Spouse Visa Partner route 5 years 10 years extension switch ZR Visas

Frequently Asked Questions and Their Answers for Spouse Visa

In this page, we will discuss requirements of the spouse visa, its costs, extending spouse visa or leave to remain as a partner, financial requirements, English language requirements, 5 years partner route and 10 years partner rote, processing time, cost of the visa, NHS health surcharge, reasons of refusal of spouse visa applications, our success rate for spouse visa extensions applications and some other important aspects of this family visa to settle in the UK.

What is a spouse visa?

Spouse visa is an immigration route to settle in the UK for a partner or spouse of a foreign country who wants to join their partner in the UK or extend their leave to remain in the UK. Spouse visa other names such a partner visa, post-marriage visa.

My partner is unable to meet financial requirements for spouse visa extension due to the loss of income or lost job due to Covid-19 or has been furloughed by the employer, what options I have?

Many people have been furlough by their employers, a lot of self-employed lot their income in the pandemic. This has caused many people unable to meet the financial requirements to apply for visa or extend stay. UK government paid 80 percent of the salary is paid to the employees.

We recommend to get professional immigration advice to find out the options you may have to extend the stay. Not only we provide personal visa advice after taking into consideration of your circumstances. Our team of expert immigration advisers is in hand to work out the alternative options you may have and on how to extend your stay in UK.

How much does a UK spouse visa extension fees?

As of 1 Jan 2021, the Home Office fees to apply for a partner visa or extend stay as a partner in the UK is £1033. This is in addition to the NHS Health Surcharge which is £1560 for 2.5 years (£624 per year). The UK Home Office normally increases their fees every year in April and some time in October. Biometric information capturing fees £19.20 also applies to all partner applications inside the UK including FLR and switching to spouse visa. Biometric appointments at visa application centres are free sometimes. But most of the times, free appointments are not available. And the applicant has to pay for the appointment. Appointment booking fee ranges from £69.99 to £199.99. The approximate cost of the spouse visa extension application is £2700 including Biometric Appointment.

Spouse Visa/ Unmarried Civil Partner/ Switching to Spouse VisaIn UKOutside UK
Home Office Application Fee10331523
NHS Health Surcharge1560 (624 x 2.5 years)1872 (624 x 3 years)
Biometric Fee19.200
Biometric Appointment Fee 0-1200-120
Total (without appointment fee)£2612.20*£3500
*For applications made outside UK, the actual costs vary slightly due to currency conversion and payment handler Home Office. For example, for a client’s application made in April 2021, the Actual Total Cost of spouse visa was £3529.79. NHS Health Surcharge £1946.43 and Home Office Visa Fee £1583.56.

What are main requirements of partner visa?

  • You and your partner must be 18 years old or above.
  • Intends to live together permanently
  • Your partner must be either British Citizen or have Indefinite Leave to Remain in UK or have humanitarian or refugee status in United Kingdom
  • Your partner must prove that he or she can prove English Language Requirement or Knowledge of English
  • You can prove that your partner will be able to financially support you and any other dependants including children (if you have any) without recourse to the public funds
  • Any previous relationships or marriages of both of partners are ended (divorce certificate is required) before making visa application.
  • Above requirements for spouse or partner visa are the main requirement and apply in general. There are some exceptions to the above requirements too.

Our Success Rate for Visa Applications

Types of Immigration ApplicationsSuccess RateYears
Spouse Visa Extension/ Switch Applications100%2006-2021
Fiance Visa Applications100%2006-2021
Fee Waiver Applications100%2006-2021
Naturalisation (British Citizenship)100%2006-2021
Indefinite Leave to Remain100%2006-2021
Skilled Worker Visa100%2006-2021
Tier 2 General100%2006-2021
Sponsor Licence Tier 2 / Approved Employer100%2006-2021
EU Residence Card/ Settlement Scheme100%2006-2021
See latest Home Office decisions for our clients

How long is spouse visa valid for and what is the duration extension- FLR?

Spouse visa is valid for 30 months (2.5 years) visa and so is the extension until they complete 5 years to qualify for permanent residence in the UK, commonly known as ILR or Indefinite Leave to Remain.

Why spouse visa leave to remain applications are refused?

  • Income threshold is not met.
  • Appendix FM SE required particular documents in prescribed format. Information not being in the correct format is one of the main reasons of refusal.
  • For knowledge of English, the Home Office only accepts approve tests. At the time of making an application, if English test provider is not in the current accepted list, the applications are normally refused.
  • Providing the full and correct information in the application form is compulsory. Many of the civil partner or partner visa or FLR applications are refused where applicants did not provide full information.
  • Concealment, falsifying information are among other many factors which contribute to the refusals of spouse visa application.

