USA and the UK
- How to apply for a UK Spouse Visa from the US
- Partner Visa UK requirements for US nationals
- UK Spouse Visa financial requirements
- How to demonstrate that your marriage is genuine
- What to do if your application is accepted
- What to do if your application is refused
- UK Partner Visa validity
- Spouse Visa UK processing time
- IAS’ immigration advice services
- Frequently Asked Questions
Apply for a UK Spouse Visa from the US
If you are a US national and you intend to live with your spouse or partner who currently holds British Citizenship or settled status, you can apply for a Spouse Visa for UK Leave to Remain. The Spouse allows you to stay in the UK for an initial 30-33 months. After this period of time, you can apply for a Spouse Visa UK extension of a further 30 months, provided that you continue to meet the requirements throughout your time in the UK.
The UK Spouse Visa allows those granted to work and live freely in the UK (and eventually apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain), and is less limited than some other UK routes, such as work visas. The UK Spouse Visa requirements include a minimum income threshold for your British-based partner, proof of acceptable housing and evidence your relationship is genuine.
The attorneys at IAS have a wealth of experience in Marriage Visa UK applications. We understand the common pitfalls that lead the Home Office to refuse UK Spouse Visas. Our services ensure that your application forms are completed to a professional standard so that they your case can be successful.
Call us on+1844 290 6312 or make an inquiry online before you apply for a Spouse Visa UK.
How to apply for a UK Spouse Visa from the US
You can complete your UK Partner Visa application online from the US, with the help of one of IAS’ immigration attorneys. As part of this process, you must choose the US location where your civil partner will enrol their biometrics (a digital photograph and your fingerprints).
The next step is to pay your immigration health surcharge and your application fees. At this point, your application for a UK Spouse visa will be officially considered submitted, and you can arrange your supporting documents to be sent to the authorities. You must also schedule and attend your biometrics appointment.
Partner Visa UK requirements for US citizens
If you are a US national, before you apply for a Partner Visa UK you must ensure you meet the following requirements:
- You and your partner must both be over 18;
- Your marriage must be recognized by the UK government;
- You must prove that you intend to live together and stay in the UK;
- Your application must include proof of suitable accommodation;
- You will need to meet the financial requirement;
- You must prove that you meet the English Language requirements if you are not from an English-speaking country.
UK Spouse Visa Financial Requirements
To be eligible for a UK Spouse Visa, you must be earning a certain amount, or have enough savings to sustain your family. To meet the financial requirement, you will be asked to prove that you earn a certain minimum annual income (before tax). If your income is less that you need, you can use cash savings to meet the eligibility requirements.
The amount of savings or income required to apply for a Spouse Visa from the US depends on who you are applying for.
If you wish to bring your partner, you will need an income of at least £18,600 per year before tax. However, if you and your spouse have children you want to bring with you from outside the UK, you will need to earn an extra £3,800 for the first child, and then an extra £2,400 for each child after that.
How do I prove that I am in a genuine relationship?
To get a UK Spouse Visa from the US, you must provide evidence that you and your partner are in a genuine and containing relationship, and that you intend to live together. In other words, you need to include documents that show that you:
- Have lived together for at least 2 years;
- Have children together (if applicable);
- Have a shared bank account or savings;
- Have met in person at least once before you got married;
- Has spent time together and have been in frequent contact.
What to do if your application is accepted
If your application is successful, your partner will receive a permit which allows them to enter the UK during a 30-day period.
Once they arrive, they will need to pick up their biometric residence permit within 10 days.
If your partner doesn’t enter the UK within the 30-day period, they will need to pay an additional fee to apply for a new 30-day entry permit.
What to do if your application is rejected
If the Home Office refuses your application, you will receive a rejection letter with further details on how to proceed. For example, you can appeal, providing that you have enough evidence to prove that the decision of the UKVI make it impossible for you to be together.
Appeals are usually time-consuming and complex processes. For this reason, it is always recommended to seek the help of a specialist immigration attorney, who will advise you on all the eligibility requirements Get in touch with IAS’ immigration specialists to find out more.
