Spouse visa UK application form 2021 [53 things you NEED to know before submitting]

FREE UK Partner Visa Video Series

CLICK HERE to watch our free video series.

In this free video series, we discuss:

  • The financial requirement
  • The online application form
  • Document translations
  • The adequate accommodation requirement
  • The English language requirement
  • Dependent children requirement
  • The unmarried partner visa requirement
  • Other partner visa requirements

 

In this article, we are going to tell you:

1. Where you can find the correct spouse visa UK application form; and

2. 53 things you need to know before submitting your spouse visa UK application form.

uk spouse visa full legal representation

#1 Where can I find the spouse visa UK online application form?

The spouse visa application form is different depending on whether the application is being made from outside the UK or inside the UK.

For out-of-country applications (applications that are made from outside the UK)

If you (the ‘applicant’) are outside of the UK and wish to join your sponsor in the UK as a spouse/partner, you can access and start completing the current online application form here.

Clicking the above link will send you to the official gov.uk page.

In order to make sure that you complete the latest spouse visa application form, click the link ‘apply from outside the UK‘ under the sub-heading ‘How to apply‘.

out of country link


For in-country applications (applications that are made from inside the UK)

If you are already in the UK and wish to submit an application to remain inside the UK, you can access and start completing the current online application form here.

Clicking this link will send you to the official gov.uk page.

Click the link ‘apply online‘ under the sub-heading ‘How to apply‘.

You will then be sent to a page that looks like this:

in country spouse visa online application form


#2 Do married partners, civil partners, unmarried partners, fiancé(e)s and proposed civil partners use the same online application form?

Yes.

Married partners, civil partners, unmarried partners and fiancé(e)s, proposed civil partners use the same online application form.

The Home Office will know whether you are applying as a married partner, civil partner, unmarried partner, fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner based on the answers that you select.


#3 So the Visa4uk website is no longer the spouse visa UK online application form?

That is correct, the above links will send you to the new online spouse visa UK application form website.

The old visa4uk website has been discontinued (which is a welcome change!).


#4 Do I have to submit the spouse visa UK application form online?

Yes.

The spouse visa UK application form for both out-of-country applications and in-country applications are made online.


#5 Do I need an immigration lawyer to complete the online application form?

You do not need an immigration lawyer to complete the online application form.

Thousands of applicants each and every week successfully submit their visa applications without a lawyer.

However, it is incredibly important that if you do not use an immigration lawyer, you MUST take the time to fully familiarize yourself with the Immigration Rules and the specified documents you must submit in support of your application form.

Not meeting all of the requirements of the Immigration Rules is likely to result in refusal.

If your application is refused you will lose the full spouse visa UK fee in 2021.

In addition, a refused application may negatively affect applications that you submit after the refused application.

This is because future applications will face more scrutiny in light of the previous refusal(s) and will generally take longer to process.


#6 Am I allowed to work on a UK spouse visa?

Yes, you are entitled to work and study in the UK if your UK spouse visa is approved.

However, you are not entitled to receive public funds for you or your dependents, or apply to settle in the UK until you are eligible (which is normally after 2 spouse visas).

Note: This is one advantage spouse visas have over fiance uk visas in 2021 as fiancé(e) visas do not permit the applicant to work in the UK (until they are granted the FLR(M) visa).


#7 How do I submit a ‘valid application’?

To submit a valid application, you must do the following:

  • Use the correct spouse visa UK application form;
  • Complete the mandatory sections of the spouse visa application form;
  • Pay all of the relevant spouse visa UK 2021 fees (including the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS));
  • Provide the required proof of identities for both the applicant and UK partner;
  • Submit the application under the correct category of the Immigration Rules;
  • Submit your Biometric information (your fingerprints and photograph will be taken when you attend your visa appointment); and
  • Sign documents where indicated.

#8 What happens if I do not submit a ‘valid application’?

If you do not submit a valid application, your application will be deemed ‘invalid’.

A valid application means that your application is complete and will be passed on to be assessed by a Home Office decision maker.

