Indefinite Leave To Remain UK Spouse

What is indefinite Leave to Remain UK Spouse

You can apply for Indefinite leave to remain UK Spouse once you have completed 5 years in the UK continuously with your husband or wife or civil partner in the UK.  Your application will be considered by the Home Office UKVI as set out in Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules.

It is also possible to apply for indefinite leave to remain UK Spouse under the 10 year route and apply for ILR. Different application forms apply depending on whether you are under the 5 or 10 years route. 


What are the requirements for UK indefinite leave to remain spouse?

You will need to satisfy and meet the following requirements:

  • You meet the character suitability requirements under General Grounds of refusal
  • You have held 5 years Spouse leave as a partner of a British citizen, settled status, ILR, permanent residence under the 5 year route for 60 months to settled in the UK
  • You provide evidence of genuine and subsisting relationship with your husband or wife
  • You can meet the financial requirement of £18,600 to demonstrate you will not have recourse to public funds. The minimum financial requirement is higher if there are any dependants applying with you.
  • You will be adequately maintained in the UK without recourse to public funds;
  • There is adequate accommodation for you and any dependents;
  • You speak and understand English language requirement at B1 of CEFR and the Life in the UK test.
  • Absences requirement outside of the UK. 
  • You would need to apply on the correct Spouse ILR application form
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What is meant by genuine and subsisting relationship?

The Home Office must be satisfied that you are in a continued genuine and subsisting relationship with your husband or wife in the UK. 

The Home Office will need to see documentary evidence that you have continued to be been living in the UK with your husband or wife or civil partner since the grant of your previous leave. Therefore, it is important that you provide recent  documents and if applicable evidence of your family or extended family life in the UK to satisfy this requirement. You can also rely upon and submit earlier evidence submitted to the Home Office.

Indefinite leave to remain spouse financial requirements?

Meeting the financial requirement is one of the key requirements for ILR as a spouse or civil partner under 5 year route. You will need to once again meet the financial requirement of £18,600 in order to fulfil this requirement, plus additional funds if you have non-British citizens. You can rely on your own or your spouse’s income in order to meet the financial requirement, or you can combine your earnings together. 

There financial requirement can be met in a number of ways including:

  • Income from salaried or non-salaried employment of the partner (and/or the applicant if they are in the UK with permission to work). Maternity allowances are also counted including Bereavement benefits.
  • Non-employment income, e.g. income from property rental or dividends from shares.
  • Cash savings of the applicant’s partner and/or the applicant, above £16,000, held by the partner and/or the applicant for at least 6 months and under their control. State (UK or foreign), occupational or private pension of the applicant’s partner and/or the applicant.
  • Income from self-employment, and income as a director or employee of a specified limited company in the UK, of the partner (and/or the applicant if they are in the UK with permission to work).

Are there any financial requirement exemptions I can rely upon?

You may still be able to meet the requirement if you are not working or are on benefits or have sufficient savings to satisfy the financial requirements. If your UK Sponsor – husband or wife is in receipt of the following specified benefits, you will need to fulfil the financial requirement of £18,600 or above if you have dependants applying

  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Carer’s Allowance
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Personal Independence Payment
  • Industrial Injuries Disablement benefit
  • Police Injury Pension
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment or Guaranteed Income Payment under Armed Forces Compensation Scheme
  • Constant Attendance Allowance, Mobility Supplement or War Disablement Pension under War Pensions Scheme

Do I need to pay for the Immigration Health Surcharge, if I paid earlier?

The good news is you will not be required to pay the UK NHS Surcharge fee, which is known as the NHS charge when applying for indefinite leave to remain in the UK . This is a huge savings of £1,560 which is the current fee at present towards the NHS charge. 

How much is the Home Office Visa Application Fee?

The Home Office application fee for Spouse ILR application is £2,389 per applicant on the correct application form set. You will also need to pay £19.20 towards your biometric fingerprint fee. There is also a option to use the Home Office Fast track service for an additional fee of £800. 

What is the absences requirement to qualify for ILR as a Spouse?

Under Appendix FM of the Immigration rules for spouse and partners, the rules make no reference the number of days a applicant should be outside the UK. In other visa categories the applicant must not be outside the UK for more than 180 days in any 12 months period to apply for indefinite leave to remain. 

