Spouse visa UK is granted on the basis of marriage of the applicant with a person who is either a British Citizen, a person with ILR / settled status, an EU national with pre-settled status, a refugee, Turkish Businessperson visa holder or Turkish Worker visa holder. Spouse visa applications are made according to requirements as set out in Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules. Spouse visa is also known as settlement visa or Appendix FM Partner visa. As a result of an application for entry clearance for spouse visa, the applicant is granted initial leave for a period of 33 months. In case of an in-country application for switching into spouse visa, the applicant is granted an initial leave for 2.5 years (30 months) and a further extension  is also granted for another 2.5 years (30 months).

A person who completes 5 years under spouse visa 5 years route can apply for ILR as a spouse 28 days before completing 5 years. A person who holds spouse visa under 10 years route will qualify for ILR 28 days before completing 10 years under spouse visa 10 years route or 28 days before completing 10 years of continuous and lawful residence on all types of UK visas.

Ask a question to our specialist team of immigration solicitors for free immigration advice online concering your UK visa and immigration matter or book an appointment online for detailed immigration advice with our specialist immigration solicitor having more than 19 years of experience as an immigration lawyer. 

Entry Clearance For Spouse Visa UK

You can apply for spouse visa entry clearance from outside the UK if you are resident abroad and you are married to a person who is either a British Citizen, a person with ILR / settled status, an EU national with pre-settled status, a refugee / humanitarian protection status holder, Turkish Businessperson visa holder or Turkish Worker visa holder.

You can apply for spouse visa entry clearance UK online if you meet all the spouse visa requirements as set out in Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules. Spouse visa is also known as settlement visa or Appendix FM Partner visa. If the applicant meets the requirements for entry clearance as a spouse, the applicant will be granted entry clearance for an initial period not exceeding 33 months, and subject to a condition of no recourse to public funds. Before the expiry of initial 33 months spouse visa, the applicant can apply for extension/renewal of spouse visa under 5 years route so that the applicant can complete 5 years on spouse visa and apply for ILR as a spouse under 5 years route.

Ask a question to our specialist team of immigration solicitors for free immigration advice online concering your UK visa and immigration matter or book an appointment online for detailed immigration advice with our specialist immigration solicitor having more than 19 years of experience as an immigration lawyer. 

Our expert team of spouse visa solicitors in London specialise in spouse visa entry clearance applications. Our spouse visa solicitors have successfully helped thousands of clients with their spouse visa entry clearance applications. Our best team of spouse visa solicitors can provide fast, friendly, reliable and fixed fee immigration services concerning your spouse visa entry clearance application. Read More

Switching Into Spouse Visa UK

You can apply for switching into spouse visa UK online from inside the UK if you are resident in the UK and you are married to a qualifying UK spouse. You must meet all the requirements as set out in Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules to successfully switch into spouse visa from inside the UK. An application for switching into spouse visa from inside the UK can be submitted to the Home Office UKVI through Super Priority Service for a decision on spouse visa application within 24 hours.

You can apply for switching into spouse visa either under 5 years route or under 10 years route. An application for switching into spouse visa 5 years route is made using application form FLR (M) and an application for switching into spouse visa 10 years route is made using application form FLR (FP). Read More

Extension Of Spouse Visa

The earliest you can apply for extension of your spouse visa is 28 days before completion of 30 months (2.5 years) on spouse visa in the UK. If you were granted entry clearance from outside the UK, your time starts from the first entry date and if you got your initial leave from inside the UK, your time starts from the date you were granted initial leave to remain as a spouse. The latest you should apply for spouse visa renewal is within 28 days prior to the expiry of your spouse visa.

If you are already in the UK under spouse visa (5 years route), you can apply for renewal of spouse visa under 5 years route and if you are already in the UK under spouse visa 10 years route, you can apply for extension of spouse visa (10 years route). An application for renewal of spouse visa whether under 5 years route of 10 years route can be submitted to the UKVI using Super Priority Service to get decision on extension application within 24 hours. Read More

ILR As A Spouse

An application for ILR as a spouse can be made either after 5 years if you apply for ILR under spouse visa (5 years route) or after 10 years if you apply for ILR under spouse visa (10 years route). You can submit your ILR application 28 days before completing the qualifying period of 5 years or 10 years, as the case may be.

An application for ILR as a spouse is made under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules. You can apply for ILR as a spouse through Super Priority Service to get a decision on your ILR application within 24 hours.

