Spouse Visa Financial Requirement & Application Guide | 2024 UK Immigration

spouse visa financial requirements

The UK spouse visa, also known as the UK partner and spouse visa, is categorised under UK family visas and allows qualified foreign nationals to reside in the UK as long as they are a spouse of a British citizen or an individual settled in the UK.

Recently this visa category has increased in popularity due to a significant increase in the minimum income requirement threshold set to take effect on April 11th 2024, a change that could impact many applicants.

For a FREE Initial Case Assessment with our immigration lawyers, call 0161 222 5860, or fill out our online inquiry form to explore your UK spouse visa options.

 

What Is A Spouse Visa?

The UK spouse visa is a pathway for spouses of British citizens or individuals settled in the UK to live in the country together. 

It is designed for those who are married and in a relationship genuine and subsisting for at least two years. Understanding the specifics of this visa, including eligibility criteria and the financial threshold, is crucial for a successful application.

 

Key Point

Description

UK Spouse Visa Overview A pathway for spouses of British citizens or permanent residents to live in the UK.
Minimum Income Requirement Increasing from £18,600 to £29,000, critical for application approval.
Eligibility Criteria Includes genuine relationship, financial threshold, English proficiency, and suitable accommodation.
Required Documents Comprehensive list including financial proof, relationship evidence, and more.
Application Process Step-by-step guide from eligibility check to document submission and interview.
Spouse Visa Cost Fees include application, healthcare surcharge, biometric, and optional fast-track service.
Visa Extensions & ILR Process for extending spouse visa and applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain.
Visa Refusal and Appeals Common reasons for refusal and guidance on the appeals process.

 

For a more detailed application guide on applying for a UK Spouse Visa, visit our Primus Solicitors’ spouse visa page.

UK Spouse Visa Requirements 2024

To successfully apply for a UK spouse visa in 2024, meeting a set of eligibility requirements is crucial. These requirements are designed to ensure that applicants and their partners can sustain themselves in the UK, share a genuine and subsisting relationship, have adequate accommodation, and meet the English language criteria.

1. Genuine Relationship Requirement

Eligibility Criteria

  • Married or in a civil partnership recognised in the UK.
  • Living together in a relationship for at least 2 years.
  • Planning to marry or enter a civil partnership in the UK within 6 months of arrival.

Important Note: The UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) rigorously checks for genuine relationships to prevent fake marriages that only exist for immigration purposes. It’s vital to provide substantial proof of your relationship’s authenticity.

2. Financial Requirement

Current Threshold: The combined gross annual income of the applicant and the UK partner must be at least £18,600, however this is set to increase to £29,000 by April 11, 2024, with subsequent increases planned to £38,700.

For Applicants with Children

  • An additional £3,800 for the first child.
  • An additional £2,400 for each subsequent child.

Considered Sources of Income

  • Employment or self-employment wages/salaries 
  • Pension schemes.
  • Maternity allowances or bereavement benefits.
  • Other specified incomes and/or savings.

Financial requirement Exemptions: Certain benefits, such as disability living allowance and carer’s allowance, can exempt sponsors from meeting the standard financial requirement. However, adequate maintenance and accommodation without public funds must still be demonstrated.

3. English Language Requirement

Ways to Meet this Requirement

  • Passing an approved English language test at least at CEFR level A1 for speaking and writing.
  • Holding an academic qualification taught in English.
  • Certain exemptions apply, such as for applicants over 65 or from specific English-speaking countries.

4. Suitable Accommodation Requirement

Applicants must prove that they have, or will have, suitable accommodation in the UK

  • Property Is owned or exclusively occupied by the applicant and their family.
  • Accommodation Provides enough living space for the family.
  • Accommodation Meets public health standards.

 

 

Required Documents

When applying for a UK spouse visa, gathering the correct documentation is critical. 

  • Application Form & Home Office Fee: The first step involves completing the online application form and paying the associated fee.
  • Passport(s): Current and previous passports to prove travel history and identity.
  • Relationship Evidence: Documents like marriage certificates, photographs, and communication records to prove the relationship is genuine.
  • English Language Proof: A certificate to demonstrate the applicant meets the required English language level.
  • Financial Documents: Evidence of meeting the financial requirement, such as bank statements, salary slips, and other relevant financial documents.
  • Accommodation Proof: Documents showing suitable living arrangements for the applicant and any dependents.
  • Additional Documents: This may include previous immigration applications, criminal record information, National Insurance number (if applicable), biometric information, and tuberculosis test results (if required).

Application Process

The application process for a UK spouse visa is structured and requires attention to detail:

  1. Check Eligibility: Before starting, ensure you meet all the criteria for a spouse visa with a qualifies immigration solicitor.
  2. Document Collection: Gather all the required documents as per the checklist above.
  3. Online Application: Complete the application form online and pay the necessary fees.
  4. Supporting Documents: Upload or submit all supporting documents as instructed in the application process.
  5. Biometric Information: Schedule and attend an appointment to provide your biometric information.
  6. Interview: Some applicants may be invited to an interview to further verify their application details.

This process can be intricate, and thorough preparation is key to a successful application.

 

Spouse Visa Fees & Cost

Applying for a UK spouse visa involves various costs that applicants need to prepare for:

  1. Application Fees: The fee varies depending on whether the application is made from inside or outside the UK (£1,048 for applications made inside the UK and £1,846 for those made outside).
  2. Immigration Healthcare Surcharge (IHS): Applicants must also pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) Fee, which is currently £1,035 per year, to access the UK’s National Health Service.
  3. Biometric Appointment Fee: A fee of £19.20 is required to cover the cost of collecting biometric information.
  4. Optional Services: Some applicants may choose to use the super priority service for an additional £1,000 to expedite their application processing.

 


Spouse Visa Extensions & Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)

After living in the UK under a spouse visa for a minimum of 5 years, individuals may apply for an extension or Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR as a spouse):

  • Visa Extensions: Spouse visa holders can apply for an extension after 2 years and 9 months, which allows them to continue living in the UK.
  • Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR): After 5 years in the UK, spouse visa holders may be eligible to apply for ILR, granting them permanent residence.

Both processes have specific requirements, including continued fulfilment of the financial requirement, proof of ongoing relationship, and passing the “Life in the UK” test.

Visa Refusal and Appeals

Spouse Visa Refusals can be disheartening, and understanding the common reasons for rejection helps in preparing a stronger application. Common causes include failure to meet the financial requirement, insufficient proof of relationship, and lack of adequate accommodation. If your application is refused, there may be an option to appeal the decision, especially if you believe there has been an error in the processing or if you have new information that could influence the decision.


Conclusion

UK spouse visa application process requires professional preparation, from meeting the financial requirements to submitting the correct documentation. With recent changes, including the increase in the minimum income requirement, it’s more important than ever to ensure all criteria are met.

If Your In Need Of Professional Legal Support Regarding a UK Spouse Visa, Don’t Hesitate To Contact Our Immigration Experts At Primus Solicitors Today!

 

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