Spouse Visa (Settlement Visa)
The commonly known UK Spouse Visa or Settlement Visa is meant for the spouse, partner, proposed partner, civil partner, child or other dependant relative of a person who is currently settled in the UK or coming to the UK to settle. That person must be either settled (without a time limit on their visa) or planning to live in the UK permanently with the legal right to do so.
Quick Links and FAQs
- Do I qualify for the Spouse Visa (Settlement)?
- Supporting Documentation
- Do I have to be in my home country to apply?
- Does my Spouse visa (Settlement) expire?
To qualify you must:
- be legally married to each other or in a civil relationship that the UK recognizes
- be at least 21 years old
- your partner is present and settled in the UK
- you have met each other on a prior instance
- you both intend to live as husband/wife/partners permanently
- you can support yourselves and dependants without recourse to public funds
- you have suitable accommodation
- you can speak and understand English (as of Nov. 2010)
If permission is given, you will be allowed to live and work in the UK for two years, after which you can apply to live permanently if you are still married and living together.
*If you are applying to join your fiancé/fiancée/proposed civil partner, you must meet the above requirements and you must intend to be married within 6 months of arrival.
**You can join your same-sex/unmarried partner if all your previous relationships are permanently broken down, you have been living together for 2 years and intend to live together permanently.
Along with filling out the application form from the UK Border Agency, you must provide the following supporting documentation for review:
- current and previous passports (and an extra passport-sized photo of yourself)
- evidence of your marital status (marriage certificate, divorce papers, etc.)
- evidence of employment/studies
- evidence that you meet the English-language requirements (test results, diploma from English language undergraduate degree, etc.)
- information about your finances (pay slips, tax returns, bank account statements)
- accommodation details (mortgage, deeds, bills)
- information on your sponsor in the UK (their employment status, visa status, your relationship with them)
*The UK Border Agency may required additional documentation for applicants from some countries, so be sure to visit the UK Border Agency website for the full details.
No. If you are currently in the UK under another visa category, you can apply to switch over to a UK Spouse Visa (Settlement). If you are currently outside the UK, you would apply under the Spouse (Settlement) Visa.
When your application is successful, you will be allowed to live and work in the UK for 27 months. After two years (24 of the 27 months) you can apply for permanent residency (or what they call ‘indefinite leave to remain’).
You may be qualified for immediate permission to live permanently in the UK if you have been married and living together with your spouse sponsor for four years, you are heading to the UK to settle down and if you can speak and understand the English language and culture well enough.
Have more questions? They might be answered in our VISA FAQs.