Applying for ILR as a Dependant of a Skilled Worker
In this post, we answer some of the questions that are most frequently asked when applying for indefinite leave to remain as a dependent partner or a dependent child of a Skilled Worker.
Who qualifies as a Skilled Worker Dependant?
The Home Office Guidance states that the dependants can include:
- Civil partners;
- Partners who are not married or in a civil partnership;
- Dependent children under the age of 18 on the date of application;
If the dependent child is over 18 years old on the date of application and was not previously granted permission as a dependent child, the child may not qualify. Further information regarding children from previous relationships can be found in the Home Office guidance.
What is the ILR requirement for Dependent Partners and Dependent Children?
To meet the requirements, the dependent partner must:
- Be aged 18 or over;
- Meet the requirement that any marriage or civil partnership is valid;
- Must have lived together with the Skilled Worker for at least two years prior to the date of application, if they are not married or in a civil partnership;
- Be applying at the same time as the Skilled Worker, or after the Skilled Worker has obtained settlement, or after the Skilled Worker has become a British citizen;
- Last be granted permission as a dependent partner;
- Be in a genuine and subsisting relationship with the Skilled Worker;
- Have spent a continuous period of 5 years in the UK as a dependent partner;
- Meet the English language and Life in the UK requirements;
The dependent children must satisfy the following criteria:
- Must be under 18 years old on the date of application unless last granted permission as a dependent child;
- For applicants over the age of 16, they must demonstrate that they are not leading an independent life;
- Suitable care and accommodation must meet the relevant UK legislation and regulations for dependent children under the age of 18;
- To meet the English language and Knowledge of Life in the UK requirements if aged 18 or over on the date of application;
- Both parents must either be settled or be applying for ILR at the same time as the dependent child;
How do I meet the continuous residence requirement as a Dependent Partner of a Skilled Worker?
To meet this requirement, you must have completed 5 years of continuous lawful residence in the UK as a dependent partner as discussed in Settlement as a Skilled Worker/ Tier 2 Dependant. The period of 5 years must be unbroken continuous residence in the UK. You must not be outside the UK for more than 180 days in any 12 month period unless exemptions apply. For permissions granted before 11 January 2018, absences will not count towards the 180 day limit if they were a dependent partner.
Do I need to meet the English language and Knowledge of Life in the UK requirements?
An applicant will need to meet these requirements unless they are exempt, for example they are aged 65 or over, under 18 years of age or have a disability which prevents them from meeting the requirements.
If you met the English language requirement in a previous successful application at the level required for the current application, you will meet this requirement.
You can also meet the requirements if you are a national of one of the majority-English-speaking countries listed on the Home Office website, you have an academic qualification taught in English or you have passed a Secure English Language Test in speaking and listening at an approved test provider to the CEFR level B1 or you have a GCSE, A level, Scottish National Qualifications at level 4 or 5 or Scottish Higher Advanced Higher in English. Please note that there is an additional requirement if your qualification was awarded by a body from outside the UK.
Life in the UK test
Applicants can provide a valid digital reference number given when they passed the Life in the UK test. To book the Life in the UK test, please click the Home Office website here.
What happens if the Dependants do not meet the ILR requirements?
If you are not eligible to apply for ILR at the same time as the Skilled Worker, you can apply to extend your visa where the application guide is set out here. The dependent partner and dependent children will still need to meet the relationship requirement and the dependent children will have to meet the age and care requirements. If you have been in the UK for more than 12 months, the financial requirement is met.
Can I apply to become a British citizen after obtaining ILR as a Dependant of a Skilled Worker?
Once you have been granted ILR in the UK, you may have many questions and our blog here sets out the questions about how to prove this status, the rights that it gives you and how to maintain it.
For British Citizenship applications, the requirements for applicants who are not married to a British citizen are:
- You were in the UK on the day five years prior to the date of your application;
- You must not be absent from the UK for more than 450 days during the previous 5 year period;
- You must not be outside the UK for more than 90 days during the previous 12 months before the date of your application;
- You must not be in breach of the immigration laws;
- You are not subject to any time limit on the period for which you may remain in the UK and not subject to any such time limit at any time during the 12 month period immediately preceding the date of the application;
- You meet the good character requirement;
- You meet the English language and Life in the UK requirements;
Our blog post, British Citizenship by Naturalisation – Top 10 FAQs deals with the questions most frequently asked.
Contact our Immigration Barristers
For expert advice and assistance in relation to an application as the dependant of a Skilled Worker please contact our immigration barristers in London on 0203 617 9173 or via the enquiry form below.