Spouse Visa ILR Requirements: Set (M) guidance notes 2019

Requirements for ILR as a Spouse- Set M GuidanceThis 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 explains the details of ILR settlement statistics from 2008 to 2017 on the basis of marriage.

Applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain as a Spouse

It is mandatory to use Application Form SET(M) for applying ILR as the Partner of a Person Present and Settled under 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 the period of 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.

A person who is eligible to apply for settlement (indefinite leave to remain) on a 5-year route, in an application made from 9 July 2012, should apply for indefinite leave to remain no more than 28 days before their extant leave expires or no more than 28 days before they have completed at least 60 months in the UK with such leave

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.

Spouse Visa ILR Grant

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

Grant of a Limited Leave to Remain instead of 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 to Remain as a Partner under 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.

Spouse or Civil Partner can reapply for an 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.

Limited Leave to Remain for the Dependant Child

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.

Refusal of spouse visa ILR application

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.

Statistics: spouse visa ILR grants on the basis of marriage

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.

ILR settlement grants to spouses on the basis of marriage

ILR settlement grants to spouses on the basis of marriage

A significant decrease in ILR on the basis of marriage

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 ILR success and refusal rate was 95.03% and 5.19%, respectively. However, it has oscillated within a narrow band during the period. Accordingly, in 2013 the UK settlement visa success rate was the highest (96.94%) and lowest (91.89%) in 2016. Afterwards, in 2017 the UK settlement visa success rate has slightly improved to reach a level of 94.65%, Certainly, this increase in settlement success rate is good news for the prospective applicants.

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

Spouse visa ILR grants to wives on the basis of marriage

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:

  1. Husband a British citizen –180,960 ILR Grants
  2. Husband already settled here but not British – 15,499 ILR Grants
  3. Granted settlement due to domestic violence after leave to remain granted as a spouse –7,582 ILR Grants
  4. Common-law husband –5,012 ILR Grants
  5. Spouses granted settlement on arrival – 3,317 ILR Grants
  6. Civil Partner a British citizen – 979 ILR Grants
  7. Granted settlement due to death of a spouse after leave to remain granted as a spouse – 581 ILR Grants
  8. Same-sex partner – 212 ILR Grants
  9. Other spouses – 2,643 Grants
  10. Civil Partner already settled here but not British – 101 ILR Grants
ILR settlement grants to wives on the basis of marriage

ILR settlement grants to wives on the basis of marriage

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

Spouse visa ILR grants to husbands on the basis of marriage

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:

  1. Wife a British citizen – 98,852 ILR Grants
  2. Wife already settled here but not British – 6,919 ILR Grants
  3. Civil Partner a British citizen – 3,458 ILR Grants
  4. Common-law wife – 2,251 ILR Grants
  5. Spouses granted settlement on arrival – 1,351 ILR Grants
  6. Granted settlement due to domestic violence after leave to remain granted as a spouse – 652 ILR Grants
  7. Same-sex partner – 639 ILR Grants
  8. Granted settlement due to death of a spouse after leave to remain granted as a spouse – 153 ILR Grants
  9. Civil Partner already settled here but not British – 250 ILR Grants
  10. Other spouses – 121 Grants
ILR settlement grants to husbands on the basis of marriage

ILR settlement grants to husbands on the basis of marriage

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.

ILR grants to husbands on the basis of marriage

ILR grants to husbands on the basis of marriage

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