What is the difference between the 5-year and 10-year Partner Route?

Appendix FM mentions 2 routes to settlement as a partner. They are the 5-year and 10-year Partner Route. Migrants shifting to the UK through either of the partner routes can apply for ILR UK after staying for 5 or more years if they meet all the suitability requirements as laid down.

What is a  5-year partner route?

  1. If the unmarried partner or partners entered the UK on a 2-year partner visa and are still continuing on their marriage or civil partnership may enter a 5-year route for ILR UK.
  2. If civil partners or unmarried spouses arrived in the UK and then entered into a marriage or civil partnership and are now seeking ILR UK as spouse or civil partners can take a 5-year partner route.
  3. Unmarried individuals who are initially staying/working in the UK on a different visa but now have entered into a marriage or civil partnership and wish to switch their visa through a 5-year partner route.

What is a 10-year partner route?

  1. A 10-year partner is considered when the partners fail to meet the eligibility requirements for the 5-year partner route and settle for ILR 10 year.
  2. Under exceptional circumstances, EX.1. the paragraph in FLR(FP) category, spouse or partners can apply for a 10-year partner route.
  3. Even overseas partners can also apply for a 10-year partner route under exceptional circumstances.
  4. They are on a visitor visa or tourist visa
  5. No current immigration status.

Trading 10-year partner route for 5-year partner route

  1. The partners can switch to a 5-year partner route if you are currently on a 10-year partner if your circumstances are well addressed in appendix FM.
  2. Even if your current visa is not expiring, you can still apply.
  3. If you switch to a 5-year partner route then your time spent on the 10-year partner route shall not be carried further.
  4. For ILR UK, a fresh period will begin under a 5-year partner route.

What is the minimum period of leave?

Despite partners staying in the UK on a 5-year or 10-year partner route, the minimum period of leave is 2.5 years. Any couple seeking ILR UK will have to extend their visa beyond 2.5 years.

How long does it take for a partner visa?

The time duration for the partner visa depends upon where it has been applied from.

  1. If you are applying from within the UK, it could take at least 8 weeks
  2. If you are applying from outside the UK, it could easily take 3 months time to be completely processed.
  3. However, in either case, to complete the online process of application, biometrics is needed.
  4. Some countries have expedited service. Upon approval, the passport will be endorsed to travel to the UK.
  5. A biometric residence permit is also needed from a selected Post-office after arriving in the UK.
  6. It usually takes 8 weeks before the decision comes and further 7 working days for your biometric residence permit to come from the date of the decision.

Often the partner route visa process is time taking and the online process needs a constant follow-up, it is highly recommended to take help from an immigration firm who have expertise in handling spouse/partner visas.  A Y & J Solicitors have an excellent record for over 10 years and have been awarded as the best immigration law firms, London in 2017. The expert at A Y & J A Solicitors takes complete responsibility on your behalf. Through mock audits, they find gaps way before the Home Office could and help to get visa hassle-free.

Pooja Sharma

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