Q&As

Where an applicant holds leave to remain as an unmarried partner under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules (10-year route), and that relationship breaks down, are they permitted to switch (in-country) to the five-year spouse visa route if they marry another settled person?

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Produced in partnership with Gary McIndoe of Latitude Law
Published on LexisPSL on 18/02/2019

The following Immigration Q&A produced in partnership with Gary McIndoe of Latitude Law provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Where an applicant holds leave to remain as an unmarried partner under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules (10-year route), and that relationship breaks down, are they permitted to switch (in-country) to the five-year spouse visa route if they marry another settled person?

Where an applicant holds leave to remain as an unmarried partner under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules (10-year route), and that relationship breaks down, are they permitted to switch (in-country) to the five-year spouse visa route if they marry another settled person?

This proposed application for leave to remain as a partner (spouse) will be decided with reference to the Immigration Rules, Appendix FM. Immigration Rules, Appendix FM, para E-LTRP.2.1–2.2 provides an exhaustive list of circumstances in which an applicant’s current immigration status, or lack thereof, will prohibit them from applying for leave in this category:

‘E-LTRP.2.1. The applicant must not be in the UK—

(a) as a visitor; or

(b) with valid leave granted for a period of six months or less, unless that leave is as a fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner, or was granted pending the outcome of family court or divorce proceedings

E-LTRP.2.2. The applicant must not be in the UK—

(a) on immigration bail, unless:

(i) the Secretary of State is satisfied that the applicant arrived in the UK more than 6 months prior to the date of application; and

(ii) paragraph EX.1. applies; or

(b) in breach of immigration laws (except that, where paragraph 39E of these Rules applies, any current period of overstaying will be disregarded), unless paragraph EX.1. applies.’

As such, an applicant is not expressly prohibited from applying as the spouse of a new

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