Requirements for ILR as a Spouse | Set M Guidance

This relates to Requirements for ILR as a Spouse in the UK in the light of Paragraphs 287  to 289 of the Immigration Rules Part 8: Family Members and Section R-ILRP (and related Sections) of the Appendix FM: Family Members.

Applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain as a Spouse

Requirements for ILR as a SpouseIt is mandatory to use Application Form SET(M) for applying ILR as the Partner of a Person Present and Settled under:

  1. 2 Year Route- for those applicants, who were last granted limited leave for a period of 27/24 months under paragraphs 281 to 286, 295AA to 295F, 282(c) and 319L Part 8 of the Immigration Rules and have completed at least 24 months (2-Years) with such leave as a partner under Part 8;
  2. 5 Year Route- only those applicants will be eligible to apply for an ILR who were last granted thirty (30) months limited leave to remain as a partner and have been able to complete at least sixty (60) months (5-Years) under Appendix FM: Family Members of the Immigration Rules.

Here it is important to note that period of 2-Year or 5-Year runs from:

  • the date on which an applicant entered the UK as a Spouse or Civil Partner; or
  • the date on which an applicant was first granted leave to remain in the UK as a Spouse or Civil Partner i.e. if an applicant did not enter the UK on a spouse visa {but for instance on a Marriage Visitor Visa (fiancé visa)} then from the date on which an applicant is first granted leave to remain in the UK in the relevant category.

Grant of ILR as a Spouse

To qualify for indefinite leave to remain as a spouse and for making an application using form SET(M), if an applicant is able to satisfy the requirements set out in paragraph 287  of Part 8 of the Immigration Rules, or in Section R-ILRP (partner) of Appendix FM to the Immigration Rules then an ILR is granted as a spouse or civil partner of a person settled and present in the UK.

Requirements for ILR after 2 Years Spouse Visa

The Paragraphs 287, 288 and 289, of the Immigration Rules Part 8: Family Members, explains the details of requirements, grants and the refusal of an Extension of Stay as Spouse or Civil Partner of a Person Present and Settled in the UK.

Paragraph 287(a) of the Immigration Rules Part 8: Family Members explains the details of the requirements for an Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) as the Spouse or Civil Partner of a Person Present and Settled in the UK.

Paragraph 287(b) of the Immigration Rules Part 8: Family Members explains the details of the requirements for an Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) as the Bereaved Spouse or Civil Partner of a Person who was present and settled in the UK.

287. (a) The requirements for indefinite leave to remain for the spouse or civil partner of a person present and settled in the United Kingdom are that:

(i)

(a) the applicant was admitted to the United Kingdom for a period not exceeding 27 months or given an extension of stay for a period of 2 years in accordance with paragraphs 281 to 286 of these Rules and has completed a period of 2 years as the spouse or civil partner of a person present and settled in the United Kingdom; or

(b) the applicant was admitted to the United Kingdom for a period not exceeding 27 months or given an extension of stay for a period of 2 years in accordance with paragraphs 295AA to 295F of these Rules and during that period married or formed a civil partnership with the person whom he or she was admitted or granted an extension of stay to join and has completed a period of 2 years as the unmarried or same-sex partner and then the spouse or civil partner of a person present and settled in the United Kingdom; or

(c) was admitted to the United Kingdom in accordance with leave granted under paragraph 282(c) of these rules; or

(d) the applicant was admitted to the UK or given an extension of stay as the spouse or civil partner of a Relevant Points Based System Migrant; and then obtained an extension of stay under paragraphs 281 to 286 of these Rules and has completed a period of 2 years as the spouse or civil partner of the person who is now present and settled here; or

(e) the applicant was admitted to the UK or given an extension of stay as the unmarried or same-sex partner of a Relevant Points Based System Migrant; and during that period married or formed a civil partnership with the person whom he or she was admitted or granted an extension of stay to join and has completed a period of 2 years as the unmarried or same-sex partner and then the spouse or civil partner of the person who is now present and settled in the UK; or

(f) the applicant was admitted into the UK in accordance with paragraph 319L and has completed a period of 2 years limited leave as the spouse or civil partner of a refugee or beneficiary of humanitarian protection who is now present and settled in the UK or as the spouse or civil partner of a former refugee or beneficiary of humanitarian protection who is now a British Citizen.

(ii) the applicant is still the spouse or civil partner of the person he or she was admitted or granted an extension of stay to join and the marriage or civil partnership is subsisting; and

(iii) each of the parties intends to live permanently with the other as his or her spouse or civil partner; and

(iv) there will be adequate accommodation for the parties and any dependants without recourse to public funds in accommodation which they own or occupy exclusively; and

(v) the parties will be able to maintain themselves and any dependants adequately without recourse to public funds; and

(vi) the applicant has demonstrated sufficient knowledge of the English language and sufficient knowledge about life in the United Kingdom, in accordance with Appendix KoLL; and

(vii) the applicant does not fall for refusal under the general grounds for refusal.

287. (b) The requirements for indefinite leave to remain for the bereaved spouse or civil partner of a person who was present and settled in the United Kingdom are that:

(i)

(a) the applicant was admitted to the United Kingdom for a period not exceeding 27 months or given an extension of stay for a period of 2 years as the spouse or civil partner of a person present and settled in the United Kingdom in accordance with paragraphs 281 to 286 of these Rules; or;

(b) the applicant was admitted to the United Kingdom for a period not exceeding 27 months or given an extension of stay for a period of 2 years as the unmarried or same-sex partner of a person present and settled in the United Kingdom in accordance with paragraphs 295AA to 295F of these Rules and during that period married or formed a civil partnership with the person whom he or she was admitted or granted an extension of stay to join; and

(ii) the person whom the applicant was admitted or granted an extension of stay to join died during that period; and

(iii) the applicant was still the spouse or civil partner of the person he or she was admitted or granted an extension of stay to join at the time of the death; and

(iv) each of the parties intended to live permanently with the other as his or her spouse or civil partner and the marriage or civil partnership was subsisting at the time of the death; and

(v) the applicant does not fall for refusal under the general grounds for refusal.

Indefinite Leave to Remain as the Spouse or Civil partner

According to Paragraph 288 of the Immigration Rules Part 8: Family Members, if an applicant satisfies the requirements stipulated in Paragraph 287 of the Immigration Rules then an Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) is granted as the Spouse or Civil Partner of a Person Present and Settled in the UK.

Indefinite Leave to Remain for the Spouse or Civil Partner of a Person Present and Settled in the United Kingdom

288. Indefinite leave to remain for the spouse or civil partner of a person present and settled in the United Kingdom may be granted provided the Secretary of State is satisfied that each of the requirements of paragraph 287 is met.

Refusal of an ILR as the Spouse or Civil Partner

According to Paragraph 289 of the Immigration Rules Part 8: Family Members, if an applicant fails to satisfy the Secretary of State regarding fulfilment of the requirements stipulated in Paragraph 287 of the Immigration Rules then the application for an Indefinite Leave to Remain as the Spouse or Civil Partner will be refused.

Refusal of Indefinite Leave to Remain for the Spouse or Civil Partner of a Person Present and Settled in the United Kingdom

289. Indefinite leave to remain for the spouse or civil partner of a person present and settled in the United Kingdom is to be refused if the Secretary of State is not satisfied that each of the requirements of paragraph 287 is met.

Apply for IRL as Spouse after 5 years

Sub-paragraphs (a) to (e) of Section R-ILRP of Appendix FM: Family Members states the Requirements for ILR (Settlement) as a Partner in the UK.

As explained at sub-paragraphs (d) and (e) of the Section R-ILRP, an applicant is required to fulfil the conditions stipulated in Section E-LTRP (eligibility for leave to remain as a partner) and Section E-ILRP (eligibility for indefinite leave to remain as a partner), respectively.

Section R-ILRP: Requirements for indefinite leave to remain (settlement) as a partner

R-ILRP.1.1. The requirements to be met for indefinite leave to remain as a partner are that-

(a) the applicant and their partner must be in the UK;

(b) the applicant must have made a valid application for indefinite leave to remain as a partner;

(c) the applicant must not fall for refusal under any of the grounds in Section S-ILR: Suitability for indefinite leave to remain;

(d) the applicant:

(i) must meet all of the requirements of Section E-LTRP: Eligibility for leave to remain as a partner (except that paragraph E-LTRP.1.2. cannot be met on the basis set out in sub-paragraph (c) of that paragraph, and in applying paragraph E-LTRP.3.1.(b)(ii) delete the words “2.5 times”); or

(ii) must meet the requirements of paragraphs E-LTRP.1.2.-1.12. (except that paragraph E-LTRP.1.2. cannot be met on the basis set out in sub-paragraph (c) of that paragraph) and E-LTRP.2.1 – 2.2. and paragraph EX.1. applies; and

(e) the applicant must meet all of the requirements of Section E-ILRP: Eligibility for indefinite leave to remain as a partner.

Section E-ILRP: Eligibility for ILR as a Partner in the UK

As per sub-paragraph (e) of Section R-ILRP, an applicant needs to fulfil the conditions stipulated in Section E-ILRP. Accordingly, as stated in paragraph E-ILRP 1.1 of Section E-ILRP, an applicant needs to fulfil all the requirements stated in paragraph E-ILRP 1.2 to E-ILRP 1.6 for the grant of ILR as a partner in the UK.

Immigration Rules Appendix FM: Family Members

Section E-ILRP: Eligibility for indefinite leave to remain as a partner

E-ILRP.1.1. To meet the eligibility requirements for indefinite leave to remain as a partner all of the requirements of paragraphs E-ILRP.1.2. to 1.6. must be met.

E-ILRP.1.2. The applicant must be in the UK with valid leave to remain as a partner under this Appendix (except that, where paragraph 39E of these Rules applies, any current period of overstaying will be disregarded).

E-ILRP.1.3.

(1) Subject to sub-paragraph (2), the applicant must, at the date of application, have completed a continuous period of either:

(a) at least 60 months in the UK with:

(i) leave to enter granted on the basis of entry clearance as a partner granted under paragraph D-ECP.1.1.; or
(ii) limited leave to remain as a partner granted under paragraph D-LTRP.1.1.; or
(iii) a combination of (i) and (ii);
or

(b) at least 120 months in the UK with:

(i) leave to enter granted on the basis of entry clearance as a partner granted under paragraph D-ECP.1.1. or D-ECP.1.2.; or
(ii) limited leave to remain as a partner granted under paragraph D-LTRP.1.1. or D-LTRP.1.2.; or
(iii) a combination of (i) and (ii).

(2) In calculating periods of leave for the purposes of sub-paragraph (1) above, any period of leave to enter or limited leave to remain as a fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner will be excluded.

E-ILRP.1.4. In calculating the periods under paragraph E-ILRP.1.3. only the periods when the applicant’s partner is the same person as the applicant’s partner for the previous period of limited leave shall be taken into account.

E-ILRP.1.5. In calculating the periods under paragraph E-ILRP.1.3. the words “in the UK” in that paragraph shall not apply to any period(s) to which the evidence in paragraph 26A of Appendix FM-SE applies.

E-ILRP.1.5A. In calculating the periods under paragraph E-ILRP.1.3., any current period of overstaying will be disregarded where paragraph 39E of these Rules applies. Any previous period of overstaying between periods of leave will also be disregarded where: the further application was made before 24 November 2016 and within 28 days of the expiry of leave; or the further application was made on or after 24 November 2016 and paragraph 39E of these Rules applied.

E-ILRP.1.6. The applicant must have demonstrated sufficient knowledge of the English language and sufficient knowledge about life in the United Kingdom in accordance with the requirements of Appendix KoLL of these Rules.

Section E-LTRP: Eligibility for Leave to Remain

As per sub-paragraph (d) of Section R-ILRP, an applicant needs to fulfil the conditions stipulated in Section E-LTRP. Accordingly, as stated in paragraph E-LTRP 1.1 of Section E-ILRP, an applicant needs to fulfil all the requirements stated in paragraph E-LTRP1.2 to E-LTRP 4.2. for the grant of ILR as a partner in the UK.

Section E-LTRP: Eligibility for limited leave to remain as a partner

E-LTRP.1.1. To qualify for limited leave to remain as a partner all of the requirements of paragraphs E-LTRP.1.2. to 4.2. must be met.

Relationship requirements

E-LTRP.1.2. The applicant’s partner must be-

(a) a British Citizen in the UK;
(b) present and settled in the UK; or
(c) in the UK with refugee leave or as a person with humanitarian protection.

E-LTRP.1.3. The applicant must be aged 18 or over at the date of application.

E-LTRP.1.4. The partner must be aged 18 or over at the date of application.

E-LTRP.1.5. The applicant and their partner must not be within the prohibited degree of relationship.

E-LTRP.1.6. The applicant and their partner must have met in person.

E-LTRP.1.7. The relationship between the applicant and their partner must be genuine and subsisting.

E-LTRP.1.8. If the applicant and partner are married or in a civil partnership it must be a valid marriage or civil partnership, as specified.

E-LTRP.1.9. Any previous relationship of the applicant or their partner must have broken down permanently, unless it is a relationship which falls within paragraph 278(i) of these Rules.

E-LTRP.1.10. The applicant and their partner must intend to live together permanently in the UK and, in any application for further leave to remain as a partner (except where the applicant is in the UK as a fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner) and in any application for indefinite leave to remain as a partner, the applicant must provide evidence that, since entry clearance as a partner was granted under paragraph D-ECP1.1. or since the last grant of limited leave to remain as a partner, the applicant and their partner have lived together in the UK or there is good reason, consistent with a continuing intention to live together permanently in the UK, for any period in which they have not done so.

E-LTRP.1.11. If the applicant is in the UK with leave as a fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner and the marriage or civil partnership did not take place during that period of leave, there must be good reason why and evidence that it will take place within the next 6 months.

E-LTRP.1.12. The applicant’s partner cannot be the applicant’s fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner, unless the applicant was granted entry clearance as that person’s fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner.

Immigration status requirements

E-LTRP.2.1. The applicant must not be in the UK-

(a) as a visitor; or
(b) with valid leave granted for a period of 6 months or less, unless that leave is as a fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner, or was granted pending the outcome of family court or divorce proceedings

E-LTRP.2.2. The applicant must not be in the UK –

(a) on temporary admission or temporary release, unless:

(i) the Secretary of State is satisfied that the applicant arrived in the UK more than 6 months prior to the date of application; and
(ii) paragraph EX.1. applies; or

(b) in breach of immigration laws (except that, where paragraph 39E of these Rules applies, any current period of overstaying will be disregarded), unless paragraph EX.1. applies.

Financial requirements

E-LTRP.3.1. The applicant must provide specified evidence, from the sources listed in paragraph E-LTRP.3.2., of-

(a) a specified gross annual income of at least-

(i) £18,600;
(ii) an additional £3,800 for the first child; and
(iii) an additional £2,400 for each additional child; alone or in combination with

(b) specified savings of-

(i) £16,000; and
(ii) additional savings of an amount equivalent to 2.5 times the amount which is the difference between the gross annual income from the sources listed in paragraph E-LTRP.3.2.(a)-(f) and the total amount required under paragraph E-LTRP.3.1.(a); or

(c) the requirements in paragraph E-LTRP.3.3. being met, unless paragraph EX.1. applies.

In this paragraph “child” means a dependent child of the applicant or the applicant’s partner who is-

(a) under the age of 18 years, or who was under the age of 18 years when they were first granted entry under this route;

(b) applying for entry clearance or leave to remain as a dependant of the applicant or the applicant’s partner, or is in the UK with leave as their dependant;

(c) not a British Citizen or settled in the UK; and

(d) not an EEA national with a right to be admitted to or reside in the UK under the Immigration (EEA) Regulations 2006.

E-LTRP.3.2. When determining whether the financial requirement in paragraph E-LTRP. 3.1. is met only the following sources may be taken into account-

(a) income of the partner from specified employment or self-employment;
(b) income of the applicant from specified employment or self-employment unless they are working illegally;
(c) specified pension income of the applicant and partner;
(d) any specified maternity allowance or bereavement benefit received by the applicant and partner in the UK or any specified payment relating to service in HM Forces received by the applicant or partner;
(e) other specified income of the applicant and partner;
(f) income from the sources at (b), (d) or (e) of a dependent child of the applicant or of the applicant’s partner under paragraph E-LTRP.3.1. who is aged 18 years or over; and(g) specified savings of the applicant, partner and a dependent child of the applicant or of the applicant’s partner under paragraph E-LTRP.3.1. who is aged 18 years or over.

