Obtaining citizenship through marriage is a serious matter that you need to decide on carefully.
With many visa categories available to you, it’s essential that you thoroughly check each one’s eligibility requirements in order to arrive at the best visa option that suits your needs. For instance, it can be quite easy to be confused between a spouse visa or a fiance visa despite each of them having distinct characteristics and purpose.
A fiance visa is a nonimmigrant visa that works in such a way that you’re able to bring your fiance to the country with the intent to marry. This means that with fiance visas, you can travel to the UK but must marry your partner within a 90-day time frame. In contrast, a spouse visa is an immigrant visa that permits legally married spouses and partners of UK citizens to obtain eligible immigration status to enter the UK. For partners with children, you can also consider applying for a K4 Family visa so that they can enter the country as well while waiting for their immigrant visa to be available.
Understandably, budget is one of the most important things to consider before migrating to another country. That said, this article will discuss all you need to know about getting a spouse visa and the usual fees and costs involved in the application process.
What is a Spouse Visa?
The UK Spouse Visa – also commonly known as a marriage visa or relationship visa – is a category of immigration allowing civil legal partners and married spouses to enter the UK with eligible immigration status.
It’s worth noting that not everyone is qualified to apply for a Spouse Visa to join their partner in the UK. In fact, the UK-based spouse must either be a British or Irish citizen or possess an Indefinite Leave to Remain or some other classifications of limited leave to remain.
Moreover, both you and your partner should also adhere to strict standards of eligibility if you want to be granted a Spouse Visa. This visa lasts for about 33 years and can even be extended if you pass the eligibility criteria. There are also other cases where the holder of a Spouse Visa can apply for a settlement status in the country, which, in this case, is referred to as an Indefinite Leave to Remain.
You can also expect a lengthy and complex application process, with a considerable amount of required evidence and documentation needed along the way. Depending on your situation, the immigration process can be tough to handle by yourself, which is why it’s recommended to consult the help of professional and experienced immigration lawyers to assist your case.
Who are eligible to apply for a Spouse Visa?
There are plenty of factors for qualification when it comes to a UK spouse visa, accompanied by a number of documents that you need to submit to the Home Office.
For instance, both partners should be over 18 years old to be eligible, are legally married, and have already met in person. Moreover, they should also present evidence of a subsisting and genuine relationship alongside an intent to settle in the UK permanently together. They must also be wedded to each other only. Moreover, the holder of the Spouse visa must also be able to submit evidence of meeting the minimum financial requirements and demonstrate the required level of skills in the English Language.
Processing Time and Costs
With a Spouse visa, expect your application status to be decided within the range of six weeks to three months. Some of the factors that can impact the time frame of waiting for your visa application include:
- COVID-19 restrictions that have extensively affected waiting times
- The eligibility and circumstances of an applicant
- The type of visa you are applying for
- The area or country where the application was made
- The volume of visas benign submitted for review
If you want to avoid any instances of delay, make sure that you enclose an informative and tailored supporting letter that clearly outlines how you are able to fulfill the eligibility requirements. Doing this can save a significant amount of time and help your case to proceed smoothly.
When it comes to cost, the current fees for a UK spouse visa are about £1,523 on average. However, if you’re applying for a visa from inside the country, your application will only cost about £1,033 per person. The fees include the primary charges, such as the Home Office application fee, which can go as high as £1,523, and the Immigration Health Surcharge fee, which can cost about £1,872 when made outside the UK and £1,560 when made inside the UK.
If the spouse can’t afford to pay the fees for the application, you may be qualified for an exception and may be required to accomplish an online fee waiver request. You may also be qualified if your budget can’t cover a place to live or have a low income.