Sun | Dec 4, 2022

Immigration Corner | How to apply for ILR after the death of a partner

Published:Tuesday | November 30, 2021 | 12:07 AM

Dear Mr Bassie,

Recently, you explained to a widow the conditions for applying for settlement in the United Kingdom (UK). Please advise me how I would go about making the application under these conditions as a widow.


Dear MO,

Persons who are widows and applying for settlement will need to provide certain documents and proof.


Persons must provide the following:

• A current passport or other valid travel identification;

• Any previous passports they have had while living in the UK;

• Their biometric residence permit, if they have one;

• Their police registration certificate (unless they did not need to register);

• Their partner’s death certificate;

• Proof of their relationship, for example, a certificate of marriage or civil partnership;

• Proof that they and their partner were living together.


With respect to proof that they were living together, persons will need documents to show that they lived with their partner until they died. This would need to be starting from when they got permission to be in the United Kingdom as the partner.

Persons will need to provide six official documents addressed to both the applicant and partner, or each person individually, at the same address. They should include as many diverse types of documents as they are able to provide, for example:

• Gas, water or electricity bills;

• Telephone bills;

• Council Tax bills;

• Bank statements and letters;

• Letters from a government department;

• Letters about your TV licence;

• Tenancy agreements;

• Mortgage agreement or statements;

• Letters from your GP, a hospital or health service.

Please note that applicants will not need to take the Life in the UK test or prove their English language skills.


Applicant’s children may be eligible to get settlement (indefinite leave to remain in the UK) at the same time when applying.

It is important to note that persons can include their children as ‘dependents’ on the application form if all the following are true:

• They have permission to be in the UK, based on being their partner’s dependent;

• They were under 18 years old when this permission was given – it does not matter if they have turned 18 years since;

• They are going to live with the applicant in the UK;

• They will have somewhere to live and be financially supported without using public funds;

• They are not married or in a civil partnership.

If the applicant’s children do not meet these conditions, they may still be able to apply separately. Further research should be conducted to see if they can apply to settle in the UK.

Please note that a child’s application can be refused, for example, if he/she has broken UK immigration law.


For each child included on the application form, persons must provide:

• A current passport or other valid travel identification;

• A birth certificate, if they were born in the UK;

• Their biometric residence permit, if they have one;

• Their police registration certificate, if they are 16 years or over (unless they did not need to register);

• Proof they live permanently with the applicant, for example, letters from the child’s school or doctor.


Persons must apply online, and they will need to be in the UK when applying. Please be aware that once the application has been started, the form can be saved and completed later.

When applying, the applicant will be asked to make an appointment at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) service point to provide biometric information (fingerprints and a photograph). They will also need to submit their supporting documents. Persons can upload them into the online service or have them scanned at your UKVCAS appointment.

Persons applying must not travel outside of the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man until they get a decision, as the application will be withdrawn if they do. Further, any children age six years of age or over must provide biometric information if applying for them on the same form.


Persons will usually get a decision within six months. They will be contacted if their application is complex and will take longer, for example:

• If their supporting documents need to be verified;

• If they need to attend an interview;

• Because of their personal circumstances, for example, if they have a criminal conviction.

Persons can get help with completing the online form if they do not feel confident using a computer or mobile device, or if they do not have Internet access. Please be aware that persons can only use this service if they are applying in the UK, and that they cannot get immigration advice through this service.

I hope this helps.

John S. Bassie is a barrister/attorney-at-law who practises law in Jamaica. He is a justice of the jeace, a Supreme Court-appointed mediator, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a chartered arbitrator, global vice-president of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, and a member of the Immigration Law Practitioners Association (UK). Email: