You can apply for ILR as a spouse / partner of British citizen or settled person once you have completed 5 years under spouse visa category (5 year 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.

Page Contents

  1. Overview
  2. What are the Requirements for ILR as a Spouse (5 Year Route)?
  3. Indefinite Leave to Remain Document Checklist
  4. Our Fee for ILR Application as a Spouse
  5. Do You Need Legal Help?

Overview

You can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) as a as a spouse / partner in the UK by using SET (M) application form online once you have completed at least 5 years of your residence in the UK with leave to remain under spouse visa category (5 years route).

The application will be considered in accordance with requirements of the Immigration Rules as set out in Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules.

As a spouse of a British citizen, you will be able to apply for Naturalisation as a British citizen immediately after the grant of your ILR and will not have to wait for 12 months following the grant of ILR.

We are expert in dealing with all types of ILR applications. We will carry out all the work on the application until the decision is received from the Home Office UKVI.

Please contact our UK immigration lawyer to fully assess your eligibility for ILR by considering all the relevant information so that we can advise you on the chances of success in your application in particular if you have any exceptional circumstances or any adverse personal or immigration history.

What are the Requirements for ILR as a Spouse (5 Year Route)?

The most fundamental requirements are for ILR application as a Spouse are as mentioned below:

  1. Financial Requirement
  2. Suitability Requirement
  3. English Language Requirement
  4. Life in the UK Test Requirement

Financial Requirement for ILR as a Spouse

For the applicant to succeed in the ILR application as a spouse under the 5 years route, the applicant must meet the financial requirement of earning £18,600 gross per year (or above if there are non-British / non-settled children), individually or jointly unless an exemption from meeting the financial requirement of £18,600 applies in which case the applicant should meet the adequate maintenance requirement.

Continuous Residence Requirement for ILR as a Spouse

The continuous lawful residence in the UK is the main requirement of Settlement applications. Continuous residence means the time you've spent in the UK without gaps.

ILR applicants are required not to be absent from the UK for more than 180 days in any 12 months during the ILR qualifying period. Such restriction of 180 days does not apply to ILR applications as family members of British Citizens and settled persons.

Suitability Requirement for ILR as a Spouse

The ILR applicant must meet the suitability criteria as set out in Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules. Your application should not fall for refusal on the general grounds of refusal and many other factors may form part of the assessment of your ILR application.

These factors may include your personal history, grounds of public interest as to why it would be undesirable to grant you ILR, your immigration history as you must not have breached the conditions attached to your leave, any period of overstay unless paragraph 39E is applicable and any other adverse factors indicating you are not a person of good character.

English Language Requirement for ILR as a Spouse

You need to prove your knowledge of the English language if you are applying for settlement / ILR to settle in the UK and you are 18 or over.

ILR applicants from non-English speaking countries need to prove their knowledge of English by passing a secure English language test (SELT) taken through a Home Office approved English language test centre.

You can prove your knowledge of the English language by having either an English qualification at B1, B2, C1, or C2 level or a degree taught in English.

You do not need to prove your knowledge of English if you are aged 65 or over or unable to, because of a long-term physical or mental condition.

Life in the UK Test' Requirement for ILR Applications

The Life in the UK test is a compulsory requirement for the Indefinite Leave to Remain applications.

The main object of the Life in the UK test is to prove that the applicant has adequate knowledge of British life such as British values, history, traditions and everyday life.

Life in the UK test is a computer-based multiple-choice question test based on the Life in the UK handbook.

You will have 45 minutes in total to answer 24 multiple-choice questions and You must score 75% or more to pass the test.

You must also meet all the other eligibility requirements. Please contact us for initial assessment to determine your eligibility, and to discuss the options.

Indefinite Leave to Remain Document Checklist

In the support of your ILR application, you need to provide various supporting documents depending upon the type of ILR application and your circumstances.

Below is a standard checklist of the required documents to support the Indefinite Leave to Remain application:

  • A current Passport, valid Photo ID or valid Travel document;
  • BRP Card (if issued to you);
  • Table of absences from the UK;
  • Proof of knowledge of the English language;
  • Proof of passing the Life in the UK test;
  • Proof of adequate accommodation.

You must also provide all the other supporting documents as per your circumstances & type of ILR application. Please contact us for initial assessment to determine your eligibility, and to discuss the options.

Our Fee for ILR Application as a Spouse

If you need help with your Settlement / ILR application as a Spouse, please feel free to contact our expert UK immigration lawyer for legal assistance with your ILR application.

Our fixed fee

We charge a fixed fee starting from £1000 for our professional legal services in relation to Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) application as a Spouse. The agreed fixed fee will depend on the complexity of the matter and the casework involved in the matter.

Do you need legal help?

Contact Rex Law Chambers, if you have any questions or need legal help with any UK immigration law related matter. At Rex Law Chambers, we specialise in a wide range of UK visas and nationality applications and our principal immigration lawyer has wealth of experience and expert knowledge to deal with all types of UK visas and immigration applications. He has successfully handled many complex and high-profile cases and also represented clients in their immigration matters.

We can provide one-off FREE general legal advice via live chat or our "Enquiry Form". The FREE advice does not cover the advice in relation to complex legal issues or advice about documents to be submitted in support of the application. If you would like to to get detailed legal advice then please schedule an in-person, Zoom, Skype or phone consultation by using our "Appointment Request Form".

Frequently Asked Questions (ILR Application as a Spouse)

No, you cannot apply for ILR until you have completed 5 years residence in the UK unde 5 years spouse visa route. Prior to 9 July 2012, it was possible to apply for ILR after 2 years residence in the UK on spouse visa but as a result of change in Immigration Rules in 2012 the ILR qualifying period for spouse visa was changed to 5 years under the 5 years route.

The requirement of not being absent for more than 180 days in each year does not apply to spouse visa ILR applications.

ILR applicants are required not to be absent from the UK for more than 180 days in any 12 months during the ILR qualifying period. Such restriction of 180 days does not apply to ILR applications as family members of British Citizens and settled persons.

ILR applicant need to pass the Home Office UKVI approved English test known as IELTS Life Skills at level B1 (listening and speaking only) for your spouse visa ILR under 5 years route.

You can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) as a spouse of a British or settled person under 5 years route by completing application form SET (M) online.

The general processing time for a UK Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) application is 3 to 6 months. The processing time of the ILR application starts from the date you enrol your biometrics and attend your appointment.

Sometimes it may take longer for the Home Office to decide your application due to the complexity of the matter or if there are further enquiries to be made.

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