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UK Spouse Visa Application Timeline 2021

Each year, thousands of migrants come to the UK to create a new life with their British or settled partner. The prospect of coming to the UK to be with your partner or spouse may be exciting and daunting in equal measure, especially if you are coming from a country with a different language and culture. But this need not be the case; the UK has a highly diverse population and is extremely welcoming to new immigrants from around the world. There is also a wealth of opportunities here for the lifestyle, work, and education. From an immigration standpoint, the UK’s partner/spouse visa scheme enables non-UK citizens to acquire the permission they need to enter the UK at the border and to remain here with their loved ones. In this article, we will explain the timeline for acquiring a UK spouse visa in 2021.

Am I eligible to apply for a UK spouse/partner visa?

You will be eligible for a UK spouse/partner visa if you are both over 18 and your partner is either:

  • a British or Irish citizen
  • settled in the UK – they will be considered ‘settled’ if they have indefinite leave to remain, permanent residency, EU settled status, or if they have acquired citizenship.
  • from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and have pre-settled status (they must have started living in the UK on or before 31st December 2021)
  • a Turkish Businessperson visa or Turkish Worker visa holder
  • a person with refugee status or if they have humanitarian protection in the UK

You will also need to provide evidence to the Home Office as part of your application that you and your partner:

  • are currently in a civil partnership or marriage recognised in the UK, or;
  • have been living together in a relationship for at least two years when you apply, or;
  • will get married in the UK within six months of arrival

In addition to the relationship requirements above, you will also need to show you have sufficient knowledge of the English language and can financially support yourself while here. To meet the financial requirement, you must have an income of at least £18,600 per year (this is more if you have children).

It is important to note, however, that if you are unable to meet all of these requirements, you may still be able to make a successful application if:

  • you have a child in the UK who is a British or Irish citizen or has lived in the UK for seven years, and it would be unreasonable for them to leave the UK
  • there would be very significant difficulties for you and your partner if you lived together as a couple outside the UK that could not be overcome
  • it would breach your human rights to stop you from coming to the UK or make you leave

Proving you are in a genuine eligible relationship

If you are considering making an application for a spouse/partner visa, you will need to provide enough evidence to satisfy a Home Office case officer that your relationship is entirely genuine. The Home Office are always alert for potential cases of sham marriages/partnerships and hence ask for evidence in the form of photos, emails, messages, correspondence, and other documents which prove your relationship is not solely for the intention of acquiring residency in the UK. As such, we recommend that you take the time needed to collate plenty of evidence to prove this is the case. Doing so will reduce the potential for a visa refusal or a request for further information, which may delay a decision. The Home Office website provides details on its website regarding the types of evidence you may need to provide to support your application.

What is the timeline for a spouse/partner visa in the UK?

The UK’s Home Office processing time for a spouse/partner visa is approximately three months (if applying from outside the UK), however, this may be longer if they request more information on your case or an interview with you. This is why it is so important to ensure that your application is complete prior to submission. It is also important to note that this three-month timescale is only from when you have applied, and you have attended an appointment at a visa application centre to have your biometrics scanned and uploaded.

Accelerated spouse visa decision

You may be able to accelerate the process of securing a partner/spouse visa depending on which country you live in; either by using the priority or super-priority service. You can check if you can use these services by contacting the visa application centre in your home country; a list of these is available on the Home Office website. The priority service will provide you with a decision on your case within five working days, for an additional cost of £500. The super-priority service will provide a decision on the next working day, for an additional cost of £800. Using these services does not, however, guarantee a decision will be reached within the stated time if your application is complex and/or requires further checks to be carried out.

Importance of immigration law expertise

Ultimately, most partners applying for a spouse visa will want to secure a positive decision as quickly as possible in order to make the journey to the UK to be with their loved ones. To ensure the timescale is as short as possible, we recommend speaking to an immigration law professional who can handle your application on your behalf or check your draft completed form and accompanying details. Immigration Solicitors understand the exact process which the Home Office follow in order to vet applications and will spot any potential issues which require attention. Where necessary, they will prepare a covering letter to explain any circumstances which may be questioned by the Home Office to assure them of your eligibility.

Final words

If you have already submitted your application for a spouse visa, are just about to do so, or if you plan to do this later in the year, it is important to take your time to ensure your application is as complete as possible. This is the very best way to minimise the timeline for your spouse visa and to ensure your application does not go onto the pile of cases marked “require further investigation”.


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ACQ5 Awards Award
Lexis Nexis
Three Best Rated
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University Of Cambridge

O.L

Andy Tieu is absolutely amazing.

As a lawyer myself I can categorically say that he knows his stuff, gentle, responsive, cares about you and not just about the money, very professional.
I mean I can go on and on!