Ask a question to our specialist team of immigration solicitors for free immigration advice online concering your UK visa and immigration matter or book an appointment online for detailed immigration advice with our specialist immigration solicitor having more than 19 years of experience as an immigration lawyer. 

As specialist spouse visa solicitors, we can provide expert immigration advice and legal representations on fixed fee basis concerning your application for ILR as a spouse. Read More

Naturalisation As A Spouse Of A British Citizen

You can apply for naturalisation as a a British citizen as a spouse of a British Citizen after you have been granted Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK. You do not have to wait for 12 months after the ILR grant date when applying for naturalisation as a spouse of a British Citizen. An application for naturalisation as a spouse of a British Citizen is made using application form AN. An application for naturalisation as a spouse of a British Citizen on 3 years residence basis is made under Section 6(2) of the British Nationality Act 1981. Naturalisation is at the discretion of the Home Secretary. Under Section 6 of the British Nationality Act 1981, s/he may, if s/he thinks fit, grant a certificate of naturalisation to a person of full age and capacity if s/he is satisfied that person meets the requirements set out in Schedule 1 to the Act.

Ask a question to our specialist team of immigration solicitors for free immigration advice online concering your UK visa and immigration matter or book an appointment online for detailed immigration advice with our specialist immigration solicitor having more than 19 years of experience as an immigration lawyer. 

Our expert team of naturalisation solicitors can provide fast, friendly, reliable and fixed fee immigration advice and legal representations for your application for naturalisation as a spouse of a British citizen. Our naturalisaation solicitors are specialists in dealing with an application for naturalisation as a British Citizen. Our naturalisation lawyers have wealth of knowledge and experience of successfully handling thousands of naturalisation applications. Read More

Book An Appointment With Our Spouse Visa Solicitors

Using the links below, you can book an appointment online with our specialist immigration advice solicitors for detailed immigration advice and consultation concerning your UK visa and immigration matter:

Alternatively, you can call us on 020 3930 3900 or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to schedule an appointment with our specialist immigration solicitors and lawyers for immigration advice and consutlation regarding your matter.

Fast Track Visa Service For Spouse Visa UK

Our specialist team of Fast Track Immigration Solicitors can fast track your UK visa and immigration application to get you decision on your application faster under the Priority Service or Super Priority service. This way you will get decision on your application faster and will not to wait for a decision on your application for months (some time years).

Our fast track immigration solicitors can prepare your application faster and submit your application under the Priority Service or Super Priority Service to get you faster decision on your application.

As Fast Track Immigration Lawyers in London, we are registered with the Home Office, UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) and its commercial partners UKVCAS Sopra Steria to provide Priority Service or Super Priority Service for your application whereby decision on your application will be made by the Home Office UKVI faster. An application submitted through Priority Service is normally decided within 5 working days and an application submitted through Super Priority Service is normally decided within 24 hours (usually by end of next working day).

FAQs - ILR As A Spouse (10 Years Route)

When can I apply for ILR as a spouse under 10 years route?

You can apply for ILR as a spouse under 10 years route 28 days before completing 10 years under spouse visa (10 years route).

Can I apply for ILR as a spouse under 10 years route using super priority service?

Yes, you can submit your application for ILR as a spouse (10 years route) using super priority service and get decision on your application within 24 hours.

Can I count time spent under 5 years route when I am applying for ILR under spouse visa (10 years route)?

If you are on the 10 year route, you can include time you’ve spent on both the 5 year route and the 10 year route to count towards your continuous residence.

Do I have to meet the financial requirement or minimum income requirement for ILR as a spouse under 10 years route?

There is no financial requirement to succeed in an application for ILR under spouse visa (10 years route).

Under which immigration laws can I apply for ILR as a spouse under 10 years route?

You can apply for ILR as a spouse under 10 years route by virtue of requirement set out in Appendix FM to the Immigration Rules.

How can I apply for ILR as a spouse under 10 years route?
Can I apply for ILR under 10 years long residence using SET (LR) form instead of applying for ILR under spouse visa 10 years route?

Yes, you can apply for ILR under 10 years long residence using application form SET (LR) instead of ILR under spouse visa (10 years route) if you complete your 10 years of continuous and lawful residence in the UK. Your continuous and lwful residence under all types of UK visas is counted towards 10 years long residence to apply for ILR - 10 years long residence.

FAQs - Spouse Visa Extension (10 Years Route)

Do I have to meet the English language and financial requirement for extension of spouse visa under 10 years route?

