You can apply for ILR as a spouse using SET (M) application form online once you have completed 5 years in the UK with spouse visa under 5 years route. The application will be considered by the Home Office UKVI in accordance with requirements of the Immigration Rules as set out in Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules

Our expert team of spouse visa solicitors in LondonManchester and Birmingham specialise in spouse visa ILR applications under 5 years route. We have successfully helped thousands of clients with their spouse visa ILR applications under 5 years route. Our highly experienced spouse visa solicitors can provide fast, friendly, reliable and fixed fee immigration services concerning your spouse visa ILR application. Ask a question to our spouse visa solicitors for free immigration advice or book an appointment for detailed legal advice concerning your ILR application as a spouse.

Eligibility Requirements For ILR As A Spouse Under 5 Years Route?

The application will be considered in accordance with requirements of the Immigration Rules as set out in Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules.

For the applicant to succeed in the ILR application as a spouse under the 5 years route, the applicant must:

  • meet the suitability criteria as set out in Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules;
  • show that he/she has been living with the UK spouse during the last grant of leave as spouse and the relationship of the applicant is genuine and subsisting;
  • demonstrate that the applicant and the UK sponsor intend to live together permanently;
  • meet the financial requirement of earning £18,600 gross per year (or above if there are non-British / non-settled children), individually or jointly unless an exemption from meeting the financial requirement of £18,600 applies in which case the applicant should meet the adequate maintenance requirement;
  • meet the requirement of adequate accommodation to be accommodated in the UK without any recourse to public funds;
  • prove that the applicant meets the English language proficiency at CEFR level B1 in listening and speaking only;
  • prove that the applicant meets the Life in the UK test requirement.

Application Process For ILR As A Spouse

You can apply for ILR when you have completed 5 years in the UK under the Spouse Visa (5 Years Route). According to Home Office UKVI Guidance, an application for ILR as a spouse can be made within 28 days before completion of 5 years residence in the UK under 5 years route.

You can apply for ILR as a spouse online using SET (M) form. Upon submission of the online application, the Home Office UKVI fees are paid online and then an appointment for verification of documents and enrolment of biometrics is made online on UKVCAS online portal. All the supporting documents must be uploaded online before biometrics enrolment appointment is attended at the UKVCAS application centre. At the appointment cetnre, the supporting documents uploaded online are verified by the UKVCAS staff and biometrics of the applicant are enrolled.

An applicant for ILR as a spouse under 5 years route receives decision from the UKVI within the service standards of the UKVI for processing of the application. Applicants who apply for ILR using Super Priority Service receive the decision normally within 24 hours and the applicants who have used standard service receive decision normally within 3 to 6 months.

What Is Financial Requirement For ILR As A Spouse?

Meeting the financial requirement is one of the key requirements for ILR as a spouse under 5 years route.

Calculating The Financial Requirement

The applicant must provide evidence that the UK sponsor's gross annual income is at least equivalent to the income as given in the table below:

Applicant Income Required
Applicant applying with no children £18,600 gross per annum
Applicant applying with 1 non-settled / non-British child £22,400 gross per annum
Applicant applying with 2 non-settled / non-British children £24,800 gross per annum
Applicant applying with 3 non-settled / non-British children £27,200 gross per annum
Applicant applying with 4 non-settled / non-British children £29,600 gross per annum
Applicant applying with 5 non-settled / non-British children £32,00 gross per annum

The higher financial requirement for applicants applying with child(ren) will apply until the applicant qualifies for settlement, even if the child turns 18 before then. However, the 18+ year old’s income and savings will be permitted to count towards the financial requirement.

When Does Financial Requirement Does Not Apply To A Child?

The financial requirement does not apply to a child who:

  • Is a British Citizen (including an adopted child who acquires British citizenship);
  • Is settled in the UK (holds ILR in the UK) or who qualifies for indefinite leave to enter (ILE); or
  • Qualifies under Part 8 or Appendix Armed Forces of the Immigration Rules in a category to which the financial requirement does not apply.

Meeting The Financial Requirement For ILR As A Spouse (5 Years Route)

According to Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules, the applicant must meet:

  • the level of the financial requirement applicable to their application; and
  • the requirements specified as to:
    (a) the permitted sources of income/savings; and
    (b) the time periods and permitted combinations of sources applicable to each permitted source relied upon; and
    (c) the evidence required for each permitted source relied upon.

Income and cash savings must be in the name of the applicant, their partner or jointly. However, income and cash savings of a dependent child of the applicant can also be included once the child has turned 18 years of age.

All employment or self-employment income must come from working legally. All income and savings must be lawfully derived.

What Are The Various Sources Of Meeting The Financial Requirement?

Where the applicant has to meet the minimum income threshold, the financial requirement can generally be met in the following five ways:

  • Income from salaried or non-salaried employment of the partner (and/or the applicant if they are in the UK with permission to work). This is referred to as Category A or Category B, depending on the employment history.
  • Non-employment income, e.g. income from property rental or dividends from shares. This is referred to as Category C.
  • Cash savings of the applicant’s partner and/or the applicant, above £16,000, held by the partner and/or the applicant for at least 6 months and under their control. This is referred to as Category D.
  • State (UK or foreign), occupational or private pension of the applicant’s partner and/or the applicant. This is referred to as Category E.
  • Income from self-employment, and income as a director or employee of a specified limited company in the UK, of the partner (and/or the applicant if they are in the UK with permission to work). This is referred to as Category F or Category G, depending on which financial year(s) is or are being relied upon.

