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?
‘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.