Partners of UK citizens or permanent residents who are settled may come to the UK under the UK Spouse Visa immigration category and are able to work as soon as the leave is granted. Spouse visas are granted to non-eea citizens and are valid for 2.5 years. You must extend your visa before the 2.5 years is up, ensuring to meet all the requirements again for the extension.
Spouse Visa Requirement
Step 1: Once you are married you will be able to apply for a spouse visa. With the new rules from 9th July 2012, you will be given a visa for a 2.5-year probationary period to test the relationship.
Step 2:The Sponsor (British citizen or permanent resident) must earn over £18,600 or £22,400 if you have a child (additional £2400 for each child) ideally have they been earning this for over 6 months. The additional fee for children only applies to children of the Visa Application and not any children the British Citizen or UK Permanent Resident already have as they would be UK citizens and are able to obtain support from the British government.
Step 3: Savings over £16,000 can be used as evidence of earnings. As the visa is for 2.5 years the Home Office divides any savings over £16,000 by 2.5. An example of this would be as follows: You earn £17,600 and are short by £1000. You have £21,000 in savings. After subtracting the £16,000 there is £5000 left. divide this by 2.5 and you have £2000. This would then give you an income of £19,600 meaning you meet the financial requirement for a spouse visa
Both partners have to be over 18 years old before the Visa can be applied for. This means at the time of application they must be over 18 and not on the date of intended travel or decision. You must wait until both the applicant and their sponsor are over 18 years old before submitting an application or the visa will be refused.
The UK citizen or permanent resident (the sponsor) must also have actually met their spouse to qualify. This is to prevent a situation that occurs sometimes in arranged marriages where the husband and wife have never met each other.