Success Story: Variation of leave application granted: 10-year partner route to 5 year- partner route

Our immigration team received some good news late last week that our client’s (“the Applicant”) variation of leave application was granted. The Applicant was applying to switch from the 10-year partner route to the 5-year partner route in order to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain sooner than the prescribed 10 years under his current route. In our initial communication with the Applicant we had advised that he must meet the requirements under Appendix FM and SE to the Immigration Rules otherwise his application will not be approved and he will remain on the 10-year partner route.  The Applicant’s opted to purchase the 24-hour super priority service allowing him to receive a decision the next working day.

The case for a variation of leave application – switching from 10-year partner route to 5-year partner route

The Applicant was a national of Cameroon and had been granted a 10-year partner visa after a First-tier Tribunal hearing. The Applicant had initially applied for a spouse visa but his application was refused on the basis that he did not meet the financial requirements. The issue with his case was that his Sponsor was self-employed and had not provided the specified documents under paragraph of Appendix FM SE. It is not uncommon for applications being refused for this reason as not many people are aware of the type of documents required for such applications. During the appeal at the First-tier Tribunal, the Applicant had made submissions on the basis of his Human Rights under the ECHR and he was granted a 10-year partner visa outside the Immigration Rules. The Applicant accepted the determination as this meant that he would have legal status to be in the United Kingdom. However, the Applicant was not pleased to learn that he would have to wait a 10 year period before he could apply for indefinite leave to remain. The Applicant contacted us and he was very keen on finding out how he can apply for a variation of leave so that he can use the 5-year partner route to settlement. Our immigration team explained the requirements of his application under the Immigration Rules and confirmed that the specified documents were available this time around. The Applicant instructed our immigration team to prepare and assist with the submission of his variation of leave application.

What are the requirements for a variation of leave application – switching from 10-year partner route to 5-year partner route?

The Home Office accepts a variation of leave application as long as you can meet the requirements. Applicants do not have to wait till the expiry of their visa and they can apply at any point after they receive a valid visa. Applicants must take into consideration the Immigration Rules and Appendix FM and SE to the rules when applying for a variation of leave. In this particular case, the Applicant wished to transfer his leave from the 10-year partner route to the 5-year partner route. The requirements of the two applications were very similar. We advised the Applicant in accordance with the requirements set out under the Immigration Rules and Appendix FM and Appendix FM SE of the Immigration Rules. We also explained the importance of following the Home Office Policy Guidance as these often have useful information regarding the documents and requirements. We advised the Applicant that he must meet the following requirements:

  • The marital relationship with his Sponsor must genuine and subsisting. He must provide evidence of his relationship and that he stayed with the Sponsor since the grant of his last visa;
  • There must intend to reside with his Sponsor permanently and provide evidence of their presence in the United Kingdom;
  • The accommodation requirement must be met in accordance with the Housing Act 1985;
  • The financial requirement of £18,600 (i.e. have enough money to support himself without recourse to public funds). There are a number of different methods of meeting the financial requirement (see below); and
  • The English language requirement must be met.

The financial requirement in a successful variation of leave application – switching from 10-year partner route to 5-year partner route?

There was a major reform of the Immigration Rules in 2012 and one of the significant changes was the introduction of the financial requirement under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules. Since 2012, Applicants must provide evidence that their Sponsor earns a minimum of £18,600 (the amount increases where there are dependents involved). In some cases, such as extension or switch applications it may be possible to use the Applicant’s income to meet the financial requirement.  There are a number of different ways Applicants can meet the financial requirement.

Generally, there are five ways to meet the financial requirement:

  1. Income from Salaried or Non-Salaried employment of the Sponsor or the Applicant if he/she is in the UK with permission to work. This falls under Category A or Category B, depending on the type of employment.
  2. Income from non-employment, i.e. rental income from properties or dividends from shares. This falls under Category C.
  3. Cash savings of £62,500 which the Sponsor must have held for a minimum of 6 months. This falls under Category D but may be combined with Categories A and B;
  4. Income from the state (UK or Foreign), occupational or private pension of the Sponsor and/or the Applicant. This falls under Category E.
  5. Income from self-employment, and income employment, and income as a director or employee of a specified limited company in the UK, of the partner (and/or the applicant if they are in the UK with permission to work). This is referred to as Category F or Category G, depending on which financial year(s) is or are being relied upon

Whilst it is true that the financial requirement can be met by way of combining some of the categories under Appendix FM SE of the Immigration Rules to reach the £18,600 figure. It is equally important to note that not all categories can be combined and expert advice should be taken from specialist Immigration Lawyers before submitting an application to the UKVI department of the Home Office.

Using Legal Representation to submit a variation of leave application – switching from 10-year partner route to 5-year partner route

Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on the law and your immigration matter. You can instruct one of our immigration and visa legal representatives to successfully assist you with a variation of leave. 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 visa applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your variation of leave 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 apply for a variation of leave application – switching from 10-year partner route to 5-year partner route

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 a variation of leave application before your application even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation and submission of a variation of leave application and are able to advise you in respect of your prospects and to ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.

Our offices 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 a variation of leave application.

Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02030110276 or complete our contact form.


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