Can a UK Spouse Visa be Denied? Partner Visa Refusal Reasons

Spouse visa can be denied if an applicant fails to meet the eligibility requirements of Appendix FM relating to genuine relationship, financial, maintenance, accommodation, English Language (IELTS) etc. However, at times, a spouse visa application is refused on general suitability grounds such as false documents, deportation order, criminality etc. The post provides all the possible spouse or partner visa UK refusal reasons in the rejection letter.

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Spouse Visa Refusal Reasons UK
UK Spouse Visa Refusal Reasons

Spouse Visa UK Refused: Partner Visa Refusal Reasons

Spouse visa can be denied on the following eligibility grounds:

  1. Non-Genuine Relationship
  2. Inability to meet the Financial Requirements
  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. Immigration Status of the Sponsor
  8. Underage Applicant or Sponsor
  9. Inadequate valid evidence of marriage or civil partnership
  10. Prohibited Degree of Relations
  11. Failure to have met in person
  12. The previous relationship has not broken down permanently
  13. Doubtful Intentions to Live Together
  14. The Purpose of the Fiancé(e) visa is Doubtful
  15. Immigration Status of the Applicant

UK Spouse Visa Refused on General Suitability Grounds

Apart from eligibility grounds, a spouse visa may be denied on the following general suitability grounds:

  1. Presence of an applicant is not conducive to the Public Good
  2. Deportation Order
  3. Criminality
  4. Conduct, Character, Association or Other Reasons
  5. Non-Compliance to attend an Interview or provide Information
  6. Medical
  7. The applicant left or removed with a conditional caution
  8. False Representation
  9. Sponsor failed to give the undertaking
  10. 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 different from at the last grant of leave
UK Spouse Visa Refusal Reasons
UK Spouse Visa Refusal Reasons

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    Multilingual qualified London based immigration specialists will get back to you, usually within 2-3 working days. If you have not attached any documents, then the UK based Law firm may ask for the relevant Case-Specific Document(s) such as Refusal Letters, Deportation Orders, Application Forms etc. Moreover, after reviewing the papers and information, the legal advisor may advise a course of action and quote the fees for processing the application.

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    UK Spouse Visa Refusal Reasons

    Spouse Visa Refused due to Non-Genuine Relationship

    If an applicant fails to establish a long-term relationship or provide evidence of cohabitation with the sponsor, then spouse visa is refused on genuine and subsisting relationship grounds.

    The evidence of long-term relation or cohabitation usually relates to children and joint financial responsibilities.

    In case of a recent marriage, the evidence may include details relating to visiting the spouse’s home country and family. If the marriage was arranged, then the evidence may include definite plans concerning the practicalities of the couple living together in the United Kingdom and consent of the family members.

    Failure to meet Financial Requirements

    Spouse visa is denied on financial grounds if an applicant has:

    • not met the required level of income or cash savings
    • failed to provide the specified evidence or
    • not provided the evidence to cover the specified period in terms of Appendix FM-SE

    Spouse Visa Refused on Maintenance Grounds

    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. If an applicant fails to meet the adequate requirements, then the decision maker calculates the net income after deduction of the accommodation expenses. Accordingly, the refusal letter states 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.

    Spouse Visa Refused due to Inadequate Accommodation

    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.

    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 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

    In fact, the UK spouse/partner visa is applied based on 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 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.

    Other Reasons for Spouse Visa UK Refusal

    The spouse visa usually refused if an applicant fails to meet the Genuine Relationship, Financial, Maintenance, and Accommodation requirements. However, the spouse visa can also be denied on the following grounds:

    • Immigration Status of the Sponsor
    • Underage Applicant or Sponsor
    • Inadequate valid evidence of marriage or civil partnership
    • Prohibited Degree of Relations
    • Failure to have met in person
    • The previous relationship has not broken down permanently
    • Doubtful Intentions to Live Together
    • The Purpose of the Fiancé(e) visa is Doubtful
    • Immigration Status of the Applicant

    Spouse Visa UK 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 their 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 because of relationship with their 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

    Underage Applicant or Sponsor

    If an applicant is under the age of eighteen, 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.

    Spouse Visa Refused due to Inadequate Evidence of Marriage

    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.

    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

    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 their or their 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).

    Spouse Visa Refused due to Doubtful Intentions to Live Together

    If an applicant fails to provide evidence that they intend 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.

    Spouse Visa Refused due to Immigration Status of the Applicant

    For leave to remain application must not be in the UK as a visitor or with a valid leave for 6-months or less or on immigration bail. Therefore, if an applicant does not have a valid immigration status, then the spouse visa extension or switching LTR application is refused under E-LTRP.2.1 or E-LTRP.2.2.