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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 7676
Experience:  UK Lawyer holding practising certficate for England & Wales.
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I have NZ passport with 5 year spouse UK visa in it which expires

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I have NZ passport with 5 year spouse UK visa in it which expires in 4 months time. I am married to Italian citizen who resides in UK. I have lived in UK for over 7.5 years. Can I apply for unlimited leave to remain? What do I need to do? How long will this take? If I dont qualify for unlimited leave to remain, what are my other options?
Hi ,
Thanks for your question.
A spouse visa is a visa for persons married to UK citizens or people holding indefinite leave to remain/permanent residence?
Are you certain you have a spouse visa and not, perhaps, an EEA Residence Card as the non-EEA spouse of an EEA national?
Kind regards
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I have Residence card of a family member of an EEA national

Thank you for your question and patience, I’m Tom and I’ll try to help you.
If you have been in the UK since the start of your residence card and will shortly reach 5 years in the UK and remain married to your Italian spouse then you should be able to apply for Permanent Residence.
This is the EEA equivalent of “indefinite leave to remain” it means that you can remain permanently in the UK without applying for any more residence cards. It also means that you can stay in the UK even if you are not married to your spouse.
The webpage on this is here:-
It shows you how you can apply for PR. It costs £65 and there is a fee to give your biometric information of £19.20.
There is no guarantee of how quickly it will take the home office to determine your application and issue a residence card. The only time period the home office gives to determine an application is “within 6 months. If it is a very straight forward application which is properly evidenced then it will be quicker.
I would suggest that you only apply for it when you have a clear 4 months where you will not need your passport for travelling. I would also consider instructing a UK solicitor in order to prepare the application and confirm the sufficiency of your supporting documentation.
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 3 years ago.

Hi Tom. Could you please let me know why I should instruct a solicitor and cant ensure that I have all the sufficient documentation myself? Best. Natalia

Hi Natalia,
Ideally you would instruct a solicitor to ensure that your application is sufficiently evidenced. However, if you consider that you will be able to adequately evidence your application yourself then you can apply on your own if you wish.
Thomas and other Immigration Law Specialists are ready to help you