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Howard, Immigration Lawyer
Category: UK Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 459
Experience:  Senior Partner with nearly 20 years experience in UK Immigration Law.
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Hello there? I wanted to know why was I granted indefinite

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Hello there? I wanted to know why was I granted indefinite leave to enter uk 2 years ago in july 2011 when I was just married then. Is it a wrong vis and will I have any problems? I am applying for no time limit on my ILE status now. Please help me
My name isXXXXX and I am a Solicitor based in London. I'm happy to help with your question today.

I'm not sure I understand.

If you were granted indefinite leave then your next step will be to apply for citizenship.

Why do you think there is a problem?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hello alex, I have not been married for 4 years and when I applied for visa to come to uk I was just newly married and the home office granted me wuth indefinite leave to enter straight away when it says in the website that one needs to be married for 4 years if they have to be granted indefinite leave to enter. I am worried if they have given me wrong visa and will that mistake make me go back to my country.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I have been guven indefinite leave to enter nit indefinite leave to remain. This indefinite leave to enter has validity date on right hand corner of my visa stamp stating 13th october 2013. So I am applying for no time limit stamping on my visa as I sm not eligible for citizenship because it has been just more than 2 years of me coming to this country. Al I wanted to know from you is will there be a problem for me as I have been granted ILE in the first place as my marriage is just 2 year old. Please help me


Yes, you're right. You should have been granted leave for 27 months initially. But it would be wrong and unlawful for your leave to be revoked now and for you to return to your home country. In otherwords it would be a violation of your right to private and family life. I think your best option is to apply for an extension and then after 3 years have passed apply for citizenship. At the moment I see no reason to draw the mistake to the attention of the Home Office; so long as you have been honest in your application the mistake will be in your favour.

I think you may be getting confused.

Normally 27 months is granted to start with.

Jul 2011 to October 2013 is 27 months.

So your visa seems to be correct.

You should now be applying for indefinite leave to remain.

Once 3 years has passed you can apply for citizenship.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No alex, my visa states very clearly that its indefinite leave to enter. I checked in ukba website which clearly stated that ILE cannot be issued without mentioning the validity date. It very clearly said that people who have ILE need not apply for ILR because both are indefinite status.

Indefinite leave to enter (ILE) is not the same as indefinite leave to remain (ILR).

ILE is granted to persons outside the United Kingdom. It does not give you the right to remain in the UK indefinitely.

ILE always has an end date which is 27 months after the date of entry as spouse.

After 27 months you can apply for ILR from within the UK.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Then why does ukba website state that people who have ILE need not apply for ILR. I have dpoken to quite a few solicitors and even thry told the same to ne. You are of different opinion. I dont know dhat I should be doing.

Have a look for the meaning on the UKBA website:

They say:

"...Leave to enter

Leave to enter is permission to enter the UK.

Leave to remain

Leave to remain is permission to stay in the UK, either temporarily ('limited leave to remain') or permanently ('indefinite leave to remain')..."

If you send me the webpage which says ILE does not need to apply for ILR I will happily have a look for you.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Plz look at the end of this page

Yes. That's correct - I think we have been getting our wires crossed.

If you have ILE from 2011 then you have the same status as ILR.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Lol. I think what has happened with me has never happened with anybody else . Getting a wrong visa in the begining and I am just worried that there should be no problem when I apply for no time limit stamping next week. What should I say if they ask me or tell me I have been on wrong visa and I cant apply for no time limit. How would you advice me to answer them

I apologise for the confusion. I have asked my colleague who has more knowledge in these matters than me to assist you. I have to say I haven't come across this situation before so I'll see if he can help.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you. I will be waiting for your reply.

I will be happy to assist if that is ok.

You are quite correct - you would usually only expect to get ILE as a Spouse after 4 years of marriage outside the UK under old rules. They do sometimes make mistakes and you cannot be held responsible for their error.

Could you clarify what application was made from outside the UK and if you had lived together as husband and wife prior to marriage?

I presume that your visa was given the same expiry date as your passport? This would be the usual practice simply because they had to provide an expiry date on the vignette. What is the expiry date? You would usually simply get the condition transferred to a new passport if necessary.