An invalid application will likely mean that your application will be treated as if it was not submitted in the first place.

Depending on the circumstances of your application, if you do not submit a valid application, the Home Office may exercise flexibility and offer you the opportunity to rectify your mistake in order to be able to submit the application.

You will normally be given 10 days to submit missing information.

However, it is best to ensure that your application is valid in the first place.

Spouse visa DIY Application Pack

#9 What is the spouse visa UK online application form fee in 2021?

For out-of-country applications (applications that are made from outside the UK)

For applications submitted outside of the UK, the spouse visa online application form fee is £1,523.

You will also have to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge fee which is £1,872.

More information on the costs associated with submitting a spouse visa application from outside the UK can be found here.


For in-country applications (applications that are made from inside the UK)

For applications submitted inside of the UK, the Home Office application fee is £1,033.

You will also have to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) fee which is £1,560.

To these fees, you have to add an extra £19.20 for your biometric information – that is to enroll your fingerprints and have your photo taken.

You can also select to have an in-country priority service and receive your decision faster.

More information on the costs associated with submitting a spouse visa application from inside the UK can be found here.


#10 When is the Spouse Visa UK Online Application Form Fee Paid?

The spouse visa UK online application form fee is paid once:

  • You complete all of the questions on the online application form; and
  • You confirm that the information in the online application form is correct.

The fee will be paid on the online application website.


#11 Will I Receive a Refund if my Online Application Form is Refused?

Unfortunately, no.

If your application is refused you will not receive a refund.


#12 Can someone other than the applicant pay for the online application form fee?

Yes. Someone other than the person applying for the visa can pay the online application form fee as long as they hold sufficient funds and use a valid credit/debit card.

Please note that, in some cases, banks may reject the payment as part of their fraud detention measures.

If this happens, the account holder should contact their bank to confirm they authorize payment.


#13 Will the spouse visa UK application form fee increase?

It is somewhat inevitable that the spouse visa online application form fee will increase.

Historically speaking, the online application form fee normally increases in March/April of every year.


#14 What are other costs associated with online application form?

i) Translation of supporting documents

When supporting documents are not in English or Welsh, a translation must be included with the application.

The cost of this varies depending on how many documents you require.

Typical key documents often have to be translated include:

  • Marriage certificates;
  • Divorce certificates;
  • Death certificates;
  • Birth certificates; and
  • Degree certificates.

As a general figure, it costs approximately £60 to translate a one-page document and £85 to translate a two-page document.


ii) Financial/maintenance documents

Under the financial requirements, you may need to provide certain key documents from third parties – for example a letter from a sufficiently qualified accountant – and obtaining these may incur an additional fee.


iii) Lawyer fees

Again, whilst it is helpful, having an immigration lawyer is not absolutely required.

The average fee for an experienced and qualified immigration lawyer to provide a full legal representation service varies from £1,000-£2,000+.

Whilst we are on the higher end of this (we charge £1,850), our Head of Immigration, Ed Lowe, who was in charge of UK visas for several continents during his 20+ years as a Home Office Executive, personally deals with all of our full legal representation cases.

We are the only UK immigration law firm that we know of that provides a £285 DIY Application Pack Service.

Since we know that many partners prefer to process the application without paying thousands in legal fees, this service involves:

  • Providing you with a tailored document checklist
  • Providing you with a set of relevant tailored letter templates
  • Providing you with general email support from qualified and experienced immigration lawyers.

#15 Can I apply for a fee waiver to stop me having to pay the spouse visa online application fees?

If you submit an application from outside the UK, you must pay all of the Home Office application fees.

If you submit an application from inside the UK , you may be eligible for a fee waiver if you:

  • Do not have a place to live and you cannot afford one;
  • Have a place to live but cannot afford your essential living costs like food or heating; or
  • Have a very low income and paying the fee would harm your child’s wellbeing.

You must complete the online fee waiver request form before you submit your online application.  Further guidance can be found here.

