Indefinite Leave to Remain as a Bereaved Partner – ILR

Indefinite Leave to Remain as a bereaved partner

Indefinite leave to remain as a bereaved partner. Sadly, there is always the possibility that the British national in a relationship may die leaving the Thai wife in a potentially difficult situation with regards to her rights to Indefinite Leave to Remain if she is on the 5 -year visa. The full legal requirements regarding a bereaved partner are outlined in Section BPILR 1.1. of Appendix FM. If the bereaved Thai wife is still in her probationary period then she will still be able to apply for ILR so long as she can prove that the intention was to live together permanently at the time of the partner’s death.

There are other requirements including financial requirements that must also be satisfied to confirm her eligibility. In the vast majority of cases, if the Thai wife fulfills the suitability criteria she may get granted ILR when she produces the partner’s death certificate. Due to the sensitive nature of these events, it is rare that detailed inquiries are made after the production of the death certificate. It is possible that the indefinite leave to remain application may be refused if there have been doubts regarding the relationship during the initial period of ILR. However, it is down to UK Immigration to prove these doubts rather than for the applicant to prove that they are unfounded.


You may be eligible to apply for settlement (indefinite leave to remain in the UK) if your partner has died.

Your partner must have either:

  • been a British citizen
  • had indefinite leave to remain in the UK

Your permission to be in the UK must have been based on being their partner. A ‘partner’ is one of the following:

  • your spouse (husband or wife)
  • your civil partner
  • someone you were living within a relationship that’s like a marriage or civil partnership


Fees are


The application fee is £2,389.


You also need to pay £19.20 to have your biometric information (fingerprints and a photo) taken.


Further information on how to apply for – Indefinite Leave to Remain as a bereaved partner


When should the application be made?


This is one case where the rules are certainly set up in the applicant’s favor. The applicant can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain as a bereaved partner at any point during the qualifying period of limited leave. In addition, any application can be made by the Thai wife if the application for ILR had already been submitted but the applicant was still awaiting the decision.


The granting of Limited Leave to Remain


In some cases the applicant may not meet all the requirements for Indefinite Leave to Remain bereaved partners, however, they can still apply for Limited Leave to Remain which is often granted for a period not exceeding 30 months and they will NOT be allowed access to public funds. An application for ILR can be made during the 30 months should circumstances change and the qualification criteria are now met.


What if your Thai wife would prefer to return to Thailand?


Of course, there is always the strong likelihood that your Thai wife may wish to return to Thailand in the event of your death. In this scenario, she is likely to be granted a further 6 months Limited Leave to Remain in order to sort out her personal circumstances along with your affairs.


Do you require assistance?


Here at Thai Visa Express, we deal with a wide range of circumstances on a regular basis and have to knowledge to assist at what can be a very challenging time. If you would like more information, can call us on: +66 (0)80 102 2328, +66 (0) 38 420 313 or +44 (0) 20 8133 8059, email us on: or alternatively contact us via our website. We will naturally treat your case with the utmost sensitivity and compassion.

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