UK spouse and partner visas (Family visas)

If your partner is living in the UK, or if you are living in the UK and have a non-UK partner you'd like to bring to the country, you can apply for a UK spousal visa.

Spouse visas for the UK

Spouse visa UK

The UK spouse visa falls under the Family visa, also referred to as a “family of a settled person” visa. It allows the partner or spouse of a British citizen to join them in the UK. If your relationship is non-traditional, this is still a route worth exploring as there are a variety of solutions that may qualify you for the visa.

Apply as a partner or a spouse

To apply as a partner, you and your partner both need to be 18 years or older and your partner must either:

UK spouse visa requirements

The UK spouse visa is initially issued for two-and-a-half-years. This allows your partner to work without restriction in the UK. While on this visa, you may leave and re-enter the country multiple times. At the end of the two-and-a-half-year visa period, you will need to extend the visa in the UK.

In order to have a successful visa application, you must be able to prove the following:

Types of partners

Married partner

You can apply for the spouse visa when or if you are lawfully married to a British citizen.

Unmarried partner

This is also known as a UK de facto visa. An unmarried partner can enter or remain in the UK on this visa. They must be in a long-term relationship with a person who is present and has settled status in the UK

Fiancé or fiancée

You can apply for a UK fiancé or fiancée visa if you intend to get married or become civil partners within six months

The spouse visa UK financial requirements

One of the following criteria must be met:

* If children are included in the application, the financial requirements increase accordingly.

Applying for a UK spouse visa from South Africa

As part of the UK spouse visa application process, you must apply in your home country. The spousal visa application form can be completed online. If you’re already in the UK on a different visa, it may be possible to switch to a partner visa by applying from within the UK.

UK spouse visa extension

You can only apply to extend the spouse visa 28 days before it expires.

You should expect a decision on your application to take roughly 12 weeks after making the request. There is a fast-track service which will get a decision on your extension within 24 hours.