Table of contents:

  • What is a UK Spouse visa?
  • Is it easy to bring your spouse to the UK?
  • UK Spouse Visa Requirements
  • UK Spouse Visa Fee / Cost
  • Processing time for a UK Spouse Visa
  • Ways to speed up your UK spouse visa application
  • The success rate of spouse visa UK
  • Why would a UK spouse visa be refused?
  • How do I appeal a spouse visa refusal in the UK?
  • Read the detailed updated Guide on UK Spouse Visa


What is a UK Spouse visa?

A UK Spouse Visa, also known as a UK Marriage Visa, allows non-UK nationals to join their partner in the UK.

Know More: What is a UK Spouse Visa explained by The SmartMove2UK

Is it easy to bring your spouse to the UK?

According to the Home Office, 1 in 4 UK Spouse Visa applications are refused. However, there are other ways to bring your spouse to the UK:

  •       UK Dependent visa

If you have a valid UK visa, you can bring your spouse, civil partner, or unmarried partner to join you in the UK.

  •       Fiancé Visa

Your partner can enter the UK for up to 6 months and marry or register a civil partnership.

Interested Reading: Why settle for long-distance when you can bring your partner to the UK?

UK Spouse visa requirements

To qualify for a UK Spouse visa, you must meet the following requirements:

  •       Age:You and your spouse must be at least 18 years old.
  •       Relationship:You must have met each other and be legally married.
  •       Income:Your UK sponsor must earn over £18,600 a year. You can use savings of over £16,000 towards proving the minimum income requirement. If you have savings of £62,500, you don’t need to show evidence of minimum income.
  •       Housing:You must have adequate housing provisions.
  •       Money:You must have enough money to support yourselves (and any dependents) without claiming public funds.
  •       English language:You need a valid UKVI IELTS score or a certificate of equivalency (ENIC).

The Specifics Explained: Qualify for a UK Spouse visa

Other requirements include: 

  • Provide extensive documents which show your relationship is genuine and subsisting.
  • Intention to live together permanently.


UK Spouse Visa Fee / Cost


In 2023, the application fee for a UK spouse visa is £1,048 if the application is submitted within the country, and £1,538 if it is submitted outside of it.

The annual Immigration Healthcare Surcharge of £624 and the £19.20 biometric fee are additional expenses.

Should you wish to get a decision by the end of the following working day, the super-priority service charge is £1,000.

Trending & Useful Guide: UK Spouse Visa Cost 2023

The standard processing time for a UK spouse visa is: 

  • Inside the UK: 6-8 weeks
  • Outside the UK: 3 months


However, processing times can vary depending on:

  • The country where the application is submitted from
  • The documents provided
  • How you can satisfy the requirements


Processing times have recently been affected by COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine. For example, partner visa applications from outside the UK are currently taking up to 24 weeks to process.

You can speed up the processing time by opting for the ‘Priority Service’. The fee for priority processing service is £573 in addition to the visa application fee.

UK Spouse visa processing time explained by The SmartMove2UK

Here are some ways to speed up your UK spouse visa application: 

  •       Priority service

Pay £573 to get your visa processed within five working days.

If you’re applying from outside the UK, it can take up to 30 days.

  •       Super priority service

Pay £1,000 to get a decision within 24 hours.

There is a limit on how many people can use this service.

  •       Submit more supporting documentation

For example, you can submit proof of your partner’s ILR or British Citizenship.

  •       Contact your MP

They can find out more about the delay and might be able to help speed up your application.

  •       Contact the Home Office

If there are compelling or compassionate circumstances, you can request that your application be treated as a priority. However, there are no guarantees that the Home Office will do so.


What is the success rate of a spouse visa UK?

The UK spouse visa success rate for the year ending March 2021 was 86.88%. The refusal rate was 12.69%.

The success rate for UK spouse visas in 2019 was 79.78%. The refusal rate was 19.66%.

The Home Office doesn’t publish UK spouse visa appeal success rates.

However, general estimates indicate a success rate of around 35-50%.


Why would a UK spouse visa be refused?

A UK spouse visa can be refused for several reasons, including:

  • Financial requirements: Not meeting the minimum income requirements of £18,600 per year or savings of £62,500
  • Relationship evidence: Not providing enough evidence to prove the genuineness of your relationship
  • English language requirements: Not meeting the English language requirement
  • Application errors: Making a mistake on the application form or using the wrong form
  • Immigration status: Issues with the UK sponsor’s immigration status
  • Convictions: Not disclosing past convictions
  • Appealing the decision: Appealing the decision

Home Office: 1 in 5 UK Spouse Visa Applications Refused Every Year

Other reasons for refusal include: 
  • Incorrect organization of documents
  • Applying for the wrong type of visa
  • Ineligibility for the visa
  • Not providing enough documents or evidence to prove you meet the requirements
  • Immigration officials believe your marriage is not genuine or subsisting


The notice of refusal will specify the reason for rejection.

Top 3: UK Spouse Visa Refusal Reasons and how to avoid them

How do I appeal a spouse visa refusal in the UK?

To appeal a UK spouse visa refusal, you can:

  1. Complete an appeal form
  2. Submit the appeal form within 14 or 28 days of receiving your decision letter
  3. If your appeal is refused, you can challenge the decision by the way of Judicial Review (JR)


You can only appeal to the tribunal if you have the legal right to appeal. Your decision letter will usually tell you if you can apply for an administrative review and if you do not have the right to appeal.


The appeal process may take between 6 and 12 months.

Guide: What to do next if your UK Spouse visa is refused?

Read the detailed updated Guide on UK Spouse Visa

If you would like to confirm your eligibility for a UK spouse Visa or have had a UK Spouse Visa refused, you can read detailed information here regarding the same or contact our UK Spouse visa Specialist.