What does a spouse need for indefinite leave to remain (ILR)?

Spouses or partners of British or settled people can apply for indefinite permission to remain in the UK up to 28 days before they complete 60 months in the UK with partner leave if they were granted leave under the 5-year route. The Home Office’s high priority service can process ILR applications in 24 hours for a charge.

Requirements in an ILR Application as a Spouse or Partner

Applicants must demonstrate that:

  • They are still in a genuine and ongoing relationship with their spouse;
  • They meet the financial requirement;
  • 60 months of partner leave on the 5-year route;
  • There is no basis to refuse the application under the General Grounds for Refusal;
  • They have sufficient accommodation;
  • They have had 5-year visa as a Spouse;
  • They meet the English language requirements: Level B1; and
  • They have passed the Life in the UK test (aka KoLL or the Knowledge of Life and Language)

The Financial Requirement for Indefinite Leave to Remain as a Spouse or Partner

Spouse ILR applications might be challenging due to the financial requirement. Applications are refused if proof is insufficient.

The financial proof required is £18,600 if only one main applicant and there are no dependant non-British children, with an additional £3,800 for the first non-British child (which makes it £22,400 (£18,600 + £3,800)), and then additional £2,400 for every child thereafter (£24,800, etc.).

To meet the minimum income threshold (which is different from having enough money to live on), applicants can rely on:

  • Income from a job, whether it pays a salary or not, of either the applicant or their partner;
  • Income from self-employment or as a director or employee of a certain limited company in the UK for an applicant or their partner;
  • Over £16,000 saved in any currency for at least six months by the applicant or their partner;
  • In certain situations, like when a permitted asset has been sold, the six-month holding period for the money can be cut down.
  • Non-work-related income, such as rent from a property that isn’t their main home, dividends or interest from investments, stocks and shares;
  • Money from a state, workplace, or private pension in the name of the applicant or their partner;
  • Getting a maternity allowance or a death benefit in the UK. Income-related benefits won’t be counted towards the financial requirement.

Some of the sources of income can be combined, but not all of them. For example, you can’t be self-employed and save money at the same time. So, it is important to plan out how an application will be put together well in advance.

Cash savings and differences between ILR and earlier applications

The cash savings required in entry clearance and extension applications is different from those required for ILR.

In initial and extension applications the calculation is as follows:

(Level of savings – £16,000) / 2.5 = Amount which can be relied upon

E.g. (£62,500 – £16,000) /2.5 = £18,600

However, in ILR applications, all savings held for six months or more above £16,000 can be relied upon: 

(Level of savings – £16,000)   = Amount which can be relied upon

E.g. (£62,500 – £16,000)   = £46,500 

This means that the level of savings required in an ILR application is much lower than in the first two applications: 

£34,600 – £16,000 = £18,600

Contact me:

If you want to instruct me, please email donm@queensparksolicitors.co.uk or queensparksolicitors@gmail.com or call us on 0203 643 7508 / 07446 888 377. My name is Atty Magsino of Queen’s Park Solicitors. I am a UK qualified lawyer.

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