Looking to settle in the UK? Before you submit your application, it is important to realize that the Immigration Rules for Family Settlement have been revised and there have been numerous changes to the requirements.
Keep reading to ensure that you fulfill all necessary requirements for the family settlement route based on immigration.
For reliable immigration advice, it is recommended to reach out to reliable Immigration Experts to ensure a positive outcome for your application.
Family Life Requirements
As of 20th June 2022, it is required for a person to fully qualify for a decade of parenthood or as a partner to be able to settle in the UK. This ‘Appendix FM’ still dictates how 5-year route settlement applicants are also evaluated.
Application Validity for Family Settlement Routes
Instead of relying on paragraph 34A, the rules for family settlement (10-year qualifying period) as a parent or partner are set in Appendix FM.
Here are some of the requirements you’ll have to fulfill to apply for family settlement:
- Paid Application Fee
- The “Settlement as a Parent or Partner” form should be used to submit the application. Any other form would be invalid.
- Valid passport to establish nationality and identity
- Biometrics must be already submitted as required.
- Must be in the UK when applying for the family life route.
Remember, in order to qualify for this route, the applicant must have taken Appendix FM approval as a partner or parent.
Conditions for Suitability
After meeting the criteria mentioned in the section above, applicants can still be refused on the grounds of not meeting the conditions for suitability. As compared to Appendix FM, these conditions can be extremely strict in regards to thresholds for criminal activity.
Applicants who have prior convictions and have been imprisoned for a period of more than a year will be refused immediately, even if the convictions are outside the UK. Individuals with a criminal record with a year to 4 years of sentencing can be eligible after 15 years from the date of sentencing. However, those whose conviction is more than 4 years will be ineligible for their lifetime.
For applicants with under a year of a custodial sentence, they would have to fulfill the criteria of staying in the UK for 5 years. After completing the 5 years, they will need to fulfill qualifying criteria of 10 years or more (according to Appendix FM)
Here are some more scenarios that could lead to instant rejections:
- Submitting false documents for immigration
- Trying to mislead the immigration body by presenting a sham marriage.
- Any prior pending debts to the NHS
- If there are any current Home Office litigation debts
If your situation matches any of the scenarios mentioned above, you would have to fulfill the suitability criteria of living in the UK for 5 years or more to be deemed suitable by the Home Office. After suitability criteria have been met, the applicant would have fulfilled the criteria of 10 years as a parent or partner.
For Illegal Immigrants
If the applicant has entered the UK illegally, their application would be instantly refused unless they meet the qualifying criteria of spending ten years or more within the UK on the basis of private or family life.
Settlement Eligibility (10-Year Route)
To meet the criteria quickly, applicants can merge their time spent on other routes towards their 10-year family life route.
- Private life permission (Has to be before June 2022)
- Article 8 ECHR permission for private life
- Appendix FM clearance as a child, partner, or parent.
This recent change has been welcomed by many as it gives much more flexibility to fulfill the criteria sooner. If the applicant has permission under Appendix FM (as a parent or partner) and has not entered the UK illegally, time spent on other settlement routes can also be considered.
There are certain language requirements that applicants have to meet (if they come from non-English speaking countries) to be eligible for this route. The applicant must meet B1 level listening and speaking requirements. This is not tough to meet as a simple O/A Level English qualification would suffice.
The applicant must be able to complete the test for ‘The Life in The UK’.
Conditions for Approval
To be granted approval, individuals must meet all the requirements listed above. If the applicant does not meet the requirements but is still eligible for ‘permission to stay based on Appendix FM, there can be changes made to the application. The candidate will not be charged anything extra, but have to submit the payment for the Immigration Health Surcharge and the fee for settlement will not be refunded.