Can I extend my partner visa?

Immigration rules allow extending a spouse visa as long as spouse visa extension requirements are met. This visa route leads to Permanent Residence and British Citizenship. The requirements include financial requirements, cohabitation requirements, English language requirement.   

What is difference between 5 years spouse visa route and 10 yeas partner route?

On fulfilment of all the requirements of spouse visa, the applicants are granted leave under five years spouse visa route. If partner and their spouse are unable to meet all the requirements of the 5 years route then they are granted leave to remain as a partner in 10 years route. It mean that they can apply for permanent residence (also called Indefinite Leave to Remain- ILR) after spending 10 years in the United Kingdom.

Switch from 10 years partner leave to remain to 5 years is possible or not?

Yes, one who fulfil all the requirements of the spouse visa can switch to the five year visa route as a spouse. One should take professional advice before doing so as it could have cost implications for them in the future and length of the time they need to stay in the UK (residence requirements) to qualify for ILR.

How much does a UK spouse visa cost, applying outside the UK?

The application from outside the UK cost £1523. The National Health Services Health Surcharge £1872 also applies. The average total cost is almost £3500 for spouse visa from outside UK. The fees are correct at the time of writing. Visa and nationality fees increase almost every year. 

How much does it cost to get a faster decision on my application?

You have to pay an extra £800 for faster decision on extension applications. For spouse visa entry clearance applications, premium service add on is available for £573. This is fast track service and not available in all countries at all the time.

When can I apply for spouse visa extension UK?

Though you may apply a few months in advance but it is recommended to apply not more than 28 days before your visa or leave to remain runs out.

Which documents are required for spouse visa extension in the UK?

You will need evidence to prove your income to meet financial requirements, you will also need evidence that you are still in a relationship and have been living together as a spouse. You also need to meet English language requirements. 

How early can you apply for spouse visa extension or when can I apply for spouse visa extension?

You should apply within 28 days before expiry of current leave.

How soon can I renew my UK visa before it expires?

28 Days before your current leave runs out. If you apply too early, you might have shortfall in your 5 years period to be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), also called UK Permanent Residence

How much does a visa extension cost in the UK?

The cost of UK spouse visas consists of few types of fees which includes Home Office or Embassy Fees (£1033 from inside UK, £1523 from outside UK), Biometric information charges £19.20 applicable to FLR and switching applications, NHS health surcharge £1560 (£624 per annum for 2.5 years or extension for partner visa), appointment booking range from free to £110 normally. You might also need extra money for translation of documents if they are not English such as Marriage Certificate. 

When should I apply for visa extension?

You can apply a few months in advance. We advise that you do not apply before more than 28 days before expiry of your current leave as a partner.

How much is the NHS surcharge for a spouse visa?

NHS health surcharge for is £624 a year at the time of writing. Partner visa is valid for 2.5 years and health surcharge is payable 2.5 times £624 i.e £1560. First application for entry clearance as a partner pay £1872 (£624 x 3 years) in term of National Health Services- Health Surcharge.

How do I make a spouse visa extension application by post?

Applications are not possible by post anymore. All partner visa extension applications are made online using form FLR(M). 

What is the processing time for a spouse visa extension application?

The Home office guidance says that they will decide all switching and FLR applications within 8 weeks. Complex applications can take much longer to decide. Due to the pandemic, spouse visa extension applications are taking between three to four months after registering biometrics.

Processing Time in UK8-12 Weeks
Processing time outside UK12-16 Weeks
Super Priority Service in UK £8001 Working Day (Currently not available)
Super Priority Service outside UK £5734-6 Weeks

Can I travel while my visa extension application is pending?

You should not make any travel arrangements until a decision has been made on your application.

How do I meet the financial requirement for a spouse visa extension?

You can meet the financial requirements by proving your income from employment income, self employed income, income from dividends, savings, property income and other sources. In some cases, you can combine income from more than one sources. 

Do I need to take another English Language test?

Yes, you will need to provide evidence of passing the English Language Test at Level A1 or A2. The level of test will depend if you are applying from outside the UK or inside you. You need CEFR Level A1 if applying leave to enter outside UK. If you proved Knowledge of English language requirement by passing A1 test then for leave to remain or visa extension you need A2 test pass certificate.

What supporting documents do I need for a spouse visa extension?

As part of FLR application, you need to attach income documents such as salary slips, bank statements, six (6) documents to prove that you have been living together such as letters addressed to you and your partner at same address, documents to prove English language requirement, evidence of identity such as passports, travel documents and national identification card.