With this being said, the likelihood of the fee waiver request being granted is something that is exceptionally unlikely, especially if you meet the minimum income threshold of £18,600 or theadequate maintenance test requirement.


#16 When should I submit the online application for this visa?

For out-of-country applications (applications that are made from outside the UK)

For out-of-country spouse visa applications, this is largely a question of convenience for you and your partner.

Partners therefore usually want to submit the application as fast as possible (or alternatively wait until the UK winter is over!).


For in-country applications (applications that are made from inside the UK)

For in-country visa applications, it is VERY important to know when to submit your online application.

Firstly, it is important to note that the date of application must be before the expiration of your current UK visa.

There is no strict time limit with regards to the date of your appointment at the visa centre, although we would recommend not leaving it too long as this may raise concerns.

As long as you submit and pay the Home Office fees on the online application before the expiration date of your current visa, section 3C of the Immigration Act 1971 (otherwise known as Section 3C leave) allows your current visa to be automatically extended until a decision has been made on your application.

More information about when to submit a spouse visa from inside the UK can be found in our free and detailed FLR(M) visa 2021 guide.


#17 When should I start preparing and thinking about the requirements for this visa?

It is very important that you are aware of the requirements and documents you will need for your visa application as soon as possible.

Gathering supporting evidence can take time and you are likely to require documents issued by third parties.

Certain time sensitive financial documents and requirements must also be met.

For example, the general rule with regards to cash savings is that they must have been held for 6 months or longer until you can include it towards the financial requirement.

Similarly, employment income must generally be held for 6 months or longer in order to include it under Category A of the spouse visa uk financial requirements in 2021.

uk spouse visa full legal representation

#18 What is the relevant date that the spouse visa requirements must be met?

Generally speaking, the spouse visa UK requirements in 2021 must be met on the date of application.

The date of application is the date the online application is submitted and paid on the online application form.

For a more detailed account of the spouse visa requirements, check out this article here. We also discuss the date of application in our free video series.


#19 Can I submit my documents online?

Yes. You can normally submit your documents online by uploading them.


#20 Does it matter what order that I submit docs in?

Unless you are told otherwise by the official correspondence from the Home Office, VFS, or TLS, the order of your supporting documents does not matter.

With this being said, a minority of non-UK centres prefer applicants to use barcode dividers.

If this is the case, this will be made clear in the relevant section of the VFS/TLS site.


#21 How long do I have to submit the documents after the appointment at the visa centre?

There is no set time limit after the submission of the application to submit your supporting documents, but it is best practice to not to delay too long.

Submitting the documents within a week or two is something that is ordinarily fine.


#22 Do my documents have to be originals?

In most cases, no.

A new statement of changes to Paragraph 34 of the Immigration Rules was published on 10 October 2018 in line with the Secretary of State’s plan to “introduce an immigration system that allows staff greater freedom to use their common sense”.

This states that the Home Office will no longer insist on seeing original documents and that copies may be provided.

Changes have already been made throughout the Immigration Rules, where the majority of the “original” references in Appendix FM-SE were deleted.


#23 What happens if I do not submit a required document?

There are three possible outcomes:

  • Your application will be refused; or
  • The Home Office may exercise discretion and request the required document; or
  • The Home Office will grant the application despite not receiving a required document.

Obviously, in light of the significance of the visa for you and your partner, it is absolutely worth ensuring prior to submission that the required documents not only are submitted, but also comply with the relevant Immigration Rules.


#24 What happens if I submit a document that does not meet one of the specific requirements that apply to certain documents?

Again, there are three possible outcomes:

  • Your application will be refused (likely, depending on the document in question); or
  • The Home Office will grant the application despite not receiving a required document; or
  • The Home Office may exercise discretion and request the required document.

#25 What happens if the Home Office refuse my application because they said I did not submit a document (which I did?)

Some visa application centres provide you with a checklist document confirming the documents you submitted.

If you have this, and your application was refused because the Home Office said you did not submit a document, contact the Home Office using this contact form and attach the checklist document confirming that it was originally submitted.

In some cases, Home Office will investigate and find the “missing” document.

In other cases, a document will be lost permanently.

In the event that your document is not found, you will have to submit another fresh application.


#26 When, technically, is the spouse application form submitted?

Your application is submitted when Home Office fees are paid on the online application.


#27 Is it OK if I start a new application form by creating a new account?

Sure. You can start a new application form –  as long as you have not submitted the previous application form.


#28 What if I make a mistake on the online application form?

If you have already paid Home Office fees

If the question is not one of the more important ones (e.g. expiry date on BRP, the correct date of which Home Office would already have in their system), you can clarify this in a cover letter.

If, however, the mistake is regarding a more significant question, then as a general rule, we would recommend withdrawing the application and then submitting a fresh application.

The reason for this is that the Home Office may see this important error as you trying to deceive them – something that can have terribly bad consequences.


If you have not already paid Home Office fees

If you cannot easily amend the application form, you may find it easier to create a new application by creating a new account.


#29 What if the questions in the spouse visa UK online application form are ambiguous?

If you find the question to be ambiguous (not clear), we’d suggest answering it to the best of your ability and to clarify any ambiguous points in your cover letter.

Spouse visa DIY Application Pack

#30 Can I semi-complete the online application form and return to it at a later date?

Yes, as long as you do not submit your application, your application will be saved for a  certain period.

This ‘certain period’ seems to change every now and then but as a general rule, it’s absolutely fine starting to complete an application only to return and submit it three months afterwards.


#31 What if I input incorrect information on the application form, even unintentionally?

If you realised there was an error in the information on your application form after you submitted the form online, you should explain this in a cover letter and submit this as part of your supporting documents.

Alternatively, you may decide to withdraw the application and submit a fresh one.

It is important to recognise that your application will be assessed under the following suitability requirements and may fall for refusal if the decision maker considers that you have given, whether or not to your knowledge:

  • False information, representations or documents have been submitted in relation to the application (including false information submitted to any person to obtain a document used in support of the application); or
  • There has been a failure to disclose material facts in relation to the application.

#32 What if I do not know an answer to a question?

This depends on the particular question and whether it is a question relating to requirements that must be met such as the financial requirement or a question such as your father’s date of birth, which you may not know.

A good rule of thumb is if the question relates to a particular requirement of Appendix FM, you may wish to wait until you know the answer before submitting your application.

For more general questions, you can explain why you cannot fully answer the question in a cover letter.


#33 How long will I have to wait to hear a decision after submitting the spouse visa online application?

For out-of-country applications (applications that are made from outside the UK)

Providing your application is straight forward, the standard processing time – that is the time it takes for the Home Office to decide your application – for a spouse/partner visa submitted outside of the UK is between 2-3 months.

For more information for out-of-country spouse visa applications, check out our spouse visa UK processing times in 2021 article.


For in-country applications (applications that are made from inside the UK)

Applications submitted within the UK generally take between 6-8 weeks to process.

As long you submitted the application before your current visa expired, you will be legally entitled to stay in the UK.  This is known as ‘Section 3c Leave’.


#34 Can I speed up the processing time?

For out-of-country applications (applications that are made from outside the UK)

If you wish to speed up the decision making process, your best option is to look on the VFS or TLS website, depending on where you are submitting the application.

Opting for a settlement priority service will normally reduce processing times to 30 working days or 8 weeks, depending on what country you are applying from.

We discuss how you can find more about the priority service for the visa centre that the application is being submitted from, check out this article here.


For in-country applications (applications that are made from inside the UK)

If you wish to speed up the decision making process, you will be provided with the option of adding a priority service after you have paid the Home Office fee via the new online website.

After you have submitted your application via this new website, you will be sent to the UKVCAS website where you will be asked to book your appointment to attend a visa centre in person.

Here, you can select to pay an additional fee so that your application is decided quicker.

You will be able to choose from the following three services:

  • A standard service where your application will normally be decided within 8 weeks;
  • A priority service, where you would expect to hear back from the Home Office within 5 working days; or
  • A super priority service, where you would normally receive the decision on the next working day.

