This week our immigration team received the exciting news that our client (“the Applicant”) has been granted indefinite leave to remain (“ILR”). The Applicant was a previous client of ours who returned for assistance with the preparation and submission of her Spouse Visa ILR application. We received the positive decision on the Applicant’s application within the 6 month service standard. For advice on a Spouse Visa ILR application, please contact our immigration team to arrange a consultation with one of our specialist solicitors.
Case for Spouse Visa ILR
The Applicant was a returning client from the USA who had previously instructed us to prepare her initial and subsequent spouse visas. The Applicant contacted us about a month before the expiry of her spouse visa and we held a consultation to assess the Applicant and Sponsor’s current circumstances. The Applicant was relying on the Sponsor’s income from his self-employment as a partner and was able to comfortably meet the minimum income threshold.
As the Applicant was a national of the USA she satisfied the English language requirement by being a national of a majority English speaking country and she did not need to sit an English language test at level B1. However, she was still required to pass the Life in the UK Test.
At the time the application was submitted, priority services were unavailable so we opted for the standard processing time of 6 months. Within 5 months, the Applicant was granted ILR and she has informed us that she will be instructing us to prepare her application for Naturalisation shortly.
What are the requirements for indefinite leave to remain?
There are a number of requirements that Applicants must be able to satisfy in order for the Home Office to grant ILR. The general requirements for ILR are outlined below:
- Knowledge of Language and Life in the UK – Applicants must satisfy the English language requirement and pass the Life in the UK test;
- Lawful residence – Applicants must demonstrate they have 5 years continuous lawful residence in the UK without excess absences; and
- Good character – Applicants must meet the suitability requirements.
Applicants who are applying for ILR through the Spouse Visa route must also demonstrate that their relationship with their spouse is still genuine and subsisting and meet the minimum income requirement of £18,600.
Does Spouse Visa count towards ILR?
Yes, leave to remain on a Spouse Visa counts towards ILR. Most Spouse Visa ILR Applicants would have spent 5 years on the spouse route before applying, however leave to remain on a Spouse Visa can also count towards ILR on the basis of long residence. This can be either 10 years on a spouse visa (where not all of the requirements under Appendix FM and FM-SE had been met but the Home Office exercised discretion by placing the Applicant on the 10 year route) or 10 years long residence on a mixture of different visa routes (i.e. Student and Spouse).
Can I apply for ILR after 2.5 years?
No, it is no longer possible to apply for ILR after 2.5 years. Most Spouse Visa ILR applications can be made after 5 years on the route. As mentioned above, it is also possible to apply for ILR after 10 years lawful and continuous residence in the UK.
Can I apply for British citizenship straight after ILR?
Migrants who have obtained ILR through the Spouse Visa route are eligible to apply for Naturalisation straight away; assuming all of the other requirements for British citizenship can be met. For migrants who have obtained ILR through any other visa route (including business visas, EEA routes and long residency routes) must hold ILR for a minimum of 12 months before being eligible to apply to Naturalise as a British citizen.
Using our Immigration Solicitors in London to prepare a Spouse Visa ILR Application
Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration status. It is possible to instruct an immigration and visa legal representative to submit a spouse indefinite leave to remain application.
Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your spouse ILR application succeeds, all necessary documents must be provided.
This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your spouse indefinite leave to remain application meets the Immigration Rules.
Successful Spouse Visa ILR Applications with our Immigration Solicitors in London
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 immigration status and the merit of spouse indefinite leave to remain application before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation and submission of your spouse visa ILR 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. LEXVISA is just minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.
Preparation is the key to a successful application. 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 your spouse ILR application.
Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.