No, you do not have to meet the English language requirement and financial requirement for extension of spouse visa under 10 years route.

What form should I use to apply for spouse visa under 10 years route?

You should use application form FLR (FP) to apply for renewal of spouse visa under 10 years route.

Can I renew my spouse visa under 10 years route using Super Priority Service?

Yes, you can apply for renewal of your spouse visa under 10 years route through Super Priority Service so that your application is decided by the Home Office UKVI within 24 hours.

Will I get in-country right of appeal against the refusal of my application for extension of spouse visa under 10 years route?

You will get in-country right of appeal against the refusal of your spouse visa renewal under 10 years route unless the Home Office UKVI certifies your human rights claim to be manifestly unfounded.

How long the Home Office UKVI will take to process my application for spouse visa renewal under 10 years route through standard service?

An application for spouse visa renewal under 10 years route made through standard service is normally decided by the Home Office UKVI within 3 to 6 months.

An application for extension of spouse visa visa (10 years route) made through Super Priority Service is decided within 24 hours.

What is the difference between spouse visa 5 years route and spouse visa 10 years route?

There are many differences in spouse visa 10 years route and sposue visa 5 years route. The main differences include the following:

Qualifying period for ILR

Under spouse visa 10 years route, applicant can apply for ILR upon completion of 10 years with leave to remain as a spouse. Under spouse visa 5 years route, applicant can apply for ILR after 5 years with leave to remain as a spouse.

Application Form

An application for leave to remain under spouse visa 10 years route is made using application form FLR (FP). An application for leave to remain under spouse visa 5 years route is made using application form FLR (M).

English language requiremet

An application for leave to remain under 10 years route does not require the applicant to meet the Englis language requirement. However, an application for leave to remain under 5 years route requires the applicant to meet the English language requirement.

Financial requirement

An application for leave to remain under 10 years route does not require the applicant to meet the financial requirement. However, an application for leave to remain under 5 years route requires the applicant to meet the financial requirement.

EX1 to Appendix FM

An applicant applying for leave to remain as a spouse under 10 years is required to meet the requirements of EX1 to Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules; but an applicant applying for leave to remain as a spouse under 5 years route is not required to meet the requirements of EX1 to Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules.

FAQs - Extension Of Spouse Visa (5 Years Route)

What are useful online sources of information and guidance for renewal of spouse visa under 5 years route?

You can rely on following useful online sources to find an answer to your question about extension of spouse visa 5 years route:

Apply Online For Renewal Of Spouse Visa

The Home Office UKVI website gives you access to the online application form FLR (M) to apply for renewal of spouse visa under 5 years route.

gov.uk logo

Appendix FM: Immigration Rules

Appendix FM to the UK Immigration Rules sets out the requirements an applicant for renewal of spouse visa under 5 years route.

gov.uk logo

Appendix FM SE: Immigration Rules

Appendix FM SE to the Immigration Rules sets out the specified documents to meet the financial requirement for renewal of spouse visa.

gov.uk logo

Appendix FM Financial Requirement: Home Office Guidance

The Home Office UKVI guidance on meeting the financial requirement is a useful source of information and guidance on how to meet the financial requirement for extension/renewal of spouse visa.

gov.uk logo

Approved English Language Tests

The Home Office UKVI page Applying for a UK visa: approved English language tests is a useful source of information about approved English language test centres in the UK and around the world for spouse visa application.

gov.uk logo

Partner, Divorce & Dissolution Guidance UKVI

The Home Office UKVI guidance: Partner, Divorce & Dissolution Guidance UKVI is a useful source of information and guidance about the validity of marriage, divorce, civil partnership or dissolution of civil partnership.

gov.uk logo

What if my spouse visa renewal/extension application is not successful?

If your spouse visa renewal application is unsuccessful, you may have one of the two options available to you:

Option to re-apply within 14 days

You can re-apply for spouse visa renewal within 14 days of the deadline for filing an appeal against the refusal has expired. Our expert team of spouse visa solicitors can provide the required legal help and assistance for re-applying for spouse visa renewal after refusal.

Option to file an appeal against the refusal

You can file an appeal against the refusal of your spouse visa renewal within 14 days of the refusal decision. Our specialist appeal lawyers can provide expert legal help and assistance with your appeal to the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) to challenge the refusal of  your spouse visa renewal.

You should take appropriate legal advice before choosing the right option for you in your given circumstances.

