanned fingerprints and a digital photograph. For a spousal visa, you will need a BRP, which you can collect once you reach the UK, within 10 days of your arrival.

You might additionally be asked to provide your tuberculosis test results if you are resident in a country where you must take the test. Here is the list of countries whose residents need a TB certificate. Couple this with your passport and other supporting evidence, as detailed in our UK spouse visa requirements section.

Step 6

Your spouse visa approval generally takes between 2 to 12 weeks. This processing time is

variable, depending on the documents submitted and the country where the application is lodged in.

Once your application is accepted, you will be issued a permit that allows you to enter the UK within a time frame of 30 days. Once you arrive in the UK, you will be given a 10-day span, within which you need to collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP). 

On the other hand, if circumstances prevent you from reaching the UK within this time-frame, you can apply for another 30-day entry permit. But you will need to pay an additional fee.

If your visa application is not accepted, you can file an appeal against the Home Office’s verdict. Since the process is complicated, we would strongly advise you to seek the help of an immigration adviser.

If you wish to apply for settling in the UK, called ‘indefinite leave to remain’, the earliest you can lodge an application is after you have stayed in the country for a continuous, minimum span of 5 years, following the receipt of a permission for ‘leave to remain’ as a partner. You cannot, however, use this facility if you have entered the UK as a fiancé, fiancée or proposed civil partner.

How to Apply for a Spouse Visa from Within the UK?

An application to remain in the UK as the partner of a British citizen, person settled in the UK, or person who has refugee leave or humanitarian protection in the UK, can lodge an application online. But the link is different than for foreign applications.

Application to remain in the UK on the basis of family life or private life

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