A Guide to the Spouse Visa Application 2016!

By | on 24th February 2016 | 10 Comments

Below I will write a timeline of the steps we took towards successfully obtaining this visa and an idea of how much this cost us.

02/11/2015 – IELTS A1 life skills test. Cost £200

After booking online on the IELTS website, Burak attended at the IELTS centre in Istanbul to sit his A1 life skills test ( speaking and listening) the test involved conversing with an assessor about generic things like ‘tell me about your hobbies?’ ‘ talk to me about what you studies at university? What does your wife like to do in your spare time?

Following this he had to converse with others who were sitting the test that day.. He said this was the hardest part as some had poor levels of English etc. after a 10 day wait for the result and certificate in the post, burak passed!! He said in order to pass this test one would need a good, if not very good grasp of the English language. Lots of examples available on YouTube if you search ‘ ILETS A1 Life skills’. He kept in touch with members of the group and sadly 4 out of the 8 there that day failed and will need to resit. Not bloody cheap either to fail.


Online application completed. Myself and Burak sat down and completed this together whilst I was over in Turkey, the application is on the government website and the visa you need to select for spouse visa is confusingly not called a spouse visa.
For the spouse visa, you need to select

(first drop box- SETTLEMENT’,second drop box MARRIAGE, third box HUSBAND) unless the applicant is of course a wife and in that instance you would select wife.

This then launches the application and the application itself is quite simple and self explanatory.

When you have completed all the relevant pages of the application, you can then select to ‘confirm’ the application ( please triple check it before doing this as once confirm is clicked you cannot go back in and change/ edit)

Once the application is complete, you will be directed to the next level which is where you need to pay the NHS surcharge fee.

This fee was paid in U.S.Dollars oddly, and should be £250 per year ( spouse visa is originally 2.5 years then you apply to extend) so was looking to pay £750.

After using a cash converter ( an app on my phone with daily rates).. I can see we were charged £900 which is extortionate. An email was sent querying this but we never heard back!! So yes £900 for the health surcharge and we still don’t know why!!

Following this we were directed to the next level to pay the visa fee. Again the fee was payable online in US dollars. And after using the cash converter we paid the sum of £1,050 for the visa itself ( ouch!!)

Following completion of the online visa application and successful payment of the NHS surcharge and the visa charge we were then directed to the next level again which takes you on to the ‘teleperformance visa centre’ website where you book the applicant in for his Biometrics testing and the submission of all documentation which is at the visa application centre nearest to you.

We obviously selected Istanbul as that is the closest to Burak. We chose a date of Friday 15th of January 2016 to give us plenty of time to gather documentation, get it all translated, certified etc and for me to book a property inspection report for my house.


I used a company called Orion Environmental health to come and conduct a UK visa approved property inspection report on my house. A man attended with a camera and measuring equipment, it was all quite serious!! And he took about an hour to inspect to determine if the house was safe and secure under health and safety law (he even checked for fire alarms and the boiler service history etc) and also that there was no risk of ‘overcrowding’ if Burak was to move into the property.

I have a 3 bedroom house on my own so it was obviously not a problem, but had to pay Orion the fee of £160 for the pleasure of having my address approved and a certificate given addressed to the entry clearance officer’ to be fair, they were a good company and I recommend them.

15/12/2015 – 10/01/2016

This time was used gathering documentation and preparing a file full of it all.

Here is an itinerary of the documentation Burak and me submitted for the application ( all was put in a huge ring binder with an itinerary and clear sections) in the order below

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10 Responses to “A Guide to the Spouse Visa Application 2016!”

