UK Settlement Visa

All the family categories leading to the settlement are classed as UK Settlement Visas by the UKV&I. The family categories are –

Spouse or marriage visa – This is generally for people who are married to a person who has indefinite leave to remain in the UK or is a British citizen and intends to come and live in the UK with their married spouse. The applications are under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules. The applicants need to meet requirements to prove that they –

  • are over 18 years of age;
  • have met each other;
  • they are married and their relationship is genuine and subsisting;
  • the sponsor meets the financial requirement;
  • the applicant meets the English language requirements;
  • the applicant can be accommodated in the UK;
  • the applicant can be maintained without recourse to public funds;
  • the applicant does not fall for refusal under suitability requirement; and
  • the couple intends to live together in the UK

The application can be submitted from within or outside the UK. The in-country application can only be made if you are in a category which allows you to switch from within the UK (generally any visa except visitor visa). Generally, the process takes between 8 to 12 weeks from outside the UK unless you are purchasing priority service, which has an additional fee. In country, applications take 8 weeks or you can opt for 24-hour service by paying an additional fee. Once the applicant has completed the application they should provide evidence to meet the above requirements for the Home Office to consider the application. Once the application is approved from outside the UK the applicant will be given one month visa and they will collect their Biometric residence permit from the relevant post office which will be for 2.5 years. if the application is made within the UK then the applicant will get 2.5 years to leave to remain. Once the applicant has completed 5 years they can apply for settlement (Indefinite Leave to Remain) in the UK

The application fee from outside the UK is £1523 + Immigration Health Surcharge of £1200. From inside the UK, you will pay a Government fee of £1033 + and Immigration Health Surcharge of £1000

Fiance Visa – The fiance visa if for people who intend to get married in the UK to a person who has ILR or is British Citizen. the applicant can only make this application from outside the UK and will be granted a visa for 6 months within which they must get married. The applications are under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules. The applicants will need to prove that they –

  • are over 18 years of age;
  • have met each other;
  • they have a genuine intention of getting married;
  • their relationship is genuine and subsisting;
  • the sponsor meets the financial requirement;
  • the applicant meets the English language requirements;
  • the applicant can be accommodated in the UK;
  • the applicant can be maintained without recourse to public funds;
  • the applicant does not fall for refusal under suitability requirement; and
  • the couple intends to live together in the UK after their marriage

Once making the application from outside the UK, the supporting documents must be submitted to the Entry Clearance officer for consideration. Once you are in the UK and have got married you can extend your stay from within the UK by submitting a spouse/marriage visa application. Generally, the process takes between 8 to 12 weeks from outside the UK unless you are purchasing priority service, which has an additional fee. The Home Office UKV&I fee for the application is £1523. Once you have extended your stay on a spouse/marriage visa and completed 5 years you will apply for Settlement (Indefinite Leave to Remain)

Unmarried Partner Visa – This visa is for people who are not married or do not want to get married. The applicant must be in a relationship with a person who is a British Citizen or holds Indefinite Leave to remain in the UK. The applications are under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules. The applicant will need to satisfy the following requirements –

  • are over 18 years of age;
  • have met each other;
  • have been in a genuine and subsisting for at least 2 years period;
  • the sponsor meets the financial requirement;
  • the applicant meets the English language requirements;
  • the applicant can be accommodated in the UK;
  • the applicant can be maintained without recourse to public funds;
  • the applicant does not fall for refusal under suitability requirement; and
  • the unmarried partners intend to live together in the UK

The application can be submitted from within or outside the UK. The in-country application can only be made if you are in a category which allows you to switch from within the UK (generally any visa except visitor visa). Once the applicant has completed the application they should provide evidence to meet the above requirements for the Home Office to consider the application. Once the application is approved from outside the UK the applicant will be given one month visa and they will collect their Biometric residence permit from the relevant post office which will be for 2.5 years. if the application is made within the UK then the applicant will get 2.5 years to leave to remain. Once an applicant has completed 5 years they can apply for settlement (Indefinite Leave to Remain) in the UK

The application fee from outside the UK is £1523 + Immigration Health Surcharge of £1200. From inside the UK, you will pay a Government fee of £1033 + and Immigration Health Surcharge of £1000

