The 5-year and 10-year routes to settlement enable foreign nationals who have lived in the UK for a qualifying period to gain Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK. The 5-year route to settlement is the most commonly used pathway to ILR and is available to individuals on a wide range of qualifying visas (e.g. family visas, work visas, and business visas).
The 10-year route to settlement, also referred to as “long residence”, allows a foreign national to gain ILR if they have not necessarily held a qualifying settlement visa but they have lived lawfully in the UK for at least 10 years.
When will I be able to switch to the 5-year route?
You can apply to switch to the 5-year partner route if you are already on the 10-year partner route and your circumstances alter, such that you can now meet the requirements for the 5-year partner route. You don’t have to wait until your existing visa expires in order to do this; you may be able to do so right away.
What happens if I switch from the 10-year route to the 5-year route?
It is important for you to keep in mind that time spent on the 10-year route cannot be carried forward or counted towards your qualifying period for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) on the 5-year route. The clock will start from scratch, and you will need to complete the full 5 years on the 5-year route to be eligible for ILR.
What are the requirements to switch from the 10-year route to the 5-year route?
If you hold a partner visa, you can switch from the 10-year route to the 5-year route by evidencing that you now meet the more stringent requirements for a partner visa 5-year route. You must:
- have a minimum yearly salary of £18,600 (plus £3,800 for the first child, and £2,400 for the second child and for each child after that);
- maintain a genuine and subsisting relationship with your partner;
- meet the English language requirement;
- pass the Life in the UK test;
- have remained in the UK lawfully.
Does the financial requirement apply to every child?
The financial requirement does not apply to a child who:
- is a British Citizen (including an adopted child who acquires British citizenship);
- is settled in the UK.
If you fail to meet some of the eligibility requirements, your application under the 5-year route will be refused, however, consideration may be given as to whether you qualify under the 10-year partner or private life routes. If you are certain that you cannot meet some of the eligibility requirements of the 5-year partner route, you can choose to apply for the 10-year partner or private life routes.
How Gherson can assist
Gherson’s Immigration Team are highly experienced in advising on UK visa matters. If you have any questions arising from this blog, please do not hesitate to contact us for advice, send us an e-mail, or, alternatively, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn to stay-up-to-date.
The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please do not hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.