UK Spouse Visa Requirements in 2024

UK Spouse Visa Requirements in 2024


As we navigate the increasingly globalised world of 2024, the concept of family unity across borders only becomes more significant. This highlights the UK Spouse Visa, a critical facilitator of this unity within the UK. The UK Home Office’s recent updates have significantly changed the financial thresholds for the Spouse Visa and all other UK Family Visas, making applications more challenging. With this blog post, our London Solicitors at Legal Pathway Solicitors aim to demystify the complexities of the UK Spouse Visa requirements in 2024, covering everything from essential requisites to the application process.

Understanding The UK Spouse Visa

The UK Spouse Visa allows a married partner of a British citizen or someone with indefinite leave to remain in the UK to live, work, and study within the country. Therefore, the visa is essential in reuniting families and aiding spouses in settling in the UK.

Benefits and Privileges

The UK Spouse Visa provides a multitude of advantages that significantly enhance the quality of life for its holders. 

Benefits and Privileges of the UK Spouse Visa:

  • Right to Work: As a UK Spouse Visa holder, you are entitled to work legally in the United Kingdom. This opens up employment opportunities and allows you to contribute to the local economy.
  • Access to Education: You can pursue educational opportunities in the UK, including enrolling in schools, colleges, and universities. Whether you are seeking professional development or further studies, the UK’s education system is accessible to you.
  • Healthcare Benefits via NHS: The National Health Service (NHS) provides comprehensive healthcare services to UK residents. As a visa holder, you can access medical care, consultations, and treatments through the NHS.
  • Pathway to Citizenship: After residing in the UK for a specified period (usually five years), you may be eligible to apply for British citizenship. The UK Spouse Visa serves as a stepping stone toward this goal.

Remember that maintaining compliance with visa conditions, such as cohabitation with your partner and adhering to immigration rules, is crucial. You can always seek professional advice and stay informed about any updates or changes to immigration policies by contacting Legal Pathway Solicitors directly.

UK Spouse Visa Requirements

Applicants must meet economic stability, English language proficiency, and appropriate accommodation criteria to qualify for a spouse visa.

1. Sponsor Status and Age Requirement

To apply as a partner, both you and your partner must be 18 years or older. Additionally, your partner must meet one of the following conditions:

  1. British or Irish Citizen: Your partner is either a British or Irish citizen.
  2. Settled in the UK: Your partner has settled status in the UK, which could include indefinite leave to remain or proof of permanent residence.
  3. EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, or Liechtenstein National: If your partner is from any of these countries, they must have pre-settled status and have been living in the UK before January 1, 2021.
  4. Turkish Businessperson or Worker Visa Holder: Your partner holds a valid Turkish Businessperson or Turkish Worker visa.
  5. Protection Status: Your partner has leave to remain as a refugee, permission to stay as a refugee or humanitarian protection.
  6. Stateless Person: Your partner has permission to stay in the UK as a stateless individual.

Remember that both you and your partner must intend to live together permanently in the UK after applying. If your partner has settled or pre-settled status, you may also be eligible to apply through the free EU Settlement Scheme.

To prove your relationship, you will need to provide evidence such as government documents, financial records, or confirmation of shared expenses. Additionally, you must demonstrate a good knowledge of English and the ability to financially support yourselves and any dependents.

In exceptional cases, you may still be eligible if you have a child who is a British or Irish citizen or if stopping you from coming to the UK would breach your human rights.

2. Relationship Requirement

A successful UK Spouse Visa application hinges on demonstrating a genuine and ongoing relationship. This requirement underscores the UK government’s commitment to supporting authentic couples, fostering family unity, and deterring fraudulent applications.

3. Financial Requirement

The financial threshold for family visas in the UK is set to rise significantly. As of Spring 2024, it will increase from £18,600 to £29,000, and further increase to £38,700 by early 2025. Additional amounts are required for dependants. 

Income can be demonstrated through various sources such as employment, savings, pensions, self-employment, rental income, or investment dividends.

