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Marriage visa


Requirements for spouse visa


In order to qualify for a spouse visa, both spouses have to be at least 18 years of age.


The non British spouse has to pass an English language test at level A1 or above of the Common European Framework of Reference.


The sponsor has to be either a British citizen, or have indefinite leave to remain in the UK, or have been granted refugee status or humanitarian protection in the UK. The marriage has to be accepted as valid and subsisting, and the parties have to demonstrate intention of living together permanently.


The minimum income threshold requirement for the sponsor is £18,600 per year. Where the sponsored spouse has a dependent child, minimum income threshold is £22,400. Additional £2,400 per year applies for each additional sponsored child.


Where the sponsor falls below the income threshold, maintenance requirements can be met through savings. The couple have to demonstrate savings of £16,000 plus additional savings of an amount equivalent to 2.5 times of the shortfall amount.


Unmarried partner applications


In addition to the above requirements, unmarried partners are required to demonstrate that they have lived together in a relationship akin to marriage for at least two years prior to the application.


Equally, unmarried partner visa holders are entitled to apply for indefinite leave to remain upon completion of the two year probation period.


Spouse visa extension   
Those who do not meet the requirements of the immigration rules for indefinite leave to remain can apply for extension of their spouse or unmarried partner visa. The requirements are the same as for an initial application, with the exception that temporary inability to meet the means test should not normally be the basis for refusal. Applicants are strongly advised to seek legal assistance where this may be the case.



A UK Spouse Visa also known as a Marriage Visa, enables spouses of British Nationals and people present in the UK on Indefinite Leave to Remain to apply for leave to enter or leave to remain in the UK.


Spouses of UK citizens or permanent residents (mainly those with indefinite leave to remain) may come to the UK under marriage visa category, and are able to work as soon as a visa is granted. You will need to meet the following marriage visa requirements:


  1. If you have been together for less than four years you are granted a marriage visa for a probationary period of two years. If you are still married and living together at the end of two years in the UK permanent residence (properly known as indefinite leave to remain) will usually be granted.
  2. If you have been together for four years or more outside the UK and you have passed the Life in the UK test, you are eligible for indefinite leave to remain (permanent residence) in the UK without having to live in the UK for two years.
  3. The UK citizen or permanent resident must have actually met their non-UK spouse. This is to prevent a situation that occurs sometimes in arranged marriages where the husband and wife have never met.
  4. You must intend to live together permanently with your spouse in order to obtain a spouse visa.
  5. You must possess sufficient funds to pay you and your spouse's living expenses and those of any dependants without claiming public funds. Public funds cover various benefits paid by the Government if you are currently looking for work, if you are on a low income and if you are in various other situations.
  6. Accommodation for the couple, and any dependants, must be suitable and available.
  7. Spouses seeking to come to the UK on the basis of marriage to a UK national should apply for entry clearance before entering the UK.
  8. If you have a visa valid for six months or less in the UK you cannot change status to a spouse visa.
  9. Children of the marriage who are under 18 years old are allowed entry to the UK as dependants, and can make their application at the same time as the main applicant.

After a total period of three years in the UK if you meet the residence requirements you may then apply for UK citizenship.


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