A person who is in the UK with leave to remain which was originally granted for period of more than six months and who is married to:

  • a British Citizen,or
  • a person with ILR, or
  • a person with refugee status,or
  • as a person with humanitarian protection

can apply to switch into spouse visa from inside the UK as long as he meets all the relevant requirements of the Immigration Rules.

An application for switching into spouse visa from inside the UK is submitted to the Home Office by completing application form FLR (M).

Switching Into Spouse Visa Under The Old Rules

A person who applied for switching into spouse visa before 9 July 2012 will be granted spouse visa in accordance with chapter 8 of the Immigration Rules and will not have to meet the financial requirement of £18,600 gross per annum.

The following persons can still apply for leave to remain as spouse in the UK under the old immigration rules i.e. chapter 8 of the Immigration Rules even if they are applying for switching into spouse visa after 9 July 2012:

  • A person who has leave to enter or remain to exercise his right of access to a child and he applied for such leave under chapter 7 of the Immigration Rules before 9 July 2012;
  • A person with leave to enter as a fiance(e) which was granted in accordance with rules in place before 9 July 2012;
  • A person with leave to enter as a proposed civil partner which was granted in accordance with rules in place before 9 July 2012;
  • A person who was previously granted spouse visa under the rules in place before 9 July 2012;
  • A person who was previously granted Civil Partner visa under the rules in place before 9 July 2012;
  • A person who was previously granted Same Sex Partner visa under the rules in place before 9 July 2012;
  • A person who was previously granted Unmarried Partner visa under the rules in place before 9 July 2012;
  • A person who was previously granted Dependant Child visa under the rules in place before 9 July 2012;
  • A person who was previously granted Adult Dependant Relative visa under the rules in place before 9 July 2012;
  • Post-flight family member of a person granted refugee leave or humanitarian protection in the UK under the rules in place before 9 July 2012;
  • A person who was previously granted 2 years stay under 14 years long residence;

Long Residence and Points Based System (PBS) Dependents

If the main relevant Points Based System (PBS) Migrant gains indefinite leave to remain on the basis of Long Residence any PBS dependent partner will not be able to extend their leave or gain settlement as a PBS dependent and will be required to switch into the partner of a settled person category and apply for limited leave. Applicants who were granted leave to enter or remain as a PBS dependent before 9 July 2012, whose PBS partner gained indefinite leave to remain on the basis of long residence can under transitional provisions at A280 (C) apply for further leave under Part 8 of the Immigration Rules.

Applicants who were granted leave to enter or remain as a PBS dependent after 9 July 2012, whose PBS partner gained indefinite leave to remain on the basis of long residence will be required to apply to extend their leave as a partner under Appendix FM.

Switching Into Spouse Visa Under Appendix FM

A person who is not eligible to apply for switching into spouse visa under Part 8 of the Immigration Rules will have to apply for switching into spouse visa under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules. 

The applicant applying for switching into spouse visa under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules is required to meet the financial requirement of £18,600 gross per annum unless he is exempt from meeting such requirement due to certain exemptions allowed under Appendix FM.

Applicants who were granted leave to enter or remain as a PBS dependent after 9 July 2012, whose PBS partner gained Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) on the basis of ten years continuous and lawful residence (ten years long residence category) will be required to apply to extend their leave as a partner under Appendix FM.

Same Day Visa Service For Switching Into Spouse Visa

We are registered with the Home Office, UKBA, Public Enquiry Office (PEO), Lunar House, Croydon to provide Same Day Visa Service for application to switch into spouse visa from inside the UK. Our immigration lawyers can prepare and submit your application to the Home Office, UKBA, PEO and get quick decision on the application. As an application for switching into spouse visa requires biometrics of the applicant, you will have to attend the Home Office, Lunar House, PEO, Croydon with our legal representative on the day we will submit your application. The application submitted through our Same Day Visa Service is usually decided either same day or within 24 hours.

