Requirements for ILR as a Spouse- Set M Guidance

This guidance relates to UK spouse visa ILR requirements under 5-year route for the spouse, civil, unmarried and same-sex partner of a person present and settled in the UK. And also provides the details of spouse visa ILR statistics from 2008 to 2017.

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Spouse Visa ILR Requirements and Set (M) guidance notes: FAQs

Who can apply for ILR on SET(M) Form?

Quite clearly, the SET(M) Form is for applying ILR as the partner of a person present and settled. Accordingly, SET(M) Form is only those ILR applicants who have a thirty (30) months limited leave to remain as a partner. And cumulatively have completed at least sixty (60) months (5-Years) as partners under Appendix FM.

When the 5-year period starts for spouse visa ILR?

In fact, the 5-Year period for a spouse visa ILR application starts from:
– the date on which an applicant entered the UK as a Spouse or Civil Partner; or
– the date on which an applicant first got leave to remain in the UK as a Spouse or Civil Partner. For instance, if an applicant did not enter the UK on a spouse visa but on a fiancé visa then the 5-year ILR period counts from the date on which an applicant got the leave to remain as a partner under Appendix FM

When a spouse can apply for ILR visa application?

Perhaps, a spouse can apply for ILR visa application on SET(M) Form no more than 28 days before the extant leave expires or no more than 28 days before completing at least 60 months in the UK.

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What are the SET(M) requirements for spouse visa ILR?

The requirements to be met by an applicant for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) as the spouse, civil, unmarried or same-sex partner of a British citizen, a person settled in the UK, or a person in the UK with refugee leave or humanitarian protection are set out in Section R-ILRP of Appendix FM, Immigration Rules.

The requirements to be met for indefinite leave to remain as a partner set out in Section R-ILRP.1.1. Accordingly, the applicant and his/her partner need to in the UK for making a valid application for indefinite leave to remain as a partner. Certainly, the applicant must not fall for refusal under any of the suitability grounds in Section S-ILR: Suitability for ILR and needs to meet all of the requirements of Section E-ILRP: Eligibility for ILR as a partner. Moreover, an applicant needs to meet all the eligibility requirements for leave to remain in the UK under Section E-LTRP or paragraphs E-LTRP.1.2.-1.12. and ELTRP.2.1. where paragraph EX.1. is applicable.

So, how to get an ILR as spouse under Appendix FM?

Where an applicant meets the requirements of R-ILRP.1.1., they will be granted indefinite leave to remain under D-ILRP.1.1.

When an applicant gets a limited leave instead of an ILR?

If an applicant fails to meet all of the spouse visa ILR requirements due to either suitability under paragraph S-ILR.1.5. or S-ILR.1.6. applies or inability to demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the English language and life in the UK requirement in accordance with Appendix KoLL under paragraph D-ILRP.1.2. then the spouse, a civil, unmarried, same-sex partner is only granted a further limited leave to remain as a partner for a period not exceeding 30 months. Moreover, the limited leave to remain is subject to a condition of no recourse to public funds. And also the applicant needs to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge under the Immigration (Health Charge) Order 2014.

When an applicant gets a limited leave under the 10-year route?

Under paragraph D-ILRP.1.3., if the applicant meets the requirements for leave to remain as a partner under the 10-year route, they will be granted leave to remain for a period not exceeding 30 months as a partner under paragraph D-LTRP.1.2. of Appendix FM. Moreover, under paragraph GEN.1.11A, this grant of limited leave will normally be subject to a condition of no recourse to public funds, unless the applicant has provided the decision maker with satisfactory evidence that they are destitute, or satisfactory evidence that there are particularly compelling reasons relating to the welfare of a child of a parent in receipt of a very low income.

Extant of Leave up to a max 28 days

Where an applicant has extant leave as a partner under Appendix FM at the date of application, any period of extant leave, up to a maximum of 28 days, will be added to the period of leave that they are being granted under paragraph D-LTRP.1.2. or DILRP.1.2. An applicant with extant leave in this scenario may get a period of leave slightly in excess of 30 months.

When can an applicant reapply for spouse visa ILR?

If the applicant has already completed 60 or 120 months in the UK with limited leave as a partner, they should be informed that should the reason they do not meet the requirements for indefinite leave to remain be overcome, they will be eligible to make a further charged application for indefinite leave to remain at any time within the 30 month period of leave granted under paragraph D-LTRP.1.2. or D-ILRP.1.2. They do not need to wait until their leave expires if they become able to meet all the requirements. If not, they should make their next application no more than 28 days before their leave is due to expire, or within 28 days of completing the period of leave in the UK required for them to be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain.

When a dependant child gets a limited leave to remain?