#35 What are some other premium services that are available and where can they be found?

For out-of-country applications (applications that are made from outside the UK)

Depending on where you are submitting your application, check the VFS or TLS website.

These are the two official companies that handle visa processing services on behalf of the Home Office overseas.

Once you have selected the relevant website, you will normally have an overview of:

  • The application submitting procedure (the process of submitting your visa application)
  • The available added value services that you can choose (such as the priority service)

More information regarding the spouse visa application process can be found here.


#36 Can someone complete application on my behalf?

Yes. In the majority of cases, it is the UK sponsor or a legal representative that completes the application on the applicant’s behalf with their knowledge and consent.

In such a case, the person completing the application form generally completes the answers as though they were the applicant.


#37 Do I receive confirmation after submitting the online application?

You should receive a confirmation email after submitting your online application, however, this is not always the case.


#38 Can I appeal, if my online application form is refused?

You may be able to appeal a refusal of a spouse visa.

If your application is refused, you will receive a refusal notice and a notice of appeal form.

Depending on the reason(s) your application was refused, you may be eligible to request a review of the decision.

Details of the steps and procedure to follow will be outlined in the notice of appeal form.

With this being said, most partners prefer to submit a fresh application as this is much cheaper, simpler and less stressful than going through the appeals process.


#39 Will I have an interview?

When applicants attend the visa centre to provide their biometrics (i.e. fingerprints & photograph), it is rather unlikely for the applicant to be interviewed.

This is because the staff at the visa centre are there for primarily administration reasons – they should not provide you with any immigration advice (as they are not generally qualified).

#40 Will I be issued a BRP?

If your visa is approved, you will be issued a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP).

You will receive a letter confirming where and when you must collect your BRP.

Note: Successful fiancé(e) visa applicants are not issued a BRP – only a 6 month visa.


#41 What is a BRP?

A BRP is a credit card sized document that is automatically issued if your spouse/partner visa is approved

It includes the following information:

  • Your name, date and place of birth
  • Your fingerprints and a photo of your face (this is your biometric information)
  • Your immigration status and any conditions of your stay
  • Whether you can access public funds, for example benefits and health services

You can use your to confirm your:

  • Identity
  • Right to study or work in the UK
  • Right to any public services or benefits you’re entitled to

If you travel outside of the UK, it is important to carry your passport and BRP with you as this confirms your entitlement to live in the UK.

If you do not have this document with you, you may be refused entry at the Border.


#42 What if I have a mistake on the BRP that I was just issued?

If there’s a problem with your BRP when it arrives, report it within 10 days.

You can report a mistake or problem with your BRP here.

Otherwise you may have to apply and pay for a replacement.


#43 What is one tip that you can give that that will absolutely help my application?

You only have a maximum amount of words to answer questions in the application form so it will be a good idea to write a covering letter.

This will offer you the opportunity to:

  • Set out how you meet the requirements of the Immigration Rules;
  • Elaborate on any circumstances that are particularly relevant to your application; and
  • Clarify any ambiguities regarding questions and answers in the online application form.

#44 What are the spouse visa UK requirements?

For out-of-country applications (applications that are made from outside the UK)

For applications made outside of the UK, the Immigration Rules outline that you must meet certain requirements which fall under these general headings:

i) Suitability requirements

This section determines your overall suitability to be granted a spouse visa.

This includes, but not limited to, examining your:

  • Current or previous immigration history,
  • Criminal convictions,
  • Use of deception in any current or previous applications,
  • Whether you are subject to an exclusion order; or
  • Whether you pose a risk to public security and safety.

ii) Relationship requirements

This section examines your relationship with your sponsor in order to determine whether it is ‘genuine’ and ‘subsisting’.


iii) Financial requirements

In this section, your application must show that you meet the minimum income threshold of £18,600+ (or adequate maintenance requirement) for your application through one, or more, of the permitted categories.

You must also provide all of the specified evidence outlined in Appendix FM-SE.

