UK Immigration Law
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What visa were you on from 2007-2009?
What time have you spent out of the UK?
Thanks for your reply.
I am afraid that you cannot apply for settlement without your dependent partner making the application at the same time. Your visa is linked to theirs so yours will expire when their's does, this generally results in an application for settlement being made by the persons with the visa and the dependent.
If your partner applies for settlement then you should also apply at the same time. If they will not or cannot be convinced to apply then I am afraid you will not be able to apply.
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Once you have switched to a worker's visa you would then have to work for 5 years from the date of the visa before you are eligible to apply for settlement.