8 July 2021

Indefinite Leave to Remain Requirements as a Bereaved Partner

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Indefinite leave to remain (settlement) as a bereaved partner (Appendix FM, Section BPILR) allows for an application where an individual has lost their partner before settling in the UK.  There is, of course, the possibility that any existing leave may be cancelled since the relationship on which someone relies has ended. As a result, it’s critical to solve this as quickly as possible.

Those who are in the UK under the points-based system or as an EEA national are not eligible for this path. In those cases, different laws and regulations will apply.

The Home Office has developed a unique provision enabling bereaved partners of members of the HM Forces to be eligible for early settlement.

Requirements for indefinite leave to remain as a bereaved partner

 To apply for ILR as a bereaved partner, the applicant must be in the United Kingdom. If one of the partners passes away whilst being abroad, the remaining partner may be denied re-entry after being questioned by a border officer. If the bereaved partner departed the UK after the death, he or she may be questioned and denied re-entry.

A legitimate application for bereaved partner ILR must be submitted by the applicant. An application costs £2,389 at the moment, and it is submitted online. Of course, under certain cases, a charge waiver may be available.

The suitability standards must be met, which include criminality, fraud, false information, litigation, and NHS debt, as we previously discussed. Unless there has been a change in circumstances, the Applicant is likely to meet these standards while on leave as a partner.

The Applicant must be the partner of a British citizen or a settled person who has been granted leave to remain in the UK. A fiancé(e) or planned civil partner is not considered a partner. Those whose most recent leave was as a bereaved partner are included in the definition. This could be the case if you have criminal convictions that restrict you from applying for ILR.

The application for bereaved partner leave must have been granted leave as a partner, which may occur even if someone is granted leave to remain outside of the rules or on an extraordinary basis as a partner. If the grant is unclear, this can be problematic. It’s possible that a subject access request will be useful.

An applicant for ILR as a bereaved partner does not need to be on leave at the time of application. After a partner dies, an application can be submitted at any time. The guidelines must account for the fact that a grieving partner may not be thinking about their immigration status at the moment and maybe in pain. It is critical to submitting an application as soon as possible.

Evidence Required for a Bereaved Partner ILR application

The Applicant will have to show that their partner has died. It will be necessary to obtain a death certificate.

In addition, the grieving partner must demonstrate that the relationship was genuine and ongoing at the time of death. The applicant must demonstrate that they were living with their partner and wanted to stay in the UK permanently. There are several ways to establish this, and relevant evidence must be taken into account.

Importantly, there is no requirement to take the Life in the UK test or offer evidence of English language proficiency, as is the case with most ILR applications.

Ensuring a human rights claim is raised

 If a bereavement application is denied, it is not considered a human rights claim, and thus there is no automatic right of appeal (see page 10 of the Rights of Appeal Version 8.0, published 31 January 2020). As a result, it’s critical to cite all evidence pertaining to family life or a personal claim.

In terms of raising an Applicant’s human rights, to secure appeal children are an important consideration, as are the circumstances in the Applicant’s home country. If the children are in the UK as a partner’s dependent, they must examine whether they are eligible to apply for leave.


The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Connaught Law and authors accept no responsibility for loss that may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Connaught Law. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Connaught Law.

About the Author

A talented and dedicated public relations professional, Riaz, has more than 14 years of experience helping organisations communicate more effectively. He has developed strategic communications plans garnered extensive media coverage, produced marketing materials coordinated special events, and hosted other communications activities.

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