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Spouse Visa Processing Time

The UK government recently increased the income requirement for the Spouse Visa to £29,000, and it will be increased to £34,500 and eventually  £38,700 by early 2025. 

To learn more about Spouse Visa processing times and how to apply then get in touch with our immigration lawyers.

Call us on 0121 667 6530 for immediate help and assistance. We offer advice and application support in person, over the phone, or via video call.

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    What is the Spouse Visa?

    The Spouse Visa allows foreign nationals who are married to a British citizen or settled person, to enter the UK.

    If your application is successful, you will be able to remain in the UK legally for 30 months.

    At the end of this period, you may apply for a UK Spouse Visa extension, until you become eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain.

    If you have any questions regarding the Spouse visa processing time or have concerns, speak to our legal experts. Learn more

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      What is the Spouse Visa processing time?

      The average UK Spouse Visa processing time is approximately three months. However, the waiting time can vary depending on several factors.

      Type of Application Processing Time
      Standard applications made from outside the UK 2-3 months
      Priority applications from outside the UK 6 weeks or 30 working days where available
      Standard applications from within the UK 6-8 weeks
      Super-priority applications from within the UK 1 working day

      Depending on your personal circumstances, the Home Office may need more time to assess whether you meet the visa requirements.

      Upon submission of your application, it gets directed to a designated immigration official. This step itself can consume a portion of the overall processing time for the Spouse Visa.

      The immigration official will then rigorously evaluate your application, paying attention to:

      • The information you’ve provided in your application
      • Documents that support your claims
      • Proof of your relationship’s authenticity
      • Your financial records
      • Information about your living accommodations

      The thoroughness is especially apparent when the officer assesses the legitimacy of your relationship. Following the initial evaluation, your application may be forwarded to another reviewer for further scrutiny.

      Finally, a decision will be made on your UK spouse visa processing time after biometrics application, and you’ll be notified of the outcome—either approval or denial—through a letter from the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) via mail.

      To receive professional assistance on your UK Spouse Visa journey, get in touch with our team of professional lawyers in Birmingham.

      One of our UK immigration experts will be happy to review your case, help you gather and collate all your supporting evidence, and then complete your application on your behalf.

      Get in touch with our immigration lawyers in Birmingham to find out more about UK Visa application services.

      What are the Spouse Visa requirements?

      To qualify for a Spouse Visa, you and your partner must meet specific spouse visa requirements. Nevertheless, some of the following criteria may vary depending on your unique circumstances. If you wish to receive dedicated advice on your application, you can get in touch with our Birmingham immigration lawyers.

      The general UK Spouse Visa requirements are as follows:

      • You and your partner must be over the age of 18
      • You must be married or in a civil partnership with a British citizen or a foreign national holding ILR
      • Your spouse must meet the minimum income requirements
      • You and your partner must have met in person at least once before the date of your application
      • You must intend to live together in the UK
      • You must have adequate savings to financially support yourselves and your family without applying for welfare support
      • You must have suitable accommodation already set up for your arrival
      • You must pass and English language test

      If you have any questions regarding the Spouse visa processing time or have concerns, speak to our legal experts. Learn more

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        Spouse Visa supporting documents

        To demonstrate that you qualify for a UK Spouse Visa, you must prepare an adequate portfolio of documents. Most importantly, you must prove that you didn’t marry your partner for visa purposes or for fraudulent immigration advantages.

        Some documents you will need to include in your immigration bundle are:

        • Your passport or your valid travel document
        • Your partner’s passport or proof of identification
        • Your marriage or civil partnership certificate
        • Your English language certificate (if needed)
        • A short history of your relationship from the day you met to the current date

        Depending on your personal circumstances, you may need to provide additional documents. This includes proof of your accommodation arrangements or birth certificates of any children you wish to bring to the UK with you.

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        Can Spouse Visa Applications Take Longer Than The Average Time?

        The estimated timeframes for the UK Marriage Visa are just average durations, based on the latest Home Office information.

        Numerous variables could prolong the decision – which could extend it by days, weeks, or even months beyond the average.

