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Five or Ten Years: Routes to settlement on family visas 

Published 01 May 2019 
Appendix FM (of the Immigration Rules) provides two routes to settlement on the basis of family life as a partner or parent. These routes take either five or 10 years, at the end of which an individual can apply for indefinite leave to remain. After holding this immigration status for one year, the individual can then apply to naturalise as a British citizen, should they so wish. It is therefore important to understand the implications of which route you find yourself on, as this will have implications for future immigration applications. 

Five Year Route 

The 5-year route as partner or parent: 
• For those individuals who meet all of the suitability and eligibility requirements of the immigration rules at every stage. 
• Entry clearance or leave to remain: i.e. applications for leave on the 5 year route can be made from outside or inside the UK. 

Ten Year Route  

The 10-year route as partner or parent 
Only applicable to individuals who are currently in the UK and are therefore looking to apply for Leave To Remain. 
This route is for those who meet all suitability requirements of the immigration rules, but only meet certain eligibility requirements as partner or parent – or where paragraph EX.1 of Appendix FM is also met. 
In essence, it this route becomes the option when an individual comes to switch or extend their current visa, and does not meet some of the eligibility criteria.  
The 10-year route on basis of private life 
Paragraphs 276ADE(1)-DH of Part 7 of the Immigration Rules provide a 10-year route to settlement in the UK on the basis of private life. 

Suitability Requirements 

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Eligibility Requirements 

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Useful Reference Links 

Link to Home Office (if relevant) 
Link to other relevant site 
Related Content: 
Whilst we endeavour to produce accurate and up to date information, the UK government can, and does, change the immigration rules on a frequent basis. This website is for information purposes and does not replace individual immigration advice. Please consult your immigration advisor to discuss your personal circumstances. We would be happy to help with this, please use the contact us section of this website. 
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