This relates to bereaved partner ILR in the UK for spouse and a civil partner under the family route as per Appendix FM of Immigration Rules. Accordingly explains the eligibility and suitability requirements for the grant of indefinite leave to remain as a bereaved partner. And also the refusal reasons. Apparently, these rules are not applicable to a spouse or civil partner, whose partner:
- was not a British citizen or a person settled in the UK
- had limited leave as a migrant under the Points Based System
- was their fiancé or fiancée or proposed civil partner
- was a European Economic Area national exercising Treaty rights in the UK
Requirements for Indefinite Leave to Remain as a Bereaved Partner
In terms of Section BPILR.1.1. of Appendix FM, the requirement for applying ILR as a bereaved partner the applicant needs to make a valid application from inside the UK. And also the bereaved partner must fulfil the eligibility and suitability requirement under Section E-BPILR and S-ILR of Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules.
In terms of Section BPILR of Appendix FM if a partner of a British citizen or a person settled in the UK is bereaved during the probationary period then can apply for an ILR in the UK. Moreover, The paragraphs E-BPILR.1.2.to 1.4. of the Appendix FM elucidates the eligibility requirements for ILR as a bereaved partner. Therefore, it is critical that the relationship of the applicant with the deceased partner was subsisting and both intended to live together permanently in the UK at the time of the death of the applicant’s partner.
In order to get an ILR as a bereaved spouse or civil partner, an applicant needs to meet all the suitability requirements as per paragraphs S-ILR.1.2. to 3.1 of Appendix FM. However, if an applicant meets all the suitability requirements except for S-ILR 1.5 and 1.6 relating to criminality then the applicant may get a limited leave to remain in the UK instead of an ILR. Furthermore, the paragraph S-ILR.1.5. relates to imprisonment for less than 12 months. And paragraph S-ILR 1.6 relates to a non-custodial sentence or other out of court disposal that is recorded on their criminal record within the 24 months prior to the application date.
Partner’s Death Certificate for Bereaved Partner ILR
In most cases, if an applicant fulfils the suitability and eligibility requirements then may get ILR as a bereaved partner of a British citizen or a person settled in the UK on sight of the partner’s death certificate and without further enquiry.
Death of a Partner
Certainly, in order to qualify for ILR as a bereaved partner, the person who was the applicant’s partner at the time of last grant of limited leave as a partner must have died. Therefore, an applicant needs to demonstrate that his/her partner has died and an applicant, therefore, needs to meet the requirement of paragraph E-BPILR.1.3. of Appendix FM.
It is not usually appropriate to make detailed enquiries
Moreover, the Home Office does not usually deem appropriate to make detailed enquiries unless there are doubts about the subsistence of the marriage, civil partnership or relationship. Since the bereaved applicant is in some distress, therefore, the Home Office observes care and tact whilst making any necessary enquiries.
The Burden of Proof
However, the application may refuse if there are doubts during the initial period of leave to remain or even since such allegations made about the genuine and subsisting nature of the relationship. However, the burden of proof on the Secretary of State is quite high as the applicant is not in a position to prove the subsistence of the relationship.
Timeliness of Bereaved Partner ILR Applications
The immigration rules relating to ILR for bereaved partners are to benefit only those applicants whose partner has died at any point during the qualifying period of limited leave as a partner and who make their application whilst they still have entry clearance or leave to remain as a partner in the UK. Moreover, the rules are also applicable in such cases where the applicant’s partner dies after an application for an ILR has been submitted but before a decision has been reached.
An applicant for ILR as a bereaved partner does not need to comply with the requirement relating to “overstay” in the UK. However, the circumstances of any period of overstaying relate to a period of bereavement and where compassionate considerations, therefore, apply.
Grant of Indefinite Leave to remain to a Bereaved Partner
If the applicant meets all of the requirements for indefinite leave to remain as a bereaved partner under paragraph BPILR.1.1. then the applicant is likely to get an ILR under paragraph D-BPILR.1.1 of Appendix FM.
Settlement Grants Due to Death of Spouse 2006-17
During 2006-2017 a total of 902 settlement grants under the family route due to death of a spouse after leave to remain granted as a spouse or civil, unmarried, same-sex partners. 188 Husbands and 714 Wives granted settlement due to the death of a spouse after leave to remain granted as a spouse with the following yearly breakup:
|Year||Bereaved Partner ILR grants to Husbands||Bereaved Partner ILR grants to Wives||Total Grants|
Grant of limited leave to remain to a Bereaved Partner
If the applicant does not meet the requirements for ILR as a bereaved partner only because of paragraph S-ILR.1.5. or S-ILR.1.6. then the applicant usually gets a further limited leave to remain for a period not exceeding 30 months under paragraph D-BPILR.1.2. and subject to a condition of no recourse to public funds.
Further ILR application within 30 months
If an applicant gets a limited leave to remain under paragraph D-BPILR.1.2. of Appendix FM then the applicant will be eligible to make a further charged application for ILR at any time within the 30-month period if he/she is able to meet the requirements of paragraph S-ILR.1.5. or S-ILR.1.6. Otherwise, the bereaved partner needs to make the next application no more than 28 days before their extant leave is due to expire.
What if a bereaved partner may prefer to return?
Perhaps, in some instances, a bereaved partner may not wish to settle in the UK but may prefer to return to his/her country of origin. Accordingly, in such situations, an applicant may get a further leave to remain for 6 months, which is mostly subjected to the same conditions as their last grant of limited leave so as to give the bereaved partner time to sort out his/her affairs.
Refusal of ILR as a Bereaved Partner
Under paragraph D-BPILR.1.3., if the applicant does not meet the requirements for indefinite leave to remain or further leave to remain as a bereaved partner under D-BPILR.1.2., their application will be refused. Certainly, a refusal letter provides for an administrative review. However, there is no right of appeal for bereaved partner ILR application.
Bereaved Partner ILR Refusal Reasons
Usually, the bereaved partner ILR application refuses due to the following reasons:
- deportation order
- presence of the applicant is not conducive to the public good because of imprisonment for at least 4 years
- conduct, character and associations or other reasons
- failure to pay an outstanding charge to the National Health Service (NHS) with a total value of at least £500
- lack of maintenance and accommodation undertaking from a sponsor under paragraph 35 of the Immigration Rules or otherwise
- the last grant of leave was not as a partner or a bereaved partner of a British citizen or a person settled in the UK
- last valid leave to remain in the United Kingdom was as a fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner
- the death of a partner
- not a genuine and subsisting relationship
- doubtful intentions to live together permanently in the UK
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