Spouse Visa UK

People looking to travel to the UK from Pakistan to join their spouse or fiancé for more than six months may be eligible to apply for a Spouse visa UK; both people must fulfil the eligibility requirements and be able to prove your relationship is genuine, and your partner must either be a British citizen or settled in the UK.

Total Law are experts in immigration law who can support you with your spouse visa application, whether you are checking your eligibility criteria or need help completing your application. To speak to an immigration advisor today, call us on +44 (0)333 305 9375 or contact us online.

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    UK Spouse Visa from Pakistan Overview

    If you have family living in the UK, you will need to apply for a visa to travel from Pakistan to join them for any amount of time in the UK. Which visa you apply for will depend on your relationship status and how long you intend to stay with them; if you are looking to join your spouse, partner, fiancé or proposed civil partner, a Marriage or Spouse visa may be most suitable for you.

    If you are already in a marriage or civil partnership and are accepted for a UK Spouse visa, you will be able to stay in the UK for two years and nine months. To join your fiancé or proposed civil partner, you will have to apply for a Fiancé visa UK, which will only allow you to stay for six months. During this period, you will have to get married, at which point you will have to apply for a Spouse visa to extend your stay.

    Please note that if you and your partner are only travelling to the UK to get married and have no intention to stay beyond six months, you can apply for a Marriage Visitor visa UK. This visa has fewer eligibility requirements and does not need either of you to be settled in the UK.

    Holding a Spouse visa UK will allow you to work towards settling permanently in the UK with indefinite leave to remain and then British Citizenship.

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    Eligibility Criteria for a Spouse Visa UK

    To apply for a UK Spouse visa, you and your partner must meet several eligibility requirements, be over 18 years old, and intend to live together permanently once you enter the UK.

    Your eligibility for the UK Spouse visa depends on your partner’s immigration status in the UK; they must be:

    • A British or Irish citizen.
    • Settled in the UK (indefinite leave to remain, settled status, or permanent residence).
    • From the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Lichtenstein, have pre-settled status and have lived in the UK since 2020.
    • Protected in the UK with permission to stay as a refugee or a person with humanitarian protection.

    It is also essential that you are able to prove that your relationship with the person in the UK is genuine, ongoing, means to last into the future, and that you have the financial means to not rely on UK benefits while in the country, as you will not have access to public funds.

    Proving Your Relationship for a UK Spouse Visa

    When submitting your application, you will need to submit evidence to support your genuine and ongoing relationship with your partner. This is a particularly important part of your application, as the Home Office can deem your Spouse visa application as manipulative or your relationship as fraudulent if you don’t provide the right evidence to prove your relationship.

    This includes proving either that you are in a UK-recognised civil partnership or marriage, have been living together in a relationship for at least two years when you apply, or are a fiancé or proposed civil partner and will marry within six months of arriving in the UK.

    People applying as a fiancé or proposed civil partner will also have to prove that all previous marriages or civil partnerships have ended.

    Documents to Prove Your Relationship

    The evidence you provide will need to come from officially recognised sources from the last four years, such as a government, bank, landlord, utility provider, or medical professional. The documentation will have to confirm your relationship by showing that you live together, share expenses or are married or civil partners.

    The Home Office is not simply looking to confirm that you are married and live together; they aim to ensure that you are involved and committed to each other and that your relationship is built on affection, shared ongoing values and strong emotional support.

    These criteria could include documents such as:

    • Your marriage or civil partnership certificate.
    • Tenancy or mortgage agreements, utility or council tax bills, official forms of ID that show your names at the same address or that you pay bills together.
    • Bank statements from a joint bank account that confirm both your names at the same address and that you share financial responsibilities.
    • Birth certificates from any children you have together and evidence that you both share the care responsibilities for any children.
    • Documentation that you will be living together long-term in the UK.
    • Letter from a doctor or dentist that confirms you live together.
    • Supporting letter written by your spouse to clarify and expand on your history and relationship together and plans for your ongoing relationship.

    These documents are the most accepted forms of evidence for visa applications. If you don’t have this kind of documentation, you can also submit one-off bills or student finance paperwork; however, they may decrease your chances of being accepted.

    Although you can submit proof that you have had ongoing caring communication and have shared experiences or travelled together, the Home Office advises to refrain from submitting things like photographs or social media messages as they are not likely to support your UK Spouse visa application.

    Instructing a legal representative can ensure that you collate the correct evidence to support your claim and increase your chances of a successful application. Contact Total Law today for support with any immigration-related queries; call us on +44 (0)333 305 9375 or contact us online.

    English Language Requirement for a UK Spouse Visa

    The UK Spouse visa requires you to have a good knowledge of the English language. In some circumstances, you will not need to meet the English language requirement for the UK Spouse visa; this includes if:

    • You have already been in the UK for five years with a Family visa and are extending it as a partner.
    • You’re over 65 years old.
    • Your physical or mental health condition stops you from meeting the requirement.

    To prove your level of the English language, the Home Office requests an academic qualification from the last two years as part of your Spouse visa application.

    This educational qualification can be a degree taught in English (confirmed by the UK National Agency for International Qualifications and Skills, or NARIC) or a certificate from an approved English language exam to at least A1 level.

    Happy couple sitting in doorway of their home

    Financial Requirement for a UK Spouse Visa

    On top of having a grasp of the English language, you also need to meet the ‘minimum income requirement’ and prove that you can financially support yourself and your dependents while in the UK. This is judged through you and your partner’s combined income, which must be at least £18,600 per year.

    However, to reduce legal migration rates to the UK, the government has announced that the minimum income requirement will increase to £38,700 in April 2024.

    This amount increases if you include children (who are not citizens of certain exempt countries) as dependents on your Spouse visa application. For your first child, you will need to earn an additional £3,800; for each child after your first, you will need another £2,400 per child.

    Accepted documents that show you meet the minimum income requirement include:

    • Bank statements show you or your partner’s income earned in the UK.
    • Six months of payslips.
    • A letter from an employer, including a date and headed letter paper, confirming details about your employment.

    If you’re applying from outside the UK, you won’t be able to use your income from outside the UK as part of your final income amount. However, you can show that you meet the financial requirement from other means, for example, savings or a limited company.

    People who cannot meet the financial requirement may find that they cannot settle in five years as a partner and may have to wait ten years instead.

    To speak with a legal professional about the minimum income requirement, you can contact Total Law today on +44 (0)333 305 9375.

    For assistance applying for a UK spouse visa, reach out to our immigration experts today. Contact Us

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      Accommodation Requirements for the Spouse Visa UK

      In the case of the Spouse visa UK, you will need to show that there is suitable accommodation for you and any dependents included in your application.

      When submitting your visa application, you will need to send the Home Office a description of the place you intend to live with your partner, proof there is enough space for everyone, and evidence you can both afford to pay for it.

      The criteria say that your accommodation must have one room per person over ten years old, not including you and your partner. Babies under one year don’t need their own room, and children between 1 and 9 need to have half a room.

      Other Documents Required for a Spouse Visa UK

      Many documents are needed as part of your visa application; an exhaustive list of documents required includes:

      • A valid passport
      • An original copy of your marriage or civil partnership certificate
      • Evidence of your genuine and lasting relationship
      • Evidence to meet the English language requirement
      • Two passport photos
      • Details of any previous UK immigration applications
      • Proof of accommodation in the UK
      • Tuberculosis test results if you have lived in Pakistan for the last six months for at least six months
      • Proof you meet the minimum income requirement
      • Proof of your partner’s immigration status

      All documents not in English will have to be translated and notarised by a certified translator and meet the Home Office translation requirements.

      Applying for a UK Spouse Visa

      The Home Office manages visa applications through its online application system. On their website, you will need to apply either for a visa for people outside the UK or for those inside the UK. At this stage, you will also pay your visa fee and healthcare surcharge, and submit your tuberculosis test results, passport and evidence.

      Once you have completed your online application form, you may need to apply for an appointment at a local visa application centre. Here, they will take your photograph and fingerprints and, if required, interview you to clarify any part of your visa.

