How Much is a Spouse Visa UK

How Much is a Spouse Visa UK in 2024?

This article was updated on February 24th, 2024.

In 2024, significant changes are coming to all UK Family Visa Immigration routes, including the UK Spouse Visa, with adjustments to the financial threshold starting on April 11th.

If you’re from abroad and want to start a life with your UK-based partner, applying for a spouse visa is crucial. But in one of the world’s most expensive countries, the pressing question is: how much does it cost? Prices can change frequently, especially now with uncertainty surrounding UK immigration policy.

It is crucial to have a clear understanding of the current fees. This article aims to clarify how much a spouse visa in the UK costs in 2024, how the structure works, and more. Keep reading for a detailed breakdown of the spouse visa application process and its costs.

spouse visa fee uk

Eligibility Requirements for UK Spouse Visa

Navigating the eligibility requirements is crucial for a successful spouse visa application. This section will discuss these requirements to equip you with a thorough understanding of what to expect and how to prepare.

Criteria for Obtaining a UK Spouse Visa

Here are some of the most important requirements you must fulfil to apply for the UK Spouse visa:

1. Minimum Age Requirement:

The minimum age limit is one of the foremost requirements for sponsoring a spouse visa UK application. The sponsoring partner must be at least 18 years old. This age benchmark ensures a level of maturity and responsibility in the sponsor, which is essential for undertaking the process.

2. Genuine Relationship Test:

An essential component of the application process is passing the genuine relationship test. The Home Office may rigorously investigate the authenticity of your relationship to ensure it’s not a ploy to sidestep UK immigration rules. Evidence of shared finances, property, children, photos and communications records can all be used as evidence to support your relationship’s legitimacy.

3. Recognition of Overseas Marriages:

For a successful spouse visa application, your marriage or civil partnership must be recognised by the UK Home Office. While most overseas marriages are recognised, it’s wise to confirm this before beginning the application process to avoid any unexpected complications.

4. Valid Marriage or Civil Partnership:

Last but not least, you must be able to provide a legally valid marriage or civil partnership certificate. This document acts as a keystone of your supporting evidence and validates your relationship’s status.

Spouse Visa Application Process

Understanding the application process is a stepping stone towards a successful UK spouse visa application. Here, we will walk you through the process in an easy-to-digest manner.

The first thing is to prepare all the required documentation. They form the backbone of your application. You must provide documents such as your marriage certificate, proof of meeting the financial requirements, evidence of suitable accommodation in the UK, an English language test certificate (if required), and more. Begin by creating a document checklist required for this visa and gathering them all. 

After you’ve gathered all the required documents, the next step is to file your application, which is an online process. Whether you’re applying from within the UK or abroad, you’ll be prompted to fill in multiple sections, which include personal data and details about your relationship, among other things.

Remember that any inconsistencies, inaccuracies, or missing data could lead to your application being rejected, which could subsequently cause delays and monetary loss and even affect future applications. Hence, ensure you’re thorough and verify all data not just once but twice before you file your application.

Financial Requirements for a UK Spouse Visa

The primary monetary prerequisite for a UK spouse visa is meeting the minimum income threshold.

The financial threshold requirement for ALL family visas is now £29,000 as of April 11th, 2024. This will be followed by increases to £34,500 later in the year and then to £38,700 by early 2025. The UK government often changes this requirement. For the most up-to-date information on how to meet the new requirements, visit our page on family visa financial requirements or contact us directly.

But what if you, as the sponsoring partner, don’t meet this income threshold through your salary alone? Well, another option is to use savings to meet the financial requirements. The savings amount is currently £62,500, which will change to £88,500 on April 11th, 2024.

In cases where the applicant is also bringing dependent children to the UK, the financial requirements increase. For the first child, the sponsor must earn an additional £3,800 per year, and for each subsequent child, an extra £2,400 per year is required. It’s important to factor these additional costs into your financial planning when applying for a UK spouse visa with dependents.

Cost Breakdown: How Much is a Spouse Visa UK Cost?

After understanding the eligibility and financial requirements for a UK spouse visa, it’s time to delve into the intricate breakdown of the actual cost involved in the application process. To make this task manageable and less intimidating, we’ll cover both the official visa fees and the hidden costs.

Official Visa Fees for a UK Spouse Visa

As of 2024, the official visa fee for a spouse visa application made from outside the UK is £1,846. If you’re applying from within the UK, the cost is £1,048. These figures are the Home Office’s standard application fees, and they are subject to change each year.

The visa fees, along with the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS), must be paid online at the time of submitting the application. The IHS is a mandatory fee that gives the applicant entry to the National Health Service (NHS) services in the UK, which costs a flat fee of £1,035 per year. There is also a £19.20 fee for registration of biometric information.

Unfortunately, the Home Office does not refund the visa application fees if your application is refused. The IHS fee, however, is refundable in the event of a refusal, withdrawal of application, or if you paid more than you should have.

Note that visa fees usually change annually, so it’s crucial to keep an eye on updates from the Home Office to ensure you’re aware of the most recent fees when you apply.

