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Remaining in the UK after the death of a spouse or partner

The death of a loved one can be a difficult time especially when you are unclear about your immigration status after a spouse’s death. However, UK immigration rules do allow those living in the UK on a spouse visa to apply for leave to remain in the UK following a partner’s death.

For assistance with your ILR application get in touch with our immigration lawyers today on 020 4502 8582, we are here to help. We can speak to you in whatever way best suits you: in person, at our offices, over the phone or online. 


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    Eligibility to remain in the UK after a spouse’s death

    You are able to stay in the UK after a partner dies if you have come to the country on a spouse visa. To be eligible you must be the partner of a British citizen or in a relationship with someone who is a settled person with Indefinite Leave to Remain status.

    It is important to note that you do not have to be married to qualify – the rules cover those in civil partnership as well as unmarried partners in long-term relationships.

    British passport

    When to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after a partner’s death

    There is little doubt that the death of a loved one can be a very stressful time and it can be hard to worry about filing paperwork etc at the correct time. The Home Office guidance does not give a set deadline for when a bereaved partner must submit a ILR application following the death of their partner.

    You are able to make the application for Indefinite Leave to Remain before your current visa expires and you are able to apply on behalf of any dependent children.

    Costs and processing times of your ILR application

    The standard cost of applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain is currently £2,389 per person. If you opt for this route then you will typically hear back about your application within six months.

    However, there are two priority service opts for those who want to have their application processed. For an additional £500 you can pay for the expedited service that will give a decision within five working days.

    If you wish to have a response from the Home Office within one working date then this is possible for an extra £800 per applicant.

    Documents needed by bereaved partners for ILR application

    When you do submit your application for ILR you will need to ensure that you include the correct documents to support your case.

    You are required to submit the originals of each document – unless you can provide a genuine reason why you are unable to do so. All paperwork must be in English or Welsh otherwise you must provide a certified translated copy.

    • Your current passport
    • Any old passport that was valid during the time you have been in the UK
      Any travel documentation relating to any time spent outside of the UK during your period of residency
    • Your partner’s death certificate
    • Financial documents such as bank statements, wage slips
    • Any relevant birth or adoption certificates if dependents are included in your application
    • Your Life in the UK test pass certificate if required
    • An English language proficiency level of B1 pass certificate if required to demonstrate your English language skills
    • A police registration certificate if you had to register with the police upon arrival in the UK
    • Your immigration history include details of where you have lived and what visas you have held
    • Any other relevant documentation that relates to your specific visa category including evidence that you were in a genuine and subsisting relationship
    • Two identical passport-sized photographs in colour, with your name clearly written on the back. This photos must have been taken recently.

    What if my application for ILR is unsuccessful?

    In many cases the process for applying for ILR is straightforward. However, it can be easy to not include vital supporting documents – especially in times of bereavement.

    It can feel overwhelming to get a rejection notice from the Home Office but it is important to understand that you do not have to leave the UK straight away. If your ILR application is not successful, there are options available to you and you can appeal the decision or resubmit your application – hopefully resulting in a more positive outcome.

    When you make an obvious mistake in your ILR application, the best option is usually to resubmit the application ensuring you have rectified the mistakes. You may want to seek legal advice to ensure you have completed the form correctly.

    If you feel there was a mistake made in your ILR application such as an important piece of evidence not being taken into account, you can ask for an administrative review. This is where your application will be reconsidered by a different immigration official who will review how your application was assessed.

    In cases when you wish to challenge the Home Office’s decision, our professional immigration lawyers can support you throughout the entire process with our appeal package. Contact us now to discuss your application.

    Do you need help applying for British citizenship? Our lawyers can assist you. Get in touch

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      How can London Immigration Lawyers help?

      Gaining Settled Status is a life-changing event that comes with many benefits, however, the application process isn’t easy and it can be incredibly difficult to navigate it alone.

      Our immigration lawyers are experienced when it comes to assisting with British citizenship applications, they know exactly what it takes for an application to be successful and can give you the best chance of success.

      One of the most difficult aspects of the application process is meeting the strict requirements. Our lawyers will help you to do this. We can advise you about whether you need to take an English language test, which test to take and how to book it. We can also help you to meet the other requirements, this includes helping you to prepare for the Life in the UK Test and assisting you with gathering a substantial portfolio of documents to support your application.

      To find out more about how our lawyers can assist you, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team today by calling 020 4502 8582.

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