How to apply for a UK Spouse Visa from South Africa
The UK Spouse Visa is a complex application, where applicants are required to meet several requirements to demonstrate your eligibility.
First, you and your partner must prove that you are genuinely in love. Then, it is essential to demonstrate to the Home Office that you have enough personal funds to sustain your family in the UK, as you will not be granted access to public funds.
To live in the UK, your partner must be proficient in English. Besides, you must have adequate accommodation for your family.
To find out more about the UK Spouse Visa requirements for South African citizens, you can speak to our team. One of our UK immigration lawyers in South Africa will be happy to help you and your family and to provide you with all the information you need to complete your application.
Spouse Visa requirements for South Africans
Before you submit your Spouse Visa application from South Africa, you must ensure that you meet the following requirements:
- The genuine relationship requirement. You and your partner need to demonstrate that you are genuinely in love and you intend to live together in the UK.
- The financial requirement. You need to demonstrate that you can support your family in the UK without seeking access to public funds.
- The accommodation requirement. You and your family must have adequate accommodation in the UK.
- The English language requirement. Your non-British partner must prove their fluency in spoken English.
If you wish to have your case assessed by a professional immigration lawyer, you can get in touch with IAS. Your dedicated solicitor will advise you on how to proceed to meet all the eligibility criteria.
Marriage Visa financial requirement for South Africans
To meet the Spouse Visa minimum income requirement, you and your partner must earn a combined gross annual income of £18.600.
This can come from any of the following sources:
- Employment salary before tax and National Insurance
- Income from Self-employment provided that you have received this income for 6 months or more.
- Cash Savings (up to the value of £16,000)
- Money from stocks and shares
- Income from property rentals or dividends
Applying with dependants
If you are applying for a Spouse Visa from South Africa with your children, the necessary income will increase. For the first child, you must earn at least £22,400. For any additional child, there is a further increase of £2,400.
Spouse Visa English language requirement
To get a Spouse Visa to live in the UK with your spouse, the applicant must prove to be able to speak and understand English to a proficient standard.
To meet these eligibility criteria, you must either:
- Have passed an approved English language test to the required level (A1 or higher, depending on your circumstances).
- Hold a degree from a recognised institution, which was taught or researched in English.
- Be from a country where English is the first spoken language.
Get in touch with our lawyers to find out more about this requirement and how to qualify for it.
The Partner Visa accommodation requirement
To move to the UK from South Africa with your spouse, your family must have adequate accommodation in this country. This can be:
- Rented property in the UK
- A temporary accommodation
- A mortgaged or owned property
The conditions to meet these criteria may vary based on the number of dependants you are travelling with. For example, a simple room with a shared bed may be sufficient for you and your partner alone. However, if you have any dependants, your house must have an additional bedroom for each child over the age of one.
How to apply for a Spouse Visa from South Africa
You can complete and submit your initial application online. Upon payment of the application fee and the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS), your application will be officially submitted to UKVI.
You will receive a confirmation email, and a link to access the website of TLS Contact to complete any additional stage.
TLS Contact must be used if you need to book your biometrics appointment in South Africa. You can attend your visa appointment at any of the five UKVI centers in South Africa (Cape-Town, Durban, Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth, Pretoria).
Alternatives to the UK Spouse Visa for South Africans
Depending on your personal circumstances, you may have a few alternatives to apply for a Visa to enter the UK from South Africa.
If you are a Commonwealth citizen and you are able to show that one of your grandparents was born in the UK, you may be eligible to apply for an Ancestry Visa for South Africans.
If you and your partner wish to get married in the UK, you can apply for a Fiancé Visa, which will give you entry clearance in his country, provided that you get married within six months from your application. If you want to settle in the UK with your British partner but you do now wish to get married, you can check if you meet the requirements for the Unmarried Partner Visa.
Spouse Visa Extension for South African citizens
Your Spouse Visa is set to expire after 2 years and 9 months. If you wish to remain in the UK, you must apply for a Spouse Visa for South Africans before your existing permit expires.
When applying for a Spouse Visa renewal, you must meet the same requirements attached to your initial application.
The current standard fee for a Spouse Visa extension is £1,033. Besides, since a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) will be attached to your passport, you must take into account an additional fee of £19.20 to have your biometrics taken.
When will I receive a decision?
