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. And also provides the details of UK spouse visa ILR statistics from 2008 to 2017.

Spouse Visa ILR Requirements and Set (M) guidance notes

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

How to count the 5-year period for UK Spouse Visa ILR?

In fact, the 5-Year period for a UK spouse visa ILR application starts from the date on which an applicant:

  • entered the UK as a Spouse or Civil Partner or
  • first got leave to remain as a Spouse, Civil, Unmarried or Same-Sex Partner. For instance, if an applicant enter as a fiancé then the 5-year ILR period counts from the date on which an applicant got the first leave to remain as a spouse or partner under Appendix FM

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

SET(M) Requirements for UK Spouse Visa ILR

Indeed, 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, settled person, or person with refugee leave or humanitarian protection are set out in Section R-ILRP1.1 of Appendix FM. Accordingly, the applicant:

  • and his/her partner need to in the UK for making a valid ILR application
  • must not fall for refusal under any of the suitability grounds in Section S-ILR: Suitability for ILR
  • needs to meet all of the requirements of Section E-ILRP: Eligibility for ILR as a partner
  • needs to meet all the eligibility requirements for leave to remain under E-LTRP.1.2.-1.12. and ELTRP.2.1, if  paragraph EX.1. is applicable

Thereofre, if an applicant meets the requirements of R-ILRP.1.1 then gets indefinite leave to remain as a spouse under D-ILRP.1.1.

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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.

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

If 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 adds to the period of leave under paragraph D-LTRP.1.2. or DILRP.1.2. However, an applicant with extant leave may get a period of leave slightly in excess of 30 months.

Reapplying for Spouse Visa ILR after a Limited Leave

If the applicant has already completed 60 or 120 months in the UK with limited leave as a partner; however, for any reason has not meet the requirements for indefinite leave to remain, then will be eligible to make a further charged ILR application at any time within the 30 month period of leave granted under paragraph D-LTRP.1.2. or D-ILRP.1.2. Accordingly, an applicant does not need to wait until the expiry of the limited leave. Nevertheless, if an applicant does not become eligible for an ILR then should make the next application within 28-days before the expiry of the limited leave.

ILR for Dependant Child

If a partner gets a leave to remain under 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 the requirements the gets a leave to remain under paragraph D-LTRC.1.1.

UK Spouse Visa ILR Refusal

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.

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UK Spouse Visa ILR Statistics and Success Rate 2008-17

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%.

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 Visa ILR as a Wife

During the 2008-17, a total of 216,886 wives get spouse visa ILR grants on the basis of marriage. Indeed, a bulk of (84.6%) of the UK spouse visa ILR grants made 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.

Spouse Visa ILR for Wives of Grants
Husband a British citizen 180,960
Husband already settled in the UK but not British 15,499
Granted settlement due to domestic violence after leave to remain granted as a spouse 7,582
Common-law husband 5,012
Spouses granted settlement on arrival 3,317
Civil Partner a British citizen 979
a deceased husband after leave to remain granted as a wife 581
Same-sex partner 212
Other spouses 2,643
Civil Partner already settled here but not British 101

Spouse Visa ILR as an Husband

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

Spouse Visa ILR for Husbands of Grants
Wife a British citizen 98,852
Wife already settled in the UK but not British 6,919
Civil Partner a British citizen 3,458
Common-law wife 2,251
Spouses granted settlement on arrival 1,351
Granted settlement due to domestic violence after leave to remain granted as a spouse 652
Same-sex partner 639
a deceased wife after leave to remain granted as a husband 153
Civil Partner already settled here but not British 250
Other spouses 121

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