Immigration Specialists London

UK Spouse Visa Requirements 2024: This guide demystifies the essential criteria and procedures for obtaining a UK Spouse Visa in 2024. It covers eligibility, financial requisites, and the application process, outlining the distinction between the 5-year and 10-year routes. Detailed insights into the financial requirements and tips for a successful visa extension or transition to Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) are also included. This guide is designed to streamline your application process, offering the most current information and strategies to enhance your chances of approval and unite with your spouse in the UK.


UK Spouse Visa Requirements 2024

1. Introduction to UK Spouse Visa 5 Year Route


If you’re planning to join your partner in the United Kingdom, obtaining a UK Spouse Visa is a crucial step towards building your life together. This visa allows non-EEA nationals to live with their UK-based spouse or partner, giving you the chance to work, study, and enjoy family life in the UK. However, navigating the intricate requirements and application process can be challenging. This guide will walk you through the essential aspects of the UK Spouse Visa, from eligibility criteria to financial requirements and more, to help you make a successful application.

Maximizing Your Chances of Success

Understanding the requirements and application process for a UK Spouse Visa is key to maximizing your chances of success. The Home Office is strict with their rules, and even minor mistakes or omissions can lead to refusal. By familiarizing yourself with the eligibility criteria, application process, and required documents, you’ll be better prepared to submit an accurate and complete application, smoothing the path to your new life in the UK.

A Decade of UK Spouse Visa Success and Refusal Rates

From 2008 to 2017, the UK received a total of 406,466 spouse or partner visa applications. Here’s a snapshot of the outcomes:

Visas Granted:

  • Out of 414,054 applications resolved, 324,125 were granted. This gives a 10-year average success rate of 78.28%.

Success Trends:

Visas Refused:

The decreasing refusal rate in recent years is a positive sign for genuine applicants. By meticulously preparing your application, you can increase your chances of being part of the successful majority.

UK Spouse Visa Requirements 2024
Set Sail On Your Uk Journey With Our Spouse Visa Guide! Navigate The Requirements To Continue Your Love Story In The Uk.

2. UK Spouse Visa Requirements


To qualify for a UK Spouse Visa, both you and your partner must meet a set of eligibility criteria. These requirements ensure that your relationship is genuine, you can support yourselves financially, and you can communicate effectively in English. Additionally, you must provide evidence that you have adequate accommodation in the UK. In this section, we’ll discuss the key eligibility criteria for the UK Spouse Visa.

1. Relationship

To be eligible for a UK Spouse Visa, you must prove that you have a genuine and subsisting relationship with your partner. This means that your relationship must be real, ongoing, and not entered into for immigration purposes. You must meet one of the following conditions:

  • Legally Married:
    • Be legally married to your partner, and your marriage must be recognized in the UK.
  • Civil Partnership:
    • Be in a civil partnership that is recognized in the UK.
  • Durable Relationship:
    • Be in a durable (long-term) relationship akin to marriage or civil partnership for at least two years.

You’ll also need to demonstrate your intention to live together permanently in the UK. To prove your relationship is genuine, you may be asked to provide evidence such as:

  • Photographs
  • Correspondence
  • Proof of joint financial responsibilities
  • Statements from friends and family

2. Financial

To be eligible for a UK Spouse Visa, you must meet the financial requirements set out in Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules. From April 2024, the UK-based sponsor (your partner) must have a minimum income of £29,000 per year or have sufficient savings to meet the requirement.

You can meet the financial requirement through:

  • Employment
  • Self-employment
  • Pension
  • Savings
  • A combination of these sources

You’ll need to provide evidence of your income, such as:

  • Payslips
  • Bank statements
  • Tax documents

3. English Language

Applicants for a UK Spouse Visa must demonstrate a basic knowledge of English by meeting the English language requirements outlined in Appendix FM. You’ll need to provide evidence that you:

4. Accommodation

Finally, you must provide evidence that you have suitable accommodation available in the UK. This means that you and your partner will have a place to live without overcrowding and that meets the Housing Act 1985 standards. You’ll need to submit documents such as:

Meeting these eligibility criteria is essential for a successful UK Spouse Visa application. By ensuring that you and your partner fulfill all the requirements, you can confidently proceed with your application and move closer to joining your partner in the UK.

3. How to Apply for Spouse Visa UK?


Understanding the application process for the UK Spouse Visa is essential to increase your chances of success. In this section, we’ll walk you through the steps involved, including the differences between entry clearance and leave to remain, completing the online application form, gathering the required supporting documents, and paying the necessary visa application fees.

