Indefinite Leave to Remain for UK spouses
Immigration lawyers for spouse visas are often told by those who are in the UK on a spouse visa that however happy the marriage they never feel one hundred percent settled in the UK until they have ‘long term’ status. Depending on your preferences and eligibility that can be leave to remain in the UK, Indefinite Leave to Remain or ultimately an application for British nationality.
UK Indefinite Leave to Remain and UK spouse solicitors
If you are in the UK on a spouse visa and want help with applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain call the spouse visa lawyers at London based OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 and speak to one of our experienced spouse visa indefinite leave to remain solicitors or complete our online enquiry form.
If you are the husband, wife, civil partner or partner of either a UK citizen or a person who is classed under Home Office Immigration Rules as a ‘settled person’, you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK once you have been in the UK for five years.
Timing your spouse to Indefinite Leave to Remain application
It is understandable if you are anxious about your Indefinite Leave to Remain application but it may help you to understand the timing of your application:
If you are applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain after entering the UK on a spouse visa then although you have to be in the UK for five years to apply for ILR the Immigration Rules say that an ILR application can be made up to twenty eight days beforehand , so after four years, eleven months;
Indefinite Leave to Remain applications can take a few months for the Home Office to process. The important thing is that your ILR application must be submitted before the expiry of your spouse visa or other type of UK entry clearance;
If you do not want to wait for the results of your Indefinite Leave to Remain application you can chose to pay for the Home Office super priority service to fast track your ILR application. The Home Office processing fees are higher but you get a decision within a day or so. That is important if the uncertainty of a pending application for Indefinite Leave to Remain will cause anxiety for you or your family.
spouse visa applicants for Indefinite Leave to Remain - the requirements
It is not enough for a spouse to be in the UK for five years to qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain. Sadly, the Indefinite Leave to Remain application is not just based on time or length of lawful stay in the UK. To be successful on an application to convert from spouse visa to Indefinite Leave to Remain status you must show that:
You are in a genuine and subsisting relationship with your husband, wife, civil partner or partner; and
You meet the financial requirement and have suitable accommodation available to you; and
There are no relevant reasons to refuse your application for Indefinite Leave to Remain under the Home Office general grounds for refusal;
You meet the English language test and the Life in UK requirements.
The list of requirements can seem a bit overwhelming but if it is then it is best to take some legal advice and help on your Indefinite Leave to Remain application. For more information on Indefinite Leave to Remain applications click here.
If you ask spouse visa solicitors what people in the UK on Spouse Visas worry about when applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain status they invariably mention concern about meeting the financial requirement. Many people get worried about the paperwork they need to prove that they meet the financial requirement whereas others stress about the complexities of their self-employed income. If you have any concerns about meeting the financial requirement it is best to get legal advice from Indefinite Leave to Remain lawyers before you submit your ILR application and before your spouse visa expires.
The Home Office financial requirement in spouse Indefinite Leave to Remain is:
Household income has to be a minimum of £18,600 a year provided that it is just you and your husband or wife or civil partner in the household;
If you have dependant non-British children then you need an additional £3,800 of income per year for the first non-British child (so a total income minimum of £22,400 per year) and an additional £2,400 for each additional child (so a total income minimum of £24,800 if you have two dependent children).
Income does not have to be salary to meet the Home Office financial requirement. You can also rely on:
Income from self-Employment of either yourself or your spouse or partner; and
Income from property or investment portfolios; and
Cash savings over £16,000 provided that you or your spouse have had the cash for at least six months. The cash does not have to be in sterling. It is possible to get around the six month rule if you can evidence the fact that you had an asset but you sold it to raise the cash. Don’t forget as well as needing income or cash you need to show that you have adequate (purchased or rented) housing for yourself and your family; and
Income from a pension in your name or your spouse (this can be a state, occupation or private pension scheme); and
Some types of allowances.
The way that the Home Office looks at savings on an Indefinite Leave to Remain application is different to how it assesses the relevance of savings on a spouse visa application. Therefore if you have done your calculations using the spouse visa savings criteria they may be wrong and you might meet the Indefinite Leave to Remain financial requirement.
If you are in any doubt about meeting the Indefinite Leave to Remain financial requirement and how to evidence it then it is prudent to take legal advice to ensure the best outcome for your Indefinite Leave to Remain application. If you think it is too early to take legal advice then think again. That is because many people need to plan their finances or spend time on their financial paperwork. That is why it pays to get the legal advice you need early on so your application for Indefinite Leave to Remain isn’t refused on financial grounds.
Indefinite Leave to Remain: how can OTS Solicitors help?
If you are in the UK on a spouse visa and would like help with an application for Indefinite Leave to Remain or have questions about your settlement options then call our specialist spouse visa and Indefinite Leave to Remain solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or complete our online enquiry form.
OTS Solicitors are experts in Immigration law and have substantial experience in applications for Indefinite Leave to Remain. London based OTS Solicitors are Legal 500 and Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession recommended immigration lawyers and have Law Society accredited solicitor’s status as trusted specialists in Immigration law.
For advice on any aspect of Indefinite Leave to Remain or securing UK settlement after a spouse visa call us on 0203 959 9123 to speak to one of our experienced London Indefinite Leave to Remain solicitors who will be happy to help.