      You can only apply for the Fiancé visa from outside the UK.

      New Rules for Applying From Pakistan

      Recently, there have been increasing problems caused by fraudulent agents, and new rules have been put in place to protect genuine Pakistani visa applicants.

      From October 2023, you will need to attend your visa appointment yourself and show your appointment letter, passport, and document checklist on arrival; to rearrange your appointment, you will need to email VFS directly.

      Agents are also not allowed to enter visa application centres, collect passports, or schedule on-demand mobile visas.

      Working on a UK Spouse Visa

      If you will still be engaged when you travel to the UK, you will not be able to work or study during your engagement. Once you are married, or in a civil partnership, you will need to apply for permission to extend your stay in the UK. Only once your application has been approved will you be able to work or study.

      Extending a UK Spouse Visa

      Once you’ve been approved for a UK Spouse visa or as a fiancé or proposed civil partner and are living in the UK, you will be able to extend your visa before it expires. The extension will allow you to stay in the UK for two years and six months.

      The same applies to people switching from a different visa to a UK Spouse visa.

      We can make your spouse visa application process smooth and streamlined. Contact Us

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        Applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain

        Once you have accrued a total of five years on your Spouse visa, you can apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK. When applying through a Spouse visa, you will have to remain in your relationship and meet financial, accommodation and English and Life in the UK requirements.

        In some situations, you will need to accrue a total of ten years on your Spouse visa before you can apply for indefinite leave to remain.

        Visa Application Fee

        The visa fees are variable and depend on whether you are already in the UK or are applying from Pakistan.

        To apply for a UK Spouse visa from outside the UK, you will have to pay £1,846 for yourself and then another £1,846 for each dependent included on your application.

        If you’re already inside the UK, it will cost £1,048 for yourself and £1,048 for each dependent.

        It is also worth accounting for any additional costs that will be incurred through having your documents translated or studying for and taking an English language test.

        Healthcare Surcharge

        People travelling from Pakistan or currently in the UK will have to pay a healthcare surcharge when applying for a UK Spouse visa.

        Even if you have to pay for private medical insurance, if you’re applying from outside the UK to stay for more than six months or from inside the UK to stay for any amount of time, you will have to pay the surcharge.

        The cost is calculated by the length of the visa you receive, so will be higher for longer visas. For the UK Spouse visa, the healthcare surcharge is £624 per year.

        Visa Processing Time

        It is recommended that you don’t organise any travel to the UK until you have received a decision on your visa application as it can take between 2 and 12 weeks to hear back from the Home Office.

        It is possible to use the priority visa service for visas from Pakistan to the UK, which can reduce the processing time to under seven days. This service comes at an additional cost on top of your visa application and cannot be refunded if your visa application is rejected.

        How Can Total Law Help?

        It can be very unpleasant to live separately from your partner and ensuring your visa application is complete and correct is vital to increasing your chances of receiving a positive decision on your Spouse visa application and reconnecting you with your loved one as soon as possible.

        Collating the documents and evidence required to prove your relationship can be very difficult, and many people are nervous that they have not submitted proof that will support their application.

        Total Law are full-service lawyers that understand the challenges around UK visa applications and it is our priority to increase the chances of you receiving a positive decision on your Spouse visa. For support with any stage of your visa application, from assessing your eligibility to checking or completing your visa application form, contact Total Law today on +44 (0)333 305 9375, or contact us online.

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                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  Spouse visas are often rejected because the Home Office suspects that the applicant is manipulating the genuine relationship requirement and that the marriage or civil partnership is not real. This is usually suspected when the couple have not provided enough evidence to prove that their relationship is genuine.

                  In addition to not providing enough proof, the Home Office can also be suspicious or reject you if you provide too much or unbelievable evidence, provide incorrect information, or do not meet the English language or financial requirements.

                  When you receive your Spouse visa application rejection letter, the letter will outline if you are able to appeal the decision. This is usually the best route if you believe the decision was genuinely unfair.

                  There are some cases where you will not be able to appeal, for example, a lack of evidence or a mistake on your application. In these cases, you can submit a new Spouse visa application instead.