Apply now before £29,000 income rule starts April 2024!

UK visa as a Partner, Spouse, Fiancee

We started this company 15 years ago after our own experience. 5 and 10-year routes.


Entry visa, switching from Student etc. Extension, Settlement
, Citizenship

Why choose 1st 4Immigration?

OISC - accredited at highest Level 3, in business over 15 years

Specialist in Financial Requirement £18,600, how it changes to £38,700

Expert advice, competitive fixed fees

We reply emails on same business day

  • Discuss your situation with an experienced adviser – not an automated service. Zoom, WhatsApp or email. In case of email, we provide the answers by next working day!
  • Explanation of Immigration Rules in plain language, assessment how you can meet the Rules.
  • Consultation fee is deducted from our service fee if you hire us for a case afterwards.

How is income rule changing? £29,000 to £34,500 to £38,700. Apply now to avoid it!

 

The current income threshold £18,600 will be increasing to £29,000 from 4 April 2024. Then to £34,500 later in 2024, and eventually to £38,700 in early 2025.

If you already have a Spouse / Partner visa, will it affect you?

No, you will be able to continue under the current £18,600 threshold. You will be able to continue under the “old” rules for extension and also for settlement (Indefinite Leave) after 5 years, assuming your visas will be continuous. The point is to apply for your 1st Spouse, Partner or Child visa before 4 April 2024.

What if I apply before 4 April 2024 but get the decision after that?

UK visa rules go by the date of application, not the date of decision. As long as we submit your application before 4 April 2024, you will remain under the “old” rules even if it’s decided after the rules change. Same if you appeal.

If you are planning to apply for the 1st Partner visa:

We advise to do it now to avoid the new rules! If you cannot, you could still apply under £29,000 rules , at least hopefully avoiding the £38,700 rules the future. Not as “good” as with £18,600 but “better” than £34,500 and £38,700. The sooner the better!

Visa options: Spouse, Partner, Fiancee  

When it comes to UK visas, a ‘Partner’ is a general term. Within that, we have the following. Fiancé/Fiancée visa is for 6 months with no right to work. Allows to get married and apply for a Spouse visa, which can be on standard or fast-track 24-hour service.

Spouse visa allows to work in the UK immediately. It is for married couples and also for civil partners who registered their partnership with the Register Office. If you/your partner are outside the UK, you can get married there or you can use a Fiancee option to get married in the UK. A visa is for 30 months (2.5 years) but you get extra 3 months when applying outside the UK to give you more flexibility to plan the move to the UK.

Unmarried Partner visa is similar to Spouse visa in terms of length and path to settlement. However, the qualifying condition is different. Instead of being married you need to prove you have lived together for 2 years. This rule is strictly enforced. Alternatively, you can get married, or register a civil partnership, and get a Spouse visa.

Book an online consultation with a lawyer here. From our London office, we serve customers anywhere in the UK and the world, since the visa rules are the same for all nationals!

Can I switch while visiting the UK?  

Switching to a Spouse/Partner visa can only be done from a non-visitor visa, such as Student, Graduate, Youth Mobility Scheme and others. If you are on a visitor status, you have to return to your country and apply from there.   

Difference between 5 and 10-year routes  

5-year route is a standard one, meaning you can qualify for permanent residency after 5 years in the UK. The 1st visa is for 30 months (2.5 years) if you apply inside the UK, such as when switching from a Student visa. Or for 33 months (2.5 years + 3 months) if you apply outside the UK. Then extension for further 2.5 years, then settlement.

10-year route is used when you have serious, exceptional circumstances why you cannot meet the requirements of the standard route, usually financial or being in the UK without a valid visa. The 1st visa is again for 30 months (2.5 years), but you need further 3 visas until you can settle in the UK after 10 years. There may be better solutions, however, such as switching from the 10 to 5-year route or settling after 10 years on any visas

Financial Requirement £18,600 – before it changes to £38,700  

Currently, before the announcement of £38,700 income, the Financial Requirement remains the same for all options in the standard 5-year route. Can be income from employment or self-employment in the UK or abroad, savings, property income and other permitted sources (or combination). Savings amount is £62,500 and not £16,000 or £18,600 as it is often (wrongly) thought. It is our speciality and we have unbeatable expertise!

