Settlement for Partners & Family Members

If applying for Settlement as a Spouse, Civil Partner or Unmarried Partner, you will need to have completed 5 years (60 months) in the UK as the partner of a British citizen or settled person. You will also need to satisfy the strict financial requirement under Appendix FM to the Immigration Rules.

Unless an exemption applies, you will also need to meet the higher English Language requirement that applies to settlement applications and have passed the Life in the UK test.

If applying for indefinite leave to enter or remain as an Adult Dependent Relative or Child, you will need to demonstrate that you will be adequately maintained, accommodated and cared for without recourse to public funds. There is no English language requirement and it is not necessary to pass the Life in the UK test.

If you qualify for settlement, or indefinite leave to remain, you will be able to stay in the UK without any time restrictions. Your settled status will lapse if you are absent from the UK for more than 2 years. If your ILR has lapsed, you may wish to consider applying for a Returning Resident visa in order to return to the UK.

Achieving permanent resident status is central to qualifying for a British passport, since Naturalisation as a British Citizen requires that the applicant be settled in the UK. You will not need to satisfy the English language requirement or pass the Life in the UK test if you are under 18 or at least 65 years of age. The Home Office also has a discretion to waive the requirement if it would be unreasonable to expect you to fulfil that requirement due to a mental or physical condition. Various other exemptions also apply.

Each of the family related settlement categories also have their own additional eligibility criteria, which are summarised below.

Category Specific Requirements:

After spending 5 years (60 months) in the UK as the spouse or civil partner of a British citizen or settled person, you may be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

In order to qualify for indefinite leave to remain as a spouse or civil partner you will need to demonstrate that:

  • You have lived together with your spouse or civil partner in the UK since your grant of leave or there is good reason, consistent with a continuing intention to live together permanently in the UK, for any period when you have not done so;
  • You meet the higher English Language requirement that applies to settlement applications;
  • You have passed the Life in the UK test.

After spending 5 years (60 months) in the UK as the unmarried partner of a British citizen or settled person, you may be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

In order to qualify for indefinite leave to remain as an unmarried partner you will need to demonstrate that:

  • You have lived together with your partner in the UK since your grant of leave or there is good reason, consistent with a continuing intention to live together permanently in the UK, for any period when you have not done so;
  • You meet the higher English Language requirement that applies to settlement applications;
  • You have passed the Life in the UK test.

In order to qualify for indefinite leave to enter the UK as an Adult Dependent Relative, you will need to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration that:

  • You are the parent aged 18 years or over, grandparent, brother or sister aged 18 years or over or son or daughter aged 18 years or over of a person who is in the UK and that person is over 18 and either a British citizen, settled in the UK or a person with refugee leave or humanitarian protection status;
  • As a result of age, illness or disability, you require long-term personal care (that is help performing everyday tasks, e.g. washing, dressing and cooking);
  • You are unable, even with the practical and financial help of your family member in the UK, to obtain the required level of care in the country where you are living because it is not available and there is no person (close relative, home-help, housekeeper, nurse, carer, care or nursing home) in your country who can reasonably provide it, or because it is not affordable;
  • You will be adequately maintained, accommodated and cared for in the UK by your family member, without recourse to public funds (If your family member is a British citizen or settled in the UK, they will be required to sign a 5-year undertaking to this effect).

A child with limited leave to remain as the child of a parent with, or applying for, limited leave as a partner may also qualify for indefinite leave to remain as the child of a parent, parents or a relative present and settled in the United Kingdom if able to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration that:

  • Both parents are British citizens or settled in the UK;
  • One parents is settled or settling in the UK and the other parent is dead;
  • One parent is settled or settling in the UK and has sole responsibility for looking after the child;
  • One parent or relative is settled or settling in the UK and there are compelling reasons why the child should be allowed to stay.

Additionally, the child will have to show that they satisfy the following requirements:

  • They are related to the parent or other relative as claimed;
  • They are under 18 at the date of application;
  • They are not married, in a civil partnership or leading an independent life;
  • There is adequate accommodation and maintenance for the child, without relying on public funds.

Call our immigration lawyers on 0330 058 3929 or contact us online to discuss settlement by partner or family route.