Getting a spouse visa


It is sometimes the case that family members of a British citizen, such as the children or spouse, will not be British, or will be from a country in Europe in which different regulations apply, and as a result will need to make an application to come to the UK.

These applications come under the Immigration Rules. Once an application is granted, the family member may be given a visa or, for an application by a husband or wife, a spouse visa. This application must be done right.

What are the rules for spouse visas?

Depending on the relationship between the applicant and the family member in the UK different rules will apply. However, there are rules common to all family members such as that there is enough money for the family member to live off and that there is somewhere for them to live in the UK.

Additional rules for a spouse, for example, are that both parties are over 21 and that they intend to live permanently together.

There are categories in which other family members can come to the UK including:

  • Children
  • Elderly relatives
  • Fiancés
  • Unmarried partners
  • Other relatives

Requirements for a successful spouse visa application   

Firstly, the foreign national must be the spouse of either a British citizen or a person who has been granted citizenship (indefinite leave to remain).

The married couple must also have been married for four years in order for the foreign national spouse to obtain a two-year provisional spouse immigration visa to stay in the UK. If the couple remain together for these two provisional years as well, the foreign national will usually then be entitled to apply for citizenship in the UK.

There are other requirements which safeguard against false marriages, or those who wed purely for the reason of obtaining residency or citizenship in the UK. Under UK immigration law:

  • The couple must have actually met before a wedding took place
  • Spouses must intend to and actually live together for the time that they are declared as spouses within the UK. Sometimes immigration officials will make checks to ensure that each spouse is living in the manner and at the address listed as their marital home in official immigration documents
  • The UK citizen (or person granted indefinite leave to remain) must have sufficient funds to provide for the couple without public benefit as foreign nationals may not have a visa to work
  • Children of the couple who are under 18 can enter the UK as dependents of the foreign national if they have resided until then with the spouse immigration visa applicant

An application from outside the UK under these rules usually costs £585 at the time of writing, with fees frequently changing. Failure to properly complete the application can result in the application being refused by the Home Office, which will mean that you need to resubmit the application with a new fee.

Using an Immigration solicitor will mean that the form is properly completed and will reduce the chance of your application being refused by the Home Office.

For further information see our FAQ page on spousal visas.

Do you want the help of an immigration solicitor to apply for a spouse visa, or another family member visa? Contact Law works with immigration specialists who are experts in making the applications to the Home Office on your behalf, and speedily getting a result. Please call us on 0800 433 4846 or complete the web-form above.

0800 433 4846
or fill in the form
Our trained advisor contacts you
Your chosen specialist solicitor calls you
Quick enquiry form
Area of law:
What our clients say about us
"This was the first time I've been to court, which was a nerve-racking experience for me. However, I felt very prepared, I understood my case and representation - this was down to you."
Gavin, criminal motoring, Oct 15
"Your service, and the prompt call back from your recommended firm was very good. I would not hesitate to call again or recommend your service."
Ian, employment law, Truro, July 15
"The firm were excellent, could not have been better! They are exactly what I need right now."
Linda, criminal defence, Thames Ditton, Jul 15
"Your contact and service was immediate and utmost professional, 10/10."
TF, conveyancing, Dudley, Jun 15
"I appreciate the service that you provide. I found you to be courteous, efficient and reassuring at a time when my confidence in justice is completely negative."
Patrick, litigation, Pontypridd, Jun 15
"I cannot tell you how much I appreciate the speed of which you came back to me in. If anyone else can benefit from your help like I have done, it would make my day."
Gail M, family law, Potters Bar, Jun 15
"Your assistance was extremely helpful. Particularly to someone who in 40 years of business has never experienced this sort of issue."
TD, commercial litigation, Galashiels, Apr 15
"It is difficult to express the value Contact Law has to someone like me who had very little understanding of the law and how to proceed forward with my case. Thank you for the service you provided."
AE, defamation law, Worthing, Apr 15
"Thank you for the efficient service I received. I was contacted by your solicitor on the same day as my request. Your quick response to my situation made me feel secure."
AN, employment law, London, Apr 15
"Your service was excellent, very fast and informative. I never got the impression of being pressurised at all. The solicitor you recommended was also excellent – very knowledgeable and supportive."
JHD, Motoring law, Liverpool, Apr 15
Contact Law supports the endeavours of STAE and commends all the work they are undertaking to assist in the plight of the Asian Elephant


We use cookies on the Contact Law site to help us improve it.

If you would like to allow our cookies, please click 'Continue' or carry on browsing. For more information on cookies and how to change your settings, click 'More info'.