You would not be expected to leave the UK.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hello thre. I got married in may 2011 and applied to come to uk ad a dpouse as my hubby had an ILR status then. We never lived together before that. I was granted ILE straight away but with validity till october 2013 but my passport expires in 2020. I was not aware of any of these things and was preparing myself to apply fir ILR this month. When I went thru the ukba webdite and after talking to a couple of solicitors who confused me more, some said I dont have to do anything now as I already have permanent status and some told I need to apply for no time limit stamping. I even got an appt for the same for next week. I am now totally confused and worried. Hope you can advice me.

It sounds like you have been given rather confused advice! Hopefully I can clarify matters for you as I have seen this on a few occasions.

You would have expected to get a Spouse visa and then apply at this time for ILR, as you were expecting. You of course already have Indefinite Leave, albeit granted accidentally, and therefore you do NOT need to apply.

I presume you are being advised to get NTL in order to regularise your stay? I am not convinced that this is necessary. You would only usually do so if you had lost your passport or your visa and the purpose would be to get a Biometric Residence Permit to replace the lost visa. An NTL application would not seem necessary or appropriate.

The requirements for Naturalisation as a British Citizen are fundamentally that you have been in the UK for at least 3 years and that you are free of immigration time restrictions at the time of application. You are not required to prove that ILE was granted correctly. Assuming you meet all other requirements you might quite reasonably expect an application for Naturalisation in 2014 to be approved.

There is no particular need for you to do anything about your current visa situation and I recommend that you ensure you have passed the Life in the UK Test and an English Language test (if necessary) and apply for Naturalisation (if you wish to do so) once you have been in the UK for 3 years.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks so much. Your answer seems bit consoling. I am really worried because my husband is not supporting me wit my visa and he is threatening to write a letter to home office so that they can take me out of this country as we both r not in gud terms and I am also pregnant with his baby. I dont wanna leave this country thats why want to secure my visa before my husband does something to trouble me and threaten me. Are you sure I dont have to apply for ntl which might make my visa secure . Please help me.

On what basis does your husband think your visa can be revoked?! You have ILE. That is the end of the matter.


Your husband is not going to be able to get you removed from the country (I always find these types of threats rather distasteful and, fortunately, they are usually empty).


I would recommend that you make sure you have the Life in the UK Test passed as quickly as possible. This will help matters next year.


There is no need to apply for NTL. If you want to do so then you can but the UKBA might wonder why you want to do so if you have not lost your passport or visa. If you do this then I would definitely advise the Life in the UK Test is passed before applying.


Again, your husband cannot have you (and his unborn child) removed from the UK. The only basis for ILE being removed would be if you had supplied fraudulent documents - you are not responsible for the ECO's mistake and ILE will not usually be revoked in such circumstances.


Did your visa state 'subject to KOL'?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

It does not say anything like that. It says spouse of so n so and mentions indefinite leave to enter and in right hand corner says valid till october 2013. Thats all. I am working as a doctor here and I m paying all taxes and abiding al rules and regulations. What does subject to kol mean


I'll provide some background and information although I'm not sure how much you want!

You would often expect the expiry date to be the same as the expiry date of the visa. Very often, however, 2 years might be stated simply because you need to have entered within 2 years - being outside the UK for 2 years while holding indefinite leave can result in the loss of indefinite leave.

The usual time where 27 months ILE might be granted would be where a couple were married for 4 years but the applicant did not meet the Life in the UK Test requirement (which could only be taken in the UK). This would most certainly have Settlement Spouse/CP (KOL Required or Subject to KOL) - that is the usual wording. This means that the Knowledge of Life in the UK Test (KOL) had to be taken before the 'expiry date', this being the reason that I mentioned earlier about taking the test.

I very strongly recommend that you take and pass the Life in the UK Test before the 'expiry date' of your ILE - regardless of this not being stated on the visa. You will need it at some point anyway.

Regardless, you have ILE and it IS indefinite. If you want to apply for NTL to get Indefinite Leave with a different 'expiry date' then you can do so but it really isn't necessary - the BRP that would be issued would also have an expiry date even though it is Indefinite - BRPs must have an expiry date in the same way that the visa placed in passports had to have a vignette.

I hope that this clarifies matters. If it helps then please realise that this is far from the first time I have seen this and similar situations.
Howard, Immigration Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 459
Experience: Senior Partner with nearly 20 years experience in UK Immigration Law.
Howard and other UK Immigration Law Specialists are ready to help you
Sorry - in the second sentence I meant that you would often expect the expiry date to be the same as the expiry date of the passport!

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