UK Work Permits is not part of the Home Office: the official body for visa applications in the UK, and is not affiliated with it. We are a leading consultancy specialising in UK immigration. If you would like to prepare and submit your UK immigration application yourself you can do so by visiting the Official UKVI website. The specialist legal services we offer cannot be obtained directly from the Home Office. To find out more about these services, please read our FAQs.

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‘Spouse’ Visas

(Applications submitted on or after 9th July 2012)

Important notes

  • On 9th July 2012, new rules came into force changing the spouse visa category significantly. Applicants who submitted their initial spouse visa application on or after this date must spend a full 5 years in the UK as a spouse before becoming eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain.
  • Applicants who submitted their initial applications before 9th July 2012 are subject to transitional arrangements. This means that when they apply for an extension or for indefinite leave to remain, the new rules do not apply and they can extend under the old rules.


  • The spousal route is for partners of persons present and settled in the UK. “Present and Settled” includes people with indefinite leave to remain and British citizens.
  • The applicants may either be joining their partner in the UK, or be accompanying their partner back to the UK to live permanently together;
  • The applicant must be married, a civil partner or an unmarried partner of the settled person.

Aims and purpose

  • The applicant is able to enter the UK in order to live permanently with their partner. A British or settled person may also return to the UK with their spouse from overseas in order to live permanently in the UK;
  • The partner will have the right to work whilst in the UK. The couple must be fully able to maintain and accommodate themselves and the applicant will not be entitled to claim public funds.


  • The applicant must be the spouse, civil partner or unmarried partner of the settled person. Unmarried partners must provide evidence that they have lived with their partner for a minimum of 2 years prior to the application;
  • The couple must intend to live permanently together in the UK. They must meet the financial requirement which is £18,600 for a couple. This level is higher where the applicant has dependent children applying at the same time. There are different ways to meet the financial requirement including from salaried income, non-employment income and savings income;
  • The couple must have adequate accommodation in the UK is not overcrowded;
  • The partner must meet the English language requirement which is currently CEFR A1 level. This can be met by sitting and passing an approved English language test (speaking and listening components only), having a degree level qualification deemed to have been taught in English or by being the National of a majority English language speaking country.

Necessary Documentation

Applicants need to evidence they meet the requirements by providing original documents. UKVI is very strict about documentation in terms of the format and information that it contains, and whether the documents correlate with each other. In most situations, UKVI will only accept original documents. The typical documents that an applicant would need to submit might include:

  • Passport (current and previous);
  • Original marriage certificate;
  • Original divorce certificates for previous marriages;
  • Evidence of cohabitation for a minimum of 2 years (unmarried partners);
  • Original payslips;
  • A letter from the employer;
  • Original bank statements.

Period of Stay

Successful applicants will be granted entry clearance for 2 years and 9 months or further leave to remain for a period of 2 years and 6 months.

After 5 years of continuous residence under this category, partners will generally qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain.

Other Useful Information

An applicant may apply for his/her dependants (children under 18) to be granted leave on the basis of their spouse visa.

Our services

UK Work Permits Ltd offer professional, specialist assistance to individuals wishing to make spouse visa applications. We are specialists in preparing applications submitted by self-employed candidates. Where evidence of self-employment is needed, these applications are more complex than standard applications. If you are self-employed we would be able to give you clear, comprehensive and above all, accurate advice and support.

We operate on the basis of our “110% Refund Guarantee” (subject to initial assessment) and take full responsibility for the success of each application we undertake. If you are interested in making an application for this category of visa and would like further information or a free initial assessment, please contact us.


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