Indefinite leave to remain as a Spouse

After having spent 5 years in the UK you can apply to live permanently. You can apply for ILR (Indefinite Leave to Remain) in the UK as a spouse of a British Citizen or one who is settled in the UK or one who has refugee status or humanitarian protection in the UK,once you have lived in the UK for 5 years continuously with leave to enter or remain as a partner. If you have stayed in the UK as a fiancé, fiancée or proposed civil partner, you cannot count this while calculating your 5 years stay in the UK..

Eligibility Requirements –

The applicant needs to fulfil the requirements under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules –

  1. You have held a spouse/civil partner visa in the UK for a consecutive 5 years.
  2. Your partner must be a British citizen or must be settled in the UK.
  3. You and your partner must still be in a genuine and subsisting relationship.
  4. You must prove your intention to live permanently in the UK.
  5. You and your partner must be able to meet the financial requirement. The minimum income requirement is £18,600 when there is no dependent, £22,400 with one non-British child and an additional £2,400 per child thereafter.
  6. There is suitable accommodation in the UK for both of you.
  7. You must meet the English language requirement.
  8. You need to pass life in the UK test.

Those who meet the above conditions are eligible to apply for ILR as a spouse.

If you are unable to meet the requirement then you can apply for discretionary leave to remain under the 10 Year route provided you can fulfil the exception requirements under paragraph EX.1 of Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules.

 Absence allowed during the stay on a spouse visa

There is no specific requirement on what should be the maximum absence time for those applying for ILR after holding a UK spouse visa. However, absence from the UK must be for good reason and it must be consistent with your intent to live permanently together with your partner in the UK.

 When to apply

Spouses or partners of a British citizen or settled persons in the UK can apply for the ILR up to 28 days before they complete 5 years in the UK with the leave to remain in the country.

 Fee and form for ILR spouse visa

Currently, the Home Office charges £2,389 – (fee in 2019) for the ILR spouse visa per applicant. However, the fee may change so you should check it when you are submitting the application.

Decisions can be received in 24 hours from the Home Office if you are willing to pay £800 additional fee.

If you require our professional advice or assistance in applying for your Indefinite Leave to Remain, you can speak with our lawyers on +44 (0) 2034111261.



Indefinite leave to remain for HM Forces Employees

HM Forces stand for Her Majesty’s Forces and also known as British Armed forces. HM forces consist of the Royal Navy, the British Army, and the Royal Air Force. They are responsible for the defense of the UK, its overseas territories and the Crown dependencies and they include standing forces, regular reserves, volunteer reserves, and sponsored reserves.

UK Armed forces exempt from immigration control

Serving members of HM armed forces are free from restrictions arising by the UK immigration laws. They can seek to get enlisted with the appropriate department of HM Armed Forces, and once enlisted they are entitled to get their passport stamped accordingly to confirm their freedom from immigration restrictions whilst they are serving.

Certain members of the armed forces only while they are serving are exempted from the immigration control under section 8(4) of the immigration act 1971. So, the following individuals are regarded as exempt from control.

  • A member of the HM forces subject to service law (Royal Navy, British Army or Royal Air Force); or
  • A member of a Commonwealth force or a force raised under the law of an associated state, colony, protectorate or protected state who is undergoing or due to undergo training in the UK with anybody, contingent or detachment of the home forces including NATO forces; or
  • One who is serving or posted for service in the UK as a member of a visiting force including NATO forces; or
  • One who is posted for service as a member of an international headquarters or defense organization.

Dependents of HM forces are not exempt from the immigration control

There are specific provisions for the dependents of members of the armed forces within the immigration rules. So these provisions don’t exempt dependents of the members of HM forces from immigration control; however, there are specific provisions for the dependents of military personnel of NATO and Commonwealth countries (or those who also qualify under section 8(4) of the Immigration Act 1971) posted for service in the UK. They are exempt from the requirement to provide biometrics. But dependents of armed forces that are not exempt from immigration control and who are coming to the UK for training are also not exempt from immigration control.

A member of the HM armed forces while is serving in the UK and while they remain exempt from immigration control can apply for their spouses/civil partners and children to travel to the UK.

Applying for ILR after discharged from HM armed forces

Till the time someone is serving in HM armed forces in the UK, he is exempt from immigration control. However, once their period of enlistment, service or training is over, they will cease to be exempt from immigration control. After their term is over they either need to leave or apply to regularize their stay in the UK. Now, if they wish to continue to stay in the UK they can apply for the indefinite leave to remain.

If the applicant meets the following conditions, he may be granted the ILR:

  • He has completed at least 4 years’ service with HM Armed Forces;
  • He has been medically discharged from the HM Forces;
  • He was discharged from HM Armed Forces on completion of engagement;
  • He was not discharged more than 2 years before the date of application; and
  • He holds a valid entry clearance to the UK in that capacity.

If you are looking to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain on the basis of being discharged from the HM Forces, contact Visa and Migration Ltd on 02034111261