For out-of-country applications, usually it your sponsor’s income that is taken into consideration, although this does depend upon which category of income you depend.

For more information on the spouse visa UK financial requirements in 2021, check this article here.


iv) Maintenance and accommodation

This section looks at:

  • Whether you will be adequately maintained in the UK without recourse to public funds; and
  • Whether there is suitable accommodation available to you and your sponsor.

v) English language requirements

For out-of-country applications, you must show that you have passed an English language test in speaking and listening at a minimum of level A1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages with a provider that is on the list of Home Office approved Secure English language tests (SELT) in 2020.

Alternatively, there are some categories of applicants who are exempt from having to take the English language test (more information on this can be found here).


vi) Tuberculosis requirement

You may be required to provide a Tuberculosis (TB) certificate if you are a resident in one of these countries.


vii) Payment of Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) fee

For out-of-country applications, you will be required to pay the IHS fee of £1,872 as part of your application

Only if your application meets all of the requirements above, will your visa likely be granted.


For in-country applications (applications that are made from inside the UK)

For applications made inside of the UK under family and private life, you must meet the following overall requirements:

  • Suitability requirements
  • Relationship requirements
  • Financial requirements
  • Accommodation requirements
  • English language requirements
  • Payment of the Home Office fees and Immigration Health Surcharge

#45 Does the spouse visa online application form website tell me the requirements that I have to meet?

The online application form will only highlight key requirements.

Unfortunately, the website is very brief about the requirements and does not discuss the requirements in detail.

In order to prepare your application and supporting evidence, we strongly encourage that you fully familiarise yourself with Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules.

Our DIY Application Pack service is also designed to help you ensure that you meet the relevant requirements as they apply to your circumstances.


#46 What if I am not sure whether I meet the spouse visa requirements?

It is incredibly important to know whether you meet the spouse visa requirements before you submit the application.

This is because where one requirement is not met, the starting position is that the application will be refused.

This will result in:

  • Negatively affecting future applications as they will be examined with more scrutiny; and
  • You losing out on the spouse visa UK fees.

Our Spouse visa DIY application pack service is designed to help you ensure that you meet all of the relevant spouse visa requirements.


#47 What is the minimum income threshold for spouse/partner applications?

For the majority of spouse/partner applications, the required level of income is £18,600.

There are, however, three factors that can affect this.

i) Whether there are dependent children who are also applying

If your children are British Citizens, European nationals, already settled in the UK, or qualify under Appendix 8 of Appendix Armed Forces, then this will not affect the required level of income.

The financial requirement will only be higher if:

  • A child needs a visa to stay in the UK and is applying as a dependent at the same time as their parent;  or
  • A child needs a visa to stay in the UK and is applying as a dependent before their parent reaches settlement; or
  • Your partner in the UK (‘sponsor’) is already sponsoring a child.

The financial requirement will be an additional £3,800 for the first child and an additional £2,400 for each further child.

In summary, as long as the adequate maintenance test does not apply and no cash savings for the UK spouse visa are being included…

  • If no children are applying with you, the financial requirement is £18,600.
  • If you have one child who is applying with you, the financial requirement will be £22,400.
  • If you have two children who are applying with you, the financial requirement will be £24,800.
  • If you have three children who are applying with you, the financial requirement will be £27,200.

ii) Whether you and/or your sponsor have cash savings

If your sponsor and/or you have cash savings of more than £62,500, then this alone can meet the financial requirement.

If your sponsor and/or you have cash savings of a minimum of £16,000 but less than £62,500, then this can be used to reduce the financial requirement that applies to your application.

It is very important to note that there are several requirements that must be met in order to include cash savings, which we discuss in our article “Cash Savings Guidance for 16000 – 62500+ Spouse & UK Partner visas in 2021“.

iii) Whether your sponsor  receives a permitted benefit

If your UK sponsor receives a permitted benefit, then instead of meeting the financial requirement, your application must meet the adequate maintenance test.