Andy and the entire team at Reiss Edwards are amazing!

Thanks again Andy.

Kiran Sardar


I found Joe very helpful and tremendous patience which is a must in this professional as there are lots of emotions always involved in each and every case.

The way they dealt with my case during COVID19 Situation is highly appreciable. I would definitely recommend Joe D. and Anna F. Anna is an amazing lady, her patience is beyond my words.

Her hard work and professionalism have no boundaries. She is the right person for all type of cases.

Thanks to Anna and Joe for all your support and guidance which helped me fulfill my dream.

I would say Reiss Edwards is lucky to have Joe D. and Anna F. Great job Reiss Edwards.

thanks once again. Anna you’re a Gem and a Star.

Cheyam Shaked

"Anna Foley was the lawyer helping my partner obtain an EEA EFM visa. She was outstanding. Handling the case with constant correspondence over a lengthy, lockdown delayed 7-month application process. Her expert advice guided us successfully through some difficult times as a result of COVID-19. Some of the best service I have received for any service ever! Often replying to emails late at night, offering to send additional correspondence to the home office and going above and beyond in handling our case! Well done and thank you Reiss Edwards and thank you Anna!!".

Isaac .T

"Professional service. I was very impressed with the fact that my ILR application was successful 6 weeks after the submission amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. I also think the portfolio put together by the team at Reiss Edwards has played a big part in the quick turnaround of my application".

Jesse Lee

"Reiss Edwards did a great job, and so much work, for their reasonable fixed fee. I would heartily recommend them to anyone looking to secure a Visa and /or Visa renewal. I will use them again when mine needs to renew. Great value".

Majlinda Berisha

"The help, the professionalism, the kindness from this team is phenomenal. A massive thank you to Anna Foley.

I have had a really tough time with getting my husband’s visa. My last immigration lawyer made many mistakes that caused stress, disappointments and sadness.

I was weary about getting another lawyer as I thought I was going to go through the same experience but no, it turned out better than what I had hoped or even imagined.

What I received was: constant emails and calls updating me and asking if anything else is needed. If I called and they missed my phone call I would get a call back within 10 minutes. All of my documents were carefully checked and I would get a reply the next day if anything was missing or not correct. There were times that I was impatient and asked to just send the visa off, but was reminded that everything had to be perfect and correct before submitting the application. I was told about every option I had and discussed what the best would be. I was always spoke in a nice, calm, polite manner.

The overall intelligence of this team, especially Anna Foley for me, is outstanding. I am speechless. Anna done such an amazing job on my husband’s application that although we couldn’t apply for the fast service and was told to wait for 12 weeks, we got a reply within 5 weeks.

That alone shows what an amazing and talented team Reiss Edwards are. Thank you".

Christine .C

"I wholeheartedly recommend Reiss Edwards to anyone who is in search of immigration advice. I had the pleasure of speaking with Amar who has been very thorough in finding a solution to my enquiry, and followed up with additional information even after the consultation. I normally don't leave reviews, and this firm already has enough good reviews for me to need to my own anyways! However, in this instance, I do hope that my review can let anyone who reads it be aware that RE is a great choice, these people care enough to help you the best they can".

Zohaib Butt

"I had the chance to use Reiss Edwards services for my Tier 2 extension. Marija dealt with my case and I found her very professional and experienced in dealing with my application. The care and attention to detail was exceptional. I would definitely recommend Reiss Edwards!".

Quintus Liu

"Knowledgeable, experienced, and relatable. Translated a complex process into steps that are easy to follow. Cruised to 3 successive wins on my Tier 1 graduate/entrepreneurship visa which allowed us to play our part in making the UK a better and healthier place!".

Khasan Vosijonov

"Thank you, Ms. Anna Foley! I am writing this with tears of joy.

As a family, we are all grateful to Anna Foley and her firm Reiss Edwards, for doing all the hard work and giving us the best support. Finally We found the best law firm".

Saira Lawson-Brown

"Highly professional organisation and really supportive solicitors. Ina Iteva the solicitor that was provided to us was a blessing in disguise, as our first solicitor was let go off due to pandemic. She was so supportive and understanding throughout the process, and my husband spouse visa was granted due to their effort and attention to detail. We constantly try to keep in touch with her and consider her as more of a friend now than a solicitor. Sure, to bother her and the firm more in the future".

Nora Nkechi

"My Tier 1 Investor Visa was dealt with quickly and without issue. Would recommend Reiss Edwards as an Immigration law firm in London. Thank you to the team".

Deepak Chartbhurjh

"This is the only firm that i spoke with that didn't ask for money before listening to me, will be using them again. I used Reiss Edwards for my Tier 2 visa application and it was successful. The team was ever present and happy to answer my question. The caseworker that dealing with my case went on holiday yet by case did not suffer one bit. Another lawyer stepped and took over the case without any hassle".