When can I apply for indefinite leave to remain as a spouse?

There are two different routes, 5 Years and 10 years spouse visa routes. In a five years spouse visa, you can apply for ILR after spending 5 years. Similarly in the ten (10) years route, you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain application after spending 10 years of lawful residence in the UK as a spouse of a British Citizen or a UK settled person.

When can I become a British citizen as a spouse of a British citizenship?

The process of becoming a citizen of a country by living there is called Naturalisation. In the US English, it is written as Naturalisation. You can become British Citizen after 12 months of your permanent residence in the UK. 

What are the character suitability requirements?

The good character requirements apply to visa applications in particular to the ILR and Naturalisation applications. This covers criminal convictions, war crimes, terrorist views or engaging in any such activities. If you have a conviction, you should get professional advice before making an immigration, visa and nationality application.

What is the extension English test requirement?

If you meet the English language requirement as part of your entry clearance application as a spouse then you need to pass the A2 test of CEFR.

What is the Spouse Visa extension form?

Paper application forms for spouse visa extension applications are not used anymore. Now all applicants for partner visa FLR should be made online using the form FLR(M).

What is the Spouse Visa extension fee?

At the time of writing, the fees is £1033 from inside the UK for spouse visa extension applications. A separate fee of £19.20 also applies for biometric enrolment. NHS health surcharge is also payable at the rate of £624 per year.

What are the next steps after a Spouse Visa extension?

Majority of the spouses can apply for Permanent Residence in the United Kingdom after their spouse visa extension (FLR), after spending 5 years in the UK. The five years are counted from the day they first entered the United Kingdom, exceptions apply.

What can I do if I receive a rejection for UK spouse visa?

If your spouse visa application has been refused then you can either challenge the refusal by filing an appeal. Alternatively you can make a fresh spouse visa application (reapply). Appeals sometimes take months. The best way to go forward will depend on the reasons of refusal of spouse visa application. For minor reasons which are easily rectifiable, making a new application could be a better option.

When can I apply to extend or switch the visa?

There is no legal limit or rules to explain when you can apply to extend your visa. You should not apply not more than 28 days before expiry of current visa. Switching applications can be made at any time, though effects of the switching for future applications in particular ILR should be assessed before making a switching application to spouse visa from inside UK.

What are the other ways I can stay in the UK?

There are many routes for someone to stay in the UK including a work routes, job offer by a Tier 2 Employer, getting married to a British Citizen

Can I apply for a UK family visa if my family member is from the EU, EEA or Switzerland?

Yes you can apply for the UK. The type of visa you can apply and their requirements will depend on your circumstances and your relationship to the EU citizens. If you are a close family member such as wife or husband or children then you can apply for a EU family permit or apply under EU Settlement Scheme for settled status or pre-settled status. If you are an extended family member then a detailed assessment will be required to find out the best visa category. 

What services you offer for spouse visa extension in 5 years and 10 years route?

ServiceDescriptionFixed Fees
Book Full Application Preparation & Submission Service Comprehensive service. All work covered from start to the end. No VAT, no hidden charges. Allocated caseworker.£500
Book Application & Documents Checking ServiceApplication and documents checking service. £180
Book 20 Minutes Consultation AppointmentAsk questions about immigration and visa applications.£30

What is your success rate for spouse visa extension applications?

For Full Application Preparation service for partner visa extension applications (FLR- extending stay in UK on the basis of marriage), we have 100% success rate for last 15 years.

I do not live local, can you still help me?

Yes, we have client base over the UK including London, Birmingham, Glasgow, Manchester, Hertfordshire, Somerset, Stockport, Croydon, . Whichever part of the UK or world you live in, we offer no-compromise services to you.

We have simple online Service Booking, PayPal/Credit Card/Debit Card payments accepted. Once we receive your order, we will send you list of required documents and information. You can send us documents by email, WhatsApp, post, drop off, share on Google Drive or any other medium suitable for you. We do not need original documents. You can scan documents using mobile app, can be downloaded Free from Google Play or Apple Store. Alternatively, you can take photo using your mobile phone camera and send us by any means suitable for you.


Once we complete your application form, we will send you a copy of Draft Application to have a look before we submit application. On your approval, we will submit application online, pay Home Office fees on your behalf, upload all your documents and book a Biometric appointment for you at one of the Visa Application Centre located across UK. This is the last step to attend biometric appointment to provide facial images and fingerprints. We provide you full support and follow up your application until a decision is made.

Have a question, contact us or Request a Free Initial Consultation

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