  1. 24th February 2016

    Karen Özden Reply

    Hi Kerry, congratulations to you both! Your description of what you submitted is very similar to my own experience and will be a huge help to so many people. Happily, my husband arrived in the UK the week before Christmas after our second application was finally approved. We were married in May 2014 after being in a relationship 4 years. His first application was refused because he was just 1 point short on the listening part of the English test, (despite having significant additional points in reading and writing but they didn’t take these into account as they weren’t needed). They wouldn’t accept the overall score which far exceeded the minimum requirement. We appealed the decision on the ‘near miss’ principle but it was refused – the Judge stated in his findings he had considered Article 8 of The Human Rights Act and judged it wasn’t breached as “I earned enough money to travel to Turkey to visit my husband and I had transferable skills that I could choose to relocate to Turkey and get employment to maintain a family life”. That immediately shut down our right to further appeal so a whole new application had to be started with another full fee. He also stated as we had only been married a short time (6 months at the time of the first application) – we hadn’t been excessively disadvantaged!! We had been together 4 and a half years at that stage with me traveling to Turkey 20 times during those years and spending an absolute fortune in flights! In my view we were actually therefore discriminated against because I had a good salary and a professional qualification (I’m a nurse manager). As you highlight, any single item they can find is enough for a refusal. There is no flexibility.
    Like you, on the second application we submitted all the items you listed and handed them in at the UK Border Agency centre in Istanbul. I also submitted itemized phone records highlighting all text messages and calls from the day we met. My husband paid for his papers and passport to be couriered back to him as he lives in Antalya (£8). We got the outcome 8 weeks after the second application was submitted and were shocked it came through so quickly as the 1st application took 12 weeks before refused and the appeal outcome took about 4-5 months. I didn’t submit a house report, they accepted the original schedule I had for my house from when I bought it and photos of the house inside and out, along with my mortgage statement and missives so we saved a little money on that. Another thing they requested in our original appeal, in addition to stamped bank statements evidencing I had access to the money on my corresponding original pay slips, they wanted proof of length of time I had held the bank account my salary was paid into. The bank gave me a stamped print out with the account opening date. Your article will give a lot of people hope and very practical advice. If you provide the documentary evidence for every single answer you write to the questions they ask, it can be done! Wishing you both every happiness. Karen 😊

    • 28th February 2016

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      I am so angry on your behalf that the judge seems to think its ok for you to just move to Turkey and work there. Just the fact is hard for any foreigner to get work in Turkey let alone any language barrier. But the terrible part is that he was violating your human right to live in your own country. I am please it ended well but it is terrible you had to go through that.

  2. 25th February 2016

    Fleur Fidan Reply

    Personally, I think it is appalling that the wives and husbands of British citizens should be subjected to this while letting in lots of people into the UK with no money, no English whatsoever and no connection to the UK. Shame on the British government.
    I was lucky, I married my husband (now deceased), many years ago and only had to show proof of income.
    For all those women and men enduring this expensive and stressful procedure I wish you all the very best of luck, but this in my opinion is totally unfair and should be contested at the European court.

    • 28th February 2016

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Thank you Fleur. Yes it is appalling. Those that are lucky get a visa first time but many have to go through battles in court and reapplying some up to 5 years before they get to live with their partner in the UK.

  3. […] Article: How to Apply for a Spouse Visa […]

  4. 3rd June 2016

    Sam Reply

    hi kerry, well done on your work and congrats..
    me and my wife will be going through this ordeal next month. My wife is Turkish. I visited lawyers in the UK and they are offering me their services to submit my papers from Uk from 750-1000 pounds. Im not sure if I need to use a lawyer, from what you mentioned you applied online (maybe I can save that fee). by the way which website did you use? (We are using the gov.uk website so far)

    • 22nd June 2016

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Hi Sam, it was in fact Shari that did the application, we don’t apply till October. We will just do the process ourselves and save some money regards lawyers fees. You need to use the gov website to apply and there is no avoiding the visa fee!

  5. 1st September 2016

    Caitlin Demir Reply

    This is a very helpful guide!
    I’m 18 and married to my turkish huband Alper and we are hoping to start his visa process in April 2017
    This guide say more of what you need than anywhere I have looked, didn’t even know about the accommodation stuff.
    Im working as a teaching assistant but that only gets me roughly £6,050 a year I’m currently looking for another job for after school times but £18,600 a year seems impossible for me!
    But I’m trying everything possible. And reading this has actually helped me know what I need to do next and how to start it.
    He’s going to start English lessons end of September (although he has good English he wants to make sure he passes) the only pitfall we have for the visa is the financial requirements! But thanks to this list I know everything else I need now!
    Thank you so much !
    And I hope your visa gets accepted!

  6. 10th September 2016

    Angela Reply

    Please can someone help me , i am not married but would like my Kurdish boyfriend to come here for a holiday on a visitors visa. I know what we need roughly but is there financial requirement too? I work but don’t earn over 10, 000 and I have a house but I private rent? Does any of this matter to get a visitors visa?

  7. 15th February 2017

    Hadiyyah El-hreich Reply

    Hi there..does anyone know if the 300 day rule also applies to a British national who is recently divorced and wants to marry a turkish national in turkey? Thanks

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