INDEFINITE LEAVE TO REMAIN
If you hold a Spouse Visa, you could be eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK.
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If you are a non-EEA or Swiss national, you can secure the right to remain in the UK by marrying a British Citizen or a person with settled status in the UK, which grants you a Spouse Visa. After living in the UK with your spouse or partner, you may seek to establish a more permanent status. This can be achieved through the attainment of Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), allowing you to settle in the UK indefinitely without being subject to immigration rules.
The initial grant of leave for a Spouse Visa typically spans two and a half years. When this period concludes, you may opt to extend your Spouse Visa for another two and a half years, provided you meet the current requirements specified by the Home Office. At the conclusion of the extension period, you become eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain. It’s advisable to consider applying for ILR before your Spouse Visa expires.
Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK, often referred to as “settlement” or “permanent residence,” is the final step before obtaining British citizenship, and it allows you and your family to settle in the UK indefinitely, providing the freedom to live, work, study, and access public services without the need for further visas.
With ILR, you have the following privileges:
- Reside in the UK permanently
- Pursue educational opportunities
- Work without any restrictions
- Access public funds, including benefits
- Utilise the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) without charge
- Travel in and out of the UK without limitations
However, it’s important to manage the duration of your absences from the UK to maintain your ILR status, as exceeding the permitted time abroad could jeopardise it.
Additionally, after holding ILR for a year, you become eligible to apply for British citizenship, making it the ultimate goal for individuals who come to the UK for employment, family reunification, or other reasons.
Our dedicated team of immigration lawyers is available to assist you with all the information you need to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain. Feel free to contact us at 0333 0124 253 to seek guidance and support for your immigration journey.
Requirements to apply for ILR on a Spouse Visa
The requirements for applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) on a Spouse Visa can vary slightly depending on whether you are on a five-year or ten-year route to obtaining ILR. However, the primary requirements are generally similar. To be eligible for ILR while holding a Spouse Visa under the five-year route, you typically need to meet the following criteria:
- You must still be in a genuine and subsisting relationship with your partner.
- You need to meet the financial requirements, which typically involve having an income that meets the minimum threshold specified by the Home Office.
- You should be able to demonstrate that you and your partner have suitable accommodation for your family.
- You must have had leave to remain as a partner for 60 months (five years).
- You need to meet the English language proficiency and Life in the UK test requirements.
Please note that these requirements may change over time, and the specific criteria can vary depending on individual circumstances. It’s essential to consult the latest guidance from the UK Home Office and consider seeking legal advice to ensure you meet the specific ILR requirements for your situation.
Under UK immigration law, there is no specific maximum number of allowable absences for individuals applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) from a Spouse Visa. The absence limits can vary depending on the type of visa you hold and the specific circumstances of your case.
If you are applying to settle in the UK from any other point-based visa category, your absences should generally not exceed 6 months in any 12-month period. However, it’s important to note that if you have spent the majority of your time abroad or if your absences are excessive, the Home Office may question the genuineness of your application and potentially refuse it.
To ensure that your particular circumstances are professionally reviewed and to receive expert guidance and assistance with your ILR application, you can reach out to the Push Legal Services (PLS). One of our immigration lawyers will be happy to assist you with your application and provide you with the necessary support and advice based on your unique circumstances.
The accommodation requirements for obtaining Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) from a Spouse Visa are generally similar to the criteria for the initial partner visa application.
To meet these requirements, you and your partner must demonstrate that you have suitable accommodation available for your family. The accommodation should adhere to “public health regulations,” and it should have a sufficient number of rooms to accommodate all members of your family.
In essence, your accommodation should be suitable and in compliance with public health standards, and it should provide adequate living space for all members of your family as per the Home Office guidelines. This helps ensure that you meet the accommodation criteria for ILR from a Spouse Visa.
English Language Requirement
To be eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) as a Spouse Visa holder, you must meet specific English language requirements. You are typically required to prove your knowledge of the English language by taking a secure English language test at least at level B1. Several approved tests can fulfill this requirement, including:
- Integrated Skills in English test
- Graded Examinations in Spoken English
- IELTS Life Skills certificate
- IELTS certificate
These tests can be administered by authorised test providers, such as Trinity College, London. As part of your Spouse Visa ILR application, you must provide a test pass certificate along with your required documentation. However, it’s important to note that you may not need to take the English language test if you are from a majority English-speaking country.
Life in the UK Test
In addition to the English language requirement, you must also pass the Life in the UK test as part of the ILR application process. This test assesses your knowledge of British life and customs, and you must achieve a score of at least 75% to pass.
There are some exemptions from the Life in the UK test, which include:
- Individuals under the age of 18 years old
- Individuals aged 65 years old or over
- Those who have previously passed the test before settling in the UK
- Individuals with a long-term physical or mental condition, for which you may need to provide proof from your doctor
If you successfully pass the Life in the UK test, you will receive a pass certificate, which can serve as evidence to support your ILR application.
How long is ILR processing?
