Thanks for your reply.
Can she not benefit from past settlement visas in any way to reduce the 5 year period?
If she must take the 5 year route, you state that she may apply for British citizenship immediately? Isn't she supposed to apply for ILR after the 5 year period and once granted ILR wait for ? period before being eligible to apply for British citizenship? Please clarify.
Thanks for clarifying that. To apply for spouse visa, she'll need to fulfill the 'financial requirement' part which requires past 6 months bank statements etc. We will need to work towards that from now onwards and with kids at school, apply for the visa during summer 2015 school holidays.
If wife stays in UK until summer 2015 with the above in mind, then travel to her home country and apply for spouse settlement visa, would the long stay in UK (Sep 2014-July 2015) count against her bearing in mind that she's here on a visit visa (2014-216)? Or would the relevant authority understand that we did this (a) because of kids at school (b) fulfill financial requirements?