The length of time that your UK settlement visa is issued for is dependent on the kind of visa which you are applying for.
If you are married to, or the unmarried partner or civil partner of a UK citizen, your visa will be issued for 2 years.
If you are the spouse of an Ancestral or Tier 1 visa holder, your visa will be issued for the length of time remaining on your spouses visa.
If you are applying for an Ancestral visa, the visa will be issued for 5 years. 
Once you have been resident in the UK for five years (or two years in the case of a relationship with a UK citizen), you can then apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) and ultimately for British citizenship. This will then give you the right to live and work in the UK indefinitely. Evidence will be required in order to satisfy the requirements for ILR in order to show that the reason for the visa (i.e. the marriage or ancestral links) is still in tact and/or legitimate.
For unmarried applicants who wish to remain in the UK on a UK settlement visa, there are certain criteria that must be met, including:
• The applicant is the unmarried partner of a person already present and settled in the UK; • Both sponsor and applicant are aged 21 or over; • That adequate accommodation has been secured without resorting to public funds (benefits); • Both sponsor and applicant have been living together in a permanent relationship for at least the two years immediately prior to the application; • Both sponsor and applicant intend to live together permanently in a relationship akin to marriage.

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