UK Immigration & Nationality Lawyers

Spouses of UK citizens

Settlement: spouse, unmarried partner or civil partner of a person present and settled in the UK

You can apply for indefinite leave to remain as the spouse, unmarried partner or same sex partner of a person settled in the UK after you have lived in the UK with a spouse visa for at least five years. If you initially applied for the spouse visa under the old rules (in place before 9 July 2012) you are covered by transitional arrangements and can apply after two years of residence.

The requirements for settlement under the rules in place after 9 July 2012 are as follows:

  • subsisting marriage and intention to live together permanently;
  • ability to meet the income requirements (£18,600 for main applicant, an additional £3,800 for the first child included in the application and a further £2,400 for each additional child);
  • Knowledge of Life in the UK;
  • English language to B1 standard (only approved tests from approved providers are accepted);
  • good character; you can read more about Good character requirements on our blog.

For those who initially applied for their spouse visa under the rules in place before 9 July 2012, the requirements are the same as above, except that income requirement is assessed against the couple’s ability to maintain themselves without recourse to public funds. Minimum income requirement does not apply. Where the applicant is unable to meet one of the general requirements for settlement –  such as the English language requirement or good character requirement – they should apply for extension of spouse visa and then apply for ILR when the requirement is met.

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