In terms of Appendix FM, a UK spouse, civil, unmarried, same-sex partner and fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner visa refusal reasons may relates to failure to meet the eligibility requirements such as relationship, financial, maintenance, accommodation and English Language. However, at times, a UK spouse visa entry or extension application refused on suitability or general grounds in the Immigration Rules. Therefore, the post tries to provide all the possible UK spouse visa refusal reasons in the rejection letter.

UK Spouse Visa Refusal Reasons on Eligibility Grounds

The UK spouse visa refusal reasons on eligibility grounds are due tor:

  1. UK Spouse Visa Refused on Relationship Grounds
  2. Partner or UK Spouse Visa Refused on Financial Grounds
  3. Inadequate Maintenance
  4. Inadequate Accommodation
  5. Failure to meet the English Language Requirements
  6. Applicant is not a Partner of the UK Sponsor
  7. UK Spouse Visa Refused due to Immigration Status of the Sponsor
  8. UK Spouse Visa Refused due to Age of the Applicant
  9. Inadequate valid evidence of marriage or civil partnership
  10. UK Spouse Visa Refused due to Prohibited Degree of Relations
  11. UK Spouse Visa Refused due to Failure to have met in person
  12. The previous relationship has not broken down permanently
  13. UK Spouse Visa Refused due Doubtful Intentions to Live Together
  14. The purpose of the fiancé(e) visa is doubtful
  15. UK Spouse Visa Refused due to Immigration Status of the Applicant

UK Spouse Visa Refused on Relationship Grounds

If an applicant fails to establish a long-term relationship or provide evidence of cohabitation with the sponsor then UK spouse visa refused on genuine and subsisting relationship grounds under paragraph E-ECP.2.6 or E-LTRP.1.7. of Appendix FM. In fact, the evidence of long-term relation or cohabitation may relates to children and joint financial responsibilities. Moreover, in case of a recent marriage, the evidence may include details relating to visiting the spouse/partner’s home country and family. Perhaps, in case of an arranged marriage, the evidence may include definite plans concerning the practicalities of the couple living together in the United Kingdom and consent of the family members.

“sponsor” means the person in relation to whom an applicant is seeking leave to enter or remain as their spouse, fiance, civil partner, proposed civil partner, unmarried partner, same-sex partner 

Immigration Rules

Partner or UK Spouse Visa Refused on Financial Grounds

In fact, if an applicant has failed to meet the financial requirements then the refusal letter will state that the applicant has not met the required level of income or cash savings. However, at times, the UK spouse visa refused on financial grounds if an applicant fails to provide the specified evidence or the evidence does not cover the specified period in terms of Appendix FM-SE.

Inadequate Maintenance

If the applicant has not been able to meet the adequate maintenance then a UK partner/spouse visa entry or extension application refused under paragraph E-ECP. 3.3.(b) or E-LTRP. 3.3.(b), respectively. In fact, to prove that the applicant has failed to meet the adequate requirements, the decision maker will calculate the applicant’s net income after deduction of the accommodation expenses. And will inform in the refusal letter that based on the current benefit and tax rates the applicant’s net income after deduction of the accommodation costs is less than income support entitlement of a British family of that size. Therefore, the applicant has failed to demonstrate ‘adequate’ maintenance without recourse to public funds.

Inadequate Accommodation

Apparently, an applicant needs to provide evidence of adequate accommodation in the UK without recourse to public funds. Therefore, if an applicant fails to provide the evidence or the evidence does not demonstrate adequate accommodation without recourse to public funds then UK spouse entry clearance or extension visa application rejects under paragraph E- ECP. 3.4 or E-LTRP. 3.4, respectively.

“adequate” and “adequately” in relation to a maintenance and accommodation requirement shall mean that, after income tax, national insurance contributions and housing costs have been deducted, there must be available to the family the level of income that would be available to them if the family was in receipt of income support.