UK Partner Visa Validity
If you are a US citizen applying for a Spouse Visa, your permit will last for 33 months if you are applying from outside the UK. If you are submitting your application from the United Kingdom, your visa will be valid for 30 months. Eventually, you may be eligible to get Indefinite Leave to Remain, and then apply to become a British citizen.
Before your visa expires, you can renew it for another 2 years and 6 months. At the end of this additional timeframe, you can apply to settle in the UK on Indefinite Leave to Remain.
How long does the UK Spouse Visa application take?
It usually takes up to six weeks for the Home Office to evaluate your case. Nevertheless, your application could take as long as 12 weeks if extra checks are needed to review your eligibility against the financial requirement or English language criteria.
Besides, your Spouse Visa processing time will depend on the country you are applying from. Applications from within the UK using the Premium Service could take as little as two weeks.
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On the other hand, if you are a US citizen living in the UK on your own visa, your partner can apply as a dependant for a relevant Family Visa.
The marriage with a UK national will not affect your American citizenship in any way. This means that after the marriage you won’t lose your American citizenship nor automatically acquire British nationality.
If you are an American citizen living in the UK on a different visa type, you may be able to apply for a Spouse Visa UK to remain in the country.
However, you will not be allowed to switch if you are in the country as an American visitor or if permission was given to stay for less than six months.
You will also not be allowed to apply for a Spouse Visa UK if you are in breach of the Immigration Rules (i.e. your previous leave has expired).
If you and your partner go through a divorce, it is important to let the Home Office know as soon as possible.
Once you have informed them, they will issue a Spouse Visa curtailment to notify the end of your relationship. There may be options open to you to switch to a different visa category and remain in the UK but it is important to act fast.
If you are found to have separated from your partner without informing the Home Office, you could face serious consequences or be issued a deportation order. This will affect all future UK visa applications.
Yes, US citizens can apply for a UK Spouse Visa from inside the UK as long as they:
- Were given leave to remain in the UK for more than 6 months
- Are not in the UK on a Visitor Visa
- Are not applying as a fiancé, meaning that they must be already married.
If your partner entered the UK from the US as a foreign fiancé, they shouldn’t leave the country until you’ve got married or entered a civil partnership. Nevertheless, if they leave and need to re-enter, they must apply for a new entry clearance.
If you and your partner weren’t able to get married during your first 6 months on a Fiancé visa, you can apply for an extension.
Once you are have held a UK Spouse Visa for five years, you should be eligible to apply for ILR from a Spouse Visa for American nationals. Holding ILR will mean that you are no longer subject to the Immigration Rules. This will mean that you can enjoy more freedom in regards to travel and access to health care in the UK.
The Fiancé Visa can be used to enter the UK from the US if you intend to get married and remain in the UK.
This visa will be granted for an initial six months. Once you are married, you will be expected to switch to the UK Marriage Visa. If you are not married during this time, there are very limited circumstances which the Home Office will consider to allow an extension.
Your Spouse Visa for American citizens will be granted for an initial 30-33 months and can be extended for a further 30 months. Once you have spent five years in the UK, you should be eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).
You will have the right to work on a Spouse Visa. You will not need to be sponsored by your employer and there will be no minimum salary requirement for any job you apply for.
You are not eligible to work on a Fiancé Visa so you must be able to support yourself in the UK until you can apply for a Spouse Visa UK and gain the right to work.
At IAS, we understand the importance of applying for a UK Spouse Visa.
Our team of attorneys are specialists in private immigration matters and have an excellent track record. Using our services will give you the best chances of success for a Spouse Visa UK, even if you’ve previously been refused.
Our services include:
- Liaising with you in person, over the phone or via Skype;
- Determining the right partner visa for you;
- Checking your documents thoroughly to ensure they are sufficient;
- Confirming you have proof of your genuine relationship;
- Producing a Letter of Representation for your application;
- Managing contact with the Home Office until they make a decision;
- Completing all application forms professionally and to a high standard.
Contact us on +1844 290 6312 or make an inquiry online to speak with an immigration attorney about your UK Spouse Visa application, or visit UK immigration advice for U.S. citizens for further information about moving to the UK.