How to switch into a UK Spouse visa in country from another Visa Category

You can apply to switch into a spouse visa (5 years route) if you are married to a British national or a person who is present and settled in the UK. To do so, you must meet the eligibility requirements for switching to a spouse visa.

The application for switching into spouse visa under the 5 years route is considered in accordance with requirements of the Immigration Rules as set out in Appendix FM of the Immigration rules.  If you meet all the requirements as set out in Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules, you will be granted 30 months (2.5 years) leave to remain under the 5 years route to settlement.

Who can switch into a spouse visa in country?

Anyone who has been granted a visa (Entry Clearance of Leave to Remain) for six months or more in total can apply for a spouse visa from within the UK. The only exception to this is a person who has been granted a 6-month fiancé visa can switch in country into a spouse visa.

Those holding visitor visas are specifically excluded from switching in country according to the Immigration Rules so they will generally have to leave the UK to apply from their home country. Applicants holding visitor visas can expect to be refused unless there are exceptional reasons why they cannot return to their home country and re-apply.

Which application must I submit?

An application for switching into spouse visa from inside the UK is submitted to the Home Office by completing application form FLR (M).

When can I apply?

You can apply as soon as you are married if you meet all other requirements. If you are an unmarried partner, you can still submit an application as long as you have proof that you have cohabitated in a relationship akin to marriage.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Both you and your partner are over the age of 18
  • You are legally married or in a civil partnership that is recognised by the UK or have been living together for at least 2 years as an unmarried couple
  • You have passed an approved English language test
  • You have adequate accommodation
  • You fulfil the financial requirement, which is explained below

Financial requirement:

  • Annual income of £18,600; or
  • Cash savings of £62,500; or
  • A combination of the above

There is exemption from financial requirement if the sponsor receives one of the qualifying disability living allowances/personal independence payment etc. However, they will need to demonstrate that they have adequate accommodation and maintenance.

Processing times

UK Visa & Immigration aims to process in country UK spouse visa applications within 8 weeks.  Should you apply via the Super Priority Service; you should normally receive a decision on the next working day after providing your biometric information.

Spouse visa application fee

The Home Office application fee to switch into the Spouse category from within the UK or extend your leave as a Spouse is currently £1,033. In addition, you will also have to pay the Immigration health surcharge which amounts to £1560.

Get assistance with your application – Contact the best UK lawyers

Mulgrave Law are Specialist Immigration Lawyers and can assist in obtaining a spouse visa from overseas or within the UK by providing the following services:

  • Provide free initial advice
  • Advise on documents required
  • Review of documents to ensure they fulfill the Home Office requirements
  • Submitting the online application form
  • Uploading documents and booking a biometric appointment.

Mulgrave Law is based in London serving clients across the globe, with decades of combined experience dealing with difficult immigration cases.

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