Lifelong Vagabonds Home Banner

Complete Guide to the UK Spouse Settlement Visa

15 June 2017 | Mri Grout - A Lifelong Vagabond

uk spouse visa forms

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer so do not take this guide as definite legal advice. I am simply someone who has struggled through the UK spouse settlement visa process and have written a guide about the steps I have taken to (hopefully) get accepted. Will update about my application.

The application process for the UK spouse settlement visa is a daunting one that’s fraught with a nearly total lack of information, stressfully high requirements, and constant frustration. The only way someone can seemingly get through this with all of their fingernails and a full night’s sleep is by hiring an (undoubtedly expensive) immigration lawyer. However, many of us are already struggling to meet the financial requirement of £62,500 in savings or £18,600/year in salary (an estimated 48% of Britians don’t meet this), so any extra expenses that aren’t completely necessary must be forgone. Nevertheless, there is still hope for you as due to having known this struggle personally, I have written this complete guide to the UK spouse settlement visa.

1. Meet the Financial Requirements Plus Some

Solo Applicants

If you do not meet the UK spouse settlement visa financial requirements then that is grounds for automatic refusal regardless of how short you are. This is not up to discussion to or sympathy by the UK immigration officer so make sure that you’re not under by even one pence. The financial requirements for a solo applicant with no children are as follows:

  • Sponsor salary of £18,600 before tax held for at least six months or
  • Sponsor cash savings of a total of £62,500 held for at least six months or
  • Sponsor salary below £18,600, but with savings of [£16,000 + 2.5(difference)] held for at least six months or
  • Sponsor is receiving certain disability-related benefits or is a carer that makes him/her exempt from the financial requirement of the UK spouse settlement visa
In some cases, cash savings cannot be combined with income, so for a complete guide to the financial requirements of the UK spouse settlement visa, download this government appendix.

Applicants With Children

For the first child that is not a UK citizen, you must have an extra £3800 in salary before tax, and another £2400/year for any child after that. If you are relying on savings either solely or in addition to a salary, you will need to add this to the original amount that must be multiplied.

Base Financial Requirements Equation

[(£18,600 – salary) x 2.5] + £16,000 = required amount in cash savings

Cash Savings Examples if Below £18,600/Year:

1. £18,500 salary:

[(£18,600 - £18,500) x 2.5] + £16,000 =
(£100 * 2.5) + £16,000 =
£250 + £16,000 =


2. £15,080 salary:

[(£18,600 - £15,080) x 2.5] + £16,000 =
(£3520 * 2.5) + £16,000 =
£8800 + £16,000 =


3. £0 salary:

[(£18,600 - £0) x 2.5] + £16,000 =
(£18,600 * 2.5) + £16,000 =
£46,500 + £16,000 =


Financial Requirements You Actually Need

It’s all good having the financial requirements found above sitting in your sponser’s bank account for the last six months, but in reality you need much more than that. First, your spendings for that whole six months cannot dip even a pence under the required amount. Second, there are numerous fees that are all really expensive (obviously).

The UK spouse settlement visa fees for a solo applicant from the USA are:

  • application fee: £1464 (plus exchange fee)
  • NHS surcharge fee: £600 (plus exchange fee)
  • mail charge fee: $227 (you have to use their service, plus exchange fee)
  • printing supporting documents and any notaries if need be
  • bank fees for official statements and letter of authorization
  • passport photo

2. Fill Out the Online Application

The application for the UK spouse settlement visa can be completed online. However, please note that you CANNOT make corrections to it after it has been submitted so triple check everything very thoroughly. I have read that you can include a signed and dated correction note, but I would not use this method unless absolutely necessary as the first thing immigration officers check when they deny visas is whether or not they’ve been given a properly completed application form. So make sure EVERYTHING is correct and there aren’t any clerical errors before submitting your online application for the UK spouse settlement visa.

Do NOT go further than simply filling in the UK spouse settlement visa application form online. Do NOT make an appointment with biometrics until you reach Step 6!!!! Otherwise you will give yourself an impossible deadline!!!!

If you cannot apply online then you need to print off and fill out the VAF4A form.

3. Print Off and Fill Out the Appendix 2 Form

If you’re wondering why they don’t give you a link to this on their online application platform, we’re in the same boat. Neverthless, they require it so you have to print it off and fill it out in all capital letters and with a blue or black pen. If you do not fill it out in this specific way, then they will just chuck it (or so I’ve heard, though no point in testing it). The last five pages of this Appendix 2 Form download is a ‘how to fill in’ guide. I would recommend using it even for the obvious questions just to be sure you know what it’s truly asking.

Pages: 1, 2, 3

Complete Guide to the UK Spouse Settlement Visa comments: