Monday, 8 December 2014

Help me with the Rules! How to find out whether you can combine Tier 2 and Spouse visa or a Tier 2 and Tier 1 visa (and similar) when applying for Indefinite Leave (permanent residency)?

This post would be of interest to the migrants but we also teach this skill (how to use the Rules) in our immigration training, which we provide for our fellow advisers, solicitors or those who’re preparing to become an adviser.

Judging whether you have spent enough time in the UK to qualify for an Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR from now on) is a matter of the Rules. The Rules ‘simply’ say it and if they don’t then you can’t combine.

Here are the most common examples from our practice:

EXAMPLE 1: can I combine Tier 2 and Spouse visas? Go to the Rules relevant to the last category, in our case Spouse visa, so we go to the Appendix FM:

Under the Section R-ILRP, then in Eligibility: “E-ILRP.1.3. The applicant must have completed a continuous period of at least 60 months with limited leave as a partner...” So, we need 60 months (5 years) with a Spouse visa, nothing about Tier 2! In other words, a migrant who switched from a Tier 2 to a Spouse visa has to start his/her 5 years as a Spouse all over again.

EXAMPLE 2: can I combine Tier 1 Post-Study Work visa with Tier 2 General visa? Here the last category if Tier 2 General, so we go to Part 6A:

In the Tier 2 (General)... section under  245HF. Requirements for indefinite leave to remain we get:

“... (c) The applicant must have spent a continuous period of 5 years lawfully in the UK, of which the most recent period must have been spent with leave as a Tier 2 Migrant, in any combination of the following categories:
(vi) as a Tier 1 Migrant, other than a Tier 1 (Post Study Work) Migrant, ... “

So, based on the above, Tier 1 Post-Study Work visa is not counted.  

OTHER COMMON EXAMPLES INCLUDE – please contact us for an advice session if you need answers:

Can I combine a Tier 4 Student visa?

Can I combine a Tier 5 visa?

Can I combine a main and a dependent visa , such as Tier 2 main with a Tier 2 Dependant?

Very popular: Can I count Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer)?

Popular now, since Tier 1 General extensions are going to be closed: Can I combine Tier 1 General with Tier 1 Entrepreneur?

Can I combine a Tier 2 visa with a Residence Card under the EEA Regulations? This is a matter of the EEA Regulations, rather than the Immigration Rules, but the answer is still in the source of law.  

Furthermore, other common questions are also answered by the Rules. For example, can you switch from one category to another while in the UK? Does a visa allow to work?

For an individual advice or to make an application please contact us: or visit

If you are an Immigration Adviser or a Solicitor please visit our immigration Training and CPD website: