Want the latest COVID-19 updates as they relate to UK partner visas?
We discuss this in detail in our Partner & Spouse visa Coronavirus (COVID-19) update article.
The spouse visa UK fee (cost) in 2021 is £1,523 if you are applying outside the UK and £1,033 if you are applying inside the UK.
There are, however, other costs that are involved with making these applications, as shown in the below table:
|Out of country application||In country application|
|Spouse visa UK fee (cost) in 2021||£1,523||£1,033|
|Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS)||£1,872||£1,560|
|Copy of the title deeds||£3||£3|
|Priority (premium) visa services||£573||£500-800|
|English language test||£150||£150|
HIDDEN COST #1
Where documents are not in English or Welsh, a translation must be included in the application.
This obviously costs money.
Unfortunately, you cannot do this yourself to save money.
So how much will this cost?
Well, it depends on the amount of documents that you will need to get translated.
Generally speaking, if a document is important to a visa application, it will need to be translated.
The following is a list of typical documents that will need to be translated:
- Marriage certificates
- Divorce certificates
- Death certificates
- Birth certificates
- Degree certificates
As a general figure, it costs about £60 to translate a one-page document and £85 to translate a two-page document.
Total cost: £0-300+
HIDDEN COST #2
Tuberculosis Test Cost
We cover whether you will need to take a Tuberculosis test in our various spouse visa guides.
If you want to make the application from outside the UK, feel free to read our detailed spouse visa UK 2021 guidance.
If you want to make the application from inside the UK, check out our FLR M visa 2021 guidance.
“Will the application that I am going to be submitting be made from inside or from outside the UK?”
Knowing whether the application is being made from inside or from outside the UK is important as:
- The requirements are different;
- The spouse visa UK online application form in 2021 will be different; and
- The Home Office fees are different.
#1 First of all, if the applicant (the person applying) does not have a UK visa, they can only make the application from outside the UK.
It should be noted that how the documents are submitted does not change whether the application is made from inside or outside the UK.
For instance, many partners wrongly think that they can submit the application from inside the UK because the UK partner (sponsor) intends to submit the documents at one of the UK visa centres.
This does not change the fact that, for applicants who have no UK visa, an application must be submitted from outside the UK.
#2 Only those who are in the UK on certain long-term visas can apply from inside the UK.
These visas include:
- A fiance visa UK
- Spouse visas (including those in the UK on a FLR(M) visa)
- Tier 1 visas
- Tier 2 visas
- Tier 4 visas
- Tier 5 visas
For those who do, the Tuberculosis test fee tends to be between £65 and £110 – depending on the specific test centre.
To find out a more specific figure, search ‘Tuberculosis’ on the gov.uk website and find your country.
For some people, however, getting a tuberculosis test is a lot more costly than this because the nearest home office approved tuberculosis test centre is a long way away.
If you are one of the unlucky ones, therefore, you may have to spend hundreds of pounds on flights and accommodation.
The test must be taken at a Home Office approved clinic – you can find a list of Home Office approved tuberculosis clinics here.
Total cost: £65-£900+
HIDDEN COST #3
English language test costs
Not everyone will have to spend money on the English language requirement for their application.
For example, if you are a national of a majority English speaking country, all you need to show is your passport to meet the English language requirement.
However, for the majority of people, they have to sit an English language test at A1 level (if they are applying for a spouse visa outside the UK) or at A2 level (if they are applying for a spouse visa after having initially been granted a 33 or 30 month visa).
If you take the IELTS Life Skills Test (including the A1 IELTS Life Skills test) this will cost £150.
Trinity College London also charges £150 for their English language tests.
Please note that this £150 fee is for one attempt at the test.
If you therefore do not pass at your first attempt, this cost will obviously be higher.
“Can I take a higher level test than what is required?”
To save money, if the applicant can pass a higher-level test, it would absolutely be recommended to do so.
Even though an applicant who is applying for their first partner visa is only required to sit a test at A1 level, they can choose to sit an A2 test and re-use this same English language test certificate when they submit the spouse visa application (via a FLR(M) visa application).
An applicant who is either applying for their first partner visa or are extending their spouse visa can also sit a B1 level test as this will be able to be re-used for the Indefinite Leave to Remain application (which is generally made after two spouse visas).
Whatever test you take, please make sure that the test is on the List of Home Office Approved Secure English language tests (SELT) in 2021.
Total cost: £0-150+
HIDDEN COST #4
This cost will only apply to a select group of people who have bank accounts with certain banks.
Coutts, for instance, seem to charge for bank statements if you request original statements issued by the bank.
Another example of a bank charging for bank statements is Yorkshire bank, who recently asked a client of ours £85 for the posting of 12 month’s worth of bank statements, on request. They even refused to certify online bank printouts by stamping every page!
With this being said, the majority of banks do not appear to be this stingy.
Most will happily stamp each page certifying that they are genuine for free.
Total cost: £0-85
HIDDEN COST #5
Immigration Health Surcharge fee
The Immigration Health Surcharge is currently £1,872 for a spouse visa uk application from outside the UK and £1,560 for an FLR M visa (which is the name for spouse visa applications that are being made from inside the UK).
Outrageously expensive, I know.
Therefore, this will be an extra £1,560 – £1,872 onto of your spouse visa UK fee.
Total cost: £1,560 – £1,872
HIDDEN COST #6
Do you need to pay immigration lawyers fees?
Contrary to what most immigration lawyers will tell you, the answer is no.
Will it save you time and make your visa experience less stressful?
IF you get the right immigration lawyers, yes.
We charge a fixed fee of £1,850 for full legal representation.
Our full legal representation service is offered by Ed Lowe, who worked in the Home Office as a senior Home Office executive for 20+ years.
You will, however, be able to find immigration lawyers that provide full legal representation for cheaper than us.
In short, paying an immigration lawyer to fully represent your case will make them legally responsible for how your application is submitted and they should help you with the application from start to finish.
What other immigration lawyers do not offer, however, is our £285 DIY Application Pack Service (100% money-back guarantee).
With this service, we tailor document checklists and letter templates according to the information you provide us.
Whether you give us money or not, we are always happy to help. This is why we have spent many hours on our free guides, which can be found here:
- Spouse Visa UK (for spouse visa applications made outside the UK);
- FLR M Visa (for spouse visa applications made inside the UK);
- UK Unmarried partner visa; and
- UK Fiancé(e) Visa.
Total cost: £285-£1,850+
HIDDEN COST #7
Priority (premium) Visa Services
The spouse visa uk fee of £1,523 for outside applications and £1,033 for inside applications does not include some other services that you may want to consider.
For applications made outside the UK
If you want your visa processed as soon as possible, you can consider the Priority visa service.
This service costs, on average, £573 and will put your application “at the front queue at every stage of the decision-making process”.
How much faster will they make the decision, you wonder?
Well, from our experience, those who purchase the VFS priority visa for settlement service tend to hear back from the Home Office within 6 weeks.
If you are interested in this service, make sure you purchase the priority visa for settlement service rather than the standard priority visa, as the standard priority visa service does not generally include spouse visa applications.
There are, however, some people who should probably not use the priority visa service, including those who have :
- been refused a visa for the UK, and/or;
- been deported, removed, or otherwise required to leave the UK, and/or;
- been refused leave to enter the UK, and/or
- had leave to remain in the UK curtailed by the Home Office, and/or;
- overstayed a period of leave in the UK, and/or;
- been refused a visa for Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United States of America, or the Schengen countries, and/or;
- been refused leave to remain in the UK by the Home Office, and/or;
- you have been interviewed, detained, or prosecuted by the police for any offence in the UK or elsewhere, and/or;
- you have an unspent criminal conviction in any country, and/or;
- you have committed a criminal offence in any country.
For more information about this, feel free to read our spouse visa UK processing time in 2021 article.
Applications made inside the UK
For those who are making their spouse visa application inside the UK, they can consider two premium services.
#1 The Priority service
This generally reduces the processing time to 5 working days at an additional cost of £500.
#2 The Super priority service
This should allow you to receive a decision from the Home Office within 1 working day at the cost of £800.
Total cost: £500-800
HIDDEN COST #8
If the accommodation is rented, then the added cost will be zero, as your landlord or estate agent will probably be happy to write a letter for you for free.
However, if the accommodation is owned, then there can be extra costs associated with your spouse visa application.
For instance, to show property ownership, you can either get a letter from the mortgage provider or a copy of the title deeds/register.
If the property isn’t mortgaged or if you do not already have a letter, a copy of the title register can be obtained here for £3.
However, a biggest cost for some is paying a chartered surveyor for a housing report, which costs on average, £90.
“Is a housing report compulsory for those who are relying on accommodation that is owned?”
A housing report is not compulsory where the accommodation that the applicant and sponsor will live is owned.
In the vast majority of applications, not submitting one will be perfectly fine.
As we discuss in our article “Is a Housing Report or Property Inspection report required for a UK spouse visa or partner visa in 2021?”, there are some situations in which is would probably be a good idea to get a housing report done.
In such a case, a housing report is a convenient way to show that the property is neither overcrowded nor that it falls foul of the relevant health & safety regulations.
Total cost: £0-£90+
Frequently Asked Questions
When is the spouse visa UK fee paid?
The Home Office processing fee is paid on the spouse visa online application. The date that the spouse visa UK fee is paid is the date that the application is technically submitted.
Can someone other than the applicant pay the spouse visa UK fee?
Yes - it is very common for the sponsor (the UK partner) or other family members to pay the Home Office fees.
Do I really have to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge?
Unfortunately, the Immigration Health Surcharge is a compulsory payment - you have to pay this. If the Immigration Health Surcharge is not paid, the application will be deemed 'invalid'.
Will the Home Office fee be refunded if my application is refused?
Unfortunately, you will lose the Home Office fee if your application is refused - which is another reason why you should take the time to read the Home Office guidance and articles on this website.
Whilst some of these costs are compulsory (i.e. IHS & Tuberculosis test for the majority of people) many of these costs are optional.
Still, no matter which of these optional costs you choose to make, it is always good to know how much you will be paying beforehand.
If you would like to receive a custom tailored document checklist and letter templates, feel free to check out our £285 DIY Application Pack Service.
Alternatively, if you would like Ed Lowe, an incredibly experienced immigration advisor who has worked at the very heart of the Home Office, to deal with your case from start to finish, we charge £1,850 for our Full Legal Representation Service.