What are the most common reasons for refusal of spouse visa renewal application under 5 years route?

The most common reasons for refusal of spouse visa renewal under 5 years route include the following:

  • not meeting the financial requirement;
  • not meeting the English language requirement;
  • Home Office UKVI not satisfied that the relationship with the British or settled spouse is still subsisting;
  • general grounds for refusal such as allegation by the Home Office UKVI of applicant using proxy for TOEIC test previously, making false representations, etc.
Can Home Office grant me leave under 10 years route if I do not meet the requirements under 5 years route?

Yes, it is very common for the Home Office UKVI to grant leave to remain under 10 years route where the applicant allegedly does not meet the requirements for grant of leave under the 5 years route.

In the event of Home Office granting leave under 10 years route, the applicant will not be given appeal right to challenge the refusal in the First Tier Tribunal. Such decision of the Home Office UKVI can only be challenged by way of Judicial Review in the Upper Tribunal.

Our expert team of Judicial Review solicitors can help you with your Judicial Review against the Home Office UKVI decision to grant you leave under 10 years route instead of 5 years route if you believe that the decision not to grant under 5 years route is wrong and unlawful.

How long does spouse visa extension/renewal take?

The processing time for renewal of spouse visa (5 years route) is dependent on the type of service you use to apply for extension of your spouse visa. The processing times for renewal of spouse visa (5 years route) are as follows:

Standard Service

An application for spouse visa renewal under standard service is likely to be decided by the Home Office UKVI within 3 to 6 months.

Priority Service

An application for extension of spouse visa under priority service is likely to be decided within 5 working days.

Super Priority Service

An application for spouse visa renewal under the Super Priority Service is likely to be decided within 24 hours.

How much does it cost to renew spouse visa UK?

The Home Office UKVI fees for renewal of spouse visa 5 years route are as follows:

  • Application fee: £1048
  • Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS): £1,560
  • Biometrics Enrolment Fee: £19.20
  • Super Priority Service for decision within 24 hours (Optional): £800

Our spouse visa solicitors can provide legal help and assistance with your application for extension of spouse visa (5 years route) on fixed fee basis.

Which English test is required for spouse visa extension under 5 years route?

You will need to pass the Home Office UKVI approved English test known as IELTS Life Skills at level A2 (listening and speaking only) for the renewal of your spouse visa under 5 years route.

How soon can I apply for spouse visa extension/renewal?

You can apply for spouse visa renewal any time within 28 days before completing 30 months residence in the UK on spouse visa OR before your spouse visa expires.

Is there a residence requirement for spouse visa renewal under 5 years route?

Under the UK immigration Rules, there is no specified residence requirement for renewal of spouse visa. However, as the spouse visa category is a settlement category, it is expected that the applicant has intention to live permanently in the UK with the UK sponsor in order to settle in the UK. Long absences from the UK may raise a question mark on the applicant's intention to live permanently in the UK with the UK sponsor.

What documents are required for spouse visa extension/renewal under 5 years route?

The documents to be submitted in support of the spouse visa renewal will vary depending on the personal circumstances of the applicant and the UK sponsor. Generally spaking, you may need to provide various documents in support of your spouse visa renewal under 5 years which may include the following:

  • your current and previous passports
  • your biometric residence permit
  • your spouse's immigration status documents e.g. British passport or ILR BRP card
  • evidence of relationship with your spouse including marriage certificate and evidence of cohabitation with your spouse
  • evidence to show how you meet the financial requirement of earning £18,600 or mroe e.g. pay slips, bank statements and other relevant documents as per your circumstances
  • evidence of your accommodation in the UK
  • evidence of meeting English language requirement e.g. English test certificate or degree certificate etc
  • if either the applicant or the UK sponsor was previously married, the divorce certificate of the applicant or the sponsor, as the case may be

It is pertinent to note that the supporting document to meet the financial requirement will vary from case to case depending on how the financial requirement is being met. Our expert team of solicitors for spouse visa renewal can assess your personal circumstances fully and give you a complete list of all the documents required to be submitted in your application as per your personal circumstances.

My wife is on spouse visa in the UK. If I claim universal credit, will it affect my wife's application for extension of spouse visa under 5 years route?

As long as you and your wife meet the financial requirement for extension of spouse visa under 5 years route, receiving universal credit or any other public funds in your name should not have any adverse impact on your wife’s application for spouse visa extension. 

