Spouse / Partner Visa
Apply as a partner or spouse for a visa
To apply as a partner, you and your partner both need to be 18 or over.
Your partner must also either:
• be a British citizen
• have settled in the UK – for example, they have indefinite leave to remain, settled status or proof of permanent residence
• have refugee status or humanitarian protection in the UK
You and your partner must intend to live together permanently in the UK after you apply.
What you’ll need to prove for a spouse/partner visa
You must be able to prove one of the following:
• you’re in a civil partnership or marriage that’s recognised in the UK
• you’ve been living together in a relationship for at least 2 years when you apply
• you are a fiancé, fiancée or proposed civil partner and will marry or enter into a civil partnership in the UK within 6 months of arriving
• have a good knowledge of English
• can financially support yourself and your dependants
If you do not meet these requirements you may still be able to apply for a visa or extend your permission to stay if:
• you have a child in the UK who is a British citizen or has lived in the UK for 7 years and it would be unreasonable for them to leave the UK
• there would be very significant difficulties for you and your partner if you lived together as a couple outside the UK that could not be overcome
• it would breach your human rights to stop you coming to the UK or make you leave
You must prove that:
• any previous marriages or civil partnerships have ended
• you plan to marry or become civil partners within 6 months of arriving in the UK
You’ll get permission to stay for 2.5 years, or for 6 months if you’re applying as a fiancé, fiancée or proposed civil partner.
After this you’ll need to apply to extend your stay.
You’ll need to have information and some evidence ready when you make your application. Include information for you and any dependants applying at the same time.
You’ll need to provide:
• all your names
• your date of birth
• your current passport or other valid travel ID
• copies of the photo page and any visa or entry stamps in your previous passports
• a copy of your biometric residence permit, if you have one
• details of any previous immigration applications you’ve made
• details of any criminal convictions
• your national insurance number, if you have one
• your parents’ date of birth and nationality if you’re applying from outside the UK
• your tuberculosis test results if you’re from a country where you have to take the test
• a certified translation of any document that is not in English or Welsh
You’ll need to have a blank page in your passport on which to put the visa if you’re applying outside the UK.
• your finances
• how well you speak and understand English
You may need to provide additional documents depending on your circumstances – for example a sponsorship form from your family member in the UK.
If you have a partner, you’ll be asked about their:
• date of birth
• right to be in the UK, for example they’re a British citizen
any people your partner was previously married to, in a civil partnership with or had children with
• evidence of marriages ending, for example a divorce certificate
• anyone your partner supports with money, for example their parents
If you’re applying as a spouse or partner, you’ll be asked about:
• your relationship with your partner, for example how you met and how often you see each other
• how long you’ve lived together – you’ll need to provide proof like council tax bills
• things you pay for together
• whether you’re your partner’s carer
You’ll need to include details of anyone you previously married or had children with. Include evidence of marriages ending, for example a divorce certificate.
You’ll need to give details of your children (and your partner’s children if you have one). You’ll be asked about all children, even if they’re not applying.
You’ll need to give details of:
• their name
• their nationality
• their date of birth
• their passport details
• who the child normally lives with
• any other people with parental responsibility for your child, for example your step children’s other parents
• how you’re involved in their day to day life
• arrangements you have to see the child – for example the courts have granted you access
• the child’s extended family
• any countries your child has visited or lived in
You’ll need to give details of:
• countries outside the UK you’ve lived in and visited
• family and friends in the countries where you were born or have nationality
You can add children to your application as dependants if both of the following apply:
• they are under 18 when you apply, or were under 18 when they were first granted leave
• they do not live an independent life
Your child is living an independent life if, for example, they’ve left home, got married and had children.
The earliest you can apply to settle in the UK (called ‘indefinite leave to remain’) is after you’ve lived in the country for 5 years continuously with permission to stay (‘leave to remain’) as a partner. You cannot count any permission to stay in the UK as a fiancé, fiancée or proposed civil partner.
The rules are different if you applied before 9 July 2012.
You can only extend your family visa if all the following are true:
• you were given permission to stay in the UK as a partner before 9 July 2012
• you are not eligible to settle
• you have not been granted or refused another visa
You must also prove that:
• you and your partner have enough money to adequately support and accommodate yourselves and any dependants without relying on public funds
• you have good knowledge of English
You can apply to extend your visa 28 days prior to your existing leave expiring. You will need to still meet the requirements that you had at the initial application, however the English language requirement will be higher. After your leave has been extended for 30 months, you will thereafter be eligible for settlement.