Apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain.
Introduction to Permanent Residence For ILR spouse visa and their Dependents:
You can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after 5 years (Permanent Residence) using different visa categories which all lead to settlement for partners and family dependents of British citizens and settled nationals in the UK, under the Spouse visa or Civil Partner visa, Long-term Partner visa, Child dependents and Skilled Worker Visa application routes.
To become eligible to Settle in the UK as a Spouse or dependent family member. You need to complete 5 years (60 months) as the spouse of someone who holds British citizenship or a settled national who holds indefinite leave to remain visa. When applying as their Spouse, Partner or Fiancé, including any partners dependents you will need to satisfy the financial threshold under Appendix FM and demonstrate you have to meet the higher English Language requirement that applies to settlement applications unless an exemption applies, you will also need to have passed the Life in the UK test.
If you have any dependents applying with you for indefinite leave to enter or remain as an Adult Dependent Relative or Child Dependent, you will also need to demonstrate that they will be adequately maintained, accommodated and cared for without recourse to public funds. There is no English language requirement for anyone under the age of 18 or over the age of 65 this also applies to the Life in the UK test. UKVI also uses discretion to waive this requirement if you are unable to fulfil the requirement due to mental health or physical conditions.
There are certain benefits to receiving Indefinite leave to remain as a Partner or as their dependent. Once you receive settlement, or indefinate leave to remain, you will be able to stay in the UK without any time and work restrictions. If you aspire on becoming a British Citizen and passport holder obtaining Indefinite Leave to Remain is a necessary step towards Naturalising as a British National.
After spending 2 years, 5 years or 10 years, usually obtained after 5 years (60 months) in the UK as the spouse, partner, long-term partner of a British citizen or settled national, you may be eligible to apply for ILR in the UK. In order to qualify for indefinite leave to remain as a spouse, partner, unmarried partner you will need to demonstrate that:
1. You have lived together with your partner in the UK for the whole qualifying residency period
2. You meet the income requirements under Appendix FM
3. Your child has permission to be in the UK as a dependant on your family visa
4. The child is related to the parent applying or your partner;
5. Child is under 18 at the date of application;
6. Child will continue to live with you and be supported by you without using public funds
7. Child is not married, in a civil partnership or leading an independent life;
8. Child parent is settled or settling in the UK and the other parent is dead;
9. Child parent is settled or settling in the UK and has sole responsibility for looking after the child;
10. Child parent or relative is settled or settling in the UK and there are compelling reasons why the child should be allowed to stay.
11. There is adequate accommodation and maintenance for any dependents, without relying on public funds.
12. You cannot include time spent in the UK as a fiancé, fiancée or proposed civil partner as part of your qualifying residency period
13. You meet the higher English Language requirement that applies to settlement applications;
14. You have passed the Life in the UK test.
Your settled status will lapse if you are absent from the UK for more than 2 years. If your ILR has lapsed, you may wish to consider applying for a Returning Resident visa to return into the UK.
Qualifying Residency Period:
You will need to demonstrate that you have completed your required residency period with your UK partner. Your required residency also know as "continuous rights of stay" are determined under which category length you were awarded by UKVI on your last leave to remain application such as 5 or 10 year qualifying period.
Child dependents can apply on the same ilr applications if they are related to the parent applying and have permission to be in the UK as their dependent on a family dependent visa. You have sole responsibility for looking after your child or your child's other parent is dead. Your child is under 18 years old at the date of submission, your child is not married, or in a civil partnership or leading an independent life. Your child will continue to live with you and be supported by you without the need to use public funds. You have adequate accommodation and maintenance for any dependents without the need of using public funds.
Intention to live permanently in the UK
To qualify for a ILR application, UK Visas & Immigration will want to be satisfied that you and your partner and any dependents intend to continue living together permanently in the UK.
ILR Accommodation Requirement
When applying for a Permanent Residence you need to provide evidence of adequate accommodation is still available to you and any dependents applying with you. Which you own or occupy exclusively without the need to access public funds.
SELT English Test
If English is not your native language you will need to sit an SELT English language test there are 3 different language levels required on this occasion you will need to demonstrate you meet the highest level.
SELT level A1 Test applies for Entry clearance (UK Spouse visa)
SELT level A2 Test applies for Further leave to remain (UK Spouse visa)
SELT level B1 Test applies for Indefinite Leave to remain
For an in-depth look at obtaining an appropriate SELT language certificate check out:
Life in the UK Test
Before you can submit your application you will have to complete the "Life in the UK Test" and achieve a pass.
If you are eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after 5 years from within the UK, you can rely on joint household income if you are eligible to work under your current leave to enter / remain or demonstrate your UK partner has an exemption.
How to met the financial requirements through ‘adequate maintenance’ when you have an exemption
If your UK partner has a long term illness or disability and receives any of the following benefits or allowances through the Department of Work & Pensions in the UK, then you may be eligible to apply under "adequate maintenance" requirements through appendix FM.
To meet the Home Office financial requirements you will need to provide evidence of “adequate maintenance” rather than demonstrating you meet the minimum income threshold requirements below. Your application can be considered on “adequate maintenance” grounds by providing supporting evidence of any of these benefits.
