How Long Do You Have to Be Married for a Visa in the UK

Obtaining any type of visa can be a very energy-draining process, especially if it is for purposes other than tourist visits. How complicated the process is, depends on the case, and on the country of choice. If you wish to apply for a marriage visa and are wondering how long you actually have to be married to be eligible for one, we suggest you continue reading this article.

Let us give you some basic information about this visa type…

Commonly known as a British marriage visa, it allows a foreign spouse to migrate and settle in this country. Of course, one of the souses has to already be living there, having citizenship. Once obtained, this type of visa will allow you to work and study, just as normal citizens do.

Logically, there are a couple of criteria one needs to fulfill in order to be eligible for it. These include the following:

  • Both of you are at least 18 years old
  • The marriage needs to be legal
  • Both have to intend to live together permanently
  • An additional sum of money is required to be able to support the spouse without claiming public funds (this is the responsibility of the one who already has citizenship – sponsoring partner)
  • Sponsoring partner has to be able to earn enough money yearly, or have enough savings to be an eligible sponsor. The sum depends on whether or not there are children involved and how many.
  • Accommodation will also be taken into consideration since decent living space is mandatory.
  • A person applying has to prove a fair command of English in order to settle in normally

In the second point, we’ve mentioned how the marriage has to be already settled. However, this means that a certain period of time will have to pass before your marriage is considered genuine. Therefore, you are expected to be married for at least 24 months before applying for a visa. This will prove it is genuine, however, won’t save you from being further interrogated about your relationship.

Once you get all the requirements done, you can apply. And you can expect tons of paperwork to fill, prepare, etc. This is the time when it is smart to consider hiring professional help.

The case of a marriage visa is sensitive, mostly because you want to get it right from the first try. In order to ensure you do, the best is not to gamble with the possibility of missing some vital paper or filling in the application wrong. These cases take time, and most people lose it while papers are going back and forth to and from the embassy. There’s also a lot of stress involved in getting it right from the first try, that’s why hiring professional help really comes useful. Some services advise you on how to fill in your application, what kind of documents will matter most, where to apply for them, etc. Once you file the application this way, you can rest assured you’ve done your best, and your chances of obtaining one are at maximum.

How much time does all of this require?

You have to be patient because these cases can take anything from two weeks to four months. But, if you’re already in the UK on a different type of visa, such as study, you can check the procedure of switching to a spouse. In most cases this is possible.

All the requirements the visa regime brings upon us can be confusing, and too much of a hassle. Most of us are somehow used to traveling free, without having to visit embassies. This was true for most travelers from Europe, until Brexit. You probably know that the UK has left the EU two years ago, which left many Europeans confused about how to travel there.

What changed?

Leaving the EU means that it no longer participates in the free market, where people from the countries belonging to the union were also free to move. However, we should also note that the UK has always been a special case because it required everyone from outside their borders to be controlled. But these were not strict controls, they just required people to show their documents.

So, as of last year, all EU citizens have to show their passports. Before they could easily cross with their IDs. Anyway, it isn’t as complicated as people expected it to be. At least not for everyone. Some countries do have to apply for a visa prior to their visit.

Here are some tips on which documents you’ll probably need…

For traveling for tourist purposes or for the purpose of visiting

If you are going to the UK for a short time (up to a maximum of 6 months), e.g. to visit London or to visit family or friends, you only need to bring your passport. In this case, a visa is not required.

A Business trip

If you are going to the UK for business purposes for a short time, e.g. on business trips, meetings, conferences, etc., you only need to take your passport with you. In most cases of business travel, a visa is not required as long as the total duration of stay in the territory of the United Kingdom does not exceed 6 months. Travel for non-visa business purposes does not include, among other things, working or performing stationary services for British companies or internships.

Traveling for work or study

If you are going to the UK to work (both for your employer and as part of your own business), do an internship, or study, you will need a visa in addition to your passport. Please read the visa requirements on UK government websites before departure.

If you intend to move with your spouse, well, the process has already been described in the first part of the article.

Remember, these things take a lot of time and information handling, therefore make sure you understand everything right before you apply.