Entry Clearance vs. Leave to Remain

Depending on your circumstances, you’ll either apply for entry clearance or leave to remain as a spouse:

  • Entry Clearance:
    • If you are currently living outside the UK, you must apply for entry clearance before coming to the UK as a spouse. This is essentially a visa that allows you to enter the UK and join your partner.
  • Leave to Remain:
    • If you are already living in the UK on a different visa, you can apply for leave to remain as a spouse. This means you’re requesting permission to stay in the UK as a spouse without having to leave the country and apply for entry clearance.

Online Application Form

The application process for a UK Spouse Visa starts with completing the online application form. You can find the appropriate form on the UK government’s website. The form will ask for detailed information about you, your partner, your relationship, your finances, and your living arrangements. Make sure you provide accurate and complete information to avoid delays or refusals.

Required Supporting Documents

Along with your online application, you’ll need to submit various supporting documents to prove your eligibility. These may include:

  • Proof of Relationship:
    • Marriage or civil partnership certificates, photographs, or correspondence.
  • Financial Requirements Evidence:
    • Payslips, bank statements, or tax documents to prove you meet the financial criteria.
  • English Language Proficiency:
    • Test results, degree certificates, or a valid passport from a majority English-speaking country.
  • Accommodation Evidence:
    • Tenancy agreements, mortgage statements, or letters from your partner’s landlord or homeowner.

Ensure your documents are well-organized, legible, and translated into English if necessary.

Application Fees

The fees for a UK Spouse Visa application depend on whether you’re applying for entry clearance or leave to remain. As of May 2024, the fees are:

In addition to the application fees, you may need to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS), which grants you access to the National Health Service (NHS) during your stay in the UK. The IHS Fee is typically £1,035 (£776 for children) per year for each applicant.

Biometric Appointment and Processing

Once you’ve submitted your application and paid the fees, you’ll need to attend a biometric appointment to provide your fingerprints and photograph. After that, your application will be reviewed by the Home Office, and you’ll receive a decision, usually within 12 weeks.

4. Spouse Visa 5-Year vs. 10-Year Route


When applying for a UK Spouse Visa, you’ll need to consider whether to follow the 5-year route or the 10-year route. Both routes lead to Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), which allows you to live and work in the UK without restrictions.

5-Year Route:

  • This route consists of an initial 2.5-year period, followed by an extension for another 2.5 years. After a total of 5 years, you’ll be eligible to apply for ILR, provided you meet the requirements.

10-Year Route:

  • The 10-year route is for those who don’t meet the financial requirements for the 5-year route but still have a genuine and subsisting relationship with their partner. This route involves four 2.5-year periods, after which you can apply for ILR.

Eligibility for 5 Year an 10-Year Spouse Visa Routes

5-Year Route:

  • To be eligible for the 5-year route, you must meet the financial requirements set by the UK government. This includes the minimum income threshold of £29,000 per year or the equivalent in savings.

10-Year Route:

  • The 10-year route is for applicants who don’t meet the financial requirements of the 5-year route. However, you must still prove that you have a genuine and subsisting relationship with your partner and meet the other eligibility criteria, such as English language proficiency and accommodation requirements.

Pros and Cons of 5-Year and 10-Years Spouse Visa Routes

5-Year Route Pros:

  • Faster Path to ILR:
    • Allows you to settle in the UK more quickly.
  • Less Time and Cost:
    • Fewer visa extensions and associated fees.
  • Financial Stability:
    • Demonstrates financial capability by meeting the minimum income threshold.

5-Year Route Cons:

  • Higher Financial Requirement:
    • Requires a higher income or savings to qualify.
  • Risk of Rejection:
    • If rejected, you may need to apply for the 10-year route, delaying your ILR timeline.

10-Year Route Pros:

  • Lower Financial Requirement:
    • Available to those who don’t meet the financial requirements for the 5-year route.
  • Continued Residence:
    • Provides an opportunity to remain in the UK with your partner despite not meeting the minimum income threshold.

10-Year Route Cons:

  • Longer Path to ILR:
    • Takes a total of 10 years to achieve ILR.
  • More Extensions:
    • Involves more visa extensions, which can be time-consuming and expensive.

When choosing between the 5-year and 10-year routes, consider your individual circumstances, financial stability, and long-term goals. Each route has its advantages and disadvantages, so it’s essential to make an informed decision that best suits your needs and situation.

5. UK Spouse Visa Financial Requirements: Key Points


A crucial aspect of the UK Spouse Visa application is meeting the financial requirements. The UK government has set specific criteria to ensure that applicants can support themselves and their families without relying on public funds.