Hakeem Salam

"I used Reiss Edwards immigration lawyers to assist with my immigration matter and that of my family. It was an EX1 application. They dealt with the matter properly and even when complications were coming up from the Home Office, they helped resolve the issue properly. They are very professional and are very popular in London. I am happy to have worked with them".

Top Notch Immigration Service

"Reiss Edwards is a top notch immigration service company. The way they handled our documentation and also the list of documents they sent was efficient and top quality. They helped us professionally throughout the process. We are very happy with the immigration advice we received from the team. We highly recommend them".

Mo Hussein

"I have been using Reiss Edwards for three years now for my family's immigration application. Both for my initial application and extension. They are really affordable. The team of solicitors at this firm are probably one of the most efficient and economical in terms of cost. They offered free advice over the phone and spent good time with us before inviting us for consultation".

Gallagher Jones

"I contacted Reiss Edwards to help me with my wife's UK settlement visa. They acted with utmost professionalism throughout the entire application. I spoke with Joe Dinh, he is an immigration solicitor and he is one of the best solicitors out there. He ensured that there was little to no room for error. At some point I thought he was over cautious. He remained calmed and continued to assure us on our immigration matter. Most people in his position would have panicked but he was calmed and continued to assure us. We received out positive outcome very quickly".

Richard Stone

"I have just had British Citizenship application approved. Prior to making the application, I was not sure which law firm i should hire to facilitate the paperwork. After a few hours of research, i decided to go with Reiss Edwards and i must confess that I wasn't disappointed. The immigration lawyers at Reiss Edwards handled my case well and they really knew what they were doing. They were fully aware of what documents I needed and it was easy for them to tell if my case was going to be easy or not. At the end of the day, I have not received my British citizenship within 3 months. If anyone is looking for a good immigration lawyer to handle their case, contact Reiss Edwards".

Fong Li

"Investing over 2 million pounds is definitely not a routine decision. We had to make sure that the Tier 1 investor immigration lawyers that we'd be picking has to be one of the best within the Tier 1 investor category. We contacted Reiss Edwards and they were able to get us not only the Tier 1 investor visa but also suggested profitable investment portfolios in addition to what we already had in mind".

Nancy Jacquard

"It's a shame that you don't have an 'Excellent' star rating on here, as my experience with Reiss Edwards is nothing short of an excellent rating. They handled my application for an Indefinite Leave to remain in April 2014 and did my husband's one very recently including my daughter. Every time i have approached them, they have continued to treat me with courtesy, respect and patience. Amar was indeed a very thorough and professional gentleman. He is very knowledgeable, corporative and engaging. He responded to my emails, calls and enquiries promptly. He was always reassuring. I could not have asked for a better Immigration service. I would recommend them over and over again for anyone looking for an immigration advice. They gave me a free immigration advice when i called them, and the quality of the advice was something other charge thousands for. If you need a particular, name, Amar would be it. He exemplifies, for me, the true, professional gentleman. He is a valuable asset to Reiss Edwards".

Florence Giwa

"I am glad that i instructed Reiss Edwards on my visa matter. It started with a 20 minutes free immigration advice. I met with Amar to discuss my ILR refusal. He gave me a great deal of quality advice and decided to take on my messy case. I had doubts on the merits of my case by he was relatively convinced he could win it. That made me quite secure. To be honest, things did not start as quick as I would have wanted, but they kept on communicating the process and state of things to me.A big thank you to Verusha and Foram. They were also very helpful. Brilliant and informative. Their fee was fair and reasonable, especially if you compare them to other law firms and immigration law firms in London; some of whom even told me that i would not be able to get an indefinte leave to remain in this country. The process was long but was worth it. In the end, a big thank you to Reiss Edwards".

Salisu Ibrahim

"Fantastic Solicitors!!! My wife's spouse visa extension application was refused by the Home Office and they gave her 14 days to leave the country. We contacted Reiss Edwards and they said "OK don't worry we will sort this out". They put together the list of documents for me to obtain and they prepared a bundle which was as thick as the printer it came out from.We followed everything they asked us to do and in the end we won our appeal and got our spouse visa. We can't recommend them enough and we have promised ourselves never to make any more UK visa applications without them".

Amir Sandeep

"The team of lawyers at Reiss Edwards are very professional and friendly people. Their experience in and around UK immigration law is quite extensive; be sure that you application is in safe and competent hands. My immigration matter was an indefinite leave to remain application based on Tier 1 on a self-employment basis. The immigration lawyers at Reiss Edwards made sure that the application was perfect and ready to be accepted. I got a positive decision and I recommend them highly for anyone who needs a UK immigration help".

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