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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.

The great think about this type of visa is that it allows unrestricted work while it is active.

Quick Links and FAQs

Whilst being one of the best visas to have - actually better than then visa it relies on, it is important to ensure you get your application right because a rejection can be expensive or mean that you cannot work.

Unfortunately we get emails like this every week:

"Had visa refused on economic grounds..."

"Not sure how to appeal as we should easily meet requirements..."

Need assistance from a professional?

The spouse visa is a challenge to do yourself and (as you probably know) the UK government website is complex and frustrating. That is why we wrote this page. But we also know everyones circumstances are different and what was really needed is someone who can help you individually. 

The best way we could do this was with the help of a company that has lots of experience and who was willing to go the extra mile and actually help people.

Fill out the form below to get a free consultation from a professional migration agency. 

If you choose to use them: 

  • No visa, no fee - Guaranteed
  • A free no obligation telephone consultation where they determine your eligibility and explain the process
  • Registered with the OSIC in the UK and MARA in Australia
  • 20 years of experience
  • Phone support in your time zone 24 hrs

PLEASE NOTE: By filling out this form you are sending this information to 1st Contact based in Australia who are a reputable but independent 3rd party with their own Privacy Policy. If you are in the EU (including the UK) this service is not useful or intended for your use.


Do I qualify for the Spouse Visa (Settlement)?

To qualify you must:

  1. be legally married to each other or in a civil relationship that the UK recognizes
  2. be at least 18 years old
  3. your partner is present and settled in the UK or relocating with you to the UK
  4. you have met each other on a prior instance
  5. you both intend to live as husband/wife/partners permanently
  6. you can support yourselves and dependants without recourse to public funds
  7. you have suitable accommodation
  8. you can speak and understand English (as of Nov. 2010)
  9. you can meet the financial criteria (as of July 2012)

If permission is given, you will be allowed to live and work in the UK for two and a half years, after which you can apply to extend the visa for another 2 and a half years after this combined five years 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.

Supporting Documentation

Along with filling out the application form from the UK Border Agency, you must provide the following supporting documentation for review:

  1. current and previous passports (and an extra passport-sized photo of yourself)
  2. evidence of your marital status (marriage certificate, divorce papers, etc.)
  3. evidence of employment/studies
  4. evidence that you meet the English-language requirements (test results, diploma from English language undergraduate degree, etc.)
  5. information about your finances (pay slips, tax returns, bank account statements)
  6. accommodation details (mortgage, deeds, bills)
  7. 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.

Do I have to be outside the UK to apply?

No. If you are currently in the UK under another visa category, like a Tier 5 Visayou can apply to switch over to a UK Spouse Visa (Settlement). However, you cannot switch in the UK from a visitor’s visa. If you are currently outside the UK, you would apply under the Spouse (Settlement) Visa.

Does my Settlement Visa expire?

When your application is successful, you will be allowed to live and work in the UK for 30 months. After the initial 30 months you can extend for another 30 months and then you can apply for permanent residency (or what they call ‘indefinite leave to remain’).

Have more questions? They might be answered in our VISA FAQs.

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