Immigration Rules

Failure to meet the English Language Requirements

In case an entry clearance or extension visa application refused due to the English Language then the refusal letter states that the applicant is not exempt from the UK partner/spouse visa English language requirements under paragraph E-ECP.4.2. or E-LTRP.4.2 of Appendix FM. In addition, the rejection letter will highlight one or more UK spouse visa refusal reasons such as:

  • the applicant is not a national of a majority English speaking country listed in paragraph GEN.1.6. And have not provided the evidence specified at paragraph 28-30 of Appendix FM-SE
  • the applicant has not passed an English language test in speaking and listening at a minimum of level A1/A2. And have failed to provide the evidence specified at paragraph 27 of Appendix FM-SE
  • an applicant does not hold an academic qualification recognised by UK NARIC, equivalent to the standard of a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree or PhD in the UK
  • the English language test certificate or result provided by the applicant does not meet the requirements set out in paragraphs 32B/32C/32D of Appendix FM-SE

Applicant is not a Partner of the UK Sponsor

In fact, the UK spouse/partner visa is applied on the basis of applicant’s relationship with the UK sponsor/partner. Moreover, the requirements for entry clearance or extension as a partner/spouse are set out in section EC-P or R-LTRP of Appendix FM, respectively. Accordingly, a “partner” is defined in paragraph GEN.1.2. of Appendix FM as an applicant’s spouse, civil partner, fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner, or a person who has been living together with the applicant in a relationship akin to a marriage or civil partnership for at least two years prior to the date of application. Therefore, if an applicant fails to meet the criteria under GEN.1.2. And also does not fulfil the definition of a partner and meet the requirements of section EC- P or R-LTRP then UK partner/spouse visa entry clearance or extension application refused under paragraph D-ECP.1.2. or D-LTRP.1.3. of Appendix FM, respectively.

UK Spouse Visa Refused due to Immigration Status of the Sponsor

A UK spouse entry clearance or extension visa application refused due to the immigration status of the sponsor under paragraph E-ECP.2.1. or E- LTRP.1.2. of Appendix FM, respectively, if the UK partner/sponsor is not:

  • in the UK or returning to the United Kingdom with the applicant as his/her partner or spouse
  • a British citizen
  • present and settled in the United Kingdom
  • being admitted for settlement on the same occasion with the applicant
  • in the UK with refugee leave or humanitarian protection

The Immigration Status of EEA National of a Non-EEA Partner

If an applicant has applied for leave to remain on the basis of relationship with his/her EEA partner/spouse, then for the purposes of Appendix FM, “present and settled” or “present and settled in the UK” is defined in paragraph 6 of the Immigration Rules, which states that the EEA partner must hold a valid residence permit issued under the EEA Regulations. Therefore, if an applicant’s EEA partner does not meet the criteria of “present and settled” then the UK spouse visa refusal reasons relates to paragraph E-LTRP.1.2.

“present and settled” or “present and settled in the UK” means that the person concerned is settled in the United Kingdom and, at the time that an application under these Rules is made, is physically present here or is coming here with or to join the applicant and intends to make the UK their home with the applicant if the application is successful.

Immigration Rules

UK Spouse Visa Refused due to Age of the Applicant

If an applicant is under the age of 18, then UK spouse visa refused under paragraph E-ECP.2.2 or E-LTRP.1.3. However, if an applicant’s partner is under the age of 18 then the UK spouse visa refusal reasons relates to E-ECP.2.3. or E-TRP.1.4.

Inadequate valid evidence of marriage or civil partnership

For establishing the validity of a marriage or civil partnership, an applicant needs to provide the specified evidence as per paragraph 22, 24 or 26 of Appendix FM-SE. Therefore, a failure to do so would deem the marriage or civil partnership invalid. And the UK spouse visa refusal reasons relates to E-ECP.2.7. or E-LTRP.1.8.

UK Spouse Visa Refused due to Prohibited Degree of Relations

If an applicant’s relationship with the UK partner/spouse within the prohibited degree of relationship then UK spouse visa refused under paragraph E-ECP.2.4. or E- LTRP.1.5. For knowing the prohibited degree of relationship, please refer to

  • The Marriage Act 1949
  • The Marriage (Prohibited Degrees of Relationship) Act 1986
  • The Civil Partnership Act 2004

UK Spouse Visa Refused due to Failure to have met in person

If the immigration officer fails to verify or accepts that an applicant has not met in person with the UK sponsor/partner then UK spouse visa refusal reasons relates to paragraph E-ECP.2.5. or E-LTRP.1.6.

