Indefinite leave to remain if your partner dies
Overview and fees
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
- been from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and had pre-settled status
Indefinite leave to remain is how you settle in the UK. It’s also called ‘settlement’. It gives you the right to live, work and study here for as long as you like, and apply for benefits if you’re eligible. You can use it to apply for British citizenship.
Your permission to be in the UK must have been based on being their partner as part of a family visa. A ‘partner’ is one of the following:
- your spouse (husband or wife)
- your civil partner
- someone you were living with in a relationship that’s like a marriage or civil partnership
When to apply
You can apply any time after your partner’s death. You do not have to wait until your current visa expires.
You must be in the UK when you apply.
The application fee is £2,404.
You also need to have your biometric information (fingerprints and a photo) taken - there’s no fee for this.
If family members are applying for settlement with you, they’ll each need to pay the application fee and have their biometric information taken.
If your application is approved
You can do the following:
- run a business
- use public services, such as healthcare and schools
- apply for public funds (benefits) and pensions
- apply for British citizenship, usually after a minimum of 12 months
If you stay outside of the UK for more than 2 years
You can lose your indefinite leave to remain if you stay outside the UK for more than 2 years at a time. You may need to apply before you can return to the UK.