Evidence Flexibility For Financial Requirement

The evidential flexibility is set out in paragraph D of Appendix FM-SE. Under Appendix FM-SE there is discretion for decision-makers to defer an application pending submission of missing evidence or the correct version of it, within a reasonable deadline set for this. Decision-makers will not have to defer where they do not think that correcting the error or omission will lead to a grant.

Decision-makers are also able to grant an application despite minor evidential problems (but not where specified evidence is missing entirely). There is also discretion for decision-makers where evidence cannot be supplied because it is not issued in a particular country or has been permanently lost. Decision-makers have general discretion to request additional information or evidence before making a decision.

Exemption From Financial Requirement For ILR As A Spouse Under 5 Years Route (Adequate Maintenance)

Where the applicant’s partner is in receipt of any of the following benefits or allowances in the UK, the applicant will be able to meet the financial requirement at that application stage by providing evidence of adequate maintenance rather than meeting an income threshold of £18,600 or above:

  • Carer’s Allowance.
  • Disability Living Allowance.
  • Severe Disablement Allowance.
  • Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit.
  • Attendance Allowance.
  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment or Guaranteed Income Payment under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme.
  • Constant Attendance Allowance, Mobility Supplement or War Disablement Pension under the War Pensions Scheme.
  • Police Injury Pension.

If the applicant’s partner is in receipt of one of the above benefits or allowances on behalf of their child, the applicant will be able to qualify by meeting the financial requirement through “adequate maintenance”. The evidence required to demonstrate that the applicant’s partner is in receipt of a specified benefit or allowance is specified in Appendix FM-SE.

English Language Requirement For ILR As A Spouse Under 5 Years Route

The applicant must provide specified evidence that he/she:

  1. is a national of a majority English speaking country; or
  2. has passed an English language test in speaking and listening at a minimum of level B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) for Languages with a provider approved by the Home Office, UKVI; or
  3. has an academic qualification recognised by UK NARIC to be equivalent to the standard of a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree or PhD in the UK, which was taught in English; or
  4. is exempt from the English language requirement because at the date of application:
    • the applicant is aged 65 or over;
    • the applicant has a disability (physical or mental condition) which prevents the applicant from meeting the requirement; or
    • there are exceptional circumstances which prevent the applicant from being able to meet the requirement prior to entry to the UK.

Life In The UK Test Requirement For ILR As A Spouse Under 5 Years Route

You will have to pass the Life in the UK test in order to apply for ILR as a spouse unless you are over the age of 65 or you are seeking exemption from this requirement due to medical reasons.

Re-Applying For ILR As A Spouse Under 5 Years Route After The Refusal

If your application for ILR as a spouse under 5 years route has been refused by the Home Office, UKVI and you believe that the decision to refuse your application is valid and lawful and therefore cannot be challenged successfully by way of appeal, you have the option to re-apply for ILR as a spouse within 14 days of your section 3C leave ending. We can provide the required legal help and assistance with re-applying for ILR as a spouse under 5 years route through our Super Priority Service.

Super Priority Service (Decision Within 24 Hours) For ILR As A Spouse [SET (M) Application]

As one of the expert immigration solicitors based in London, Manchester and Birmingham, we are registered with the Home Office, UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) and its commercial partners UKVCAS Sopra Steria to provide Super Priority Service (SPS) for your ILR application whereby decision on your ILR application will be made by the Home Office UKVI within 24 hours of the enrolment of biometrics at a designated service centre.

Our specialist spouse visa solicitors can prepare and submit your ILR application to the Home Office, UKVI through Super Priority Service (SPS) and get a decision on your ILR application within 24 hours. This way, you will not have to wait for the decision on your ILR application for months (sometimes years).

How We Can Help With Your ILR As A Spouse Under 5 Years Route?

Our expert team of spouse visa solicitors specialise in ILR spouse visa applications. If instructed to represent you regarding your application for ILR spouse visa under 5 years route, we will carry out all the work on your application until a decision is made by the Home Office UKVI on your ILR application - SET (M) application. The immigration casework to be carried out by our expert team of spouse visa solicitors will include the following:

  • Assessing your eligibility for ILR as a spouse visa under 5 years route by considering all your personal circumstances including assessment of meeting the financial requirement;
  • Advising you on the weaknesses and strengths of your ILR application as a spouse;
  • Advising you on the relevant documents to be submitted in support of your ILR application;
  • Assessing your documents to ensure that the documentary evidence is as per requirements of the Home Office UKVI immigration Rules;
  • Completing and submitting the online application form SET (M) to apply for ILR as a spouse by gathering all the relevant information from you and your spouse;
  • Helping you with paying the spouse visa application fee online;
  • Booking your appointment with the application centre for verification of documents and enrolment of biometrics;
  • Where necessary, preparing detailed witness statement of the applicant and/or the sponsor explaining the background of their relationship and other relevant factors pertaining to the ILR application;
  • Preparing a detailed cover letter to introduce and support your ILR application;
  • Uploading online all the relevant supporting documents before you attend your appointment for enrolment of your biometrics;
  • Liaising with the Home Office UKVI for a timely decision on your ILR application.

Our Fixed Fee For ILR As A Spouse Under 5 Years Route

Unless your matter is complicated, our fees for ILR as a spouse under 5 years route are as given in the fee table below: 

Our Service Our Fee
Complete help with ILR as a spouse to  cover all the work until decision by the Home Office UKVI From £800 + VAT To £1,500 + VAT

The agreed fixed fee will depend on the complexity of your ILR application and the volume of casework involved in the application. In addition to our fixed fee for ILR as a spouse, the applicant will also have to pay the Home office UKVI fees for the ILR application.

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