Latest Updates:
(+44) 207 060 5333 (UK)
+7 (499) 6092322 (RUS)
Search
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in comments
Search in excerpt
Filter by Custom Post Type

Settling in the UK

IMMIGRATION

Settling in the UK

Introduction

Settlement in the UK (also known as permanent residence (PR) or indefinite leave to remain (ILR)) can be acquired in various different ways. Many working visas and family visas provide a route to settlement, typically after five years but in some cases after shorter periods. And in some cases long residence in the UK (eg continuous lawful residence for ten years under any combination of visas) provides a route to settlement.

As well as the length of residence requirements there are also rules about the maximum amount of time that can be spent outside the UK during the qualifying period. There are also in most cases both English language and Life in the UK test requirements, and there is also a requirement that the applicant does not have any unspent criminal convictions at the time of application.

Settlement is, in the great majority of cases, a necessary prerequisite for acquiring British citizenship.

Working Visas

Tier 1 Entrepreneur, Tier 1 Investor, Representative of an Overseas Business and Tier 2 (General) visas all provide a potential route to settlement. (The Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) visa no longer leads to settlement.)

All settlement applications for working visas have both an English language requirement and a Life in the UK test requirement. The English language requirement can be satisfied either by being a national of a majority English-speaking country, by holding a degree-level qualification taught in English or by having passed an English language examination at at least B1 CEFR level. (But applicants may in some cases already have satisfied the English language requirement when they applied for their working visa.)

There is also a rule about the maximum amount of time that the applicant can spend outside the UK during the qualifying period if they hold a working visa. The applicant must not have spent more than 180 days per 12 months of the qualifying period outside the UK.

Additionally, a working visa may have specific extra requirements for settlement that have to be met.

In some cases it is possible to combine together different working visas for a qualifying period and acquire settlement on this basis, but the rules about this are complex.

The Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa potentially provides a route to settlement after five years but, exceptionally, if the applicant’s business or businesses have performed particularly well, it may be possible to acquire settlement after just three years.

The initial visa is granted for a three-year period or a few months longer and it may be possible to apply to extend the visa at the end of that period. However, if during that initial three-year period the applicant’s business or businesses have achieved turnover of at least £5m or, alternatively, if they have created at least ten full-time jobs for resident workers, then it may be possible to acquire settlement after just three years, in which situation it would not be necessary to apply for an extension of the three-year visa.

The Tier 1 Investor visa potentially provides a route to settlement after five years, three years or two years, depending on the level of funds that the applicant has invested. If the applicant invests £2m they may be able to acquire settlement after five years; if they invest £5m they may be able to acquire it after three years; and if they invest £10m they may be able to acquire it in two years. The initial visa is granted for a three-year period and it may be possible to apply to extend the visa at the end of that period. But if the applicant qualifies for the three-year route or the two-year route to settlement they can apply for settlement straight away and they will not have to apply for a visa extension.

The Representative of an Overseas Business visa potentially provides a route to settlement after five years. The initial visa is granted for a period of three years and it may be possible to apply to extend the visa at the end of this period. If the extension application is successful then the extension will be granted for two years, at the end of which it may be possible to apply for settlement.

The Tier 2 (General) visa potentially provides a route to settlement after five years. The initial visa can be granted for any period of up to five years, and it may be possible to apply to extend the visa if necessary. After five years as a Tier 2 (General) visa holder it may be possible for the applicant to apply for settlement.

Tier 2 (General) settlement applications have some additional requirements. The applicant must show that they are being paid at least the appropriate salary for their job, as defined in the Home Office Tier 2 Codes of Practice. There is in many cases also an additional requirement that their salary be at least £35,000 per annum.

Family Visas

As with working visas, applicants for settlement who hold family visas must, in most cases, meet a qualifying period. There is also, in most cases, both an English language and a Life in the UK test requirement. The English language requirement can be satisfied either by being a national of a majority English-speaking country, by holding a degree-level qualification taught in English or by having passed an English language examination at at least B1 CEFR level. (But applicants may in some cases already have satisfied the English language requirement when they applied for their family visa.)

For an applicant who holds a visa as a Spouse, Civil Partner or Unmarried Partner of a person settled in the UK (ie a British citizen, someone who has settlement or someone who holds refugee status) it may be possible to acquire settlement after five years. The initial visa is granted for 30 months and it may be possible to extend it for a further 30 months. After 60 months in total (ie five years) it may be possible to apply for settlement.

There is no specific requirement about time spent outside the UK during the qualifying period, but the amount of time spent outside the UK must be reasonable in the circumstances.
A Fiancé(e) or Prospective Civil Partner visa does not contribute towards the qualifying period for settlement.

A young person who holds a Child visa may also be able to qualify for settlement, but this is dependent on the parents’ situation.

Long Residence

A migrant who has held ten years’ continuous lawful leave, under any combination of visas, may be able to apply for settlement on this basis.

As with other categories for settlement, there is both an English language requirement and a Life in the UK test requirement. The English language requirement can be satisfied either by being a national of a majority English-speaking country, by holding a degree-level qualification taught in English or by having passed an English language examination at at least B1 CEFR level. (But applicants may in some cases already have satisfied the English language requirement with a previous visa application.)

There is also a requirement that the applicant has not spent more than a total of 18 months outside the UK during the ten-year qualifying period and there is an additional requirement that the applicant has not spent more than six months outside the UK on any one occasion.

Facebook
Facebook
Google+
https://www.redsquarelondon.com/immigration/settling-in-the-uk/">
LinkedIn