That said, this does not mean the visa holder can spend all of their time outside the UK, otherwise they would be at risk of meeting the requirement the relationship is genuine and subsisting with their partner.

If you require any help or clarification about your ILR UK Spouse application, we will be happy to assist

How long does the Process Take?

You can apply for ILR when you have completed 5 years in the UK under the Spouse Visa (5 Years Route). According to Home Office UKVI Guidance, an application for ILR as a spouse can be made within 28 days before completion of 5 years residence in the UK under 5 years route or 10 year route. You should not submit your application any earlier otherwise it is likely to be rejected or treated as invalid.

You can apply for ILR as a spouse online. Upon submission of the online application, the Home Office UKVI fees are paid online and then an appointment for verification of documents and enrolment of biometrics is made online on UKVCAS online portal. All the supporting documents must be uploaded online before biometrics enrolment appointment is attended at the UKVCAS application centre. At the Home Office appointment centre, the supporting documents uploaded online are verified by the UKVCAS staff and biometrics of the applicant are enrolled.

An applicant for ILR as a spouse under 5 years route receives decision from the UKVI within the service standards of the UKVI for processing of the application. Applicants who apply for ILR using Super Priority Service receive the decision normally within 24 hours and the applicants who have used standard service receive decision normally within 3 to 6 months.

What are my options after I have been granted ILR as a Spouse?

Once you have been granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK or are settled in the UK, as a Spouse you will be eligible to apply for British citizenship and will need to meet the immigration rules in order to become naturalised as a British citizen in the UK


Our Top ILR Spouse Visa FAQ’S

The earliest you can apply is 28 days prior to the expiry of your current Spouse visa. After 5 years in the UK as a Spouse visa, you will be entitled to apply for ILR. The grant of ILR means you will be free from any immigration control or restrictions. After the grant of ILR, this entitles to apply to become a British citizen.

You would need to pass the Life in the UK test and unless you are exempt, you will need to demonstrate B1 level in Listening and Speaking from an approved Home Office English test provider to meet the English language requirement.

There is no fee payable towards the NHS charge

The current spouse visa online application fee is £2,389 plus £19.20 towards your biometric fingerprints. The same fees applies for any dependants applying.

Here are a few examples of the type of documents you should submit;

  • Proof that your relationship is real: Utility bills at the same address, Bank statements,  evidence of family life in the UK, if you have a child or children
  • Proof of your income: Job contracts, your P60, your bank statements, Payslips. Different rules are apply for Self employment applicants and/or Company Directors. It is also possible to satisfy the financial requirement via Cash savings by having sufficient savings of £62,500.
  • Proof that you meet the accommodation requirement: House lease, letting contract, proof of booked temporary accommodation
  • Proof that you meet the English language requirement: Life in the UK test and B1 Listening and Speaking test.

If you are married to a British citizen, subject to satisfying the residence requirement, you can apply to naturalise as a British citizen as soon as you are granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK. Once your application for British citizenship is approved you can apply for a British passport.

If your relationship comes to an end, you do not have an automatic right to remain in the UK if your relationship breaks down. If your spouse visa is revoked or cancelled, you will need to either apply to remain in a different category.

How can we help and process your application?

All of our lawyers and solicitors are trained and accredited by the Law Society Immigration & Asylum Scheme to help you with your indefinite leave to remain application, leave to remain applications, appeal or decision making process in obtaining your visa in the UK. You can speak at any time with one of our specialists who will be happy to assist you and go over the process for you to obtain your leave to remain in the UK.

Please feel assured we will include the following:

  • Taking detailed instructions from you and advising you about the relevant immigration laws and procedures in relation to your indefinite leave to remain UK spouse application in the UK;
  • Assessing and checking your documents and evidence to ensure that your Spouse visa extension application fulfils the relevant requirements, if any documents are missing or additional documents are need
  • Advising you if any documents are missing or additional documents are required to support and strengthen your indefinite leave to remain UK Spouse visa application.
  • Completing of your entire application process from start to finish
  • Preparing a representation letter to the Home Office in support of your application for indefinite leave to remain Spouse UK application.
Hire one of our Immigration Solicitors in London to benefit from our indefinite leave to remain or leave to remain application package. Get in touch on 02037 324 736 or use our online contact form to speak to our team
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