Spouses and Civil Partners

Also known as a Marriage Visa, this route allows individuals to enter or remain in the UK on the basis that they are married or in a civil partnership with a person who is either:

  • A British citizen or
  • Has settled status (also known as indefinite leave to remain)

If you are already in the UK in a different immigration category (for example, under the Tier 4 (General) category), you may be able to switch into the category of spouse or civil partner, provided your last grant of leave was for a period of more than six months permission to enter or remain. To qualify to enter the UK as a spouse/civil partner you must satisfy the following requirements:

  • You are legally married to each other or have registered a civil partnership
  • You are both at least 18 years old
  • You intend to live together permanently as husband and wife, or as civil partners
  • You have met each other
  • You meet the English language requirement
  • You can support yourselves and any dependants without help from public funds
  • You have adequate accommodation where you and your dependants can live exclusively and without needing public funds.

English language requirement:

From the 29 November 2010 all partners, spouses, civil partners, fiancés, prospective civil partners must provide evidence to show that they can speak and understand English. You will need to meet the English language requirement if:

  • You are a national of a country outside the European Economic Area and Switzerland; and
  • You are in a relationship with a British citizen or a person settled here; and
  • You want to apply to enter or remain in the UK as that person's husband, wife or civil partner.

If you are not a national of a majority English-speaking country or do not have a degree taught in English then you will be required to pass an acceptable English language test with an approved test provider, to access the list please click here.

Please note that the list is amended by the Home Office regularly to add to or take out a test provider from the list and therefore, you must check shortly before making your application. Settlement Spouses or civil partners will be usually granted a period of 27 months leave to enter or remain (commonly known as the probationary period). Once you have completed a period of 24 months as the spouse or civil partner and continue to meet the Immigration Rules you will be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).

Any application for further leave or settlement in the UK must be made before the expiry date of your visa.