FAQs - Switching Into Spouse Visa UK (5 Years Route)

What are useful online sources of information and guidance for switching into spouse visa under 5 years route?

You can rely on following useful online sources to find an answer to your question about switching into spouse visa 5 years route from inside the UK:

Apply Online For Switching Into Spouse Visa

The Home Office UKVI website gives you access to the online application form FLR (M) to apply for switching into spouse visa under 5 years route.

gov.uk logo

Appendix FM: Immigration Rules

Appendix FM to the UK Immigration Rules sets out the requirements an applicant for switching into spouse visa under 5 years route from inside the UK.

gov.uk logo

Appendix FM SE: Immigration Rules

Appendix FM SE to the Immigration Rules sets out the specified documents to meet the financial requirement for switching into spouse visa from inside the UK.

gov.uk logo

Appendix FM Financial Requirement: Home Office Guidance

The Home Office UKVI guidance on meeting the financial requirement is a useful source of information and guidance on how to meet the financial requirement for switching into spouse visa from inside the UK.

gov.uk logo

Approved English Language Tests

The Home Office UKVI page Applying for a UK visa: approved English language tests is a useful source of information about approved English language test centres in the UK and around the world for spouse visa application.

gov.uk logo

Partner, Divorce & Dissolution Guidance UKVI

The Home Office UKVI guidance: Partner, Divorce & Dissolution Guidance UKVI is a useful source of information and guidance about the validity of marriage, divorce, civil partnership or dissolution of civil partnership.

gov.uk logo

Upper Tribunal decision in CB (Brazil) (validity of marriage: proxy marriage) [2008] UKAIT 00080 on the recognition of proxy marriages in the UK

This case law deals with the validity of proxy marriages and whether or not such marriages are considered as legally recognised in the UK.

How soon can I apply for switching into spouse visa from inside the UK?

You can apply for switching into spouse visa from inside the UK any time during the validity of your current leave to remain or visa. You do not necessarily have to wait until 28 days before the expiry of your current leave rather it is better to switch earlier, if possible so that your qualifying time for ILR can start as soon you have switched into 5 years route.

How much does it cost to switch into spouse visa?

The Home Office UKVI fees for switching into spouse visa 5 years route are as follows:

  • Application fee: £1048
  • Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS): £1,560
  • Biometrics Enrolment Fee: £19.20
  • Super Priority Service for decision within 24 hours (Optional): £800

In addition to the Home Office UKVI fees for spouse visa under 5 years route, you will also have to pay the solicitors legal costs if you are getting legal help and assistance of a solicitor for switcing into spouse visa under 5 years route. We charge a fixed fee for helping with an application for switching into spouse visa (5 years route).

Can I switch from student visa to spouse visa (5 years route) from inside the UK?

Yes, you can apply for switching from Tier 4 General Student visa to spouse visa (5 years route) from inside the UK after you are married to a qualifying UK spouse.

Can I switch from Skilled Worker visa to spouse visa from inside the UK?

Yes, a Skilled Worker migrant who is married to a British Citizen or settled person can switch from Skilled Worker visa to spouse visa (5 years route) from inside the UK.

Can I switch from Temporary Worker visa to Spouse visa?

Yes, a Temporary Worker who is married to a qaulifying UK spouse can switch from Temporary Worker visa to spouse visa (5 years route) from inside the UK.

What is the processing time for switching into spouse visa (5 years route)?

The processing time for switching into spouse visa (5 years route) is dependent on the type of service you use to apply for switching into spouse visa. The processing times for switching into spouse visa (5 years route) are as follows:

Standard Service

An application for switching into spouse visa under standard service is likely to be decided by the Home Office UKVI within 3 to 6 months.

Priority Service

An application for switching into spouse visa under priority service is likely to be decided within 5 working days.

Super Priority Service

An application for switching into spouse visa under the Super Priority Service is likely to be decided within 24 hours.

How can I apply for switching from fiance visa to spouse visa after getting married in the UK whilst on fiance visa?

You can apply for switching from fiance visa to spouse visa (5 years route) by completing an application form FLR (M) online. 

FAQs - Switching Into Spouse Visa (10 Years Route)

Do I have to meet the English language and financial requirement for switching into spouse visa under 10 years route?

No, you do not have to meet the English language requirement and financial requirement for switching into spouse visa under 10 years route.

Will I get in-country right of appeal if my FLR (FP) application as a spouse under 10 years route is refused by the Home Office UKVI?