Child Visa – This visa is for either a child whose parent is married or a fiance of a person who holds indefinite leave to remain in the UK or is a British Citizen. Such applications will be submitted under Appendix FM of the rules. The child must be –

  • Under 18;
  • Not formed an independent family;
  • the sponsor meets the financial requirement of £22400 with one child and additional £2400;
  • the child can be accommodated in the UK without recourse to public funds;
  • The biological parent married or fiance of a sponsor must have sole responsibility for the child;

The child will be given visa in line with the biological parents, that is the applicant will be given one month visa and they will collect their Biometric residence permit from the relevant post office which will be for 2.5 years. If the application is made within the UK then the applicant will get 2.5 years to leave to remain. In-country application take between 8 weeks to 6 months and application from outside the UK may take 8 to 12 weeks unless you are purchasing priority service. Once an applicant has completed 5 years they can apply for settlement (Indefinite Leave to Remain) in the UK  – Children who turn over 18 after arriving at the UK will need to prove they live with their parent and are dependent on them.

The application fee from outside the UK is £1523 + Immigration Health Surcharge of £1200. From inside the UK, you will pay a Government fee of £1033 + and Immigration Health Surcharge of £1000

If the child is a child of a person who is himself/herself a British Citizen or a person settled in the UK (holding indefinite leave to remain) then the application is made under paragraph 297 of the Immigration Rules.

The child must be –

  • Under 18;
  • Not formed an independent family;
  • the child can be maintained and accommodated in the UK without recourse to public funds;
  • The British or Settled parent must have sole responsibility for the child;

If the application is successful the child will be granted indefinite leave to enter the UK. The Indefinite Leave to Remain is generally for 5 years or the length of the passport whichever is shorter.

The application fee from outside the UK is £1523 and from inside the UK in £2389

If you need our assistance for settlement visa this is how it works –

  1. You can call us or get in touch through our website, an immigration lawyer will carry out free assessment and check if you qualify;
  2. You pay 50% of our fee to start the process and we provide you with a checklist and advise and submit your settlement visa application successfully

2 year rule for UK returning resident

What if you were living in UK on ILR to enter or remain but for some reason you had to live away from UK for more than 2 years? Well, you can return to UK but you need to apply for a fresh visa now. You need to apply for UK resident visa.

When a person is seeking leave to enter UK as a returning resident then they need to apply for Returning Resident visa. This means if you were living in UK previously with indefinite leave to enter or remain in UK and you have been away from UK for more than 2 years now then you need to apply for UK returning resident visa to enter UK. But if you wish to return to UK, then you need to meet certain conditions in order to satisfy immigration officer about your ability to return to UK. These conditions are following:

  • When you left UK last you had the indefinite leave to remain or enter in UK.
  • You have been away from UK for more than 2 years.
  • You did not get any fund assistance for meeting the cost of leaving UK.
  • You are now applying for the permanent settlement in UK.

2 year rule for returning residents

If you have been away from UK for more than 2 years then you must provide enough evidence as a returning resident to show in order to get successful decision on returning resident visa:

  • You have strong ties to the UK.
  • What is current circumstances and why you had to live outside UK for so long?

However in 2 situations you will not lose your indefinite leave to remain in UK even after having been away from UK for more than 2 years. One is if your spouse or partner is a member of the UK armed forces and you have joined them on an overseas posting. Second is, if your spouse or partner is a British citizen or settled in the UK then also you will not lose your ILR in UK. However in second situation your spouse or partner settled in UK must also be one of the following:

  • He/she is a permanent member of the Diplomatic Service.
  • He/she is a UK-based British Council employee working outside the UK.
  • He/she is an employee of Department for International Development (DFID).
  • He/she is an employee of Home Office.

If you have any dependent family member like your partner and children under the age of 18 then they need to apply for a returning resident visa separately if they are also eligible.

How to apply and documents to submit

 You have to apply online for returning resident visa application. You need to submit your biometric information which includes your finger print and photograph at visa application centers as part of your application.

When applying you need to submit following documents:

  • Your current passport or other valid travel identification.
  • Your previous passports.
  • A color photograph of passport size.
  • Documents which prove your ties to the UK. One such document can be proof of income you have earned, or rented or owned property, in the UK.

You may have to submit additional documents as well which depends on your circumstances.

How long you can stay

After successful visa application you can return UK to live permanently in UK.