Our Fees For Switching Into Spouse Visa

  • We will charge you a fee from £800 + VAT for our professional immigration services in relation to your application to switch into spouse visa category where you are applying under the old rules (no financial requirement) under paragraph 284 of the Immigration Rules. The agreed fee will depend on the complexity of the matter and the casework involved in the matter.
  • We will charge you a fee from £800 + VAT for our professional immigration services in relation to your application to switch into spouse visa category where you are applying under the new rules (Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules) and the financial requirement is being satisfied only through employment of the sponsor/applicant. The agreed fee will depend on the complexity of the matter and the casework involved in the matter.
  • We will charge you a fee from £1,200 + VAT for our professional immigration services in relation to your application to switch into spouse visa category where you are applying under the new rules (Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules) and the financial requirement is being satisfied through self-employment or savings of the sponsor/applicant. The agreed fee will depend on the complexity of the matter and the casework involved in the matter.
  • If you cannot afford to pay our fee in full at the time of instructing us in relation to your matter, you can pay half of the fee at the time of instructing us and rest of the fee can be paid by monthly installments.
  • The agreed fee will cover all our work until decision by the Home Office on the application. However, it is pertinent to note that the agreed fee will not cover any disbursements to be incurred by the company on your behalf e.g. translation of documents, Home Office fee etc.
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  • Spouse Visa - FAQs
  • 1. What is the spouse visa UK processing time?

    • An in-country application for UK spouse visa submitted through our same day visa service is usually decided by the Home Office, Public Enquiry Office (PEO) within 24 hours.
    • An in-country application application for UK spouse visa submitted by post is decided according to the Home Office guidelines for processing of UK spouse visa applications
    • An out of country UK spouse visa application submitted to the British Embassy / High Commission is decided by the Home Office UKBA according to the Home Office Guide to the Visa Processing Times
  • 2. What is spouse visa UK English Test requirement?

    For UK spouse visa, the applicant must meet the English language requirement. You will meet the requirement if you can show that you:

    • are a national of a majority English-speaking country; or
    • have passed an English language test approved by the Home Office, UKBA at the appropriate level; or
    • hold a degree that was taught in English and is equivalent to a UK bachelor's degree or above.

    Exemptions

    You do not need to meet the English language requirement if you provide satisfactory evidence that:

    • you are aged 65 or over when you make your application; or
    • you have a physical or mental condition which would prevent you from meeting the requirement; or
    • there are exceptional compassionate circumstances which would prevent you from meeting the requirement.
  • 3. What application form is used to apply for spouse visa from outside the UK?

    An application for UK spouse visa from outside the UK is usually made online through visa4uk website. Countries in which online application for spouse visa cannot be made, entry clearance application for spouse visa for UK should be made using application form VAF4A along with Appendix 2 or other relevant appendix.

  • 4. What application form is used to apply for UK spouse visa from inside the UK?

    An application for UK spouse visa from inside the UK is made using application form FLR (M). We can provide Same Day Visa Service for your application for spouse visa from inside the UK.

  • 5. What is a genuine and subsisting relationship?

    If your relationship is genuine and subsisting, the Home Office, UKBA would expect you to be able to show evidence that you:

    • are in a current, long-term relationship;
    • are living together with your partner;
    • share responsibility with your partner for any children;
    • share financial responsibilities with your partner, such as a joint mortgage or tenancy agreement, a joint bank account or joint savings, and utility bills in both your names;
    • and your partner have visited one another's home country and family; and
    • you have made plans about living together in the UK with your partner.

    In the case of an arranged marriage, you and your partner should both consent to the marriage and agree with the plans made by your families.

  • 6. How much income do I need to have to meet the financial requirement?

    You must have an income of at least £18,600 gross per year.

    If you are sponsoring a child as well as a partner you will need an income of at least £22,400.

    For each additional child being sponsored you will need an additional income of £2,400. For example, if you are you are bringing 2 children with you to the United Kingdom, you must have an income of £22,400 for the partner and one child and £2,400 for the additional child, so a total of £24,800.

    You will be required to provide documents to show that you can meet the financial requirement. The way you meet the requirement will be different, depending on whether you are applying from inside or outside the UK.

    Exemptions

    You will be exempt from the new financial requirement if your sponsor receives a specified disability-related benefit or carer's allowance in the UK. You will need to show that your sponsor can maintain and accommodate you without access to public funds.

  • 7. Can you switch into spouse visa if you are already in the UK?

    You may be allowed to switch into the category of partner if you are currently in the UK in a different immigration category.

    You will not be allowed to switch if you are in the UK:

    • as a visitor;
    • with permission to stay that was given for a period of less than 6 months (unless that leave was as a fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner);
    • on temporary admission; or
    • in breach of the Immigration Rules (a period of overstaying of less than 28 days will not be taken into account).
  • 8. For how long you will be granted the UK spouse visa?

    Applications from outside the UK

    If your visa application is successful, the Home Office, UKBA will grant you a visa for 33 months. Shortly before the end of that period, you can apply for spouse visa renewal/extension.  If you still meet the requirements you will be granted permission to stay for a further period of 30 months.  Once you have completed 5 years in the UK, as the partner of someone who is a British citizen or settled in the UK, you can apply for ILR as a spouse.  