Unless your human rights claim is certified by the Home Office UKVI as manifestly unfounded, you will get an in-country right of appeal against the refusal of your FLR (FP) application as a partner.

A decision of the Home Office UKVI to certify the human rights claim as manifestly unfounded and not give in-country right of appeal can be challenged by way of Pre Action Protocol and Judicial Review.

What is the cost of switching into spouse visa 10 years route?

The Home Office UKVI fees for switching into spouse visa 10 years route are as follows:

  • Application fee: £1048
  • Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS): £1,560
  • Biometrics Enrolment Fee: £19.20
  • Super Priority Service for decision within 24 hours (Optional): £800

In addition to the Home Office UKVI fees for switching into spouse visa under 10 years route, you will also have to pay the solicitors legal costs if you are getting legal help and assistance of a solicitor for switching into spouse visa under 10 years route. 

Our spouse visa solicitors can represent you in your application for a fixed fee.

Can I switch from spouse visa 10 years route to spouse visa 5 years route?

Any time during the validity of leave to remain as spouse under 10 years route, the applicant can switch into spouse visa under the 5 years route so that he can qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) after spending 5 years on spouse visa rather than 10 years under the spouse visa. It is always better to make such application for switching from 10 years route to 5 years route as early as possible so that the qualifying time for ILR under the 5 years route can start as soon as you have switched into 5 years route. We can provide Super Priority Service for switching from 10 years route to 5 years route.

For how long will I be granted leave to remain under spouse visa 10 years route?

If your application for switching into spouse visa under the 10 years route is successful, you will be granted leave to remain in the UK for 30 months. You will need to complete 10 years in the UK with leave to remain as a spouse under 10 years route before you can apply for ILR as a spouse under 10 years route.

FAQs - ILR As A Spouse (5 Years Route)

What is the application process to apply for ILR as a spouse under 5 years route?

You can apply for ILR when you have completed 5 years in the UK under the Spouse Visa (5 Years Route). According to Home Office UKVI Guidance, an application for ILR as a spouse can be made within 28 days before completion of 5 years residence in the UK under 5 years route.

You can apply for ILR as a spouse online using SET (M) form. Upon submission of the online application, the Home Office UKVI fees are paid online and then an appointment for verification of documents and enrolment of biometrics is made online on UKVCAS online portal. All the supporting documents must be uploaded online before biometrics enrolment appointment is attended at the UKVCAS application centre. At the appointment cetnre, the supporting documents uploaded online are verified by the UKVCAS staff and biometrics of the applicant are enrolled.

An applicant for ILR as a spouse under 5 years route receives decision from the UKVI within the service standards of the UKVI for processing of the application. Applicants who apply for ILR using Super Priority Service receive the decision normally within 24 hours and the applicants who have used standard service receive decision normally within 3 to 6 months.

What are useful online sources of information and guidance for ILR as a spouse?
When and how can I apply for ILR as a spouse under 5 years route?

You can apply for ILR as a spouse under 5 years route by completing application form SET (M) online.

You can apply for ILR as a spouse under 5 year route within 28 days before completion of 5 years residence with leave to remain as a spouse under 5 years route.

Can I apply for ILR as a spouse after 2.5 years?

No, you cannot apply for ILR until you have completed 5 years residence in the UK under 5 years spouse visa route. Prior to 9 July 2012, it was possible to apply for ILR after 2 years residence in the UK on spouse visa but as a result of changes in the Immigration Rules in 2012 the ILR qualifying period for spouse visa was changed to 5 years under the 5 years route.

Which English test is required for spouse visa ILR under 5 years route?

You will need to pass the Home Office UKVI approved English test known as IELTS Life Skills at level B1 (listening and speaking only) for your spouse visa ILR under 5 years route.

Is there a requirement of not being absent from the UK during the qualifying period for ILR as a spouse under 5 years route?

Under the UK immigration Rules, there is no specific provisions with regards to absences from the UK whilst on spouse visa. However, as the spouse visa category is a settlement category, it is expected that the applicant has intention to live permanently in the UK with the UK sponsor in order to settle in the UK. Long absences from the UK may raise a question mark on the applicant's intention to live permanently in the UK with the UK sponsor.

The requirement of not being absent for more than 180 days in each year does not apply to spouse visa ILR applications.

What is salary requirement for ILR as a spouse under 5 years route?

The immigration rules require that an applicant who is applying for ILR as a spouse (5 years route) with no dependent children should have a combined (applicant's and sponsor's) salaried  income of not less than £18,600 gross per year.

