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Spouse Visa

A spouse visa Allows your spouse to live and work overseas. When you are already in a country and you would like your overseas spouse or civil partner to join you. Overseas nationals refer to your partner who is living abroad.

As part of the immigration process, you will need to sponsor your partner’s application to join you as a dependent.

Who is eligible to sponsor their spouse, partner or child –

You can sponsor your spouse, partner or dependent child if :

  • You’re at least 18 years old
  • You’re a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident of a country or on a legal visa.
  • You’re able to prove that you’re not receiving social assistance for reasons other than a disability.
  • you can provide for the basic needs of any persons you want to sponsor.

Who you can sponsor

You can sponsor your spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner or dependent children.

Your spouse

Your spouse can be either sex and must be:

  • legally married to you
  • at least 18 years old.

Your common-law partner

  • isn’t legally married to you
  • can be either sex
  • is at least 18 years old
  • has been living with you for at least 12 consecutive months, meaning you’ve been living together continuously for 1 year in a conjugal relationship, without any long periods apart
    • Any time spent away from each other should have been
      • short
      • temporary

If you or your common-law partner choose to end the relationship, we consider the relationship to be over.

You’ll need to give proof of your common-law relationship.

Your conjugal partner

  • isn’t legally married to you or in a common-law relationship with you
  • can be either sex
  • is at least 18 years old
  • has been in a relationship with you for at least 1 year
  • lives outside Canada
  • can’t live with you in their country of residence or marry you because of significant legal and immigration reasons such as
    • their marital status (for example, they’re still married to someone else in a country where divorce isn’t possible)
    • their sexual orientation (for example, you are in a same-sex relationship, and same-sex relationships are not accepted, or same-sex marriage is illegal where they live),
    • persecution (for example, your relationship is between different religious groups which is not accepted and they may be punished legally or socially)

You’ll need to give proof that you could not live together or get married in your conjugal partner’s country (for example, proof of refused long-term stays in each other’s country).

Dependent children

Children qualify as dependents if they meet both of these requirements:

  • they’re under 22 years old
  • they don’t have a spouse or common-law partner

Children 22 years old or older qualify as dependents if they meet both of these requirements:

  • they are unable to financially support themselves because of a mental or physical condition
  • they have depended on their parents for financial support since before the age of 22

With the exception of age, your dependent child must continue to meet these requirements until we finish processing your application.


The key documents to be submitted with the application will depend on your and your partner’s circumstances for the spouse Visa. Each person’s circumstances are different and there have been instances when I have advised clients to submit additional documents or made detailed representations in order to make the application process as smooth as possible.

Whilst this is not an exhaustive list, some of the key documents to be submitted are:

  • Printed application form
  • Your current passport or valid travel identification document
  • Any previous or expired passports
  • Your partner’s passport-sized photographs
  • Evidence of your identity and status in the UK
  • Evidence of marital status
  • Evidence that you and your partner intend on living together in the UK and of your relationship
  • Proof of adequate accommodation in the UK
  • Proof that you can meet the financial requirement/ maintenance requirements
  • Financial Requirements Form
  • Your partners proof of their knowledge of the English language
  • Your partner’s valid TB test certificate – see above
  • Sponsorship Form

If your child or children are applying to travel with your partner, the following should also be included, though this is not an exhaustive list:

  • Your child’s current passport or valid travel identification document
  • Your child’s previous or expired passports
  • Your child’s passport-sized photographs
  • Your child’s valid TB test certificate

How long are processing times?

Processing time depend on a number of factors. For that reason, it is advisable to leave nothing to chance so as to prevent delay to your application.

On average, however, spouse applications can take up to 12 weeks to be decided.

Application fees

Application fees for your dependant to join you Vary from Country to Country –

  • UK – £1,195
  • Canada- Can $1050
  • Australia -$ 7,715  
  • USA – $ 1,200

Can my partner work?

Once the visa has been issued, your partner may work, take up employment and study.


Spouse visas allow an overseas partner living abroad to join their settled spouse or civil partner . Once obtained, the overseas partner may travel to and live beyond 5 years, work and study.

 There are a number of strict requirements that could lead to a delay or a refusal of a spouse visa application if those requirements are not met.  With this in mind, this article has sought to explain the spouse visa immigration process and clarify the requirements to be met by sponsors and their overseas partners.