Family or Partner and Child route for Settlement in UK


In the Immigration Rules, Parts 7 and 8 cover all the laws set forth by the United Kingdom for persons seeking to gain residency. While Part 7 includes procedures and rules regarding family members, partners and children, Part 8 covers other categories as well such as the long residence route, the retired person route, armed persons route and other clauses that concern EEA nationals and their families. In this blog, we will discuss about this rules in detail.

The definition of a ‘partner’ under United Kingdom law is any two people in a legitimate relationship, given that they can provide sufficient evident to substantiate their relationship. A person is considered a ‘partner’ if the time period of the relationship has been two years at the least. The 2 year period only applies to people who are not married or involved in a civil relationship.

For family members and extended family members, different laws exist based on a case to case basis and the nature of the relationship of the family member to the person holding permanent residency in the United Kingdom.

Parents can choose to settle in the United Kingdom through their child who has permanent settlement in the United Kingdom and currently residing in the United Kingdom

The United Kingdom has set out forms for the purpose of submitting with your application.

Form SET (M) applies to partners who are involved in a legitimate civil relationship, marriage or a relationship (that has existed for at least 5 years) and one partner has permanent settlement status in the United Kingdom

Form SET (F) applies to the children of any citizens of the United Kingdom that are at the least eighteen years of age and hold permanent settlement status in the United Kingdom and are currently residing in the United Kingdom.

What must I prove as a ‘Partner’ of a settled UK citizen to gain permanent residency?

  • Both the applicant and the partner must be over the age of eighteen when submitting their application form.
  • You must not be related to your partner in any way as it would constitute breaking the law in the United Kingdom.
  • You and your partner must have been acquainted and have met each other in real life.
  • You must be able to prove to the United Kingdom government that the relationship or civil partnership or marriage is legitimate and has not been faked in order to gain permanent residency.
  • It is also necessary to substantiate your relationship as being continuous in the future when permanent residence has been gained.
  • Your relationship must not be breaking any laws of the United Kingdom.
  • Any past relationship of both the partners has permanently ended.
  • There is no financial barrier that exists that would make it difficult for you and your partner to live in the United Kingdom as a couple.
  • The partner seeking residency must have a sustainable knowledge of the English language.
  • You will also need to prove that the suitability requirements of the United Kingdom are met.
  • After a policy change in July 2012, the relationship period required to gain residency has been changed to 5 years from a previous period of 2 years. This means you and your partner must have been in a minimum five year relationship prior to submitting your application for residency to the Home Office.
  • If you entered the United Kingdom as a visitor or were here to temporarily stay for a period that is less than six months, you cannot switch to this category to obtain residency. You are also ineligible to switch to this category if you are in the United Kingdom on a temporary basis or you have broken any of the laws set forth in the Immigration Rules.
  • Although overstaying past the set date is in breach of the Immigration Rules, you can still apply if the period of overstay has been less than twenty eight days.
  • Refusal can be given if the applicant has a criminal record.

What are the costs of the entire procedure when you are applying for permanent residency in the United Kingdom through your partner?

Given that all the eligibility requirements and the relevant criterion are met, the total cost of the visa would sum up o be GBP 2297 for each applicant when applied through post.

Do we need to provide any proof of financial stability and if so, is there any way to get around this requirement?

For couples who have been together for 5 years, a minimum earning of GBP 18,600 is required to be shown to permanently settle in the United Kingdom. But, if applicants wait for a 10 year period to apply for permanent residency, they can avoid the financial requirement.

This minimum earning requirement can be avoided after 5 years through a loophole that exists in the UK law known as the ‘Surinder Singh Route’. If the partner who holds permanent residency settles in a different state of the European Union for at least 3 months and then have invite the partner to join them. When they will now move back to the United Kingdom, they can settle without the need for showing the minimum financial stability requirement under the free movement laws of the European Union. If this loophole is used, the applicant must also declare their activities in the EU state during this period.

This is due to the fact that EU nationals possess migration rights that trump migration rights of non-EU nationals. This loophole is completely legal and is exercised every year by thousands of applicants.