        A lack of updates from the Home Office shouldn’t be interpreted as an increased likelihood of denial. Delays can occur for various reasons, such as a high volume of pending applications, mistakes in your submitted documents, or the need for supplementary evidence.

        Should the Home Office request additional documentation from you, this will invariably extend your application’s processing time.

        Can I Travel While My UK Spouse Visa Is Processing?

        If your spouse visa or marriage visa application was submitted from abroad, you’re free to travel during the review period.

        However, should your application be granted, you’ll have to return to the country where you initially applied to collect your visa.

        Travelling to the UK without an approved visa is strongly discouraged. For those who have applied from within the UK, it’s recommended that you stay within the UK until a decision is reached on your application.

        Departing the UK during this time could result in the Home Office deeming your application as withdrawn.

        If you have to travel soon after submitting your application, consider opting for priority or super-priority services to expedite the decision-making process before your travel date.

        If you have any questions regarding the Spouse visa processing time or have concerns, speak to our legal experts. Learn more

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          Priority Application Services UK

          The Priority Service speeds up processing of your Spouse Visa application in five working days if all required documents are included, but complex cases might take longer.

          The Super Priority Service processes applications within 24 hours, yet complexities could extend this to five working days.

          Approval still depends on meeting all eligibility criteria and providing accurate documentation, despite expedited processing.

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          How to Minimise Waiting Times For Your Spouse Visa

          Thorough Document Preparation

          • Provide all required documents in the correct format and on time.
          • Double-check against the Home Office’s requirements for a UK Spouse Visa.
          • Missing documents can cause delays, while well-prepared applications can speed up the process.

          Accurate and Complete Application Form

          • Fill out the application form correctly and completely.
          • Provide accurate answers to all questions to avoid delays or refusal.

          Use Professional Service

          • Seek advice from immigration professionals such as our Birmingham Immigration Lawyers to ensure error-free applications.
          • Our expertise can help identify potential issues, saving time, money and effort.

          Apply at the Right Time

          • Avoid peak application periods to prevent increased processing times.
          • Stay clear of applying during holiday seasons or major events.

          Consider Priority or Super Priority Services

          • Priority services expedite processing for an additional fee.
          • They are ideal for urgent applications.

          Respond Quickly to Requests

          • If more information or documentation is needed, respond quickly and fully.
          • Delays in providing requested data can prolong processing times.

          Regularly Check Your Online Account

          • Keep track of updates and requests for information on your UKVCAS or Home Office online account.

          Use Correct English Language

          • Use clear and concise English language to prevent misunderstandings and speed up decision-making.

          Understanding the Home Office and UKVCAS

          UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services

          UKVCAS helps with visa applications. You can apply online and visit their Service Points for biometric data. Some locations offer document scanning. You can also use their app for identity verification and document upload.

          UK Home Office

          The Home Office, specifically UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), decides on visa applications. They review documents and may request more information. They handle priority applications too. While UKVCAS helps with application submission, the Home Office makes the final decision.

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                    Frequently Asked Questions

                    When you apply for a UK Spouse Visa, you and your partner must demonstrate that you can speak and understand English to a certain level.

                    Nevertheless, if you originate from an English-speaking country, you may not be required to sit an English language test. The same applies if you have a degree that was taught in English.

                    To meet this requirement, you must score A1 or higher on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale.

                    The fee for the Spouse Visa is £1,846 if you apply from outside the UK. However, if you submit your application while you are already in this country, the visa cost is £1,048.

                    It is essential to keep in mind that this fee does not include additional costs, such as:

                    • The Immigration Health Surcharge
                    • The English Language test cost
                    • The housing reports
                    • Tuberculosis test (if applicable)
                    • The cost of having your biometric information taken

                    As part of the UK Spouse Visa application, you will be required to submit your biometric information (facial photographs and finger prints). Depending on your circumstances, this may take place at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) centre or a Service and Support Centre (SSC), or alternatively, you may be able to submit your biometrics online using the UK Immigration: Check ID app.