A UK Spouse visa or Civil Partner visa permits a British resident (the ‘Sponsor’) to bring their foreign spouse to the UK. Marriage and civil-partnership have the same status in UK immigration law, and so whether you are married or in a civil-partnership, you will actually just be applying for a spouse visa.
And to clarify, the spouse visa is referred to on UKVI webpages generically as, the 'Family Visa'. So, you will often hear the terms 'spouse visa', 'partner visa' and 'family visa' used interchangeably.
The spouse visa is usually applied for from the foreign spouse’s country of residence. But it can be applied for from inside the UK if the foreign spouse is on a visa which permits in-country switching. (Note: It is not permitted to switch into the spouse visa route from inside the UK if the foreign spouse is on a visit visa, for example)
The spouse visa lasts 2 years 9 months if issued from outside the UK, or 2 years 6 months if issued from inside the UK. As you approach the expiry of your first spouse visa, you will needs to make an extension application, to be be granted a further 2 years 6 months.
After 5-years on this visa route, the foreign spouse can then apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), which is permanent settlement. They can subsequently apply for British citizenship if they wish to.
The foreign spouse is permitted to work in the UK while on a spouse visa.
You can find a more detailed explanation of the differences and considerations when choosing between the spouse, fiancé, unmarried partner, and marriage-visit visas, here: UK partner visa routes - What's the difference between them? (owlandsnake.co.uk)
The financial requirement is the most complex part of the application, and also the most important. It can be met in various different ways, so it's difficult to summarise in a just a few bullet points. But by way of an overview:
If you need help with an application, please contact us and we would be happy to help.
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