A UK marriage visa, or spouse visa, enables your husband, wife or civil partner to apply for leave to enter, or leave to remain in the UK on the basis that they are married to a person who is present and settled in Britain. Settled status means that you are living here lawfully with no time limit on your stay.
Your spouse must apply for entry clearance before travelling to the United Kingdom. If you intend to bring your unmarried partner to join you, please refer to our section detailing the requirements for making a UK fiance visa application.
Initially visas for spouse immigration are issued for a two year period. After this time, a person can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) commonly known as permanent residency in the UK. In some cases, settlement entry clearance may be granted allowing a partner to stay in the country permanently; however, this is only applicable to a person who has been married and living abroad with their spouse for four years at the time they apply for entry to the UK.
A UK spouse visa allows a person with settled status in Great Britain to bring their spouse to join them in the Country. The applicant will be able to seek and take up employment in the United Kingdom as soon as the document is granted without the need to arrange a UK work permit. British marriage visas do not place any restrictions upon the type of work that can be undertaken.
For a marriage visa application, candidates must be 18 years of age or over and the partner with settled status in the British Isles must be 18 years of age or over.
To be eligible for the marriage visa service, partners must fulfil the following requirements
Parties must be legally married to each other.
Plan to live together.
Have met each other.
Be able to support themselves entirely without recourse to public funds.
Have adequate accommodation where dependants can live without recourse to public funds.
If a person has more than one husband or wife, a visa for spouse immigration will only allow one of them to come to the British Isles as their husband or wife. If a UK visa application is being made by a person within the United Kingdom for leave to remain on this basis, at the time of the application the person must have leave to remain in the UK on a visa category that was initially issued for a period of more than six months.
Children of the marriage who are under 18 years of age will be granted entry to the UK as dependants. They will be able to make their application at the same time as the main applicant. After a total period of three years in the country if you meet the residence requirements you may then apply for British naturalization in order to remain in the country under a grant of UK citizenship.
If you are an HSMP visa holder, having embarked upon the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme, your spouse/unmarried partner may be able to apply for a Dependency Visa. For more information on this route to UK immigration please visit our section on how to apply for the Highly Skilled Migrant Program.