The previous relationship has not broken down permanently

For establishing that the previous relationship has been broken down permanently, an applicant needs to provide a divorce or civil partnership dissolution from a civil court. Therefore, if an applicant failed provide that either his/her or his/her UK sponsor’s previous relationship has not broken down permanently then the UK visa refusal reasons relates to E-ECP.2.9. or E-LTRP.1.9. of Appendix FM.

In fact, the UK spouse/partner visa refusal letter may refer to the date of previous marriage or civil partnership with the previous spouse/partner. And elaborate that the applicant has not provided the evidence specified in paragraph 23 or 25 or 26 of Appendix FM-SE. Accordingly, refusal letter concludes that the applicant’s previous marriage or civil partnership has not dissolved. And there is no evidence that this is a polygamous relationship that falls within paragraph 278(i) of the Immigration Rules. For further details please refer to Polygamous and Potential Polygamous Marriages.

Fiancé(e) or Proposed Civil Partner

It is essential for grant of an entry clearance visa as a Fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner for marriage or civil partnership in the UK that neither the applicant nor partner is married or in a civil partnership with another person. Moreover, if the applicant or the UK sponsor has been married or in a civil partnership then the applicant is required to provide evidence that the previous marriage/civil partnership has been broken down permanently. Therefore, if an applicant fails to do so then the UK spouse visa refused under paragraph E-ECP.2.9.(ii).

UK Spouse Visa Refused due Doubtful Intentions to Live Together

If an applicant fails to provide evidence that he/she intends to live together or is living together permanently with the UK sponsor then UK partner/spouse visa entry clearance or extension visa application refused under paragraph E-ECP.2.10 or E-LTRP.1.10.

“intention to live permanently with the other” or “intend to live together permanently” means an intention to live together, evidenced by a clear commitment from both parties that they will live together permanently in the UK immediately following the outcome of the application in question or as soon as circumstances permit thereafter. 

Immigration Rules

The purpose of the fiancé(e) visa is doubtful

Since the sole purpose of a Fiancé(e) or Proposed Civil Partner is to enable marriage or civil partnership with the sponsor in the UK. Therefore, if an applicant fails to do so then the UK spouse visa refused under E- ECP.2.8.

UK Spouse Visa Refused due to Immigration Status of the Applicant

In order to qualify for leave to remain as a spouse/partner, an applicant must not be an overstayer, on immigration bail, temporary admission, temporary release and in breach of immigration laws. Therefore, if the immigration status of applicant is doubtful then UK spouse visa refusal reasons relates to paragraph E-LTRP.2.2.

UK Spouse Visa Refusal Reasons on General Suitability Grounds

The UK spouse visa refusal reasons on general suitability grounds are due to:

  1. Presence of an applicant is not conducive to the Public Good
  2. UK Spouse Visa Refused due to a Deportation Order
  3. UK Spouse Visa Refused on Criminality Grounds
  4. Conduct, Character, Association or Other Reasons
  5. Non-Compliance to attend an Interview or provide Information
  6. UK Spouse Visa Refused on Medical Grounds
  7. The applicant left or removed with a conditional caution
  8. UK Spouse Visa Refused due to False Representation
  9. The UK Sponsor/Partner failed to give the undertaking
  10. The UK Partner/Sponsor’s non-compliance with the Investigation
  11. Use of deception in a Previous Application
  12. Failure to pay litigation costs to the Home Office
  13. Failure to pay an outstanding charge to the NHS
  14. Current partner is not the same as at the last grant of leave

Presence of an applicant is not conducive to the Public Good

If an applicant’s exclusion from the United Kingdom is conducive to the public good then the UK spouse visa refusal reasons relates to paragraph S-EC.1.2 of Appendix FM.

UK Spouse Visa Refused due to a Deportation Order

If an applicant is subject to a deportation order then the UK spouse visa initial or extension application refused under paragraph S- EC.1.3. or S-LTR.1.2. of Appendix FM.

UK Spouse Visa Refused on Criminality Grounds

The UK spouse visa initial or extension application refused on Criminality under S-EC.1.4 , S-EC.2.5 or S-LTR.1.3.-1.5 of Appendix FM.

Conduct, Character, Association or Other Reasons

If an applicant’s exclusion from the United Kingdom is conducive to the public good due to conduct, character, associations or other reasons then UK spouse visa refusal reasons relates to S-EC.1.5 or S- LTR.1.6. Moreover, at times, the UK spouse visa refusal reasons even relates to such convictions that do not fall within the purview of paragraph S-EC.1.4. or S- LTR.1.3. to S-LTR.1.5.

