Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK: settle as a spouse, partner or parent of a British Citizen, 5 and 10 year routes
Apply for settlement on the basis of working, UK Ancestry, 10 years long residence
Get a faster decision on your settlement application!
24 – hour service: decision within 24 hours from the day of your appointment for biometrics (fingerprints), as opposed to waiting – and worrying – for up to 6 months. We guide on the process, we upload the documents beforehand and ‘hold your hand’ throughout the whole process. You keep your passport while waiting.
1 – week service: works as above but takes 5 working days.
Standard service is more affordable but may take up to 6 months. You can keep your passport during the consideration time but cannot travel abroad.
When you submit a new visa application before your old visa expired, your ‘old’ status continues for as long as it takes for the Government to make a decision. Even if your previous visa has expired while waiting.
If you have a Spouse visa and apply for Settlement, your Spouse visa extends by law until you get a decision on Settlement, even if it takes several months. You also retain the same rights as on a Spouse visa, so can work, use the NHS and so on.
If you have a Skilled Worker visa, you can only work for your Sponsor (employer). Before it, expires you apply for Settlement. While waiting, your status remains ‘Skilled Worker’ and you can still only work for your Sponsor. Once your ILR has been approved, however, you are free to do any work!
Some can be, some cannot be, it is written in the UK Immigration Rules – we will guide you!
For example, you can mix and match most work visas but cannot combine work visas with family visas. Also, a main visa is different from a dependent visa, such as Skilled Worker is different from Skilled Worker Dependant (called PBS Dependant), so cannot be combined either. Some categories are not counted at all, such as Student or Graduate, so Student+Spouse doesn’t work. If you are in the Spouse / Partner route, you cannot mix and match 5 and 10-year routes (unless it’s 10 years).
The only exception is 10 years of legal residence where most visas are acceptable.
5 years in the UK continuously. Can be combined with some other visa categories, but not all. It is a matter of the Immigration Rules and needs to be checked properly. For example, you can combine Tier 1 Entrepreneur with a Tier 2/Skilled Worker, but not other way around. You cannot combine a main visa with a dependent one. Life in UK test, English B1, absences 180 days per year.
5 years and 10 years respectively. For the 5-year route: English at B1 level, Life in the UK test and Financial Requirement £18,600. Five years can only be on a Spouse/Partner visa, cannot count Fiancé(e) visa and cannot combine with other categories, such as Student or even a visa in the 10-year Partner route. You can, however, switch into the 5-year route to qualify for Settlement sooner.
If you have a pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, you can apply for settlement after 5 years in the UK, continuously, while working, studying or living self-sufficiently. You don’t have to wait for 5 years from the date of pre-settled status. For example, it can be 4 years, then pre-settled status, then 1 year later – application for a settled status.
Family members (of any nationality) – 5 years in the UK while living with ‘your’ EEA citizen of the type above.
10 years of living in the UK legally and continuously. Most UK visas are counted, except Visitor, Short-term Student and some others. Life in the UK test and English B1. Absences: 6 months in each absence and 18 months total in 10 years
Most common problem: 18 months limit on absences. Those who started as child students 10 years ago had too many days away due to coming home during the school holidays.
You can lose your ILR if you leave the UK for more than 2 years. If you have a settled status under EU Settlement Scheme, it can be lost if you leave for 5 years. To avoid that, the best solution is to get a British passport!