Absences for Spouse Visa ILR application

Absences and the Spouse Visa ILR Application

When applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) under a UK spouse visa, there are no strict limits on the amount of time you can spend outside the UK. This is notably different from other immigration categories, such as the Global Talent Visa, Skilled Migrant Worker Visa, and Tier 2 PBS (Points-Based System) visas, where applicants must not exceed 180 days of absence in any 12-month period. There has been confusion following changes by the Home Office on January 11, 2018, but those modifications primarily affected PBS migrants and their family members, not spouse visa holders.

Evaluating Absences for Spouse Visa ILR

The Home Office’s guidance for spouse visa ILR applications emphasizes that any absences from the UK must be for valid reasons and align with the “intention to live together permanently in the UK.” Acceptable reasons for being abroad can include work commitments (either yours or your partner’s), vacations, training programs, or even educational pursuits.

If a significant portion of your time under the UK spouse visa was spent abroad, the Home Office might question whether you and your partner truly intend to settle in the UK permanently. Each case is reviewed individually, with consideration given to factors such as the purpose and duration of the absences and whether the couple lived together during these periods. For those facing particularly complex situations, it is highly recommended to consult with an immigration lawyer when applying for ILR based on a spouse visa.

Financial Requirement for ILR

When applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) on a spouse visa, the financial criteria remain largely consistent with those required during the initial application and subsequent extensions. You need to demonstrate an annual income of at least £18,600. If you have children, an additional £3,800 is required for the first child, and £2,400 for each additional child.

These financial requirements can be met through the combined earnings of the applicant and their spouse. Exemptions exist for those receiving certain benefits. The main variation for the ILR application lies in the calculation of savings to cover any shortfall in earnings. For initial and extension applications, any earnings gap had to be multiplied by 2.5 and added to a base savings threshold of £16,000. For the ILR stage, you do not need to multiply the shortfall by 2.5; instead, you can use the exact amount of the shortfall plus the base £16,000 in savings.

Accommodation Requirement for ILR

The accommodation requirements for the spouse visa ILR are almost identical to those for the initial visa and extensions. You must demonstrate that you have adequate housing for yourself, your spouse, and any children.

The property must be suitable for living and should not be overcrowded or violate public health regulations. It must provide exclusive use for the family and meet the standards set to ensure it is not considered overcrowded. These requirements are further detailed on our UK spouse visa page. We thank the copywriting agency for writing the article.