The Spouse or Civil Partner visa category is for partners of British citizens or persons present and settled in the UK, who wishes to join, or stay with their husband, wife or civil partner in the UK. You can also apply if your partner is outside the UK, but intending to return to the UK with you.
What are the main eligibility requirements for a Spouse or Civil Partner visa?
To be eligible for a Spouse or Civil Partner visa you will need to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration that:
- Your partner is British or holds Indefinite Leave to Remain;
- You are both over the age of 18;
- You have met in person and are legally married or in a civil partnership;
- Your relationship is genuine and subsisting and that you intend to live together permanently;
- Any previous relationships have broken down permanently;
- You will be adequately maintained in the UK without recourse to public funds;
- There is adequate accommodation for you and any dependents;
- You speak and understand English to the required level.
In order to demonstrate that you can be adequately maintained in the UK without recourse to public funds, you will need to satisfy a financial requirement.
You will need to demonstrate that your Spouse or Civil Partner (or both of you jointly if you are in the UK with valid leave to remain) has a gross annual income of at least:
- £18,600; plus
- £3,800 for a first child (who is not British, settled or an EEA national); plus
- £2,400 for each additional child (who is not British, settled or an EEA national).
You can meet this requirement through salaried and non-salaried income, self-employed income, salary and/or dividends from a company of which you are a Director, property rental income, dividends and income from investments, stocks, shares, bonds or trust funds, pension income, insurance payments, maintenance payments and cash savings above £16,000 that have been held for at least six months, unless you can demonstrate that they have come from a specified source.
Applicants may be able to rely on a combination of the above sources of income to satisfy the financial requirement.
Different considerations will apply if your Spouse or Civil Partner is in receipt of certain benefits.
What else do I need to know about the Spouse or Civil Partner visa?
If your application for entry clearance as a Spouse or Civil Partner is successful, your Spouse or Civil Partner visa will be valid for 33 months initially. If you apply for leave to remain in the UK as a Spouse or Civil Partner then you will be granted leave valid for 30 months.
Before your initial grant of leave expires, you will need to apply to UK Visas and Immigration to extend your stay.
After spending 5 years in the UK as the Spouse or Civil Partner of a British citizen or settled person, you will be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain.
Spouse and Civil Partner visa holders have a full right to work and study in the UK.
If you are not able to satisfy certain of the requirements for a Spouse or Civil Partner visa, you may still be able to apply to join or remain with your partner on Human Rights grounds if you can demonstrate that there would be very significant difficulties in your relationship continuing outside the UK.