Spouse ILR Application for UK Settlement

by | Jan 19, 2021 | Indefinite Leave to Remain, Spouse Visa Extension, UK Immigration, UK Settlement

Updated on 01 November 2023

UK Indefinite Leave to Remain as a Spouse

You can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) or settlement in the UK, otherwise known as ILR, if you are a non-EEA national or Swiss national and have been living with your British Citizen or Permanent Resident spouse/partner in the UK for a continuous period of 5 years. 

Assuming you meet the current settlement requirements laid out by the Home Office UKVI, Indefinite Leave to Remain status as a Spouse will allow you to settle here permanently free from regulations. 

Spouses or partners of British or settled persons can apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK up to 28 days before they reach 60 months in the UK with leave as a partner so long as they have been granted leave in the 5-year route.  

ILR applications can be processed very quickly if you choose the super-priority service (at an extra fee), which offers 24-hour processing by the Home Office.

Spouse ILR Application Requirements

To successfully meet the requirements for ILR, an applicant prove that: 

  • They have had leave as a partner (on the 5-year route) for 60 months;
  • They are still in a genuine and subsisting relationship with their partner;
  • They meet the ILR financial requirement of £18,600;
  • There is suitable accommodation available to them;
  • They meet the English and Life in UK requirements in one of the following ways:
    • You hold a UK degree or overseas equivalent taught and researched in English.
    • You have passed an English language test, level B1, from one of the approved English test providers.
    • You are a national of a majority English speaking country.
    • You are exempt from the English language test.
  • You have passed the Life in the UK test;
  • There is no reason to refuse the application under the General Grounds for Refusal.

ILR Spouse Financial Requirements

As per the Indefinite Leave to Remain UK rules, you must be able to prove that you are earning a minimum of £18,600 where there are no dependant non-British children, with an additional £3,800 for the first non-British child (£22,400) and an additional £2,400 per child thereafter.

If you plan to meet the ILR Spouse Visa financial requirement through savings held in your account for more than six months, there is no need to multiply the shortfall by 2.5, and the whole amount can be used in addition to the £16,000. This means that the level of savings required in an ILR application is much lower than in the first two applications, i.e. £34,600 rather than £62,500.  

ILR Absence Requirement

There is no specific number of maximum absences for those applying for ILR from Spouse Visa as per the Immigration Rules. Nevertheless, if you have spent most of your time abroad, the Home Office may doubt the genuineness of your application and refuse your case.

To have your case professionally reviewed by an expert UK immigration lawyer, you can contact our team at Whytecroft Ford. 

To discuss your Settlement Visa application with an experienced immigration adviser, contact our team on 0208 757 5751 or complete our contact form

Spouse ILR Document Checklist

The following is a general document checklist for documents you will be required to submit along with your application for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK:

  • Applicant’s passport 
  • Applicant’s travel document (if a passport is not included)
  • Dependant’s birth certificates
  • All Biometric Residence Permits that have been issued
  • Evidence of cohabitation with your Spouse/Partner
  • Evidence of adequate accommodation
  • Evidence that you meet the financial requirements such as Bank Statements and wage slips
  • Documents in relation to absences from the UK (if relevant)
  • Evidence that you meet the English language requirement
  • Life in the UK Test documentation
  • Evidence to show continuous residence in the United Kingdom
  • Police registration certificate (if required)

It is important to ensure that your ILR supporting documents are both complete and meet the Home Office requirements. Unfortunately, not including a required document is likely to result in a refusal of your Indefinite Leave to Remain application. 

ILR Spouse Visa Fees

As of 6 April 2022, the current Home Office fees for spouse visa ILR application are £2,404 per applicant. The decision on the ILR application can be expedited to the next working day by opting for super-priority service, which costs an additional £800 per applicant. 

UK Settlement Visa Advice

Our immigration advisers regularly assist foreign national Spouses in settling in the UK with their families. The financial requirement rules are complex and include mandatory requirements in the documentary evidence that must be provided to demonstrate access to the relevant funds. Failure to demonstrate that you meet the Settlement Visa application criteria may result in the application being delayed or even refused. 

Our Settlement Visa lawyers can provide a no-obligation assessment of your prospects of qualifying for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK or professional advice or assistance with preparing an ILR Visa application. 

At Whytecroft Ford, we know that accurate and timely advice could make all the difference in the world. We are a highly driven professional team that provides clear and reliable immigration advice to individuals applying for a UK Settlement Visa. We apply our extensive knowledge and expertise to our client’s needs.

Frequently asked questions

When can I apply for ILR as a spouse?

You can apply within 28 days before the completion of five years of residence with leave to remain as a spouse under five years route.

Can my husband get Indefinite Leave to Remain?

After holding a spouse / civil partner visa in the UK for five years, it is possible to apply for a spouse visa ILR.

Does a spouse visa count towards ILR?

Yes, however, you must have been living in the UK lawfully for the entire five year period for their time to be counted towards ILR requirements.

How long does it take to get an indefinite stay in the UK by marriage?

The initial Spouse Visa lasts for 30 months; at the end of this period, it can be extended for 30 months. After the consecutive 60-month period, providing you meet the other requirements, you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain.

What documents are required for the 5-year Partner ILR application?

The documents required will depend on your circumstances and may vary from case to case; some of these documents will include the following:
A valid passport and BRP Card
Dependant’s birth certificates
Evidence of cohabitation with Partner
Evidence of adequate accommodation
Proof of meeting the minimum financial requirement
Evidence that you meet the English language requirement
Life in the UK Test pass certificate or reference number
Evidence to show continuous residence in the United Kingdom

What is the latest ILR application fee?

As of 04 October 2023, the Home Office ILR application fee is £2,885. This has been increased from £2,404 previously. The cost of super-priority services, to get a decision within 1 working day will be an additional £1000.

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