You can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) using SET (M) application form online once you have completed 5 years of your residence in the UK with leave to remain under spouse visa category (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.

You can contact our expert team of spouse visa solicitors in London, Manchester or Birmingham for fast, friendly, reliable and affordable legal services for your Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) as a spouse of a person present and settled in the UK. The high quality of our service is self-evident from the reviews of our clients about the excellent legal services provided by our spouse visa solicitors. As expert spouse visa solicitors, we can provide super prioirty service for your SET (M) application to be decided within 24 hours.

Contents Table

Ask A Question For Free Advice
When Can I Apply?
How Can I Apply?
Processing Time
Super Priority Service Decision Within 24 Hours
Eligibility Requirements
Financial Requirement
English Language Requirement
Life In The UK Test Requirement
Divorce & The Effect On Spouse Visa
Challenging Refusal Of ILR As A Spouse
Re-Applying For ILR After The Refusal
How We Can Help?
How Much We Charge?

Free Advice Online For ILR As A Spouse Under 5 Years Route

Ask a question to our expert immigration solicitors for free advice online for ILR as a spouse under 5 years route by completing our enquiry form and one of our spouse visa experts will answer your question as soon as possible.

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

As the expert spouse visa solicitors based in London & Manchester, 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 application whereby decision on your application will be made by the Home Office UKVI within 24 hours of enrolment of your biometrics at a designated service centre.

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

When Can I Apply For ILR As A Spouse Under 5 Years Route?

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, a 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.

How Can I Apply For ILR As A Spouse 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.

How Long Does It Take To Process My ILR Application?

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 Are The 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 children), individually or jointly;
  • 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.

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 sponsor's gross annual income is at least:

  • Partner with no children – £18,600;
  • 1 child in addition to the partner – £22,400;
  • 2 children in addition to the partner – £24,800;
  • 3 children in addition to the partner – £27,200; and
  • an additional £2,400 for each additional Non-EEA child.

The higher financial requirement for applicants applying with child(ren) will apply until the applicant partner 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 an EEA national (except where the child is a child of a former relationship and does not have a right to be admitted to or reside in the UK under the Immigration
    (EEA) Regulations 2006 or the Immigration (EEA) Regulations 2016);
  • 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.

Divorce & The Effect On Spouse Visa

If by the time you have to apply for ILR as a sposue, your relationship with your British or settled spouse has already broken down, you will no longer be able to apply for ILR as a spouse under 5 years route. You or your UK spouse can file for divorce in the UK if the relationship has broken down irretrievably. If the Home Office UKVI comes to know come about the breaking down of relationship or termination of marriage through divorce, the Home Office UKVI can take steps to curtail your leave to remain in the UK by reducing your leave to remain to expire in 60 days.

Despite your divorce or breaking down of relationship with your British or settled spouse, you may still be able to apply for further leave to remain in the UK in one of the following circumstances:

  1. If you are a parent of a British child, you can apply for leave to remain from inside the UK as a parent of a British child;
  2. If your relationship with your British or settled spouse broke down as a result of domestic violence, you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) as a victim of domestic violence. As a victim of domestic violence, you have the option to apply for non-molestation order or occupation order through family court;
  3. If you are in relationship with a different partner, you may be able to apply for leave to remain as a partner through your new partner.

How To Challenge The Refusal Of ILR As A Spouse?

If your application for ILR as a spouse under 5 years route is refused by the Home Office, UKVI and you believe that the refusal decision is unlawful, you can challenge the refusal of your ILR application by filing an Appeal Against Refusal Of Leave To Remain As Spouse Of A British Citizen Or Settled Person with the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) within 14 days of receiving the refusal letter.

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.

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 and the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) for the application;
  • 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

Our fees for ILR as a spouse under 5 years route are given in the table below: 

Our Service Our Fee
One-off immigration consultation/advice for ILR as a spouse (5 years route) £80 (inclusive of VAT)
One-Off Application Checking Service / Documents Assessment £240 (inclusive of VAT)
Full service for ILR as a spouse to  cover all the work until decision by the Home Office UKVI From £800 + VAT To £2,000 + 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.

Useful Online Resources

FAQs - ILR Spouse Visa (5 Years Route)

How can I apply for ILR as a spouse under 5 years route?

You can apply for ILR as a spouse under 5 years route by completing application form SET (M) online.

When can I apply for ILR as a spouse under 5 years route?

You can apply for ILR as a spouse under 5 year within 28 days before completion of 5 years residence with leave to remain as a spouse under 5 years route.

Can I apply for ILR as a spouse after 2.5 years?

No, you cannot apply for ILR until you have completed 5 years residence in the UK unde 5 years spouse visa route. Prior to 9 July 2012, it was possible to apply for ILR after 2 years residence in the UK on spouse visa but as a result of change in Immigration Rules in 2012 the ILR qualifying period for spouse visa was changed to 5 years under the 5 years route.

How much does spouse visa ILR cost?

The Home Office UKVI fees for ILR as a spouse under 5 years route are as follows:

  • Application fee: £2389
  • Biometrics Enrolment Fee: £19.20
  • Super Priority Service for decision within 24 hours (Optional): £800

In addition to the Home Office UKVI fees for ILR as a spouse under 5 years route, you will also have to pay the solicitors legal costs if you are getting legal help and assistance of a solicitor for ILR as a spouse under 5 years route. Our fixed fees for spouse visa ILR under 5 years route are given in the table below:

Our Service Our Fee
One-off immigration consultation/advice for spouse visa ILR under 5 years route £80 (inclusive of VAT)
One-Off Spouse Visa Application Checking Service / Documents Assessment £240 (inclusive of VAT)
Full service for spouse visa ILR (5 years route) to  cover all the work until decision by the Home Office UKVI From £800 + VAT To £2,000 + VAT

The agreed fixed fee will depend on the complexity of the application and the volume of casework involved in the application.

Which English test is required for spouse visa ILR under 5 years route?

You will need to pass the Home Office UKVI approved English test known as IELTS Life Skills at level B1 (listening and speaking only) for your spouse visa ILR under 5 years route.

Is there absences criteria for ILR as a spouse under 5 years route?

Under the UK immigration Rules, there is no specific provisions with regards to absences from the UK whilst on spouse visa. However, as the spouse visa category is a settlement category, it is expected that the applicant has intention to live permanently in the UK with the UK sponsor in order to settle in the UK. Long absences from the UK may raise a question mark on the applicant's intention to live permanently in the UK with the UK sponsor.

The requirement of not being absent for more than 180 days in each year does not apply to spouse visa ILR applications.

What is spouse visa ILR salary requirement?

The immigration rules require that an applicant who is applying for ILR as a spouse with no dependent children should have a combined (applicant's and sponsor's) salaried  income of not less than £18,600 gross per year.

Enquiry Form

Our Services

We provide specialist legal services from our offices in London, Manchester and Birmingham in following areas of law:

 

Sunrise Solicitors is the trading name of Sunrise Solicitors Ltd (company registration no. 6405492). Sunrise Solicitors Offices are regulated by SRA under SRA ID 490903 (London Office) and SRA ID 645256 (Manchester Office). Sunrise Solicitors are also members of Immigration Law Practitioners' Association (ILPA).

Copyright © 2019 Sunrise Solicitors, All rights reserved