At Move Up, we frequently receive calls from South Africans looking to apply for a “spousal visa”. Upon further investigation, we find that these applicants are referring to obtaining a visa through their marriage to a partner who has permission to live in the UK. This informal term is commonly used to describe a marriage-like relationship with someone who has settlement or working rights in the UK.


It’s important to note that each type of family-based visa has its own unique requirements, costs, and processing times.

This page is designed to help South Africans who are in a marriage-like relationship with a partner who has working or settlement rights in the UK (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales). Additionally, we’ve provided information for other types of family dependents who can join their sponsor.

For those who are not sure about the legal recognition of their relationship status, we’ve created a separate page to address this issue.

It’s worth noting that the British government does not use the informal term “spousal visa” on their official website. This is because the term does not accurately describe the visa process.

Three common examples of marriage-based visas include:

Each of these visas has its own costs, requirements, processing times, and necessary supporting documents.

To see a complete list of marriage-based visas, take a look at the 17 different types of visas available for married dependents listed below.

We’ve also created a free online visa assessment to help identify and clarify your visa options. For those who are not yet married, we’ve provided information on family dependency and eligibility for minors.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.


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We have put together a quick and easy online visa assessment page to help identify and clarify visa options available.

We have also put together more information to explain family dependency, which also helps explain what happens to cases where applicants are not yet married as well as what happens to minors and what is their eligibility.

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If you have any further questions, we encourage applicants to contact us.