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Spouse Visa UK (for Spaniards)

Spanish nationals may apply for a family visa to come and live in the UK for more than six months with their spouses or partners settled in the country. It is also known as a UK spouse visa.

If you are looking for more information regarding how you can join your spouse/partner in the UK, how to apply or what criteria you both must meet, or wishing to receive bespoke advice from a team of professional immigration specialists, call us today on +44 (0)333 305 9375.

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    What is a UK Spouse Visa?

    A spouse visa in the UK falls under the UK family visa category, where an eligible foreign national may travel to the country to live with their spouse or partner for more than six months.

    Though in common parlance it is often referred to as a spouse visa or sometimes even a marriage visa, it is actually a UK family visa we are talking about from immigration perspective. You may also be able to switch from your current UK visa to a spouse visa to stay with your spouse/partner in the country in certain circumstances.

    Spanish nationals married to or in partnership with people who are settled in the UK and belong to any of the categories mentioned below, may be eligible to apply for a spouse visa:

    • A British or Irish citizen
    • A foreign citizen settled in the UK (e.g. with indefinite leave to remain, settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, proof of permanent residence etc.)
    • A EEA/Swiss national with pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, provided they started living in the UK before 1 January 2021
    • A foreign national on a Turkish Businessperson visa or Turkish Worker visa
    • A foreign national with protection status in the UK (e.g. refugee status or humanitarian protection)
    • A foreign national who has permission to stay in the UK as a stateless person

    Post Brexit, Spanish citizens are no longer free to live, work and study in the UK for longer terms without a visa. However, you might be eligible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK, in which case you will not be required to take the spouse visa route. We have discussed who are eligible to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme later in this article.

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    Rights and Benefits of a Spouse Visa UK

    A spouse visa will allow you to live in the UK for the entire visa duration granted, which is usually 33 months and renewable thereafter. You will need to apply for a biometric residence permit (BRP) card in the UK once your visa application is approved.

    A spouse visa will allow you to work or study in the UK, and access public funds for yourself and your dependents if otherwise eligible. After living in the UK for five years continuously on a spouse visa, you may be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR). However, you will not be allowed to include any time spent in the UK on another visa or as a fiancé, fiancée or proposed civil partner for this purpose.

    UK Spouse Visa Eligibility Requirements

    To be eligible to apply for a UK spouse visa, both you and your partner must be aged 18 years or more. In addition, you must be able to prove that:

    • You are married or in a civil partnership that is recognised in the UK, or
    • You are in a live-in relationship for at least two years prior to your application, or
    • You are in a relationship for at least two years but could not live together due to valid reasons (e.g. working or studying in different places), or
    • You are a fiancé, fiancée or proposed civil partner and plan to marry or enter into a civil partnership within six months of arriving in the UK (and any previous marriages or civil partnerships for either of you have legally ended before you submitted your application)

    In the last scenario as mentioned above, your visa will be valid for a maximum of six months and you will not be allowed to work or study in the UK while on this visa. You will have to apply for a spouse visa once you are married or formed a civil partnership.

    Apart from this, you must also be able to prove that:

    • You have sufficient financial means to support yourself and any dependents
    • You or your spouse/partner have suitable accommodation in the UK, owned or rented, for housing your family, with sufficient living space (depending on the size of your family) and meeting the applicable public health and safety standards
    • You have sufficient knowledge of the English language

    The minimum income requirement for a UK spouse visa is £18,600 as of now, which will increase to £29,000 from 11 April 2024, and will gradually rise further to £38,700. Currently, you must also have an additional £3,800/year for your first child, and then an additional £2,400 per year per child for your subsequent offspring. However, you will not be required to show proof of additional income for dependent children from April 2024 onwards.

    Spanish nationals may prove their level of English language knowledge either through a degree taught or researched in English or by taking an approved English language test.

    If your degree qualification is from a UK college or university, you may just submit your certificate. If you have achieved the degree outside the UK, you must provide a certificate from Ecctis to prove that your qualification is equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree or higher, and that it was taught in English.

    Alternatively, you may take an approved English language test. You must pass at least CEFR level A1 for your UK spouse visa application.

    UK Spouse Visa Application Process

    A UK spouse visa may be applied from within the UK or from outside, i.e. Spain in the context of this article. Similar to most UK visas/immigration permits, a spouse visa application is also an online process. Please start with creating your account on the Home Office website using your valid email ID.

    It is recommended to have your supporting documents and other relevant information ready with you before you commence with your online application, such as your and your partner’s details, details of any child you have together, detailed information about any previous UK visa applications and criminal convictions you may have etc. This will help you answer the questions on the online visa form completely and accurately.

    TLScontact is the third-party consular service provider for the UK embassy/consulate in Spain. They run two visa application centres in the country, one in Barcelona and the other in Madrid. Once you have completed and submitted your online application form and paid your visa fees and health surcharge, please schedule an appointment with any of these centres near to your location in Spain.

    On the appointment date, you will need to submit your biometric information (i.e. fingerprints and facial image) and your passport and other supporting documents at the centre, and attend a visa interview if required.

    Reunite with your loved one in the UK. Allow us to assist you in obtaining a Spouse Visa tailored for Spanish citizens. Contact Us

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      Spouse Visa UK Application Processing Time and Fees

      If you are applying for a Uk spouse visa from Spain, it may take you up to 24 weeks. If you are already in the UK and applying to switch to a spouse visa from your current UK visa, the processing typically takes eight weeks.

      The UK spouse visa processing fee is £1,846 when applied from outside the UK and £1,048 from within. You may also need to pay a healthcare surcharge, which will vary from £2,587.50 to £5,175 depending on the proposed length of your stay in the UK.

      EU Settlement Scheme

      Being a Spanish national, you might also be eligible to settle in the UK under the EU Settlement Scheme instead of applying for a spouse visa. Although the deadline for most eligible people was 30 June 2021, this deadline will not apply if you already have pre-settled status in the UK and are now applying for settled status.

      Additionally, you can still apply under this scheme if you or a family member were living in the UK by 31 December 2020, and:

      • You meet one of the criteria for a later deadline to apply, or
      • You have ‘reasonable grounds’ for why you are applying late

      How Can Total Law Help?

      Our team of sympathetic immigration lawyers at Total Law comes with the required expertise and legal knowledge to help you immigrate to the UK from Spain to join your spouse/partner, regardless of your personal circumstances or the complexity of your case. Several Spanish citizens have benefited so far from our expert assistance with their spouse visa as well as other UK visa applications.

      We can also help if you are getting a divorce and seeking to switch to another type of visa to continue staying in the UK, or if you are looking for professional legal help in case of a UK spouse visa refusal decision.

      To know more about the services we provide and how our team of experienced lawyers can help you with your immigration case, call us today on +44 (0)333 305 9375.

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                Frequently Asked Questions

                Yes. As of now, there is no specific LBGTQ+ visa in the UK for same-sex partners. It falls under the spouse visa UK route instead.

                If your spouse/partner is holding a work or a student visa in the UK, you will not be eligible to apply for, or switch to, a spouse visa. You may apply for a dependent visa instead.

                Moreover, if you are holding a Standard Visitor visa in the UK or any other visa valid for six months or less, you cannot switch to a spouse visa, unless you are in the UK on a six-month-long family visa as a fiancé, fiancée or proposed civil partner, or you have permission to remain because you are awaiting the outcome of a family court case or divorce.