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Howard, Immigration Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 459
Experience:  Senior Partner with nearly 20 years experience in UK Immigration Law.
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Hi , I am from Albania. Ive been in Uk for almost 3 years

Customer Question

Hi ,
I am from Albania.
I've been in Uk for almost 3 years under tier4 ( student visa ) .
Since the first day I've entered the UK I have been living with my British partner (and this can be proved from bank statement, in any single landing cards, etc).
We are planing to get married soon. My question are :

1-Does this time that we have been together counts ? (or I will still go from the beginning when you get a 6 months visa i think and then 2 years indefinite to remain and after 5-6 years in total in title for citizenship ) ?

2-What type of visa will i get ( apply ) ?

3- Will we need any solicitor ?

Thanks a lot
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Howard replied 4 years ago.
1. No, the time together does not count toward ILR (I assume this is the question you were asking). You will need to get a Spouse visa once married and you will then get an extension in due course and apply for ILR after 5 years in the UK. I would not see the point in getting a Fiance visa first unless your visa is going to expire before you get married. Time spent in the UK as a Fiance does NOT count toward ILR although the time will contribute toward the Citizenship qualifying period in due course.

2. As outlined above, you would usually apply for a Spouse visa. The requirements can be found here:

3. It is a matter of personal choice. These applications are not as simple as they used to be, primarily due to the financial requirement. You do not have to use an immigration lawyer but your application certainly cannot be worse if you choose to use a reputable immigration lawyer. You should look for plenty of experience and they should ideally be OISC registered (
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Relist: Inaccurate answer.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Relist: Inaccurate answer.
Expert:  Howard replied 4 years ago.
Would you care to explain what you believe to have been inaccurate about my answer?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes sure .

  • If you have been together for less than four years you are granted a marriage visa for a probationary period of two years. If you are still married and living together at the end of two years in the UK permanent residence (properly known as indefinite leave to remain) will usually be granted.


Expert:  Howard replied 4 years ago.

I have a feeling you are referring to old rules. Perhaps you are thinking of the old rule relating to having been married for 4 years, often applied for from outside the UK and resulting in a Spouse KOL Required visa. I think you have also got this from old posts on either forums or commercial sites that are not updated.


Current rules relating to settlement based on marriage to a British Citizen can be found here:


This clearly states that the Spouse visa route requires a period of 5 years in the UK under that category - this means 5 years in the UK holding a Spouse visa.