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In detail: UK Spouse and Partner visas

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Fiancé/Fiancée visa is for 6 months without the right to work. You have to get married and apply for a Spouse visa, which can be on same-day service.

Spouse visa is for 30 or 33 months and allows to work. You need to be married. This also covers civil partners who have a civil partnership certificate.

Unmarried Partner visa is similar to Spouse visa. Instead of being married you need to have lived together for 2 years and being able to prove it. Alternatively, you can get married and qualify as a spouse.

Visa options: Spouse, Fiancée or Unmarried Partner.

English: A1.

Financial Requirement: income of £18,600 or savings of £62,500, can be in UK or elsewhere. Income can be from pension, property, dividends from non-UK company. Non-UK employment is acceptable but only together with a job offer from a UK employer.

Most commonly met with: savings in the UK and/or abroad, pension or combination. For more details, please see our detailed page on Financial Requirement £18,600 or a special post on our blog.

Consideration time: entry visa applications take 3 months on standard service or 1.5 – 2 months on premium service.

Outcome: visa for 33 months (spouse), or a fiancée visa for 6 months.

Right to work: Spouse or Partner visa allows work, Fiancée visa doesn’t.

Next step: if you have a Fiancée visa, you have to get married and apply for a Spouse visa. If you have a Spouse visa, you have to extend after 2.5 years.

Visa options: Spouse or Fiancée.

English: A1.

Financial Requirement: Sponsor’s income of £18,600 or savings of £62,500 or combinations.

Most commonly met with: Sponsor’s UK employment or self-employment, the couple’s savings in the UK and/or abroad, pension.Consideration time: entry visa applications take 3 months on standard service or 1.5 – 2 months on premium service.

Outcome: visa for 33 months (spouse), or a fiancée visa for 6 months.

Right to work: Spouse visa allows work, Fiancée visa doesn’t.

Next step: if you have a Fiancée visa, you have to get married and apply for a Spouse visa. If you have a Spouse visa, you have to extend after 2.5 years.

Visa options: Spouse or Unmarried Partner.

Can switch from: most UK visas, such as any Tier, Fiancée, Partner 10-year route. Cannot switch from a visitor.

English: A1. If you are switching from a Tier 4 visa, you can use your UK degree.

Financial Requirement: income of £18,600 or savings of £62,500.

Most commonly met with: UK employment or self-employment; savings in the UK and/or abroad; PhD scholarship.=

Consideration time: 2 – 3 months on standard service but can also use next-day service by a prior appointment.

Next-day service available? Yes.

Outcome: visa for 2.5 years (30 months).

Right to work: Yes.

Next step: extension for further 2.5 years.

English: A2.  In some cases, you may rely on having met it during the last application.

Financial Requirement: income of £18,600 or savings of £62,500.

Most commonly met with: Sponsor or Applicant’s UK employment or self-employment, the couple’s savings in the UK and/or abroad, pension.

Consideration time: 2 – 3 months on standard service or can also use next–day service by a prior appointment.

Next-day service available? Yes.

Outcome: visa for further 2.5 years (30 months).

Right to work: Yes.

Next step: permanent residency (ILR) after 5 years.

Qualifying period: 5 years in the UK on the Spouse and/or Unmarried Partner visas.

English: B1. In some cases, you may rely on having met it during the last applications.

Life in the UK Test: Yes.

Financial Requirement: income of £18,600 or savings of £34,600.

Most commonly met with: Sponsor or Applicant’s UK employment or self-employment, the couple’s savings in the UK and/or abroad, pension.

Consideration time: 6 months on standard service or can also use next-day service by a prior appointment.

Next-day service available? Yes.

Outcome: Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).

Right to work: Yes.

Next step: British Citizenship.

This is our main speciality, we have helped 1000s of couples! Generally, you need income of £18,600 per year (more if children are also applying) or savings of £62,500 held for 6 months. We highlighted above most common options in each scenario. For more details, we have a dedicated page here.

Fiancé/Fiancée visaA1IELTS Life Skills
1st Spouse or Partner visa, including after initially being on Fiancée visaA1IELTS Life SkillsTrinity College
2nd Spouse or Partner visa after initial 2.5 yearsA2IELTS Life SkillsTrinity College
Permanent residency ILRB1IELTS Life SkillsTrinity College 

Next-day Spouse/Partner visa service is very popular: you would have a decision on the next working day after  the appointment, as opposed to waiting – and worrying – for several months. We book an appointment for you, we upload the documents beforehand and ‘hold your hand’ throughout the whole process. You can keep your passport during the processing time. Our How It Works page has more. This used to be same-day service before it changed in November 2018. 

Next-day service is available for in-UK applications: switching to a Spouse or Unmarried Partner visa from Tier 4 and other permissible categories; applying as a Spouse after being on a Fiancée visa, extension after initial 2.5 years; ILR after 5 years.

Standard service is also available and takes approximately 6 months for ILR, or 2 – 3 months for switching and extension. You can keep your passport during the processing time! Our How It Works page has more. This used to be postal service before it changed in November 2018. 

Applications outside the UK: standard service takes approximately 3 months, premium -approximately 1.5 – 2 months.