E-LTRP.3.3. The requirements to meet this paragraph are-

(a) the applicant’s partner must be receiving one or more of the following –

(i) disability living allowance;
(ii) severe disablement allowance;
(iii) industrial injury disablement benefit;
(iv) attendance allowance;
(v) carer’s allowance;
(vi) personal independence payment;
(vii) Armed Forces Independence Payment or Guaranteed Income Payment under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme;
(viii) Constant Attendance Allowance, Mobility Supplement or War Disablement Pension under the War Pensions Scheme; or
(ix) Police Injury Pension; and

(b) the applicant must provide evidence that their partner is able to maintain and accommodate themselves, the applicant and any dependants adequately in the UK without recourse to public funds.

E-LTRP.3.4. The applicant must provide evidence that there will be adequate accommodation, without recourse to public funds, for the family, including other family members who are not included in the application but who live in the same household, which the family own or occupy exclusively, unless paragraph EX.1. applies: accommodation will not be regarded as adequate if-

(a) it is, or will be, overcrowded; or
(b) it contravenes public health regulations.

English language requirement

E-LTRP.4.1. If the applicant has not met the requirement in a previous application for entry clearance or leave to remain as a partner or parent, the applicant must provide specified evidence that they-

(a) are a national of a majority English speaking country listed in paragraph GEN.1.6.;
(b) have passed an English language test in speaking and listening at a minimum of level A1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages with a provider approved by the Secretary of State;
(c) have an academic qualification which is either a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree or PhD awarded by an educational establishment in the UK; or, if awarded by an educational establishment outside the UK, is deemed by UK NARIC to meet or exceed the recognised standard of a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree or PhD in the UK, and UK NARIC has confirmed that the degree was taught or researched in English to level A1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages or above; or
(d) are exempt from the English language requirement under paragraph E-LTRP.4.2.; unless paragraph EX.1. applies.

E-LTRP.4.1A. Where the applicant:

(i) in a previous application for entry clearance or leave to remain as a partner or parent, met the English language requirement in paragraph E-ECP.4.1.(b), E-LTRP.4.1.(b), E-ECPT.4.1.(b) or E-LTRPT.5.1.(b) on the basis that they had passed an English language test in speaking and listening at level A1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages;
(ii) was granted entry clearance or leave to remain as a partner or parent; and
(iii) now seeks further leave to remain as a partner after 30 months in the UK with leave as a partner; then, the applicant must provide specified evidence that they:

(a) are a national of a majority English speaking country listed in paragraph GEN.1.6.;
(b) have passed an English language test in speaking and listening at a minimum of level A2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages with a provider approved by the Secretary of State;
(c) have an academic qualification which is either a Bachelor‟s or Master‟s degree or PhD awarded by an educational establishment in the UK; or, if awarded by an educational establishment outside the UK, is deemed by UK NARIC to meet or exceed the recognised standard of a Bachelor‟s or Master‟s degree or PhD in the UK, and UK NARIC has confirmed that the degree was taught or researched in English to level A2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages or above; or
(d) are exempt from the English language requirement under paragraph E-LTRP.4.2.

E-LTRP.4.2. The applicant is exempt from the English language requirement in paragraph E-LTRP.4.1. or E-LTRP.4.1A. if at the date of application-

(a) the applicant is aged 65 or over;
(b) the applicant has a disability (physical or mental condition) which prevents the applicant from meeting the requirement; or
(c) there are exceptional circumstances which prevent the applicant from being able to meet the requirement.

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Related: UK Spouse Settlement Visa- Requirements for Leave to EnterExtension of Stay as the Spouse or Civil Partner, SET M Guidance Notes 2017, Financial RequirementsAdequate Maintenance and AccommodationSET (M) Application Form and Immigration Rules Part 8: Family Members

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