• Carer’s Allowance
• Disability Living Allowance
• Severe Disablement Allowance
• Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
• Attendance Allowance
• Personal Independence Payment
• Armed Forces Independence Payment or
• Guaranteed Income Payment under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme
• Constant Attendance Allowance, Mobility Supplement or War Disablement Pension under the War Pensions Scheme
• Police Injury Pension
“Adequate Maintenance” threshold requirements will continue to apply on your Settlement Application as long as your spouse/ partner continues to receive any of those benefits or allowances indicated above at the time of your Indefinite Leave to Remain submission.
Permanent Residence Financial Categories under Appendix FM
The financial requirements for everyone else can be demonstrated through one or more of the following 5 categories:
If any child dependents apply with you or separately you will need to provide evidence that you and or partners gross income meets the minimum requirements under Appendix FM:
Your joint income:
£3,800 for the 1st child (who's British / National holding ILR, Pre-settled / Settled Status or right of abode)
£2,400 each additional child (who's British / National holding ILR, Pre-settled / Settled Status or right of abode)
Category A: In employment with current employer for 6 months or more
If you are already in the UK holding leave to remain with permission to work your application can be considered under joint household income. Joint household income is a combination of both "Partner & Your " joint employment income from all income sources recognised under Category A. You can combine Category C: non-employment income, Category D: cash savings and Category E: pension if necessary to meet the minimum financial requirement of £18,600 per annum.
Category B: Less than 6 months with employer or has variable income
This category is used when your spouse and/or you are in the UK with permission to work. Either your partner and/or you are in salaried or non-salaried employment at the date of application submission, haven't been with the same employer and/or not earning the same income level relied upon in the application for at least 6 months prior to the submission date of your spouse application.
Category B can be used by anyone who has been with their current employer for less than 6 months, or who has been with their current employer for more than 6 months but their earnings our variable and need to be considered under category B rather than under Category A.
Category B, financial requirements must be met and evidenced in 2 parts.
First, your partner and/or you (with permission to work in UK) must be in salaried employment at the date of application submission and have been in employment with a new employer for less than 6 months, you can count the gross annual salary at the date of application towards the financial requirements if your income exceeds £18,600 under appendix FM for this new employment period.
To meet part (2) your partner and/or you must have received in the 12 months prior to the application submission date combined level of income required to meet part (2) of the calculation for Category B exceeding £18,600 per annum.
Category C: Non-employment income
Non-employment income, is from property rental or dividends from shares.
• property rental
• dividends or income from investments, stocks and shares, bonds or trust funds
• interest from savings
• maintenance payments from a former partner of the applicant.
• UK Maternity Allowance, Bereavement Allowance, Bereavement Payment
• Widowed Parent’s Allowance
• payments under the War Pensions Scheme,
• Armed Forces Compensation Scheme
• The Armed Forces Attributable Benefits Scheme
• Maintenance grant or stipend (not a loan) associated with undergraduate
study or postgraduate study or research
• ongoing insurance payments
• ongoing payments from a structured legal settlement
• ongoing royalty payments
Category D: Cash Savings
If you and or your partner have cash savings above £16,000, these can be used solely or in combination with salaried or non-salaried employment. UK Spouse visa applicants who rely on cash savings to satisfy financial application requirements should bare in mind the level of cash savings required on a entry clearance & Further leave to remain application is different from the level needed when applying for indefinite leave to remain as a spouse.
Category E: Pension income
If your partner or both of you are retired you can use your State (UK or foreign), occupational or private pension to demonstrate you meet Appendix FM requirements. Pension income can be combined with categories A-D in order to meet Appendix FM requirements.
Category F & G: Self-employed
If you are self-employed you can use Income generated through your self-employed activities, including income as a company director or employee of a specified limited company in the UK, or yourself if you are in the UK with permission to work.
Category F: Last full financial year
Where the applicant’s partner (and/or the applicant if they are in the UK with permission to work) is in self-employment or is either the director or employee (or both) of a specified limited company in the UK, at the date of application, they can use income from the last full financial years accounts to meet the financial requirement.
Category G: Average of last 2 full financial years
Where the applicant’s partner (and/or the applicant if they are in the UK with permission to work) is in self-employment, or is the director or employee (or both) of a specified limited company in the UK, at the date of application, they can choose instead to rely on Category G. This allows them to use an average of the income received in the last 2 full financial years to meet the financial requirement. A reference to the ‘average’ of the income received in the last 2 full financial years in Category G is a reference to the mean average.
Income under Category F or Category G can be combined with income from salaried and non-salaried employment, non-employment income and pension income in order to meet the financial requirement. However cash savings cannot be combined with income under Category F or Category G.
Marc Gibson our immigration adviser specialises in assisting foreign national spouses relocate and settle in the UK with their partners. Marc has supported hundreds of UK and other settled nationals sponsor their foreign married partners to prepare and submit successful Permanent Residence applications. Whether you require a consultation to understand the Immigration Rules for Settlement application, or have your Indefinite Leave to Remain application professional checked by him before submission or use his representation service to prepare and submit your own Permanent residence (ILR) application for you, Marc can help.
Appendix FM financial requirements are particularly complex and include mandatory requirements in terms of the documentary evidence needed to demonstrate you can meet the requirements of a UK Spouse visa application. Our immigration adviser specialises in assisting married applicants with complex financial circumstances complete and submit successful Spouse applications.
Marc prides himself on being friendly, approachable and professional in meeting his clients’ needs, he is dedicated to providing clear and reliable immigration advice to his clients when providing his UK Spouse Visa service.