In this blog, we address some of the frequently asked questions that arise when individuals are applying for indefinite leave to remain as either a dependent partner or a dependent child of a Skilled Worker.
As per the Home Office Guidance, eligible dependants can encompass:
· Civil partners
· Partners who are not married or in a civil partnership
· Dependent children under the age of 18 at the time of application
If a dependent child is over 18 years old at the time of application and has not been granted prior permission as a dependent child, they may not meet the eligibility criteria. For more details regarding children from previous relationships, please refer to the Home Office guidance.
To meet the ILR requirements, a dependent partner must:
· Be 18 years of age or older.
· Ensure that any marriage or civil partnership is legally valid.
· Have cohabited with the Skilled Worker for at least two years before the application date if they are not married or in a civil partnership.
· Apply either concurrently with the Skilled Worker, after the Skilled Worker has been granted settlement, or after the Skilled Worker has become a British citizen.
· Have been previously granted permission as a dependent partner.
· Be in a genuine and ongoing relationship with the Skilled Worker.
· Have resided continuously in the UK as a dependent partner for a period of 5 years.
· Meet the English language and Life in the UK requirements.
Dependent children must fulfil the following criteria for their indefinite leave to remain (ILR) application:
· They must be under 18 years old on the date of application unless they were last granted permission as a dependent child.
· For applicants aged 16 and over, they must demonstrate that they are not leading an independent life.
· Suitable care and accommodation must comply with the relevant UK legislation and regulations for dependent children under the age of 18.
· If they are 18 years or older on the application date, they must meet the English language and Knowledge of Life in the UK requirements.
· Both parents must either have settled status or be applying for ILR simultaneously with the dependent child.
To fulfil the continuous residence requirement as a Dependent Partner of a Skilled Worker, you need to have accomplished 5 years of uninterrupted lawful residence in the UK in that capacity. Here are the key points:
1. Five-Year Requirement: You must have lived in the UK as a dependent partner for a total of 5 years.
2. Unbroken Continuous Residence: This 5-year period should be characterized by unbroken and continuous residence in the UK. There should be no significant gaps in your presence in the country.
3. Absence Limit: During this 5-year period, you must not have spent more than 180 days outside the UK in any 12-month period, unless specific exemptions apply.
4. 11 January 2018 Permissions: For permissions granted prior to 11 January 2018, any absences from the UK will not count toward the 180-day limit if you were a dependent partner at the time.
Applicants will typically be required to meet the specified immigration requirements unless they fall under certain exemptions. For instance, exemptions may apply if:
1. They are aged 65 years or over.
2. They are under 18 years of age.
3. They have a disability that prevents them from meeting the standard requirements.
These exemptions recognise that some individuals may face unique circumstances or challenges that make it difficult for them to meet the usual immigration criteria. It's essential to consult the Home Office guidelines or seek advice from an immigration professional to understand the specific details and eligibility criteria for these exemptions, as they can vary based on individual circumstances and immigration categories.
To meet the English language requirement for your current application, you can rely on several conditions:
1. Previous Successful Application: If you have met the required English language level in a previous successful application, you will fulfill this requirement for your current application.
2. Nationality from Majority-English-Speaking Countries: If you are a national of one of the majority-English-speaking countries listed on the Home Office website, you automatically meet the English language requirement.
3. Academic Qualification in English: If you possess an academic qualification that was taught in English, this can also fulfill the English language requirement.
4. Passing a Secure English Language Test: You can meet the requirement by passing a Secure English Language Test in speaking and listening at an approved test provider to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) level B1.
5. Possessing Certain Qualifications: If you have specific qualifications, such as a GCSE, A level, Scottish National Qualifications at level 4 or 5, or Scottish Higher Advanced Higher in English, you can use these to meet the English language requirement.
It's important to note that if your qualification was awarded by an institution outside the UK, there may be additional requirements or criteria that you need to satisfy to demonstrate your English language proficiency. Always refer to the latest guidance from the Home Office or consult with an immigration expert for the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding English language requirements.
Applicants have the option to provide a valid digital reference number that is issued to them upon successfully passing the Life in the UK test. This reference number serves as proof of their successful completion of the test and their knowledge of life in the UK. It's an important component of the application process. To book the Life in the UK test, please click the Home Office website here.
If the dependents do not meet the indefinite leave to remain (ILR) requirements when applying at the same time as the Skilled Worker, they have an alternative option. They can apply to extend their visa by following the application guide provided.
Here are the key points to consider in this situation:
1. Relationship Requirement: Dependent partners and dependent children must still meet the relationship requirement, demonstrating their genuine and subsisting relationship with the Skilled Worker.
2. Age and Care Requirements: Dependent children will need to meet the age and care requirements as specified in the immigration rules.
3. Financial Requirement: If the dependents have been in the UK for more than 12 months, they will meet the financial requirement.
It's important to note that the specific details and criteria for extending their visa, as well as any fees and documents required, should be outlined in the application guide provided by the Home Office. Applicants should consult the latest guidance or seek advice from immigration professionals to ensure they meet the requirements and complete the application correctly.
Once you have been granted ILR in the UK, you may be eligible to apply for British Citizenship by Naturalisation.
Please be aware that these requirements can change over time, so it's advisable to consult the latest guidance from the Home Office or seek advice from a qualified immigration professional for the most current information.
For expert advice and assistance in relation to an application as the dependant of a Skilled Worker please contact us on 0203 488 2308 or via the enquiry form below.