Spouse Visa to ILR
If you are a non-EEA or Swiss national, you can gain the right to remain in the UK by marrying a British Citizen, or a person with settled status in the UK. If you do this, you will be granted a Spouse Visa. Once you are living in the UK with your spouse or partner, you may wish to make your position more permanent. You can achieve this by gaining ILR from a Spouse Visa. ILR, or, Indefinite Leave to Remain, allows you to settle in the UK permanently without being tied to regulations.
The initial grant of leave for a Spouse Visa is two and a half years. When this period has come to a close, you may choose to extend your Spouse Visa for another two and a half years, assuming you meet the current requirements laid out by the Home Office. At the end of the extension period, you will be eligible to apply for ILR.
Our dedicated immigration lawyers can help you with everything you need to know if you want to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain.
Requirements to apply for ILR on a Spouse Visa
To be eligible for ILR while holding a Spouse Visa, you must:
- Still be in a genuine and subsisting relationship with your partner;
- Meet the financial requirements;
- Demonstrate that you and your partner have suitable accommodation for your family;
- Have had leave to remain as a partner for 60 months;
- Meet the English and Life in the UK requirements.
Genuine and subsisting relationship requirement
When applying for a Spouse Visa, you and your partner need to show that you are in a genuine relationship.
After your eligible period spent on a Spouse Visa, the Home Office will review your circumstances before granting ILR. This means that you must still reside together with your partner, and you must be able to demonstrate that your relationship is still subsisting.
Spouse Visa to ILR financial requirement
To obtain leave to remain in the UK on a Spouse Visa, you and your partner must prove a level of finances of £18,600. However, if you are applying with your dependant, you should consider an additional £3,800 for the first child, and then an additional £2,400 for each additional child.
To meet the minimum income threshold, you can rely on:
- Income from salaried employment and self-employment;
- Cash savings over £16,000 held for at least six months, in any currency, by you and your partner;
- Non-employment income, such as income from property rental, investments, shares and stocks;
- Maternity allowances or other benefits received in the UK.
Absence for Spouse Visa ILR application
Based on UK immigration law, there is no specific number of maximum absences for those applying for ILR from Spouse Visa.
However, if you are applying to settle in the UK from any other Point-based visa, your absences should not exceed 6 months in any 12 months. Nevertheless, if you have spent the majority of your time abroad, the Home Office may doubt the genuineness of your application, and refuse your case.
To have your circumstances professionally reviewed by an expert UK immigration lawyer, you can get in touch with IAS. One of our immigration solicitors will be happy to help you.
Accommodation requirements for ILR
The adequate accommodation criteria for getting ILR from a Spouse Visa is almost identical to the initial partner visa application.
This means that you and your partner need to show that you have proper accommodation available for you and your family.
Your house must not contravene “public health regulations”, and have enough rooms for all the members of your family.
Trust IAS’ immigration lawyers for your Spouse Visa to ILR application
At IAS, we are committed to helping all couples who wish to settle in the UK.
We can assess your eligibility for ILR, gather and check your supporting documents and help with completing your application form to the highest standard.
Your lawyer will also write a Letter of Representation to accompany your application form. This letter provides the Home Office with information on your case and its merits and will reference relevant UK immigration laws which strengthen your application. We will also make sure you meet all the necessary requirements through preparing you for your ‘Life in the UK’ test and IELTS test. With the IAS, you will give yourself the greatest possible chance of receiving ILR status.
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The Indefinite Leave to Remain after a five-year period is usually granted to those on a Spouse Visa assuming the following:
- Minimum income requirement of £18,600 (rising with every child dependent) is met
- No immigration law in the UK or abroad has been broken
- The applicant has passed ‘Life in the UK’ test and the English Language Test
- The applicant can supply Biometric Resident information
Read more about the ILR requirements here. It must be noted that these conditions may change if you currently hold a permit different from the Spouse Visa. For example, Tier 2 General visa holders must meet specific financial conditions.
If you are a non-EEA or Swiss national and you marry a British Citizen, or a person with settled status in the UK, you will be eligible to apply for a Spouse Visa.
It is important to note, however, that the Home Office are very strict with visas for spouses. They are trained to spot cases of marriage fraud or ‘sham marriages’ and a Spouse Visa application requires a great deal of evidence to prove your relationship or marriage is genuine.
Read more about Spouse Visas and other Partner Visas.
If you wish to get Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK, the minimum English proficiency required is B1 CEFR. You can satisfy this requirement by either:
- Passing an accredited English language test
- Being a national of a majority English speaking country
- Holding a UK degree which was taught and researched in English.
Our expert lawyers can help you with your application for ILR from a Spouse Visa. We will work with you to ensure that your application is completed to the highest standard before it is submitted. Our services include:
- assessing your eligibility for ILR;
- gathering your documentation and looking for issues or gaps;
- addressing any issues with your documentation;
- completing your application to a professional standard;
- having a lawyer prepare a Letter of Representation. This letter accompanies your application and provides details on your case and its merits. It will also reference any relevant UK immigration laws that support your application;
- liaising with the Home Office where appropriate;
- preparing you for your ‘Life in the UK’ test;
- preparing you for your English Language test;
- checking that you have enough evidence to prove your relationship is genuine to the Home Office.
Contact IAS today on 0333 363 8577 or make an enquiry online to arrange a consultation with a qualified immigration lawyer.