Where a partner gets a leave to remain on the basis of paragraph DLTRP.1.2. or D-ILRP.1.2., then the decision maker also likely to consider any dependent child included in the application under paragraph R-LTRC.1.1 of Appendix FM. If the child meets those requirements, they should be granted leave to remain under paragraph D-LTRC.1.1. of the same duration and subject to the same conditions in respect of recourse to public funds as their parent who is, or has been, granted leave under the partner rules of Appendix FM.

When a spouse visa ILR application is refused?

If a spouse, civil, unmarried or same-sex partner does not meet the requirements for ILR (settlement) under paragraph D-ILRP.1.1., or for further leave to remain under D-ILRP.1.2. or DILRP.1.3., and there are no exceptional circumstances then the Home Office is quite likely to refuse the ILR application.

How many applicants get spouse visa ILR?

According to the Official Statistics during 2008-17, a total of 331,532 settlements (ILR) granted on the basis of marriage to 114,646 husbands and 216,886 wives under the family route. Perhaps, during the 2008-17 period, the spouse visa ILR grants on the basis of marriage were highest in 2009 (55,600). And the average for 2008-17 is 33,153 per year. However, after, there has been a significant decrease in the spouse visa ILR settlement grants on the basis of marriage. Therefore, during 2008-18, settlement grants experienced an overall declining trend and touching the lowest ebb (4,280) in 2017. Accordingly, the share of spouse settlement grants in the total ILR grants has decreased from 32.64% to only 6.57%. 

What is the UK spouse visa ILR success and refusal rate?

During the 2008-17 period, the average UK spouse visa ILR success and refusal rate was 95.03% and 5.19%, respectively. Perhaps, during the period, the spouse visa ILR success rate has oscillated within a narrow band during the period. Accordingly, in 2013 the UK spouse visa ILR success rate was the highest (96.94%) and lowest (91.89%) in 2016. However, in 2017 the UK spouse visa ILR success rate has slightly improved to reach a level of 94.65%.

Moreover, the average ILR refusal rate for the 2008-17 period is 5.23%. Although in 2016 the ILR refusal rate shot to 8.11%; however, subsequently in 2017 came down to 5.35%, which is slightly higher than the period average of 5.23%.

spouse ILR settlement success and refusal rate
ILR grants to spouses on the basis of marriage

How many applicants get an ILR as wives?

During the 2008-17 period, a total of 216,886 wives get spouse visa ILR grants on the basis of marriage in the following ten categories:

SNO Spouse visa ILR for wives ofGrants
1Husband a British citizen180,960
2Husband already settled in the UK but not British15,499
3Granted settlement due to domestic violence
after leave to remain granted as a spouse
7,582
4Common-law husband5,012
5Spouses granted settlement on arrival3,317
6Civil Partner a British citizen979
7a deceased husband after leave to remain
granted as a wife
581
8Same-sex partner 212
9Other spouses 2,643
10Civil Partner already settled here but not British101

Apparently, a bulk of (84.6%) of the total spouse visa ILR grants to wives on the basis of marriage were granted to wives of British Citizens. However, the decreasing trend in the grants of ILR to wives was experienced in nearly all major and minor sub-categories, except for domestic violence and bereaved partner visa category. Perhaps, the most notable decrease recorded in the same-sex partner category. As the number of grants nosedived from 53 in 2008 to merely 1 in 2017.

ILR grants to wives on the basis of marriage
ILR grants to wives on the basis of marriage

How many applicants get spouse visa ILR as husbands?

During the 2008-17 period, a total of 114,646 husbands get spouse visa ILR on the basis of marriage in the following ten categories:

SNoSpouse visa ILR for husbands ofGrants
1Wife a British citizen98,852
2Wife already settled in the UK but not British6,919
3Civil Partner a British citizen3,458
4Common-law wife2,251
5Spouses granted settlement on arrival1,351
6Granted settlement due to domestic violence
after leave to remain granted as a spouse
652
7Same-sex partner639
8a deceased wife after leave to remain
granted as a husband
153
9Civil Partner already settled here but not British250
10Other spouses121

Apparently, a bulk of (86.2%) of the total spouse visa ILR grants to husbands on the basis of marriage were granted to husbands of British Citizens. However, the decreasing trend in the grants of ILR to husbands was experienced in nearly all major and minor sub-categories, except for domestic violence and bereaved partner visa category. Perhaps, the most notable decrease is in the same-sex partner category. As the number of grants nosedived from 212 in 2008 to merely 3 in 2017.

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  5. Set DV Modernised Guidance for UK spouse visa domestic violence!
  6. Bereaved Partner ILR requirements during the probationary period
  7. UK Settlement Visa Processing Time 2019 | Spouse Visa Timelines!

Country-specific details:

Moreover, to know the country-specific details of UK visa and immigration applications please refer to Egypt, Ghana, India, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, UAE and the USA.