Non-EEA nationals who can demonstrate continuous residence for a period of 5 years in the United Kingdom as Spouse may be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain. It should be noted that Indefinite Leave to Remain is often also referred to as Settlement. The key benefit of acquiring Indefinite Leave to Remain is that you will no longer be under immigration control and you will have permission to reside in the United Kingdom for an unrestricted period. You will also be entitled to access the National Health Service (NHS) and you can access public funds. Further after holding Indefinite Leave to Remain for a full year you can then apply for British citizenship. After all acquiring British citizenship is the ultimate goal for many non-EEA nationals.
How to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain as Spouse?
You may be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain as a Spouse if you meet the requirements listed under paragraph 287 of the Immigration Rules. In order to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain as a Spouse, Applicants must have continuously resided in the United Kingdom with valid leave for a minimum period of 5 years. Similarly to the initial spouse visa and extension application, Applicants are still required to show that their relationship with their Spouse is genuine and subsisting. In addition to the relationship requirement, Applicants must meet the financial (£18,600), accommodation and English language requirement. Whilst Applicants are free to travel outside the United Kingdom on their Spouse leave it should be noted that they should not have excessive absences from the United Kingdom. There are some exceptions to the absences requirement and in some circumstances, representations can be prepared and submitted to the Home Office to explain the mitigating circumstances behind excessive absences from the United Kingdom. Ultimately, the caseworkers have discretion available to them whereby they can choose to grant an application where they believe there were valid reasons for the absences.
The application itself is submitted by the usual postal method and a decision is usually made within a 6 month period. However, we have noted that well-prepared applications usually receive a decision within 3 months from the submission date. Our team of solicitors prepare Indefinite Leave to Remain applications at a high standard and have an impressive success rate. There is the same day premium visa service option available for an additional fee. The premium visa service allows Applicants to take their completed application to a Home Office centre where their application is reviewed and a decision is made on the same day. However, in some circumstances, the Home Office can delay a decision. This is normally when their complex issues involved in the application. It is our recommendation legal advice is obtained prior to booking a premium visa service appointment.
English language and Life in the UK Test for your Indefinite Leave to Remain application
One of the key requirements for an Indefinite Leave to Remain application is showing that you meet the English language requirement and more importantly you have sufficient knowledge about life in the UK. These requirements apply to everyone aged from 18 to 64. In order to meet the English language requirement Applicants are required to pass an English speaking and listening qualification at a minimum level of B1 CEFR or higher. Applicants must also sit and pass a Life in the UK test. The purpose of the life in the UK is for Applicants to show they are accustomed to and have integrated to life in the United Kingdom. It is important for Applicants to book this test in advance of the expiry of their visa as there are limited time slots available at the test centres.
Applying for British citizenship after acquiring Indefinite Leave to Remain
Applicants who have successfully acquired Indefinite Leave to Remain can apply for British citizenship after 12 months from the date of their Indefinite Leave to Remain. For example, if you were granted Indefinite Leave to Remain on 2 July 2018 you may be eligible to apply for British citizenship on 2 July 2019.
Can Indefinite Leave to Remain be revoked?
Applicants who have successfully acquired Indefinite Leave to Remain must be cautious of the conditions of their leave. It is not uncommon for the Home Office to revoke Indefinite Leave to Remain where an Applicant’s circumstances change. An example of a scenario where Indefinite Leave to Remain will be revoked is where an Applicant is no longer permanently resident in the United Kingdom and has been absent from the United Kingdom for a period of more than two years. However, the two-year absence rule does not apply to British overseas citizens and British subjects. In addition to this Indefinite Leave to Remain may also be revoked when there are issues regarding public safety/national security. If you have been in trouble with the police it is recommended that legal advice is obtained immediately to ensure that you are well prepared for lengthy litigation with the Home Office. The Home Office will also revoke Indefinite Leave to Remain where they believe it is obtained fraudulently.
Using Legal Representation to submit a successful Indefinite Leave to Remain application
Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration matter. You can instruct one of our immigration and visa legal representatives to successfully assist you with an Indefinite Leave to Remain application. Our solicitors and Barristers will help you comply with the Home Office’s requirements and meet the Immigration Rules.
Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject Indefinite Leave to Remain applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your Indefinite Leave to Remain application succeeds, our solicitors and barristers will ensure all specified documents must be provided.
The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules.
Successfully submit an Indefinite Leave to Remain Visa application
Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your prospects of submitting an Indefinite Leave to Remain application before your application even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation and submission of an Indefinite Leave to Remain application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.
We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients. We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.
Preparation is the key to successful immigration applications. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation to discuss an Indefinite Leave to Remain application.
Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.