Can you switch from a visitor visa into a spouse visa?

Under Appendix V of the Immigration Rules, a visitor is a person who is entering the UK for holiday or to visit friends or family or carryout a business activity, but also with an intention to return to their country of nationality / habitual residence.

A visitor visa holder cannot work or study in the UK unless it is allowed under the permitted activities that are set out in the Immigration Rules.

Who will need to apply for a standard visitor visa?

Under paragraph V 1.2 of the Immigration Rules, visa nationals must obtain a visit visa before they arrive in the UK.  Please refer to Appendix 2 to check whether you are a visa national as below:

Activities are allowed under the standard visitor visa route

The standard visitor visa allows migrants:

  • To visit family or friends;
  • To have a holiday in the UK;
  • To attend business-related activities, for example, conferences, meetings or interviews;
  • To take part in sports or creative events;
  • To receive private medical treatment for up to 11 months;
  • To study for a short-course or recreational courses for up to 30 days;
  • To carry out the specific permitted activities for academics for up to 12 months;
  • To convert a civil partnership into a marriage.


Can you switch from a standard visitor visa into a spouse visa in the UK?

Migrants are not allowed to switch from a standard visitor visa into any other visa categories in the UK.

Applicants who wish to enter the UK to register a marriage can apply for a marriage visitor visa or a fiancé (e) visa. Please note that migrants who are submitting a marriage visitor visa must leave the UK after their wedding/ honeymoon.

A fiancé (e) visa is normally granted for up to 6 months. Migrants have to marry within 6 months of their arrival in the UK and then they will also be able to switch into a spouse visa whilst in the UK.

Contact Our Immigration Team

For expert advice regarding any aspect of the spouse visa application, please contact our immigration team on 0203 384 3075.

The content of this article is for general use and information only. Since each case should be prepared on its own merit and in light of the constant amendments to the Immigration Rules, it is important to note that the information provided must not be relied upon unless Migra & Co has either given written consent or has been officially engaged in relation to a specific immigration matter. As a result, Migra & Co will take no responsibility for any damage, cost or loss resulting from relying on the information contained in this article, blog and website.