The normal timescale for a decision on your Spouse Visa application submitted from South Africa is 24 weeks from the application date. If your case is particularly time sensitive, you can pay for a priority service, which allows you to receive a letter from the Home Office within 30 days from your biometric appointment.
It must be noted that the priority service does not affect the UKVI’s final decision on your application.
If you have any query or concern about your Spouse Visa processing time, you can get in touch with one of our immigration lawyers.
What sources of income can be included towards the Spouse Visa financial criteria?
After holding a Spouse Visa for a consecutive period of 5 years, you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain.
This will grant you the right to live, work and study in the UK free from any immigration restrictions.
To be eligible, you must meet specific requirements. For example, you must demonstrate your knowledge of British customs and traditions. Most importantly, you must haven’t spent more than 180 days outside the UK.
Can a South African national apply for British Citizenship by marriage?
Once you are a UK settled person, you can apply for British naturalization. This will be the last step of your immigration path, and will allow you to get a British passport. UK dual citizenship is allowed, meaning that you are not required to renounce your South African nationality to become a British citizen.
Get in touch with our immigration lawyers today to find out more about your options to apply for British Citizenship by marriage if you from South Africa.
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When applying for a Marriage Visa, you must prepare a bundle of documents to demonstrate your eligibility and support your case.
Your paperwork must include the following:
- Proof that you and your partner have met at least once before your marriage and that you have spent some time together as a couple.
- Proof of the applicant’s English fluency, such as the results of the IELTS test or an English-taught degree.
- Proof that you and your family have adequate accommodation in the UK.
- Proof that you meet the minimum income requirement. This can be bank statements, job contract, or wage slips.
- All the documents that you believe can support your application.
To receive professional advice on your application documents, you can talk to one of IAS’ immigration experts.
Yes. If you are a South African citizen holding a Marriage Visa, you can seek employment in the UK.
You do not need to sit an English test or to prove your eligibility against this requirement if you:
- Are a child.
- Are over the age of 65.
- Are an adult coming to the UK to be cared for by relative.
- Have a degree or academic qualification that was taught or researched in English. This must be approved and certificated by UK NARIC.
- Are a national of an English-speaking country.
- Have a physical or mental condition which prevents you from sitting the test or meeting the requirement.
It is essential that you and your partner demonstrate that you can sustain your family financially while in the UK.
To support your case, you must provide the following paperwork along with your application bundle:
- Bank statements showing your income
- 6 months of pay slips
- A letter from your employer, dated and printed on headed paper. This should confirm your job title or position, the type of contract, how long you have worked there, your salary before tax and National Insurance, and that all your pay slips are genuine.
The overall Spouse Visa application process may dependent on several factors. As a general rule, it may take up to two weeks to receive a response from the Home Office.
If your case is successful, you will be told to make an appointment to provide your biometric information (fingerprints and photo). You will also collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) within seven days from the date you intend to enter the UK.
If you have submitted your passport and other travel documents with your application and you need them urgently, you can ask for them to be returned.
The application fees for your Marriage Visa will vary based on how you apply.
It costs £1,523 to apply for a Spouse Visa from South Africa or anywhere outside the UK.
You will be charged £1,033 for an application submitted from within the UK.
However, when applying, you must consider additional costs, such as:
- The Immigration Health Surcharge
- The Housing report necessary to meet the accommodation requirement
- The English language test, if needed to demonstrate your fluency
- Certified translation of any application documents which is not written in English or Welsh.
Talk to our UK immigration specialists in South Africa today to book an advice session and receive a detailed breakdown of the costs of your application.
A Spouse Visa application is a complicated and time-consuming process, which requires attention to details and knowledge of UK immigration system.
For this reason, it is always advisable to seek the assistance of a UK immigration expert.
At IAS, our UK immigration specialists in South Africa have already helped several families move to the UK and live happily together.
When you hire one of our lawyers, we will:
- Review your case and your eligibility;
- Help you prepare a bundle of supporting documents;
- Write a Letter of Representation to details the merit of your case;
- Liaise with the Home Office until your case is completed;
- Meet with you either in person or arrange phone calls to discuss your situation;
- Complete each part of your application with extreme care and attention.
Call us today to find out more about our services, or to request the help of one of our UK immigration solicitors in South Africa.