Exemptions to the Financial Requirement 

There are several exemptions to the financial requirement for the UK Spouse Visa. If the UK sponsor is receiving certain benefits or allowances, they may not need to meet the income threshold. 

Exemptions may typically include:

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

Please note that these exemptions are subject to change and it is recommended that you consult with a solicitor before making any decisions.

4. English Language Requirement

Applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency at the A1 CEFR level, typically through tests like IELTS for UKVI or Trinity’s ISE. Exemptions apply to a few categories of applicants, e.g. exemptions for English Speaking Countries.

5. Accommodation Requirement

Suitable and adequate accommodation according to the Housing Act’s standards is necessary, and it should not be overcrowded or a public health hazard.

Document Checklist

Applicants must provide various documents, including a valid passport, proof of relationship, financial evidence, English language test results, TB Test and accommodation evidence.

The Application Process

The application process for the UK Spouse Visa is a multi-step procedure that requires careful attention to detail.

  1. Initial Preparation: This is the first step where you gather all the necessary information and understand the requirements of the application.
  2. Choosing the Correct Application Form: Depending on your specific circumstances, you will need to select the appropriate application form.
  3. Accurately Completing the Application Form: It is crucial to fill out the form accurately to avoid any delays or rejections.
  4. Compiling Supporting Documents: Gather all the necessary documents that support your application. This may include proof of relationship, financial stability, and accommodation arrangements.
  5. Attending a Biometrics Appointment: You will need to attend an appointment to provide your biometric information, including fingerprints and a digital photo.
  6. Submission: Finally, submit your completed application along with all the supporting documents.

Processing Times and Fees

The processing times and fees for the UK Spouse Visa can vary. When applying from within the UK, the standard processing time is usually up to 8 weeks. However, while applying from outside the UK, it can take up to 12 weeks. Please note that these are approximate times and can vary based on individual circumstances and the volume of applications being processed at the time.

As for the fees associated with the UK Spouse Visa application, they are subject to change and depend on whether you are applying from within or outside the UK. As of 2024, the current fee for applicants applying from outside the UK is approximately £1,523, and for those applying from within the UK, it is around £1,033. 

Please be aware that these fees are non-refundable, regardless of the outcome of your application. Therefore, we recommend that you consult with a specialist to ensure that your application is correctly filled out and all necessary supporting documents are included.

Dealing with Refusals

Suppose a UK Spouse Visa application is refused. In that case, it is essential to understand the reasons and consider your options, namely appealing, reapplying, or exploring alternatives like a Fiance Visa or an Unmarried Partner Visa.

The UK Spouse Visa process is intricate, but successful navigation is achievable with detailed planning and adherence to the requirements. Understanding and meeting each requirement is crucial whether you are in the UK or applying from abroad.

How Can We Help?

Our family law team at Ilford, London, specialises in guiding clients through the spouse visa application process. Our services include expert guidance, personalised assistance, and a track record of success. We assist with everything from document checklists to appeals, ensuring each application is unique and successful. 

Whether you are facing challenges with your application or need professional advice, our team is here to support you every step of the way for the best possible outcome.

Why Choose Legal Pathway Solicitors?

  • Expert Guidance: Our team is experienced in all aspects of the Spouse Visa process.
  • Tailored Legal Services: We understand that every relationship and application is unique.
  • Proven Success: Legal Pathway Solicitors is a trusted choice with high success rates for Spouse Visa applications.
  • Remote Services: We have many remote clients and know how to best service your legal needs through online consultations and processes.

If you are considering a UK Spouse Visa application or facing any issues with the requirements, do not hesitate to contact us. With Legal Pathway Solicitors, your dream of living together permanently in the UK is within reach. Our solicitors are dedicated to ensuring your application process is smooth and successful.

Contact us today for a free consultation and take the first step towards securing your future in the UK.

Legal Pathway Solicitors

Ilford, Greater London