The standard processing time for an Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) application in the UK is typically around 6 months. While this represents a relatively lengthy application process, there is an option to expedite the decision-making process by using the application priority service, which comes at an additional cost of £800 per application.
It’s important to note that the 6-month estimate is not fixed, and the processing time may be quicker if your case is straightforward and well-documented. In more complex cases, the UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) may require additional evidence or documentation. In such situations, it is crucial to promptly provide the requested documents to avoid delays. Failure to do so can result in the rejection of your Indefinite Leave to Remain application. Therefore, timely and accurate submission of all necessary materials is essential for a smooth and efficient processing experience.
ILR application refused
Receiving a refusal for your Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) application can be distressing, but it’s essential to know that you have options to address the situation.
If your ILR application is refused, you have the option to submit a new ILR application that directly addresses the grounds for refusal. This allows the Home Office to review your case and reconsider your request.
There are several common grounds for refusal, including excessive absences, breaches of immigration rules, failure to disclose debt, criminal convictions, not meeting the English language requirement, or exhibiting adverse behavior.
In the event of a refusal, it is highly advisable to seek immigration advice and assistance from a qualified and experienced immigration lawyer. They can help you understand the reasons for the refusal, guide you on addressing the issues, and provide support in preparing a new and stronger ILR application to increase your chances of a successful outcome. Consulting with an immigration lawyer can be invaluable in navigating the appeals or reapplication process effectively.
How can Push Legal Services help?
Push Legal Services (PLS) can provide valuable assistance and support to couples who wish to settle in the UK and are seeking Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). Here’s how PLS can help you:
- Expert immigration lawyers at PLS can assess your eligibility for ILR, ensuring that you meet the necessary requirements for your application.
- Our team can help you gather and meticulously review the right documents to ensure that they meet the Home Office’s requirements.
- We offer guidance and support in completing your ILR application form to the highest standard, helping you avoid errors or omissions that could lead to a refusal.
- PLS immigration lawyers can draft a Letter of Representation to accompany your application, providing the Home Office with essential information about your case, its merits, and referencing relevant UK immigration case laws that strengthen your application.
- We will assist you in preparing for the ‘Life in the UK’ test and the IELTS test, if required, to ensure you meet the English language and Life in the UK requirements.
With the support of PLS, you can significantly enhance your chances of successfully obtaining ILR status. If you are seeking professional assistance and guidance from our immigration lawyers, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 0333 0124 253. Our team is dedicated to helping you navigate the ILR application process effectively and efficiently.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) after a five-year period is typically granted to individuals on a Spouse Visa, provided that the following conditions are met:
- The applicant must meet the minimum income requirement, which is currently set at £18,600 (this amount may increase with each dependent child).
- The applicant should have adhered to immigration laws in the UK and abroad, with no breaches of immigration regulations.
- The applicant must have passed the ‘Life in the UK’ test and the English Language Test, demonstrating proficiency in the English language.
- The applicant is required to provide biometric resident information as part of the application process.
It’s important to note that these conditions may vary if you currently hold a different type of visa or permit other than the Spouse Visa. For instance, Tier 2 General visa holders may be subject to specific financial conditions when applying for ILR.
For the most up-to-date and precise information on ILR requirements, it’s advisable to consult the UK Home Office and consider seeking legal advice to ensure you meet the specific criteria for your application.
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 are indeed eligible to apply for a Spouse Visa. This visa allows you to join your spouse in the UK.
It’s crucial to be aware that the Home Office applies strict scrutiny to Spouse Visa applications. They are diligent in identifying cases of marriage fraud or “sham marriages.” As a result, a Spouse Visa application demands a substantial amount of evidence to establish the authenticity and genuineness of your relationship or marriage. Providing the necessary documentation and proof of your genuine relationship is a fundamental part of the application process.
The Push Legal Services (PLS) is well-equipped to assist you with your application for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) from a Spouse Visa. Our expert immigration lawyers are dedicated to ensuring that your application is prepared to the highest standard before submission. Our comprehensive services include:
1.We will assess your eligibility for ILR based on your individual circumstances.
- Our team will help you gather and thoroughly review your documentation, identifying any issues or gaps that need to be addressed.
- We will assist in addressing any issues with your documentation to ensure it meets the necessary requirements.
- Our professionals will complete your ILR application with a high degree of professionalism and accuracy.
- An immigration lawyer will prepare a Letter of Representation to accompany your application, providing essential information on your case, its merits, and referencing relevant UK immigration laws that support your application.
- We can liaise with the Home Office on your behalf, addressing any queries or issues that may arise during the application process.
- We will prepare you for the ‘Life in the UK’ test and the English Language test if required.
- We will ensure that you have enough evidence to prove to the Home Office that your relationship is genuine and meets the necessary criteria.
For expert guidance and support throughout your ILR application process, please contact PLS at 0333 0124 253 or make an online enquiry to arrange a consultation with one of our immigration lawyers. Our team is here to assist you in navigating the ILR application successfully.