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Requirements for Indefinite Leave as a Spouse

Spouses or partners of British or settled persons can apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK up to 28 days before they reach 60 months in the UK with leave as a partner so long as they have been granted leave in the 5 year route.  

ILR applications can be processed very quickly – the super priority service is available for a fee and offers 24 hour processing by the Home Office.

Requirements in an ILR Application as a Spouse or Partner

To successfully apply for ILR as a spouses or partner of a British or settled person, applicants must show that: 

  • They are still in a genuine and subsisting relationship with their partner;
  • They meet the financial requirement;
  • There is no reason to refuse the application under the General Grounds for Refusal;
  • There is suitable accommodation available to them;
  • They have had leave as a partner (on the 5 year route) for 60 months;
  • They meet the English and Life in UK requirements.

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

The Financial Requirement in spouse ILR applications can be one of the most complicated aspects of the application.  Failing to meet the specified evidence requirements leads to applications being refused. 

The level of finances to be proven is £18,600 where there are no dependant non-British children, with an additional £3,800 for the first non-British child (£22,400) and an additional £2,400 per child thereafter (£24,800, etc.) 

Our blog, here, sets out details of when ‘adequate maintenance’ can be relied upon, rather than the standard levels of finances. 

In order to meet the minimum income threshold (as opposed to adequate maintenance), applicants can rely on:

  • Income from salaried or non-salaried employment of an Applicant or their partner;
  • Income from self-employment, or income as a director or employee of a specified limited company in the UK, of an Applicant or their partner;
  • Cash savings over £16,000 held for at least six months, in any currency, by the Applicant or their partner;
    • The six months period for holding the funds can be shortened in specific circumstances where a permitted asset has been sold;
  • Non-employment income, including income from property rental so long as this is not their main home, dividends/income from investments, stocks and shares;
  • Money from a state, occupational or private pension in the name of the Applicant or their partner;
  • Maternity allowances or bereavement benefits received in the UK. Income-related benefits will not be counted towards the financial requirement;

It is possible to combine some of the sources of income, but not all.  For instance, self-employment cannot be combined with cash savings. It is important therefore to plan how an application will be structured well ahead of time. 

Cash savings and differences between ILR and earlier applications 

Interestingly, 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 Our Immigration Lawyers In London

If you would like further advice in relation to partner entry clearance, leave to remain or indefinite leave to remain applications under Appendix FM, please contact our immigration barristers direct in London on 0203 617 9173 or via the enquiry form below.


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