The permitted benefits are:

  • Armed Forces Independence Payment or Guaranteed Income Payment under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme;
  • Attendance Allowance;
  • Carer’s Allowance;
  • Constant Attendance Allowance;
  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA);
  • Industrial Injury Disablement Benefit;
  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP);
  • Mobility Supplement or War Disablement Pension under the War Pensions Scheme;
  • Severe Disablement Allowance.

#48 What income can be included in the financial requirement?

Income that may be included to meet the financial requirement must be from the permitted sources below:

employment incomeEmployment income includes salaried and non-salaried employment from specified limited companies and non-specified limited companies.

It is very important to know whether the employing company is a specified or non-specified limited company as this will completely changes the documents required – we discuss this in part 2 of our 3-part free video series.

For more information about the important distinction between specified and non-specified limited companies, check out our spouse visa UK financial requirements in 2021 guidance.

As we discuss in our article “Category A or B, F or G? [UK Visa Financial Requirements Guide]“, employment income can be included under Category A, B, F and G.

Knowing the correct category is incredibly important, so if you are in doubt, it will be a good idea to read the above articles!


self employment incomeSelf-employment has a very specific definition in UK immigration law.

Those who are self-employed are only self-employed as a sole trader, as a partner and or in a franchise.


dividend incomeDividend income can be included towards the financial requirement.

The requirements and the documents that you will need to submit will differ depending on whether the dividend income is from a ‘specified limited company’ or a ‘non-specified limited company’.


cash savings£62,500 is the amount generally required to meet the financial requirement solely from cash savings for you and your sponsor (this figure may differ if you are applying with dependents or if the adequate maintenance test applies).

Cash savings of over £16,000 but under £62 500 can be used to reduce the financial requirement.

As we discuss in part 3 of our 3-part video series, the Immigration Rules states that cash savings must be held in cash. There are a few exceptions to this rule which we also discuss in the video.

More information about the cash savings requirements can be found here.


Pension income received by you, or your sponsor may be included, as long as specified documents to evidence this are submitted.


pension incomeRental income may be included, providing it meets certain requirements.


other sourcesThis is referred to as non-employment income and includes the following:

  • Dividends or other income from investments, bonds, trust funds or stocks and shares (from a non-specified limited company);
  • A maintenance grant or stipend (that is not a loan) which is given because of undergraduate or postgraduate research or study;
  • Widowed Parent’s Allowance, Bereavement Payment, Bereavement Allowance & UK Maternity Allowance;
  • Interest from savings;
  • Payments under the War Pensions Scheme, the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme and the Armed Forces Attributable Benefits Scheme;
  • On-going royalty payments;
  • On-going payments from a structured legal settlement;
  • On-going insurance payments.

#49 Can I combine different sources of income?

Some sources of income can be combined in order to meet the financial requirement.

Let us first clarify the categories:

Permitted source of income: Category:
Employment income from a non-specified limited company A
Employment income from a specified limited company F
Property income C
Other sources of income C
Cash savings D
Pension income E
Self employment income or dividend from a specified limited company (last full financial year) F
Self employment income or dividend from a non specified limited company (last two full financial years) G

These categories may be combined with each other as follows:

Income Can be combined with:
Category A Categories C, D, E, F & G
Category B Categories C, D, E, F & G
Category C Categories A, B, D, F & G
Category D Category A, B, C and D
Category E Categories A, B, C, D, F & G
Category F Categories A, B, C & E (as long as it falls within the relevant financial year)
Category G Categories A, B, C & E (as long as it falls within the relevant financial years)

It is difficult to summarise this in only two tables, so check out this article where we discuss this in more detail.

Furthermore, it is important to note that where Category F is combined with other categories, the relevant period changes – as we discuss in part 2 of our free video series.


#50 How do I calculate income that can be used towards the financial requirement?

To calculate income that can be used towards the financial requirement, you have to first select what permitted source of income you are using and then what category this falls under.

Once you have determined this, there are specific formulas that you can apply.

We discuss this in depth in this article.


#51 Is there an English language requirement for the spouse visa UK application?