Please see at the top how the Rules will be changing during 2024 and 2025.  

Sponsor a partner to come to the UK  

If you are living in the UK but your partner is living in another country, the visa options are: Spouse or Fiancee. English: A1. 

Financial Requirement (before 4 April 2024): 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; pension or combinations, such as pension + savings. 

Waiting time outside the UK: around 3 months on standard service; 6 weeks on Priority service.  The outcome: visa for 33 months with the right to work and use the NHS.

Coming to the UK together after living abroad 


If you are both living or working abroad and decide to come and live in the UK together. Your partner’s visa options are: Spouse if you are married. Unmarried Partner if you have lived together for 2 years. If not, you can apply for a Fiancee visa. English: A1.

Financial Requirement (before 4 April 2024): income of £18,600 or savings of £62,500. Most commonly met with: savings; non-UK employment with a UK job offer; property rental income; pension or combinations, such as pension + savings.

Waiting time outside the UK: around 3 months on standard service; 6 weeks on Priority service.  The outcome: Spouse/Partner visa for 33 months with the right to work and use the NHS. Fiancee visa is for 6 months without the right to work.

Switching from Student or another visa inside the UK 

If you are both already in the UK and your partner has a non-Visitor status, such as Student, Graduate, Youth Mobility etc.  The visa options are: Spouse or Unmarried Partner. English: A1, you can use a UK degree. 

Financial Requirement (before 4 April 2024): income of £18,600 or savings of £62,500. Most commonly met with: UK employment or self-employment; savings; combinations, such as employment + savings, or UK employment of both partners.

Waiting time inside the UK: 8 weeks on standard service; next working day on Priority service.  The outcome: visa for 30 months with the right to work and use the NHS.

Settlement – Indefinite Leave to Remain 

After an initial Partner visa and extension, you (or your partner) would normally have 5 years in the UK in this category. This is the time to  qualify for permanent residency. You cannot count time spent on a Fiancee visa and cannot combine with other categories, like Student or Work. 

If you are in the 10-year Partner route, you need 10 years of continuous legal residency in the UK. You can, however, switch to the 5-year route as soon as you can meet the Requirements, making your qualifying period for Settlement shorter than 10 years. 

Tests: English B1 and Life in the UK. Financial Requirement: income of £18,600 or savings of £34,600.  

Waiting time: within 6 months on standard service. Next working day on Priority service. The outcome: Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK, plus the ability to qualify for British Citizenship and UK passport.   

Applying with children and how to bring Partner’s children to the UK 

Situation 1:  a British partner cannot pass their nationality to children born outside the UK, due to being British by descent. The whole family is coming to the UK, so the foreign partner applies for a visa as above, and the children can apply as dependants. 

Situation 2: a British citizen is sponsoring a partner to come and live in the UK. The foreign partner can include his/her children as dependants, but only after proving sole responsibility for them.

All children must be under 18 years of age at the time of their 1st application. After that they can carry on as dependants, even if they turn 18 later.

Financial Requirement increases to £22,400 when one child is added. Increases further when more children are added. The amount of savings also rises, as per the specified formula. Book a consultation with a lawyer here. 

What documents do I need?

As part of our services, we make a tailored list of documents for your situation and guide you on the Rules. The supporting evidence (documents) depend on the category and how you are meeting the Financial Requirement £18,600. For example, the list for a self-employed person is very different from someone receiving pension.  

Common questions

When it comes to UK visas, a ‘Partner’ is a general term. Within that, we have the following. Fiancé/Fiancée visa is for 6 months with no right to work. Allows to get married and apply for a Spouse visa, which can be on standard or fast-track 24-hour service. 

Spouse visa allows to work in the UK immediately. It is for married couples and also for civil partners who registered their partnership with the Register Office. If you/your partner are outside the UK, you can get married there or you can use a Fiancee option to get married in the UK. A visa is for 30 months (2.5 years) but you get extra 3 months when applying outside the UK to give you more flexibility to plan the move to the UK.

Unmarried Partner visa is similar to Spouse visa in terms of length and path to settlement. However, the qualifying condition is different. Instead of being married you need to prove you have lived together for 2 years. This rule is strictly enforced. Alternatively, you can get married, or register a civil partnership, and get a Spouse visa.

