Last updated: on 26 January 2022
From 2018 onwards, Home Office fees for processing Spouse Visa and Spouse Visa Extensions (also known as Further Leave to Remain in the UK) have been the same. However, in the last two years, the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) has risen significantly.
The IHS that started out at £200 in 2015 is now set to rise up to £624 from 27 October 2020 onwards. This will bring the total Home Office fees for a Spouse Visa all the way up to £2593 (for an in country application) compared to £1533 as it was in 2015.
Although the money collected from the IHS goes towards the National Health Service (NHS), the Home Office profits from just processing applications. For example, a migrant applying for Indefinite Leave to remain in the UK (ILR) must pay £2,389, whereas the cost to the Home Office for processing an ILR application is only £243.
Alongside the Home Office fees, there are other costs associated with the Partner Visa category:
|Out-of-country application||In country application|
|Spouse visa fee||£1523||£1033|
|English language test||£150||£150|
|Copy of house title deeds||£3||£3|
|Bank statements||Up to £100||Up to £100|
|Document translations (if required)||Up to £400||Up to £400|
|Premium visa services||£573||£500-£800|
All of the above costs add up to a significant amount. As no two applications are the same, costs will also vary. Further, we explore some of these costs and whether they apply to you.
English language test
Most migrants have to sit an English language test at A1 level (if they are applying for a spouse visa outside the UK) or at A2 level (if they are applying for a spouse visa after having initially been granted a 33 or 30-month visa). Another way to save some money would be to take a higher-level test. For example, the English language requirement for a Spouse Visa is at the A1 level. However, you can choose to sit an A2 test and re-use the same certificate when you extend your visa. Whatever test you take, please make sure that the test is on the List of Home Office Approved Secure English language tests (SELT) in 2020.
Not everyone will have to pay for the English language requirement test for their application. For example, if you are a national of a majority English-speaking country, all you need to show is your passport to meet the English language requirement.
For In-country applications – Trinity College London charges £150 for their English language tests.
In line with the adequate accommodation requirements of the Partner Visa category, it is necessary to prove that you have sufficient space in your dwelling for when your family member(s) join you.
If you rent your accommodation, a simple letter from your landlord or estate agent will suffice.
If you own your house or apartment, then in addition to proof of ownership, you will have to prove that the property will not become overcrowded due to your family joining you. Please read our Adequate Accommodation for Spouse Visa article for further information. In which case you will have to provide a housing report prepared by a chartered surveyor, this will cost anywhere between £50-£150.
As per the requirements of the Appendix FM rules, downloaded and printed bank statements are not acceptable to the Home Office. In this case, you either need to ask your bank for your bank statements or have each page stamped by the bank, confirming the genuineness of the document.
A majority of the banks in the UK will issue 6 or 12-month bank statements and stamp each page, certifying they are genuine for free. However, certain banks will charge for bank statements if you request originals.
Most documents important to your visa application that are not in the English or Welsh language will need to be translated by an official document translator. Prices vary, but each document page will cost around £50 onwards to translate. The following is a list of typical documents that will need to be translated:
- Death certificates
- Birth certificates
- Degree certificates
- Marriage certificates
- Divorce certificates
If the applicant is required to have a TB test, they must have this done in a clinic in their country of origin/country of residence that has been approved by the Home Office or the nearest approved clinic (even if it is in a neighbouring country). You can find a list of Home Office-approved tuberculosis clinics in or near your country here.
Premium visa services
Depending on your budget, there are a few premium visa services available:
For in-country applications, the UKVCAS offers two premium options
The Priority Service – The Priority Service will cost an additional £500 and reduce your application processing time to 5 working days.
The Super Priority Service – The Super Priority Services will cost an additional £800 and you should receive a decision on your application within 1 working day.
For applications made outside the UK, the VFS priority visa for settlement service will usually provide a decision from the Home Office within six weeks.
Some migrant applicants who should perhaps not use the priority visa services are:
- overstayed a period of leave in the UK.
- had leave to remain in the UK curtailed by the Home Office.
- been refused a visa for the UK.
- been refused leave to enter the UK.
- you have been interviewed, detained, or prosecuted by the police for any offence in the UK or elsewhere.
- been deported, removed, or otherwise required to leave the UK.
- been refused leave to remain in the UK by the Home Office.
- been refused a visa for Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United States of America, or the Schengen countries.
- you have an unspent criminal conviction in any country.
- you have committed a criminal offence in any country
It is not necessary to engage a lawyer whilst applying for a Spouse visa or further leave to remain, however, it is definitely recommended as small mistakes may lead to costly refusals. If your Spouse’s Visa or application for Further Leave to Remain has been rejected, depending on the grounds of refusal, you can go for an appeal or apply again in the correct manner.
Typically you can end up paying £250 or £2500 for Immigration application services, and there are a plethora of options available.