Explore The Difference Between The 5 and 10 -Year Partner Route

Guidelines, Immigration Tips
partner route visa uk

After a certain time has passed after you arrived in the UK, you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain, a type of established status. The 5-year and 10-year routes refer to the duration an international applicant must have lived in the UK before being eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). The “Appendix FM” was introduced and went into effect back in 2012, and it is mentioned in the rules of the 5-year Partner Route and 10-year routes. These rules relate to requesting Indefinite Leave to Remain because you are the husband, partner, or parent of a British citizen or other person with settled status.

This article explains the differences between these two ways to get Indefinite Leave to Remain.

What is the 5-year Partner Route?

UK Spouse Visa Interview Questions

For immigrants applying as the husband, partner, parent, or legal dependent of a British national or other person with settled status, there is a 5-year Partner Route. The term “within the rules” relates to those who can fulfil all application requirements. For Indefinite Leave to Remain, the usual path is for 5 years. It refers to the following people:

  • Those who came to the UK as a fiancé or proposed civil partner and later got married or joined into a civil partnership with the same person and who will stay in the UK with that partner.
  • Those who came to the UK initially on a Spouse Visa.
  • Those who have lived with their partner continuously for at least two years, either in the UK or abroad, and are currently in the country on another immigration visa or category that is valid for more than six months. They may also qualify if they just got married, entered a civil partnership, or lived with their partner abroad.

Also Read: Explore UK Spouse Visa Interview Questions & Tips for 2023

What is the 10-year Partner Route?

UK Spouse Visa Processing Time for 2023

However, the 10-year route relates to requests submitted under the FLR (FP) category as the spouse, partner, or parent of a British citizen or other person with established status, requesting that they be considered under the Exception paragraph (EX.1).

The difference with these applications is that they are discretionary because those making them cannot satisfy all the conditions for Indefinite Leave to Remain.

A person living in the UK on temporary visa, such as the Standard Visitor Visa, may qualify for this option. If a person has been living in the UK on an expired visa, they might be qualified.

Requirements for ILR (Indefinite Leave to Remain):

apply for ilr visa london uk

Some requirements must be met to be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain. These requirements must be met to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain via the five-year procedure.

The following requirements apply to ILR:

  • Must have spent five years in the UK with a valid visa or immigration permit.
  • Must not have gone abroad for more than 180 days in a calendar year. Unless excluded, they must be able to show that their command of the English language is at least at level B1 as defined by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.
  • The history, customs, and culture of the United Kingdom provide the basis for this test.
  • While in the UK, they must not have broken any laws or immigration requirements.

Also Read: Spouse Visa: Establishing Genuine Relationship Evidence and Requirements

Required Documents to Apply For ILR:

indefinite leave to remain expiry

You must provide specific information and papers to show your eligibility for ILR. This step in the application process is very important. Your application can be turned down if insufficient information is provided. You might have been required to provide information such as: 

  • Your passport or another acceptable verification form, including any passports that have lost validity while you have been in the UK.
  • Documents confirming your command of the English language, such as a pass certificate Your certificate of passing the Life in the UK exam. 
  • Documents and information that specify any period you spent abroad while residing in the UK. 
  • A background on immigration. If you were compelled to register with the police when you arrived in the UK, a police registration certificate. 

Currently, Indefinite Leave to Remain costs £2,389 to get. The whole amount must be paid, as must any dependents listed on an ILR application. Within six months of the application date, you are likely to get back. 


Experienced UK visas and immigration solicitor of My Legal Services can help you whether you want to file for ILR via the 5-year or 10-year plan. The 10-year application process is extremely complicated from a legal perspective, so applicants need guidance from an established immigration law company. With the help of our specialised UK visas and immigration solicitor, we can help you request settled status in the UK with Indefinite Leave to Remain. One of our knowledgeable immigration solicitors will assist you throughout the full application procedure if you choose this service.

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