Book an online consultation with a lawyer here. From our London office, we serve customers anywhere in the UK and the world, since the visa rules are the same for all nationals! 

Switching to a Spouse/Partner visa can only be done from a non-visitor visa, such as Student, Graduate, Youth Mobility Scheme and others. If you are on a visitor status, you have to return to your country and apply from there.   

5-year route is a standard one, meaning you can qualify for permanent residency after 5 years in the UK. The 1st visa is for 30 months (2.5 years) if you apply inside the UK, such as when switching from a Student visa. Or for 33 months (2.5 years + 3 months) if you apply outside the UK. Then extension for further 2.5 years, then settlement.

10-year route is used when you have serious, exceptional circumstances why you cannot meet the requirements of the standard route (usually financial or being in the UK without a valid visa). The 1st visa is again for 30 months (2.5 years), but you need further 3 visas until you can settle in the UK after 10 years. There may be better solutions, however, such as switching from the 10 to 5-year route or settling after 10 years on any visas. 

It is the same for all options in the standard 5-year route. Can be income from employment or self-employment in the UK or abroad, savings, property income and other permitted sources (or combination). Savings amount is £62,500 and not £16,000 or £18,600 as it is often (wrongly) thought. We have a detailed page on Financial Requirement here. It is our speciality and we have unbeatable expertise!

If you are living in the UK but your partner is living in another country, the visa options are: Spouse or Fiancee. English: A1. 

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; pension or combinations, such as pension + savings. 

Waiting time outside the UK: around 3 months on standard service; 6 weeks on Priority service.  The outcome: visa for 33 months with the right to work and use the NHS.

If you are both living or working abroad and decide to come and live in the UK together. Your partner’s visa options are: Spouse if you are married. Unmarried Partner if you have lived together for 2 years. If not, you can apply for a Fiancee visa. English: A1. 

Financial Requirement: income of £18,600 or savings of £62,500. Most commonly met with: savings; non-UK employment with a UK job offer; property rental income; pension or combinations, such as pension + savings. 

Waiting time outside the UK: around 3 months on standard service; 6 weeks on Priority service.  The outcome: Spouse/Partner visa for 33 months with the right to work and use the NHS. Fiancee visa is for 6 months without the right to work. 

If you are both already in the UK and your partner has a non-Visitor status, such as Student, Graduate, Youth Mobility etc.  The visa options are: Spouse or Unmarried Partner. English: A1, you can use a UK degree. 

Financial Requirement: income of £18,600 or savings of £62,500. Most commonly met with: UK employment or self-employment; savings; combinations, such as employment + savings, or UK employment of both partners.

Waiting time inside the UK: 8 weeks on standard service; next working day on Priority service.  The outcome: visa for 30 months with the right to work and use the NHS.

After an initial Parter visa and extension, you (or your partner) would normally have 5 years in the UK in this category. This is the time to  qualify for permanent residency. You cannot count time spent on a Fiancee visa and cannot combine with other categories, like Student or Work. 

If you are in the 10-year Partner route, you need 10 years of continuous legal residency in the UK. You can, however, switch to the 5-year route as soon as you can meet the Requirements, making your qualifying period for Settlement shorter than 10 years. 

Tests: English B1 and Life in the UK. Financial Requirement: income of £18,600 or savings of £34,600.  

Waiting time: within 6 months on standard service. Next working day on Priority service. The outcome: Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK, plus the ability to qualify for British Citizenship and UK passport.   

Situation 1:  a British partner cannot pass their nationality to children born outside the UK, due to being British by descent. The whole family is coming to the UK, so the foreign partner applies for a visa as above, and the children can apply as dependants. 

Situation 2: a British citizen is sponsoring a partner to come and live in the UK. The foreign partner can include his/her children as dependants, but only after proving sole responsibility for them.

All children must be under 18 years of age at the time of their 1st application. After that they can carry on as dependants, even if they turn 18 later.

Financial Requirement increases to £22,400 when one child is added. Increases further when more children are added. The amount of savings also rises, as per the specified formula. Book a consultation with a lawyer here. 

As part of our services, we make a tailored list of documents for your situation and guide you on the Rules. The supporting evidence (documents) depend on the category and how you are meeting the Financial Requirement £18,600. For example, the list for a self-employed person is very different from someone receiving pension.  

Need to know more?

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