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: 7675
Experience:  UK Lawyer holding practising certficate for England & Wales.
Type Your Immigration Law Question Here...
Thomas is online now

Hello. I am a spouse of a british national and would like to

This answer was rated:

Hello. I am a spouse of a british national and would like to apply for a leave to remain. We will be married for 2 years on the 1st June 2014, but my entry visa is valid until 5 May 2014.
Should I apply for extension of my visa first or can I apply for the indefinite leave to remain directly ?

Thank you in advance

Thanks for your question.

What date did you apply for your spouse visa originally please?

Kind regards,

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hello, Sorry for the late reply. As far as I remeber I applied to it in Dec/2011




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

The rules for spouse visas changed on 09 July 2012. If the application for a spouse visa was received by the UKBA BEFORE this date then the “old” rules apply (ie. two years residency in the UK before applying for indefinite leave to remain). If the application for a spouse visa was received by the UKBA AFTER this date then the “new” rules apply.

If you sent your application in December 2011 then you will be judged under the old rules. This means that if you have been in the UK for two years before your current leave to remain expires then you can apply for indefinite leave to remain, rather than having to extend your visa to reach 5 years residency as would be the case under the “new” rules.

On this basis, you should apply for ILR.

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.

Kind regards,

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Tom,


Thank you for your reply and information.


Just to make my situation more clear to you. I've been granted my Entry Clearance visa (issued abroad) for 27 months from (05/Feb/12 -05/May/14) but my first entry to the UK was on the 04/Jun/2012, which means the Immigration Office stamped my visa on that date. I need to know the answer on the following questions please:


1. When do my probationary period ends?


2. Can I apply for the settlement UK visa? If yes, what is the best dates to take my appointment with the settlement checking service as my appointment should be no sooner than 28 days before the end of my two year probationary period?


3. Is the SET (M) form is the correct form for me?


4. Is their any restrictions on travel for me before my appointment with the settlement checking service is due to come?


Kind regards



1) Your probationary period ends when your current leave to remain expires. So, this would be 5 May 2014.

2) In order to be eligible for ILR you would have to show a 2 years residence period from the date you entered. So, the earliest that you could apply would be 28 days before 4 June 2014 (being two years after the date you entered). The problem is that you have said that your current leave to remain expires on 5 May 2014, so counting back 28 days from 4 June 2014 would not reach 4 May. Therefore, it's extremely unfortunate timing but you would first have to apply for further leave to remain using form FLR(M) before your current visa expires and then once further leave has been granted then apply for ILR.

3) Yes, SET(M) is the correct form that you would use to eventually apply for ILR.

4) There are no restrictions as such, but obviously you must be in the UK with your passport to hand when you make your applications, first for further leave and then, second, for ILR.

Kind regards


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Tom,


Thank you so much for your clarification. That really helped me out a lot.


I understand that. However, if I need to apply for the FLR(M) before my visa expires can I apply for it on the 4th/May for example as I will be out of the UK before this date. Moreover, If I handeled my application on that date would this be still legal to me?


I also need to know if the English test and the UK life test are a required documents for this application or they just need the english test? Moreover, I did my IELTS exam on 2011 and it's a two year valid exam. Can I still be able to attach it with the form as a proof of english despite the fact it's expired.


Many thanks


No, you've got to be in the UK to make the application because you will need to submit your passport.

You need to ensure that the UKBA receive your application BEFORE your visa expires, whatever happends.

I'm afraid that you would not be able to use the test you have taken if it has expired and would have to take it again. From your writing in these answers I can tell that you will breeze it though.

Kind regards,

Thomas and other Immigration Law Specialists are ready to help you