1. Minimum Income Threshold

The minimum income threshold for a UK Spouse Visa has increased from £18,600 to £34,000 per year, with a final adjustment to £38,700 by early 2025. However, from April 11, 2024, there are no additional income requirements to sponsor children. Previously, it was £3,800 for the first child and an additional £2,400 for each subsequent child.

You can meet this requirement through various sources, including:

  • Employment
  • Self-employment
  • Pension
  • A combination of these sources

You must have been earning this amount for at least six months before submitting the application.

2. Savings

If you don’t meet the minimum income threshold through your employment or other sources, you can use your savings to meet the requirement. The savings requirement is calculated as follows:

  • Minimum Savings:
    • £16,000
  • Additional Savings:
    • 2.5 times the shortfall between your income and the minimum income threshold

Example Calculation:

  • If you are £5,000 short of the income threshold, you would need £16,000 + (2.5 x £5,000) = £28,500 in savings.
  • These savings must be held in a bank account for at least six months before applying.

Updated Savings Calculation:

If your income falls short of the required threshold, you can supplement it with savings. Here’s how to calculate the amount needed:

  • Base Amount:
    • £16,000 is the minimum amount you must have in savings.
  • Additional Amount:
    • Calculate the shortfall between your income and the required income threshold.
    • Multiply this shortfall by 2.5 to find the additional savings required.
  • Example Calculation:
    • Shortfall:
      • If your income is £5,000 less than the required threshold of £29,000:
      • Calculation: £16,000 + (2.5 x £5,000) = £28,500 in total savings needed.

Meeting the Entire Requirement with Savings:

If you wish to meet the entire financial requirement solely through savings, you will need £88,500. This is calculated as follows:

  • Base Amount:
    • £16,000
  • Additional Amount:
    • £29,000 (income threshold) x 2.5 = £72,500
  • Total:
    • £16,000 + £72,500 = £88,500

3. Employment and Self-Employment Evidence

To prove your financial stability, you’ll need to provide evidence of your income. The required documents differ based on your employment status:

Employed Applicants:

Self-Employed Applicants:

  • Tax returns
  • Business bank statements
  • A letter from your accountant
  • Business registration documents

Submitting comprehensive and accurate evidence is essential to avoid delays or potential refusals.

4. Healthcare Surcharge for UK Partner Visa

As part of your family visa application, you may be required to pay the healthcare surcharge. The surcharge ensures you have access to the National Health Service (NHS) during your stay in the UK.

For each adult (18 or older), the costs are as follows:

  • £2,587.50 for a stay of 2 years and 6 months
  • £3,105 for a stay of 2 years and 9 months
  • £5,175 for a stay of 5 years

For each child (under 18), the costs are:

  • £1,940 for a stay of 2 years and 6 months
  • £2,328 for a stay of 2 years and 9 months
  • £3,880 for a stay of 5 years

5. Exemptions and Exceptions

Some applicants may be exempt from meeting the financial requirements. These exemptions typically apply to those receiving specific benefits, such as:

  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Personal Independence Payment
  • Carer’s Allowance

If you’re exempt, you’ll need to provide evidence of the benefits you receive. In such cases, the assessment focuses on your ability to maintain and accommodate your spouse without relying on public funds. Evidence may include:

  • Official benefit award letters
  • Bank statements showing benefit payments
  • Additional documents demonstrating financial stability

Meeting the financial requirements is a critical component of the UK Spouse Visa application process. By understanding these requirements and ensuring you provide the necessary documentation, you can enhance your chances of a successful application and move closer to joining your partner in the UK.

6. Extending Your Spouse Visa


When your initial UK Spouse Visa is nearing its expiration, you’ll need to apply for an extension to continue living with your partner in the UK.

To extend your UK Spouse Visa, you’ll need to meet the following requirements:

  • Financial:
    • You must still meet the financial requirements, as mentioned in Section 5, either through income, savings, or a combination of both.
  • Relationship:
    • You need to demonstrate that your relationship with your spouse is genuine and subsisting, and you intend to continue living together in the UK.
  • English Language:
    • You must meet the English language requirement at level A2 or higher, as per the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).
  • Accommodation:
    • You need to provide evidence of suitable accommodation for you and your family in the UK.

Application Process and Fees

To extend your Spouse Visa, follow these steps:

It’s crucial to apply for the extension before your current visa expires to avoid becoming an overstayer.

Consequences of Not Meeting the UK Spouse Visa Extension Requirements

Failing to meet the extension requirements or not applying in time may result in the refusal of your application, and you could be asked to leave the UK. This could also negatively impact any future visa applications. Therefore, it’s essential to ensure you meet the necessary requirements and apply for the extension before your current visa expires.