Yes, there is an English language requirement for applications made from both outside the UK and also from inside the UK.

You will need to demonstrate that you have either:

1. Passed an English language test in speaking and listening at a minimum of level A1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages with a provider approved by the Secretary of State or that you meet the English language requirement or,

2. Hold an academic qualification that was taught in English and is recognised by UK NARIC as being equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or PhD.

Note

For those who are extending their partner visa application from inside the UK after 2.5 years, the relevant level will be the A2 test.

You do not need to prove your knowledge of English if you fall under one of these exceptions:

Exception 1 – Majority English speaking country

Nationals of Majority English speaking countries are nationals of…

  • Antigua and Barbuda;
  • Australia;
  • the Bahamas;
  • Barbados;
  • Belize;
  • Canada;
  • Dominica;
  • Grenada;
  • Guyana;
  • Jamaica;
  • New Zealand;
  • St Kitts and Nevis;
  • St Lucia;
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines;
  • Trinidad and Tobago; and
  • USA.

Exception 2 – You are a child under 18 or an adult over 65 years of age


Exception 3 -You have a health condition that medically exempts you from meeting the requirement


#52 Can I sit a higher level English test than is strictly required?

If you have an intermediate or advanced level of English, then you should consider sitting a test at a higher level than needed because you will save time and money on English test fees in the long term.

The minimum level required for partner and parent routes is Level A1 or A2 CEFR (depending on whether it is your first application in that category) in English speaking and listening skills.

Paragraph 32D of Appendix FM-SE of the Immigration Rules reassures applicants that their English certificate test certificate will still be valid for application purposes even once it has expired, in the following circumstances:

  • If it is from a provider which is not on the approved list anymore, or
  • If it is from a provider which is still approved but the particular test taken with the provider is no longer approved, or
  • If it was taken in a test centre which is no longer approved, or
  • If it is past it’s expiry date.

There are a also few things to consider:

1. You will only be able to use the English test certificate again if you had ‘continuous leave’ since your last partner visa application

‘Continuous leave’ is when you have managed to extend your partner visa before it expired and have no periods of uncertain or illegal immigration status. If your visa expired at some point and you applied for your partner visa a considerable amount of time later then you will be deemed not to have continuous leave to remain.

2. You will not be able to use the English test certificate again if the Home Office has doubts about you or the test


#53 Do I need to take a Tuberculosis (TB) test for the spouse visa application?

For in-country spouse visa applications, Tuberculosis tests are not required.

For out-of-country spouse visa applications, however, this will depend on the applicant’s circumstances.

A Tuberculosis (TB) test will be mandatory if you are making the application from outside the UK and are resident in any of these listed countries.

What are the exceptions to this rule?

If you fall in any of the categories below, you do not need to be tested for TB:

  • You are a diplomat accredited to the UK;
  • You are a returning UK resident and have not been away for more than 2 years; or
  • You lived for at least 6 months in a country where TB screening is not required by the UK, and you have been away from that country for no more than 6 months.

The TB test takes the form of a chest X ray.

If the result of the X ray is not clear, then you may also be asked to give a sputum sample (phlegm coughed up from your lungs).

If you do not have TB, you will be given a TB certificate which is valid for 6 months.

This certificate must be submitted with your visa application.

How do I pay the spouse visa Home Office fee?

The spouse visa fee can be paid by credit or debit card on the online spouse visa application form.

Is the spouse visa application form an online based one or is it paper based?

The spouse visa application form is an online-based form. An exception applies to those who are applying from North Korea, who will have to use a paper-based form.

Do I need an immigration lawyer to submit the spouse visa application form?

There is no requirement to have an immigration lawyer to submit a spouse visa application. Although it can help, partners are perfectly able to prepare their own spouse visa applications – as long as they take the time to learn the relevant Immigration Rules.

How do I submit the application form?

The spouse visa application form is submitted by paying the Home Office fees on the online website. You will first have to provide you and your partner’s personal details in order to pay the fee.

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