Other Costs of a UK Spouse Visa

The official fees for a spouse visa UK application only tell half the story. In reality, there are numerous ‘hidden costs’ that can raise the total amount you’ll need to budget for. Let’s explore these often-overlooked expenses.

A. Document Translations

If your evidence of support is not in English or Welsh, a certified translator must translate them. This can cost anywhere from £20 to £50 per page, based on the document’s language and complexity. 

B. Tuberculosis Test Cost 

For applicants from certain countries, a tuberculosis (TB) test is a mandatory requirement. The test must be taken at a clinic approved by the Home Office, and the costs can vary depending on the country, but you should budget around £100 for this.

C. English Language Test Costs

Unless you are a citizen of a majority-English-speaking country or possess a degree taught in English, you must pass an English language exam (a1 level) administered by an authorised provider. These examinations can cost anywhere between £150 and £250.

D. Applying Dependant Children

If you’re planning to bring dependent children to the UK, there are additional costs to consider. The application fee for each dependant is the same as the main applicant, meaning you’ll have to pay the full visa fee and Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) for each child.

E. Lawyer Fees

Hiring an immigration lawyer to assist with your application can be a wise investment. While fees vary depending on the complexity of your case and the reputation of the law firm, you should expect to pay for assistance related to making a visa application. 

G. Priority Visa Service Fees 

This is an option step for those who want fast results. The Home Office provides a Priority Service and a Super Priority Service for those who wish to expedite their application’s processing time. As of 2023, the Priority Service (decision within 6 weeks) costs £500, and the Super Priority Service (decision within 24 hours) costs £800.

When combined, these hidden costs can significantly increase the financial commitment required for a UK spouse visa application. Therefore, having a clear understanding of these potential expenses at the outset is crucial to avoid unpleasant surprises and ensure a smooth, well-planned application journey.

Processing Times and Duration of a UK Spouse Visa

Standard processing times for a spouse visa application vary, but the Home Office aims to process most applications within 12 weeks of the application date. This is for applications made beyond the UK. If you’re applying from within the UK, the Home Office typically takes up to 8 weeks to check and decide on the application.

Various factors can influence processing times. These include the time of year, the completeness of your application, whether an interview is required, and even the country from which you’re applying. Incomplete applications or those that require further investigation can take considerably longer.  

If your spouse visa application is successful, you’ll initially be granted leave to remain in the UK for 2.5 years. After that, you can apply for an extension of the same duration. Once you’ve been in the UK for five years on a spouse visa, you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), which allows you to stay in the UK without time restrictions.

How Spouse Visa Lawyers UK Can Help

Applying for a UK spouse visa can be tough. It’s a complex process with many requirements, financial aspects, and documents.

But you don’t have to do it alone. UK Spouse Visa Lawyers can help. They guide you through the process, manage the paperwork, and make sure you meet all the requirements.

Don’t let the process stop you from being with your loved one. Contact us now and start the journey to bring your spouse home.

You Ask, We Answer

FAQs About UK Spouse Visas

Yes, you can apply for a UK spouse visa immediately after your marriage. However, you must be able to fulfil all the eligibility criteria, including proving that your connection is honest and ongoing, financial requirements and more.

Absolutely, the holder of a UK spouse visa is permitted to work in the UK without restrictions. This also applies to self-employment.

The exact spouse visa uk fee can change and varies based on where you’re applying from. However, as of 2023, it stands at around £1,846 for those applying outside the UK. It’s slightly cheaper, £1,048, for those applying inside the UK.

Yes, a UK spouse visa can be extended. Initially, the spouse visa is valid for 2.5 years. At the end of the given duration, you can apply for a further extension of the same duration.

For a spouse visa, you must demonstrate that there is adequate accommodation available for you and your dependents without needing to rely on public funds. The accommodation is considered adequate if it is clean and it meets the standard of living in the area.

Need Help with Your Spouse Visa Application?

Securing a spouse visa in the UK is a significant step to joining your loved one in the UK and pursuing a life together, and it’s more than just about the cost. No doubt, the process can seem overwhelming, from understanding the exact charges to navigating the complex application procedure. But there’s no need to feel worried if you have the right legal advice and guidance; that is where we help.

Our expert team of UK spouse visa lawyers will support you at every application phase. We’ll provide accurate and timely information on all the associated fees, ensuring no pitfalls along the way. But more than that, we’ll help you put together a robust application to improve your chances of a successful outcome.

We’ll guide you through the Home Office requirements, assist in advising you on what necessary documents and evidence you need, and advise you on how to demonstrate your relationship’s authenticity, a critical part of the application process.

Our goal is to reduce your stress and provide reassurance during this pivotal time in your life. Let us help you navigate the spouse visa application process effectively, freeing you to focus on what really matters – planning your future together in the UK.

Don’t embark on this journey alone. Let us be your trusted guide! Contact us to see how we can help.

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Disclaimer

The information provided in our articles is intended solely for guidance and should not be considered legal advice. We do not assume responsibility for any liabilities arising from the information in written articles and recommend that all readers seek professional advice before taking any action. For those wishing to discuss their case with a professional, please feel free to contact us directly.

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