7. UK Spouse Visa to ILR Requirements


Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) is a form of permanent residency that allows you to live in the UK without any time restrictions. After spending a certain amount of time on a Spouse Visa, you may become eligible for ILR. In this section, we’ll discuss the requirements for transitioning from a UK Spouse Visa to ILR, the application process and fees, and the consequences of not meeting these requirements.

To qualify for ILR, you must meet the following requirements:

Spouse Visa to ILR Application Process and Fees

To apply for ILR, follow these steps:

Consequences of Not Meeting the UK Spouse Visa to ILR Requirements

If you do not meet the requirements for ILR or your application is refused, you may need to extend your Spouse Visa and continue living in the UK on a temporary basis. Failing to meet the ILR requirements can also negatively impact your future immigration status in the UK, so it’s crucial to ensure you meet the necessary criteria before applying.

8. Common Reasons for UK Spouse Visa Refusal 2024


Applying for a UK Spouse Visa can be a complex process, and sometimes applications are refused.

Insufficient Evidence of Genuine Relationship

One common reason for Spouse Visa refusal is insufficient evidence of a genuine and subsisting relationship. To address this issue:

  • Provide Detailed Proof:
    • Include photographs, chat logs, emails, and letters that demonstrate the history and depth of your relationship.
  • Submit Evidence of Visits:
    • Provide travel tickets and boarding passes as proof of visits.
  • Include Testimonies:
    • Obtain testimonies from friends and family members who can vouch for your relationship.
  • Share Financial Evidence:
    • Show joint financial responsibilities, such as shared bank accounts, utility bills, or rental agreements.

Failure to Meet Financial Requirements

Another common reason for refusal is failure to meet the financial requirements outlined in Appendix FM. To address this issue:

  • Review Financial Requirements:
    • Ensure you fully understand and meet the financial criteria.
  • Provide Clear Evidence:
    • Submit clear and comprehensive evidence of your income, savings, and any other relevant financial resources.
  • Employed or Self-Employed Proof:
    • If employed, provide payslips and bank statements; if self-employed, submit tax returns and business bank statements.
  • Benefits Documentation:
    • If relying on disability benefits or other exemptions, ensure you provide the necessary documentation.

Incomplete or Incorrect Application

Submitting an incomplete or incorrect application can lead to a refusal. To avoid this issue:

  • Double-Check Information:
    • Carefully review all information provided in the application form for accuracy.
  • Complete All Sections:
    • Ensure all required sections of the form are completed and all necessary supporting documents are uploaded.
  • Follow Guidance:
    • Adhere to the guidance provided by the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) website and follow their instructions meticulously.
  • Seek Professional Advice:
    • Consider consulting an immigration adviser if you’re unsure about any aspect of your application.

9. FAQs: UK Spouse Visa Requirements 2024


  1. What is the minimum income threshold for a UK Spouse Visa in 2024?

    The minimum income threshold for a UK Spouse Visa will increase from the current £18,600 per year to £29,000 on 11 April 2024. It will further increase to approximately £34,000 later in 2024, with a final adjustment to around £38,700 by early 2025.

  2. How can I prove that my relationship is genuine for the UK Spouse Visa application?

    To prove your relationship is genuine, you can provide photographs of you and your partner together, chat logs, emails, and letters exchanged between you and your partner, travel tickets and boarding passes as evidence of visits, statements from friends and family members vouching for your relationship, and joint financial documents such as shared bank accounts, utility bills, or rental agreements.

  3. What documents do I need to provide to meet the financial requirements for a UK Spouse Visa?

    To meet the financial requirements, you should provide payslips for the past six months, bank statements showing salary deposits, a letter from your employer confirming your employment and salary, and if self-employed, tax returns, business bank statements, and a letter from your accountant. You should also provide proof of savings if you are using savings to meet the requirement.

  4. What happens if my UK Spouse Visa application is refused?

    If your UK Spouse Visa application is refused, you can address the reasons for refusal and reapply with additional or corrected evidence, consider appealing the decision if you believe it was made incorrectly, and seek professional advice from an immigration expert to understand your options and strengthen your application for a subsequent attempt.

  5. Do I need to pass an English language test for a UK Spouse Visa extension?

    Yes, for a UK Spouse Visa extension, you must meet the English language requirement at level A2 or higher on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). You can prove this by passing an approved English language test or by holding a degree taught or researched in English. If you are from a majority English-speaking country, you may be exempt from this requirement.