How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Thomas Your Own Question
Thomas, Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 7661
Experience:  UK Lawyer holding practising certficate for England & Wales.
Type Your Immigration Law Question Here...
Thomas is online now

Hello, I am a USA national who came to the UK in 2010 on a

This answer was rated:

Hello, I am a USA national who came to the UK in 2010 on a Tier 2 work visa. I married my husband in 2012 who is a British National and I now have a 2 year spousal visa which expires in 2015. My question is because I have already been here 3 years with my work visa and then 2 more years with my spousal visa, I will make 5 years in the UK which I assumed mean I can then apply for permanent residency because of living in the UK for 5 straight years, however; the law for spousal visas changed in 2012 stating that 2 two year visas have to be applied for by spouses before indefinite leave can be applied for but I would have already made 5 1/2 years once my first two year visa expires, so do I apply for another spousal visa after my first expires or do I apply for indefinite after my first spousal visa due to me being in the UK the length if time it takes to become a permanent resident. I'm very confused and I do not want to apply for the wrong visa in 2015 once my spousal visa expires.

Thank you for your question and patience, I’m Tom and I’ll try to help you.

I’m afraid that you will have to apply for a further visa under the spouse visa rules.

It’s unfortunate – because of the rule change – but spouses must now have to complete 5 years in the UK in the spouse visa category before being eligible to apply for ILR. Please refer to the following link:-
You will see that under the heading “applying for settlement” it states “you have completed a period of 5 years in the UK, with a visa or permission to remain here in this category”. This means that you cannot include any time spent in other visa categories in calculating the 5 year period.
Therefore, you will have to apply for further leave to remain (ie. another visa) under the spouse rules to take you to 5 years in the category of a spouse visa.
If you had remained on your work visa until you reached your 5 years then you would have been able to apply for ILR under the work visa rules, but by switch to a spouse visa although you have the benefit of your leave to remain not being linked to your employment it does mean that the 5 year period starts again.
I am very sorry, but at least you know what to do now.

My goal is to provide you with a good service. If you feel you have received anything less, please reply back as I am happy to address follow-up issues specifically relating to your question.

Kindly rate my answer if you are satisfied with the information I have provided.

Kind regards,

Thomas and other Immigration Law Specialists are ready to help you