My spouse entered the UK on a fiance visa in July 2013 and we married in October of that year. She was granted a married partner visa in December 2013. The married partner visa was valid for 2 and a half years and was renewed in May 2016 and expires in February 2019.

My impression had always been that 5 years of continuous residency was required to apply for indefinite leave to remain, but I have also heard a figure of 10 years being discussed. Can anybody confirm which duration is correct? Also, based on her first entry on the fiance visa in July 2013, would that make her eligible to apply in July 2018 or does the time start from the married partner visa?

1 Answer 1


The so-called 5 year route is for applicants who meet all of the criteria (financial, English language, etc) while the 10 year route is for those who don't meet all of the criteria but have exceptional circumstances (e.g. compassionate reasons).

Assuming you have met the 5 year criteria, your wife will be eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain 5 years from the start of her married partner visa (i.e. December 2018).

The details are on the UK Government website but aren't written in a particularly understandable way.

  • 1
    I think you mean December 2018, no?
    – Danny
    Apr 25, 2018 at 13:40
  • 1
    Thanks @Danny. Yes, I meant December 2018. Edited to reflect this. Apr 25, 2018 at 18:12
  • This is exactly the sort of article I was looking for but couldn't find online - thanks.
    – Meridian
    Apr 26, 2018 at 6:36

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