How to apply for your spouse from abroad?

If you are married to a British Citizen or a person present and settled in the UK, you can apply for entry clearance as a spouse. The applicant applying for entry clearance as a spouse of a British Citizen or a person settled person must meet the following requirements:

  • Suitability criteria as set out in the Immigration Rules;
  • Genuine and subsisting relationship as a spouse of a person present and settled in the UK;
  • Financial requirement whereby the UK spouse of the applicant must be earning at least £18,600 gross per year or savings of £62,500 if the UK spouse of the applicant has no earnings from employment, self-employment or other means of income;
  • Adequate accommodation for the applicant and the UK spouse to be accommodated in the UK without recourse to public funds;
  • English language requirement to show that the applicant has English at CEFR level A1 as required by the UK Immigration Rules.

Financial requirements

The applicant must provide evidence that the sponsor’s gross annual income is at least:

  1. £18,600;
  2. an additional £3,800 for the first Non-EEA child; and
  3. an additional £2,400 for each Non-EEA additional child; alone or in combination with
  4. specified savings of-(i) £16,000; and
    (ii) additional savings of an amount equivalent to 2.5 times the amount which is the difference between the gross annual income and the total amount required.

When determining whether the financial requirement is met only the following sources will be taken into account:

  1. income of the partner from specified employment or self-employment, which, in respect of a partner returning to the UK with the applicant, can include specified employment or self-employment overseas and in the UK;
  2. specified pension income of the applicant and partner;
  3. any specified maternity allowance or bereavement benefit received by the partner in the UK;
  4. other specified income of the applicant and partner; and
  5. specified savings of the applicant and partner.

Exemption From Financial Requirement

The applicant will be exempt from meeting the financial requirement of £18,600 or above if the applicant’s partner is receiving one or more of the following –

(i) disability living allowance;
(ii) severe disablement allowance;
(iii) industrial injury disablement benefit;
(iv) attendance allowance; or
(v) carer’s allowance; and

Where the applicant is exempt from meeting the financial requirement, the applicant must provide specified evidence that his/her partner is able to maintain and accommodate himself/herself, the applicant and any dependants adequately in the UK without recourse to public funds.

Adequate Accommodation Requirement

The applicant must provide specified evidence that there will be adequate accommodation, without recourse to public funds, for the family, including other family members who are not included in the application but who live in the same household, which the family own or occupy exclusively: accommodation will not be regarded as adequate if-

  1. it is, or will be, overcrowded; or
  2. it contravenes public health regulations.

English language requirement

The applicant must provide specified evidence that he/she:

  1. is a national of a majority English speaking country; or
  2. has passed an English language test in speaking and listening at a minimum of level A1 of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) for Languages with a provider approved by the Home Office, UKVI; or
  3. has an academic qualification recognised by NARIC UK to be equivalent to the standard of a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree or PhD in the UK, which was taught in English; or
  4. is exempt from the English language requirement because at the date of application:
    • the applicant is aged 65 or over;
    • the applicant has a disability (physical or mental condition) which prevents the applicant from meeting the requirement; or
    • there are exceptional circumstances which prevent the applicant from being able to meet the requirement prior to entry to the UK.

If the applicant meets the requirements for entry clearance as a partner the applicant will be granted entry clearance for an initial period not exceeding 33 months, and subject to a condition of no recourse to public funds.

If an application for entry clearance as a spouse is refused by the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO), an entry clearance appeal can be filed with the First Tier Tribunal within 28 days of the date of receipt of the refusal letter.


This is not intended to be legal or professional advice in any jurisdiction. Please click on any links for further information. Refer to the source of any quotes. For personalized advise please call me on 02036437508 or 07446888377 or email donm@queensparksolicitors.co.uk

Leave a Reply