Apply as a partner or spouse

To apply as a partner, you and your partner both need to be 18 or over. Your partner must also either:

  • be a British citizen
  • have settled in the UK – for example, they have indefinite leave to remain, settled status or proof of permanent residence
  • have refugee status or humanitarian protection in the UK

You and your partner must intend to live together permanently in the UK after you apply.

What you’ll need to prove

You must be able to prove one of the following:

  • you’re in a civil partnership or marriage that’s recognised in the UK
  • you’ve been living together in a relationship for at least 2 years when you apply
  • you are a fiancé, fiancée or proposed civil partner and will marry or enter into a civil partnership in the UK within 6 months of arriving

You also need to prove you:

  • have a good knowledge of English
  • can financially support yourself and your dependants

If you do not meet these requirements you may still be able to apply for a visa or extend your permission to stay if:

you have a child in the UK who is a British citizen or has lived in the UK for 7 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 coming to the UK or make you leave

If you’re applying as a fiancé, fiancée or proposed civil partner You must prove that:

  • any previous marriages or civil partnerships have ended
  • you plan to marry or become civil partners within 6 months of arriving in the UK
  • You will not be able to work during your engagement.

How long you can stay

You’ll get permission to stay for 2.5 years, or for 6 months if you’re applying as a fiancé, fiancée or proposed civil partner. After this you’ll need to apply to extend your stay.

How to apply You’ll need to prepare information and documents to provide with your application. How you apply depends on whether you’re in the UK or not. Outside the UK You must apply online from outside the UK. There’s a different way to apply in North Korea. In the UK You must apply online.

Usually you must apply for your first spouse visa from outside the UK in your home country.

There are some cases in which you can apply for your spouse visa from UK or switch visas. Call us to find out if you need to apply in or out of UK. 0208 594 0036