Indefinite Leave to Remain is the ultimate goal of most visa holders in the UK. It allows holders to stay in the UK without restriction for as long as they wish. Indefinite Leave to Remain also allows holders to apply for British citizenship, if they so desire, after 12 months. While the route to Indefinite Leave to Remain is generally straightforward for the points-based system visa holder, it may not be so straightforward for their dependents. So, in this article, we are going to look at Indefinite Leave to Remain for dependents of a points-based system visa holder. We will investigate the eligibility criteria so that you can easily understand the system.
A dependent is a direct relative of an individual who holds a points-based system visa. You can have dependent children under the age of 18 as well as apply for ILR for your spouse. Generally speaking, their visa allowance will be in line with the visa holder (presuming they came to the UK at the same time as the visa holder). So, even if they decide to join you at a later date, their leave will end at the same time as the visa holder. While the visa expiry dates will be harmonised, if the dependant arrived at a later date, they will still need to complete 5 years in the UK to be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain.
Please note that unlike some other countries, other family members such as grandparents and adult children do not qualify as dependants (unless the adult child came to the UK before they turned 18), and therefore must use an alternative option if they wish to join a visa holder in the UK. This is to avoid large families joining individual points-based system visa holders in the UK.
Dependants will be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after they have lived in the UK with their points-based system sponsor for 5 years (under new rules introduced in 2012). While the dependantÃ¢‚¬„¢s visa leave will be in line with their sponsorÃ¢‚¬„¢s, they will need to have been in the UK for 5 years, and also must meet the other eligibility requirements of the visa (such as not leaving the country for more than 180 days in any one year, and have not left the country for more than 540 days in the last 5 years) for the dependant to gain Indefinite Leave to Remain.
As well as having to meet the requirements for absences from the UK (as laid out in the paragraph above), the dependant will also need to pass the Life in the UK test and also meet the requirement of having an English language level of at least B1 CEFR. These requirements are broadly in line with the expectations that are set out for all who apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK.
If your partner is either a British citizen or has already gained Indefinite Leave to Remain, you will be able to settle in the UK after you've been here for 5 years. While many believe that you will be able to just come to the UK and settle instantly if your partner is in this category, this is not the case. You have to meet the same requirements for Indefinite Leave to Remain as anybody else. The only thing that is different is your visa route during those 5 years.
In order to apply to settle in the UK after 5 years, you will need to make an application online. During this application, you'll be asked a number of questions and will need to provide proof that you meet the eligibility requirements as laid out in the criteria. You'll also need to upload documentary evidence, but if you are unable to do this from home you will also be able to make an appointment at a UKVCAS service point so that you can provide your documentary evidence and the biometric information that is required. Once your application has been lodged, you will then wait for a decision. This process usually takes approximately 8 weeks.
If your child has become an adult during your stay in the UK then they will also need to pass the same requirements for Indefinite Leave to Remain that other adults do. Unfortunately, the exceptions only apply to children under the age of 18. So, like the adults, they will need to pass the Life in the UK test and also satisfy the English language requirements. As they have grown up in the UK, this should not be an issue.
If you need help with any UK visa query, or how to apply for dependent children or a spouse (for example) then please get in touch. Our highly experienced immigrattion lawyers can help in all manner of circumstances. No matter your history, our team will be able to guide you through the UK's immigration system. So, for more help or advice call today and speak to a member of our team.
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I am glad that i instructed Reiss Edwards on my visa matter. It started with a 20 minutes free immigration advice. I met with Amar to discuss my ILR refusal. He gave me a great deal of quality advice and decided to take on my messy case. I had doubts on the merits of my case by he was relatively convinced he could win it. That made me quite secure. To be honest, things did not start as quick as I would have wanted, but they kept on communicating the process and state of things to me.A big thank you to Verusha and Foram. They were also very helpful. Brilliant and informative. Their fee was fair and reasonable, especially if you compare them to other law firms and immigration law firms in London; some of whom even told me that i would not be able to get an indefinte leave to remain in this country. The process was long but was worth it. In the end, a big thank you to Reiss Edwards.
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