    Applications from inside the UK

    If your application to switch into spouse visa is successful, the Home Office, UKBA will grant you permission to remain in the UK (known as 'further leave to remain') for 30 months.  Shortly before the end of that period, you can apply for extension/renewal of your spouse visa.  If you still meet the requirements you will be granted permission to stay for a further period of 30 months.  Once you have completed 5 years in the UK, as the partner of someone who is a British citizen or settled in the UK, you can apply for ILR as a spouse.

  • 9. What is the date of your spouse visa application if you are applying from outside the UK?

    The date of your application is the date when your application fee is paid to the UKBA. This will be the date shown on your payment receipt, which depends on how you paid for your visa application - for example, at a visa application centre or online.

  • 10. When can you apply for ILR as a spouse?

    If you have been granted initial spouse visa under the Immigration Rules in place before 9 July 2012, you can apply for ILR as a spouse 28 days before completing your two years residence in the UK on spouse visa.


    If you have been granted initial spouse visa under the Immigration Rules in place on or after 9 July 2012, you can apply for ILR as a spouse 28 days before completing your five years residence in the UK on spouse visa.

    If you have been granted initial spouse visa under the Immigration Rules in place on or after 9 July 2012 and the leave was granted relying on paragraph EX1 of the Appendix FM of the UK Immigration Rules, you can apply for ILR as a spouse 28 days before completing 10 years residence in the UK on spouse visa.

  • 11. How can you challenge the refusal of your UK spouse visa application?

    If you applied for UK spouse visa from outside the UK, the refusal of your application can be challenged by way of an appeal to the First Tier Tribunal within 28 days of the date of receipt of the refusal letter.

    If you applied for UK spouse visa from inside the UK, you can challenge the refusal by way of an in-country appeal to the first-tier Tribunal within 10 working days of the date of receipt of the refusal letter (5 working days if you are in detention at the time of the service of the refusal letter). If you have not been granted appeal right, you can challenge the refusal of your application by way of Judicial Review in High Court within 90 days of the date of the refusal letter.

  • 12. Can I meet the financial requirement by showing funds transferred from investments, stocks, shares, bonds or trust funds?

    Funds held as cash savings by the applicant, their partner or both jointly at the date of application can have been transferred from investments, stocks, shares, bonds or trust funds within the period of 6 months prior to the date of application, provided that:

    • The funds have been in the ownership and under the control of the applicant, their partner or both jointly for at least the period of 6 months prior to the date of application.
    • The ownership of the funds in the form of investments, stocks, shares, bonds or trust funds; the cash value of the funds in that form at or before the beginning of the period of 6 months prior to the date of application; and the transfer of the funds into cash, are evidenced by a portfolio report or other relevant documentation from a financial institution regulated by the appropriate regulatory body for the country in which that institution is operating. (iii) The requirements of Appendix FM-SE in respect of the cash savings held at the date of application are met, except that the period of at least 6 months prior to the date of application in paragraph 11(a) will be reduced by the amount of that period in which the relevant funds were held in the form of investments, stocks, shares, bonds or trust funds.

    This means that, where the cash savings have previously been held as investments, stocks, shares, bonds or trust funds that were owned by and under the control of the applicant, their partner or both jointly, this ownership period can be counted towards the 6 month period. So money held as cash savings at the date of application can have been liquidated by the same owner(s) from investments and may have been held as investments for the first part of the period of 6 months prior to the date of application and as cash savings for the rest of that 6 month period. Evidence must be provided showing that:

    • The investments, stocks, shares, bonds or trust funds were in the ownership and under the control of the applicant, their partner or both jointly for that part of the 6 month period prior to the date of application before they were liquidated into cash savings;
    • The value of the investments, stocks, shares, bonds or trust funds at or before the beginning of that 6 month period was at least equivalent to the amount of the cash savings relied upon in the application; and
    • The cash savings meet the requirements of Appendix FM-SE.

    If this evidence is not provided, the cash savings previously held as investments, stocks, shares, bonds or trust funds cannot be counted towards the financial requirement.

Sunrise Solicitors is the trading name of Sunrise Solicitors Ltd and is registered under company registration no. 6405492. The registered office is at 228 Merton High Street, South Wimbledon, London SW19 1AU. A list of Directors and other members of staff is available for inspection at the registered office. Sunrise Solicitors are registered with the Solicitors Regulation Authority under SRA Registration No. 490903 and are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Sunrise Solicitors are also members of Immigration Law Practitioners' Association.