What is a Spouse Visa?
In simple terms this is the visa/leave to remain; a non residence “married husband or wife or civil partner/applicant (same sex)”, would have to apply for before he or she can live with their British partner or settled partner in the United Kingdom.
The applicant spouse may have to sit the English Language Test (commonwealth nationals do not), and in addition supply evidence of a “genuine relationship”.
The spouse visa is considered at the UK Visa Centre abroad, and in some countries can be considered within 15 days or less.
If the UK Visa Centre is satisfied that the applicant spouse’s documents meet the legal requirements as set out in paragraph 281 of HC 395 of The Statement of Changes to Immigration Rules; along with the new family rules in Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules, then entry clearance for 2.5 years will be granted.
It is quite possible for the applicant holding UK Visas for longer than 12 months to apply to switch (not all migrants qualify for switching) their status to the spouse – further leave to remain; without having to leave the UK.
In general terms this visa can be extended again for a final 2.5 years, if approved than subject to any future changes in the law, the migrant spouse may qualify to apply for British Citizenship.
The conditions of the Appendix FM can be read on your UK Immigration Summary Notes.
What is a Marriage Visitor Visa?
The applicant must not intend to marry or form a civil partnership, or to give notice of this, in the UK, except where they have a visit visa endorsed for marriage or civil partnership.
The applicant for a marriage or civil partnership visit visa must satisfy the decision maker that they meet the requirements at V 4.2 – V 4.10 and must be aged 18 or over. On arrival in the UK a visitor coming to marry or form a civil partnership, or give notice of this, in the UK must have a valid visit visa endorsed with this purpose and the name of the holder’s fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner.
Once allowed to marry, and upon completing the purpose of travel, the applicant must apply for the spouse visa from their country or residence, not the UK.
The conditions under the Marriage Visitor Visa can be read on the UK Immigration Summary Notes.