Applicants can also use their savings that are in cash to declare a reduced amount of earning required that comes around to sixteen thousand pounds and an additional difference of 2.5. If an applicant is without a mean of income, but has at least GBP 62,500 in savings, they can meet the minimum financial requirements of the United Kingdom.

Nationals of the European Economic Area (EEA) also are not required to declare a minimum earning of any amount and can come to the United Kingdom under the free movement rights.

What if I have proposed to my partner or he/she is my fiancé and we intend to marry?

United Kingdom law requires you to be outside of the country when submitting your application for this category. Under the rules set forth, when you and your partner enter into marriage or have registered your civil partnership, you can apply to indefinitely stay in the United Kingdom.

How can children come to the United Kingdom to settle if the parent(s) already have?

A child, by definition of United Kingdom law, is someone who less than eighteen years of age. Children who have been adopted or are illegitimate are also considered children by law. The child can be given permanent citizenship of the United Kingdom only if both his/her parents hold permanent residency in the United Kingdom.

The parent(s) must provide significant evidence to prove that they are financially capable of supporting the child and possess the ability to provide accommodation.

If one of the parents has passed away, then the rule only held to the parent who is alive and holds settled status in the country. The rule also comes down to 1 parent if the other parent has also applied for permanent residency in the United Kingdom. If only one of the parents holds sole responsibility over the child, then only that parent needs to apply for or have residency in the United Kingdom.

The Home Office also exempts the two parent rule on a case to case basis if the child has serious reasons to enter the country.

Certain requirements are also deemed necessary of the child such as not living an independent life. He/she must also not be in a marriage or involved in a civil relationship as children under the age of eighteen cannot marry in the United Kingdom.

What if I travel abroad during my 5/10 year settlement period? Will it be a problem?

The applicant travelling outside of the United Kingdom during the settlement period must provide a sufficient reason for travelling and does not contradict the intentions of the couple to stay together after the settlement period.

The couple must also be aware of the fact that if they have spent a major portion of this settlement period abroad, the Home Office will look upon this fact as a possible reason to deny your request for permanent settlement. The Home Office can possibly null your Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).

My partner settled in the United Kingdom holds a work visa (tier 1, 2 or 5); can I submit an application for permanent residency in the UK?

If your partner holds the Tier 1 visa (like t1 investor visa, t1 entrepreneur visa, or any other category of the Tier 1 visa) except for the Tier 1 graduate entrepreneur visa or the Post-Study Work visa, you are eligible to apply to settle in the United Kingdom.

If your partner holds the Tier 2 visa and any category of it, you are eligible to apply to settle in the United Kingdom.

If your partner holds the Tier 5 (International Agreement) visa, you are eligible to apply to settle in the United Kingdom.

You will need to use another way to settle in the United Kingdom if your partner or parent came to the country through any other route such as the long residence route,

My partner settled in the United Kingdom holds a work visa (other than tier 1, 2 or 5); can I submit an application for permanent residency in the UK?

The Home Office can still grant you permission to stay in the country if you have not held any Tier 1, 2 or 5 category visas such as the t1 investor visa, t1 entrepreneur visa etc. If the last permission the partner who is settled held was:

  • A lawyer who was self-employed.
  • Any person in a Migrant Programme for workers who are classified as highly skilled.
  • Any person who has been categorized and entered the United Kingdom as an innovator.
  • Any person who entered the United Kingdom as a businessman.
  • Any person who entered the country through the UK Ancestry route.
  • Any person who entered the country as a representative of a foreign company.
  • Any person who entered the country as a domestic worker and has been working in a private household before April 6, 2012.
  • If they entered the United Kingdom using form SET(O).
  • If they entered the United Kingdom as a Minister of Religion.

My partner who has passed away was citizen of the United Kingdom. Can I submit my application in the United Kingdom for permanent settlement?

If your partner has passed away and they held indefinite residence in the United Kingdom, you can still apply to settle in the United Kingdom. Note that the standard laws, procedures and requirements still apply to the applicant. If the applicant was in a civil partnership or a marriage or a relationship that was the equivalent of a civil partnership, they can apply to settle in the country.

You must submit your application the Home Office and prove that you intended to stay with your partner when he/she was alive.

You will be required to complete the SET(O) form and mail it to the aforementioned address on the form.