For many migrants in the UK, the ultimate aim is to settle; especially for those who are on a spouse or other family based visa so they can remain long-term in the UK with their British or settled relative. In order to do so, they must submit an application for indefinite leave to remain if all of the requirements can be met. Our Immigration Solicitors in London are experts in preparing and submitting successful spouse ILR applications to the Home Office and would be delighted to arrange an initial consultation so we can discuss each individual case in more detail. Get in touch with our Immigration Team for further information.
What is spouse ILR?
Spouse ILR (also referred to as indefinite leave to remain, settlement, settled status or permanent residence) is given to a non-EEA national once they have spent a certain amount of time legally in the UK on a UK spouse visa. Successful Applicants must demonstrate that their marital relationship to their British or settled sponsor is genuine and subsisting at the time of submitting the application for ILR, as well as satisfying all of the other requirements for indefinite leave to remain. Some of the main requirements for ILR are:
- Demonstrating continuous lawful residence in the UK (of either 5 or 10 years depending on the settlement route);
- Not having an excessive amount of absences (days spent outside the UK within the qualifying period); and
- Knowledge of Life and Language in the UK (KoLL)
After spouse ILR has been granted, migrants may be able to apply for British citizenship after 12 months.
Is a spouse visa indefinite leave to remain?
No, a spouse visa does not bring about automatic settlement rights in the UK. This means Applicants will be subject to immigration conditions and certain restrictions such as not being entitled to public funds.
Once granted an initial spouse visa, the Applicant will be given 30 months leave to remain in the UK. Within 28 days of the expiry of that visa, the Applicant can then apply for an extension for a further 30 months. If the Applicant is on the 5 year settlement route they can then apply for indefinite leave to remain within 28 days of the expiry of that extension. If the Applicant is on the 10 year settlement route then they will have to have held the spouse visa for 10 years (4 consecutive spouse visas) before being eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain.
When can spouse apply for ILR?
The length of time one must spend on a spouse visa before applying for ILR depends on the settlement route they are on. If all of the requirements for a UK spouse visa have been met then the usual length of time spent on a spouse visa is usually 5 years. In circumstances where the case is not straightforward and the Home Office exercised any discretion in granting the application despite one or more of the requirements not being met then the Applicant may be placed on a 10-year settlement route instead of the visa being refused completely. The settlement route will be stated within the Home Office decision letter. It is also possible for a migrant on the 10-year settlement route to switch to the 5-year settlement route, which we have previously written about.
Can I apply for ILR after 2.5 years?
No, it is not possible under the current UK immigration system to apply for spouse ILR after a period of only 2.5 years (30 months). Although a spouse visa is valid for only 30 months, Applicants need to apply for an extension of a further 30 months in order qualify for ILR on the 5-year settlement route.
Using our Immigration Solicitors in London to prepare a spouse 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 ILR 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 indefinite leave to remain 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 ILR application meets the Immigration Rules.
Successful spouse 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 ILR application before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation and submission of your 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.