Non-Compliance to attend an Interview or provide Information

If an applicant fails to attend an interview, provide information, provide physical data, undergo a medical examination or provide a medical report then UK spouse visa refusal reasons may relate to paragraph S-EC.1.6. or S-LTR.1.7. If an applicant has already given reason then the refusal letter explains: why the reason is not accepted? However, if an applicant fails to respond then this means a failure to comply without giving any reasonable excuse.

UK Spouse Visa Refused on Medical Grounds

If an applicant becomes undesirable on the basis of a medical report from the Medical Referee then the UK spouse visa refusal reasons relates to paragraph S-EC.1.7.

The applicant left or removed with a conditional caution

If an applicant left or removed from the UK with a Conditional Caution. And it has been less than 5 years since the issuance of the caution then a UK spouse visa refused under paragraph S-EC.1.8. Please note, in the UK, a constable, an investigating officer, or a person authorised by a relevant prosecutor can issue a conditional caution.

“conditional caution” means a caution which is given in respect of an offence committed by the offender and which has conditions attached to it with which the offender must comply.

Criminal Justice Act 2003

UK Spouse Visa Refused due to False Representation

If an applicant used false documents, representations or information then UK spouse visa refusal reasons relates to S-EC.2.2.(a) or S-LTR.2.2.(a). Moreover, the UK spouse visa refusal letter provides the details of the alleged falsifications. However, if an applicant failed to disclose the material facts the UK spouse visa refusal reasons relates to S-EC.2.2.(b) or S-LTR.2.2.(b). And the UK spouse visa refusal letter also provides the details of the material facts that the applicant did not disclose.

The UK Sponsor/Partner failed to give the undertaking

If the sponsor did not provide the maintenance and accommodation undertaking then UK spouse visa refusal reasons relates to S-EC.2.4 or S- LTR.2.4.

35. A sponsor of a person seeking leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom may be asked to give an undertaking in writing to be responsible for that person’s maintenance, accommodation and (as appropriate) personal care for the period of any leave granted, including any further variation or for a period of 5 years from date of grant where indefinite leave to enter or remain is granted.

Immigration Rules

The UK Partner/Sponsor’s non-compliance with the Investigation

If an applicant or the UK partner/sponsor has not complied with the investigation then UK spouse visa refusal reasons relates to paragraph S-LTR.2.5 of Appendix FM. Moreover, the refusal letter states the date of investigation notice served to the applicant or his/her partner under section 50(7)(b) of the Immigration Act 2014. And also states that the respondents did not comply with the investigation.

The Secretary of State must decide whether to investigate whether the proposed marriage or civil partnership is a sham.

Immigration Act 2014

Use of deception in a Previous Application

If the applicant used false representations or failed to disclose material facts for the purpose of obtaining a leave to enter or a previous variation of leave or in order to obtain documents from the Secretary of State or a third party in support of the application then the UK spouse visa extension application refused under paragraph S-LTR.4.2. of Appendix FM. However, if the applicant has made false representations or failed to disclose material facts for the purpose of obtaining a document indicating that the applicant has a right to reside then the UK spouse visa extension application refused under paragraph S-LTR.4.3. And the refusal letter provides the details of deception in a previous application.

Failure to pay litigation costs to the Home Office

If the applicant has failed to pay outstanding litigation costs awarded to the Home Office then UK spouse visa refusal reasons relates to paragraph S-EC.3.1 or S-LTR.4.3.

Failure to pay an outstanding charge to the NHS

If the applicant has failed to pay an outstanding charge or charges with a total value of at least £500 in respect of National Health Service (NHS) treatment then UK spouse visa refused under paragraph S-EC.3.2 or S-LTR.4.4. Please note this is in accordance with the relevant NHS regulations on charges for overseas visitors. And on basis of evidence received from the relevant NHS body.

Current partner is not the same as at the last grant of leave

If an applicant applies on the basis of a partner who is not the same partner with whom the applicant applied for the previous grant of leave then UK spouse visa extension or ILR application refused under paragraph E-LTRP.1.10. or E-ILRP.1.4. of Appendix FM.