UK VISAS, IMMIGRATION ADVICE & BRITISH CITIZENSHIP
POINTS-BASED SYSTEM VISAS
VISAS UNDER EUROPEAN LAW
Settlement/Indefinite Leave to Remain
New Rules from 6 April 2015: Last ILR applications based on Tier 1 General will be in April 2018. If you cannot qualify until then, such as because of absences or a driving offence, you'd need to switch to another category. For an individual advice book our Advice Session now!
We can submit ILR applications every week for same-day service for applicable categories, we are authorised by the UK Border Agency. We can also assist with postal applications for all categories.
This is a permanent UK visa, officially called Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) allows to stay in the UK indefinitely - forever.
You can apply for an ILR under all categories within 28 days before the end of your 'qualifying period', not earlier. A qualifying period of duration of (lawful) continuous residency in the UK. For spouses/partners of UK citizens and their dependants it is 2 or 5 years depending on the visa issue date; for most others - 5 years; for Long Residence applications - 10 years of lawful residence. All the above categories are eligible for same-day service at Home Office except 10 years of Long Residence and applications following a 5 -year visa under Humanitarian Protection.
New rules have been added over the last 2 years. For example, from 28 October 2013 there is an extra requirement of English language. From 13 December 2012 there are more generous limits on absences from the UK for Tier 1, 2, Ancestral visa holders, which is beneficial for those who had to apply for an extension even after spending 5 years in the UK. New criminality rules also apply from that date. From 6 April 2011 Tier 1 General applicants need to pass a points test again.
We strongly advise to book our Advice Session to ensure you qualify for an ILR before risking so much money on an application.
Examples on the issues we can advise during the session: absences from the UK (are they within the limit?), what to do if you have a criminal conviction or a driving offence, what if your British spouse/partner is claiming benefits, do you pass a points test, what if you changed your name, do you have enough money to satisfy the maintenance requirement, can you leave the UK after you get an ILR and when it can become invalid, how do the new Rules from 9 July 2012 affect you and many others.
Dependants, i.e. a spouse/partner and children under 18.y.o., can be included in the main applicant's application.
Family members can be included as above only if they currently hold dependent visas (for example, Tier 1 Dependant etc). Spouses holding a separate 'main' visa, such as their own Tier 2 visa, cannot be included.
Exception- Long Residence applications, based on 10 years, where each family member has to qualify and apply separately, i.e. dependants cannot be included (even a spouse and small children).
Everyone applying for an ILR has to pass a Life in The UK Test, except those who are under 18 or over 65 y.o. Furthermore, there is a new requirement from 28 October 2013 to pass an approved English language test, in addition to passing a Life in The UK Test. English language requirement can also be met by providing certificate of a degree (minimum Bachelor level) which was taught in English while nationals of certain majority English-speaking countries are exempt (but still need a Life in the UK Test).
1) Spouses and partners of British citizens and of UK permanent residents can apply after 2 years on a spouse/partner visa if he/she has the first Spouse/Partner visa issued before 9 July 2012. Those who had a first Spouse/Partner visa issued after 9 July 2012 then waiting time for an ILR will be 5 years (not 2 years), with the first applications in July 2017.
2) Holders of Tier 1 General and Tier 2 visas. Can apply for an ILR after 5 years of continuing residency. 5 years for this purpose can be a combination of these and some related visa categories (but not other visas such as Ancestral).
Dependants: residence requirements (number of years in the UK) has to be met by the main applicant only for holders of Work Permits or HSMP visas under the 'old' rules (under the Rules before Points-Based System).
However, if the main applicant currently holds a visa under the new Tiered PBS system (Tier 1, Tier 2 etc) then a dependant spouse can only qualify for an ILR at the same time if dependant spouse has lived in the UK together with the main applicant for at least 2 years on a dependant visa (if dependant visa was issued before 9 July 2012) or at least 5 years (if dependant visa was issued after 9 July 2012).
Children of PBS migrants can only have ILR when both parents have it or both are applying for it, or one had it and the other is applying with the child. In other words, a child cannot have ILR until both parents are applying, or have, ILR. That is unless a child was born in the UK, then he/she does not need an ILR at all and once parents are settled (hold an ILR), may be registered as British.
3) Ancestral visa holders. Can apply for an ILR having lived and worked in the UK for 5 years while holding an Ancestral visa (5 years cannot be combined with being in the UK on other types of visas).
4) People applying on the basis of Long Residence of 10 years. For those who have spent continuous 10 years lawfully in the UK. Some 'gaps' between visas are allowed, we can provide detailed advice on this.
5) Those holding 5 years visas under Humanitarian Protection can apply for an ILR within 28 days before current visa expires (not earlier). You do not need to pass Life in The UK Test.
6) European and Swiss citizens and their family members and their family members. Please refer to a page for applications under European law on the left menu.