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How to Bring Your Husband or Wife to the UK

If you have settled in the UK, you are a UK citizen, or you have a UK visa, it is possible to bring your husband or wife to the UK to join you. Your immigration status will determine which visa options are available to your husband or wife. If you are settled in the UK or have British citizenship, the most popular route to bring a partner to the UK is the Spouse visa. If you hold a valid UK visa (e.g. a work visa, business visa, or student visa), your husband or wife will be able to apply for a dependant visa. And if your husband or wife intends to stay for a period of 6 months or less, they can come to the UK on a UK family visitor visa.

UK Visas for your husband or wife

UK Spouse visa

The UK Spouse visa enables wives, husbands, civil partners, and unmarried partners to join their partner here if they are settled (i.e. indefinite leave to remain) or have British citizenship. Unmarried partners must have been living together for at least 2 years in order to qualify for a UK spouse visa. UK spouse visa holders are normally permitted to stay for up to 33 months, at which point they can extend their leave for another 30 months. After 5 years on a UK spouse visa, it is then possible to apply for settlement here.

To qualify for a UK spouse visa, your husband or wife will need to prove that they:

  • Are in a qualifying relationship
  • Have a partner who is settled, a British citizen, or a person with pre-settled status under the EUSS
  • Have a combined income (i.e. with their partner) of at least £18,600
  • Meet the English language requirements (level A1 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale)

Your husband or wife can also include your children in their application as their dependants as long as they are under 18 and they do not live an independent life (i.e. they will live with you and are not married).

Spouse visa applications made outside the UK can take up to 24 weeks to process. Alternatively, they may be able to use the priority or super-priority service to receive a decision within 5 or 1 working day, respectively.

UK Dependent visa

If you hold a valid UK visa (e.g. a work, business, or study visa), you will be able to bring your husband or wife, civil partner, or unmarried partner to join you in the UK. As a dependant visa holder, your husband or wife will be able to live, work, and study in the UK. UK dependant visas are normally granted with the same expiry date as the main visa holder.

To qualify for a UK spouse visa, your husband or wife will need to prove that they:

  • Are in a qualifying relationship
  • Have a partner with a valid visa that permits partners to join them in the UK (most long-term visas allow partners to come to the UK)
  • Have at least £285 to support themselves

UK dependant visa applications can take up to 8 weeks to process, however, your partner may be able to pay an additional fee for a decision within 5 or 1 working day/s.

UK Visitor visa

The UK visitor visa enables family members, including husbands, wives, civil partners, and unmarried partners, to come to the UK to visit their partner for up to 6 months. Not all visitors require a visa, however, so it is important to check if your partner needs one before they apply. As a visitor, your husband or wife will be able to travel and visit friends and family, in addition to a range of other permitted activities.

To qualify for a UK visitor visa, your husband or wife will need to prove that they:

  • Will leave the UK at the end of their visit
  • Can support yourself financially, and
  • Can pay for a return or onward journey

UK visitor visa applications typically take up to 3 weeks to process; however, your husband or wife may be able to pay an additional fee for a decision within 5 or 1 working day/s.

EUSS family permit

If you live in the UK and are from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, or Liechtenstein, your husband, civil partner, or unmarried partner may be able to apply for an EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) family permit to join you for up to 6 months. As a EUSS family permit holder, your husband or wife will be able to live, work, and study here. They will also be able to leave the UK and return as many times as they wish during the 6-month period.

To qualify for a EUSS family permit, your husband or wife will need to prove that:

  • your family relationship began on 31st December 2020
  • you were living in the UK by 31st December 2020
  • you will be in the UK when they apply
  • they can support themselves financially, and
  • they can pay for a return or onward journey

UK Visa application process for your Husband or Wife

The process of applying for a UK visa for your husband or wife will depend on the type of visa they are applying for. In general, the process is as follows:

  1. Complete and submit the necessary application
  2. Pay the required application fee and immigration healthcare surcharge (allows the use of the NHS)
  3. Book and attend an appointment at a visa application centre (VAC) to prove your identity and provide your biometrics (fingerprints and photo)
  4. Provide any documents requested by the Home Office – these can be uploaded online as part of the application process, e.g. proof of identity, proof of relationship, and proof of immigration status of the UK-based partner.

How can Reiss Edwards help?

Reiss Edwards is a leading immigration law firm based in Central London. We specialise in assisting family members to come to the UK, including wives/husbands, civil partners, unmarried partners, and children. We can help you with:

  • Applying for a UK visa for a wife or husband, including preparing all documentation
  • Checking which immigration routes are suitable for your husband or wife
  • Handling a UK visa refusal on behalf of your wife or husband
  • Applying for permanent settlement in the UK for your wife or husband
  • Applying for British citizenship for your wife or husband

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O.L

"Andy Tieu is absolutely amazing, as a lawyer myself I can categorically say tha...

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Kiran Sardar

"I found Joe very helpful and tremendous patience which is a must in this profes...

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Cheyam Shaked

"Anna Foley was the lawyer helping my partner obtain an EEA EFM visa. She was ou...

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Isaac .T

"Professional service. I was very impressed with the fact that my ILR applicatio...

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