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March 16, 2020

Spouse Visa ILR – Apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK

There are two different settlement routes for spouses (Spouse Visa) and partners of British or settled nationals in the UK:

  1. The 5-year route


  1. The 10-year route.

Applicant should normally know which route they are on in order to calculate when they can apply for spouse visa ILR. If not, there are ways they can find out such as by checking the Home Office correspondence when their most recent extension application was approved.

Applicants on a 5-year route to settlement are also normally required to satisfy the following requirements – financial, accommodation, English language and relationship.  If they provided supporting evidence addressing those requirements during their most recent application, the chances are that they are on 5-year route to settlement.

Spouse Visa Indefinite Leave to Remain Requirements

The requirements will differ whether applicant is on a 5-year route or a 10-year route to settlement. In this article, we will explore the requirements of a 5-year settlement route for spouse ILR application.

The main requirements for spouse visa ILR are the followings:

  • Financial Requirement of £18,600
  • Accommodation Requirement
  • Knowledge of English and Life in the UK requirement
  • Relationship Requirement
  • Absences Requirement

The Home Office will also assess your suitability, any criminal records, county court judgments against applicant’s name, unpaid NHS debt etc. This information is outside the scope of this article. Main requirements for spouse visa ILR are discussed in detail below.

Absences for Spouse Visa

There are no specific requirements for maximum absences for those applying for ILR based on holding UK spouse visa. This is in contrast to other immigration categories, such as PBS (i.e. Tier 2 ILR) and family members of PBS migrants, where the absences should not exceed 6 months in any 12 months period.

The Home Office’s guidance states that for spouse visa ILR, any absences from the UK must be for good reason and be consistent with the “intention to live together permanently in the UK”. The guidance goes on to state that good reasons may include periods overseas in connection with their work or that of applicant’s partner, holidays, training or even study.

Financial Requirements – Spouse Visa

The financial requirements are £18,600 per annum for the spouse, additional £3,800 for the first child and £2,400 for each subsequent child.

The financial requirement can be met through either earnings from the applicant and/or their spouse. Same exceptions for people on certain benefits apply.

Accommodation Requirement – Spouse Visa

Applicant will need to show that there is adequate accommodation available for the exclusive use of the couple and their children.  The accommodation in question must not be “overcrowded” or contravene “public health regulations”.

Genuine Relationship – Spouse Visa

Applicant must provide an updated evidence will be required to show that they continued to reside together from applicant’s last grant of leave and that their relationship is still subsisting.

English Language Requirement – Spouse Visa

Applicant must present the English language requirement is B1 CEFR or one of the followings:

  • Hold a UK degree or overseas equivalent that was taught and researched in English
  • Pass an English language test, level B1, from one of the approved English test providers
  • Is a national of majority English speaking country
  • Exempt from the English language test

Life in the UK test – Spouse Visa

Applicants with certain disabilities and mental illnesses are exempt. Others can also be exempt by virtue of their age.

Spouse Visa Indefinite Leave to Remain Fees

The current Home Office fees for spouse visa ILR application are £2,389 per applicant. Moreover, applicant can use super-priority service, which costs additional £800 per applicant.


You can request 15 minutes free consultation from our immigration lawyers; it will be conducted over the phone only.

Mann’s Solutions is international immigration law firm with offices in London, Hong Kong, Istanbul and Moscow and has expertise in offering UK Visas and Immigration by Investment services to high net worth individuals. Our immigration lawyers regulated by OISC (Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner).

For further information or to discuss your personal circumstances in a private consultation with our immigration lawyers in London Office, please contact us at or call +44 207 993 63 46.