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Partner Dependent (of Visa Migrant) Settlement
The partner dependent needs to have fulfilled the 5 year residency requirement before becoming eligible for settlement. This is the case regardless of the residency requirement applying to the main visa holder. For example, while the holder of a Tier 1 Investor could become eligible for settlement as soon as after 2 years residency, the partner will need to wait regardless until the end of a 5 year period.
However, unlike the rules applying to the main applicant in most cases, the partner's accumulation of residency will not be "reset" when the main migrant switches visa category. For example, spending 5 years in the UK, first 2 years being the partner of a Student Visa migrant, and the next 3 years being the partner of an Innovator Visa migrant, will make the partner eligible for settlement.
The partner though cannot mix and match time spent between a Dependent Visa and another visa category. For example 2 years as a Skilled Worker + 3 years as a partner will not fulfil the residency requirement.