UK Marriage visa (Family of a Settled Person Visa) tips

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Spouses of UK citizens or permanent residents (mainly those with indefinite leave to remain) may come to the UK under the Family of a Settled Person Visa category, and are able to work as soon as a visa is granted. Our  Family of a Settled Person Visa page has full details on eligibility requirements, and below are further tips on applying for the visa for spouse or civil partner:

  • You can apply for an initial period of two and half years as the spouse of a British citizen or Permanent Resident.  You can apply for an extension of two and half years at the end of this period.  
  • If you have spent five years in the UK on spouse visa and you have passed the Life in the UK test, you are eligible for indefinite leave to remain (permanent residence) in the UK.
  • The UK citizen or permanent resident must have actually met their non-UK spouse. This is to prevent a situation that occurs sometimes in arranged marriages where the husband and wife have never met.
  • You must intend to live together permanently with your spouse in order to obtain a spouse visa.
  • You must possess sufficient funds to pay you and your spouse's living expenses and those of any dependants without claiming public funds. Public funds cover various benefits paid by the Government if you are currently looking for work, if you are on a low income and if you are in various other situations.
  • Accommodation for the couple, and any dependants, must be suitable and available.
  • Spouses seeking to come to the UK on the basis of marriage to a UK national or permanent resident should apply for entry clearance before entering the UK.
  • If you have a visa valid for six months or less in the UK you cannot change status to a spouse visa.
  • Children of the marriage who are under 18 years old are allowed entry to the UK as dependants, and can make their application at the same time as the main applicant.
  • After you have gained indefinite leave to remain in the UK and if you meet the residence requirements you may then apply for UK citizenship.