I previously completed 30 months with spouse visa under 10 years route and now about to complete 30 months under spouse visa 5 years route. Can I apply for ILR now before the expiry of my current spouse visa?

You cannot combine time spent under spouse visa 10 years route with time under spouse visa 5 years route to apply for ILR as a spouse under 5 years route. You will have to complete 5 years continuously in the UK under spouse visa 5 years route and therefore you will have to seek one more extension of spouse visa under 5 years route so that you can complete 5 years continuously under spouse visa 5 years route to qualify for ILR as a spouse.

I am about to complete 5 years in the UK under spouse visa (5 years route) to apply for ILR as a spouse. My daughter who is step daughter to my husband joined me in the UK a few years ago and would not have completed 5 years at the same time when I complete my 5 years. Can my daughter apply for ILR at the same time when I apply for ILR?

Your daughter can apply for ILR at the same time when you apply for your ILR as a spouse. The law does not require your daughter (who is step daughter of your British spouse) to complete 5 years in the UK to be eligible for ILR.

I am about to complete 5 years in the UK on spouse visa (5 years route) and will be eligible for ILR. However, I may not pass the Life in the UK test before the expiry of my current leave. Can I extend my spouse visa further instead of applying for ILR?

If you could not pass the Life in the UK test, you can apply for extension of your spouse visa instead of applying for indefinite leave to remain (ILR). You can then apply for ILR once you have passed the Life in the UK test any time during the validity of your extended spouse visa.

FAQs - Spouse Visa Entry Clearance

How can I apply for spouse visa entry clearance from outside the UK?

An application for spouse visa entry clearance from outside the UK is made online. Upon completion and submission of the online form for spouse visa entry clearance UK, the spouse visa entry clearance fee and Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) is paid online. All the supporting documents in support of the spouse visa application are then uploaded online. An appointment is then booked with the Application Centre for the enrolment of biometrics and submission of the Applicant's passport at the designated application centre in the country of residence of the applicant.

For how long the spouse visa entry clearance is granted as a result of a successful application?

You will be granted entry clearance vignette for 90 days to be able to ener the UK. You will then collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BPR) which will show your spouse visa valid for 33 months.

What are various sources of meeting the financial requirement?

Where the applicant has to meet the minimum income threshold, the financial requirement can generally be met in the following 5 ways:

  • Income from salaried or non-salaried employment of the partner (and/or the applicant if they are in the UK with permission to work). This is referred to as Category A or Category B, depending on the employment history.
  • Non-employment income, e.g. income from property rental or dividends from shares. This is referred to as Category C.
  • Cash savings of the applicant’s partner and/or the applicant, above £16,000, held by the partner and/or the applicant for at least 6 months and under their control. This is referred to as Category D.
  • State (UK or foreign), occupational or private pension of the applicant’s partner and/or the applicant. This is referred to as Category E.
  • Income from self-employment, and income as a director or employee of a specified limited company in the UK, of the partner (and/or the applicant if they are in the UK with permission to work). This is referred to as Category F or Category G, depending on which financial year(s) is or are being relied upon.
What is evidence flexibility for financial requirement?

The evidential flexibility is set out in paragraph D of Appendix FM-SE. Under Appendix FM-SE, there is discretion for decision-makers to defer an application pending submission of missing evidence or the correct version of it, within a reasonable deadline set for this. Decision-makers will not have to defer where they do not think that correcting the error or omission will lead to a grant.

Decision-makers are also able to grant an application despite minor evidential problems (but not where specified evidence is missing entirely). There is also discretion for decision-makers where evidence cannot be supplied because it is not issued in a particular country or has been permanently lost. Decision-makers have general discretion to request additional information or evidence before making a decision.

What are the useful online sources for information about spouse visa entry clearance for UK?

