Can a person who has leave as a partner under Appendix FM on the ten-year route

Can a person who has leave as a partner under Appendix FM on the ten-year route switch into the five-year route in-country? If so, must they wait until there are less than 28 days remaining on their current leave?

A person applying under Appendix FM as a partner in-country must meet immigration status requirements. These are set out in the Immigration Rules, Appendix FM, paras E-LTRP.2.1–E-LTRP.2.2.These state:

‘E-LTRP.2.1. The applicant must not be in the UK-

(a) as a visitor; or

(b) with valid leave granted for a period of 6 months or less, unless that leave is as a fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner, or was granted pending the outcome of family court or divorce proceedings

E-LTRP.2.2. The applicant must not be in the UK –

(a) on immigration bail, unless:

(i) the Secretary of State is satisfied that the applicant arrived in the UK more than 6 months prior to the date of application; and

(ii) paragraph EX.1. applies; or

(b) in breach of immigration laws (except that, where paragraph 39E of these Rules applies, any current period of overstaying will be disregarded), unless paragraph EX.1. applies.’

A person may switch from the ten-year partner route to the five-year route provided the above requirements are met.

Regarding the timing of an application, Practice Note: Partners applying for limited leave to remain under Appendix FM: eligibility tables states:

‘There is nothing to prevent an applicant from moving from the ten-year route to the five-year route, although time spent on the ten-year route cannot be ‘counted’ under the five-year route and the probationary period begins again.’

Therefore, the sooner the application under the five-year route is approved, the sooner the person can start their five-year probationary period under that route.

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