 You can rely on following useful online sources to find an answer to your question about UK spouse visa entry clearance application:

How To Apply For Spouse Visa Entry Clearance Online

The Home Office UKVI website gives you access to the online application form to apply for spouse visa online.

gov.uk logo

Appendix FM: Immigration Rules

Appendix FM to the UK Immigration Rules sets out the requirements an applicant has to meet for spouse visa entry clearance.

gov.uk logo

Appendix FM SE: Immigration Rules

Appendix FM SE to the Immigration Rules sets out the specified documents to meet the financial requirement for spouse visa entry cleraance.

gov.uk logo

Appendix FM Financial Requirement: Home Office Guidance

The Home Office UKVI guidance on meeting the financial requirement is a useful source of information and guidance on how to meet the financial requirement for spouse visa entry clearance.

gov.uk logo

Approved English Language Tests For Spouse Visa

The Home Office UKVI page Applying for a UK visa: approved English language tests is a useful source of information about approved English language test centres in the UK and around the world for spouse visa application.

gov.uk logo

Partner, Divorce & Dissolution Guidance UKVI

The Home Office UKVI guidance: Partner, Divorce & Dissolution Guidance UKVI is a useful source of information and guidance about the validity of marriage, divorce, civil partnership or dissolution of civil partnership.

gov.uk logo

Upper Tribunal decision in CB (Brazil) (validity of marriage: proxy marriage) [2008] UKAIT 00080 on the recognition of proxy marriages in the UK

This case law deals with the validity of proxy marriages and whether or not such marriages are considered as legally recognised in the UK.

What documents do I need to apply for UK spouse visa entry clearance?

The documentary evidence to be submitted in support of the spouse visa entry clearance for UK varies from case to case depending on the personal circumstances of the applicant and the UK sponsor. Our fast track spouse visa solicitors can provide you with a comprehensive list of supporting documents after fully assessing the personal circumstances of the applicant and the UK sponsor.

How long does a UK spouse visa entry clearance application take?

The processing time of the spouse visa entry clearance application are as follows:

Standard Service

An application under standard service is decided normally within 24 weeks after the enrolment of biometrics at the UK visa application centre.

Priority Service

An application under Priority Service is normally decided within 6 to 8 weeks after the enrolment of biometrics at the UK visa application centre.

Super Priority Service

An applicaton for spouse visa entry clearance under Super Priority Service is normally decided within 24 hours after the enrolment of biometrics at the UK visa application centre. The Super Priority Service is not available from most of the countries at present.

Will I get right to appeal against the refusal decision if my spouse visa entry clearance application is refused by the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO)?

If your spouse visa entry clearance application is refused by the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) of the Home Office UKVI, you will get a right of appeal to challenge the refusal of your spouse visa entry clearance application. You should file appeal against spouse visa entry clearance refusal within 28 days after receiving the refusal decision.

Will I be allowed to work in the UK on spouse visa?

Yes, you will have right to work full time whilst living in the UK on spouse visa. You can be employed or self-employed whilst in the UK on spouse visa.

How soon can I apply for the renewal of my spouse visa which was granted from outside the UK?

The earliest you can apply for the extension / renewal of your spouse visa which was granted from outside the UK is 28 days before completing 30 months in the UK starting from your first entry date on spouse visa. Our fast track spouse visa lawyers can fast track your application for spouse visa renewal and get decision on your spouse visa renewal application within 24 hours.

FAQs - Spouse Visa UK

What is spouse visa UK?

Spouse visa UK is a visa granted by the Home Office UKVI on the basis of a marriage of foreign national with a person who is either a British Citizen, a person with ILR / settled status, an EU national with pre-settled status, a refugee, Turkish Businessperson visa holder or Turkish Worker visa holder. Spouse is also known as marriage visa or Appendix FM partner visa.

What is spouse visa fast track service?

Using spouse visa fast track service, you can get faster decision on your spouse visa application. Spouse visa applications from outside the UK can be submitted through priority service for faster decision on spouse visa application. Spouse visa applications from inside the UK can be submitted through Super Priority Service to get decision on spouse visa applications within 24 hours.

What are different routes to settlement under spouse visa UK?

There are two routes to settlement under spouse visa UK which are as follows:

Spouse Visa (5 Years Route)

Under spouse visa route, you will become eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) as a spouse 28 days before completing 5 years in the UK under spouse visa 5 years route. Any time spent in the UK under spouse visa 10 years route cannot be counted towards 5 years for the purposes of applying for ILR as a spouse.

Spouse Visa (10 Years Route)

Under spouse visa (10 years route), you will become eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) as a spouse 28 days before either completing 10 years under spouse visa (10 years route) or 10 years of continuous and lawful stay on all types of UK visa [ILR-10 Years Long Residence), whichever is earlier. In most cases, the applicants will complete 10 years under 10 years long residence earlier than 10 years under spouse visa (10 years route).

It is possible to switch from spouse visa (10 years route) to spouse visa (5 years route) to qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) sooner under the 5 years route.