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Settlement in the UK

Let’s make it your home!

We are #1 UK experts on settlement law

Expert guidance – competitive fixed fees

10+ years of experience, 1000s of successful cases

Next-day service is very popular: you would have a decision on the next working day after  the appointment, as opposed to waiting – and worrying – for up to 6 months. We book an appointment for you, we upload the documents beforehand and ‘hold your hand’ throughout the whole process. You can keep your passport during the processing time. Our How It Works page has more. This used to be same-day service before it changed in November 2018. 

Next-day service is available for the following Indefinite Leave categories:

10 years residence.

ILR in Tier 2 route.

ILR in Ancestral route.

ILR for spouses, partners, parents of UK citizens in 5-year route.

Standard service is more affordable but may take 6 months of waiting. And worrying, because the UKVI officers don’t provide any update or indication whether your case will be successful – only the decision at the end. Standard service can be used for all categories. In case of Tier 1, it is the only ILR service unless you choose to use Super Premium service. You can keep your passport during the processing time! Our How It Works page has more. This used to be postal service before it changed in November 2018.  

10 years of living in the UK legally and continuously. 

Any UK visas are counted. 

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.

5 years in the UK continuously.

Only Tier 2 General visas are counted with limited Tier 1 categories.

Life in the UK test and English B1.

Absences: 180 days per year.

Minimum salary rules.

Most common problem: salary isn’t high enough if your SOC code requires a higher salary than ILR minimum.

5 years in the UK continuously.

Only Ancestral visas are counted.

Life in the UK test and English B1.

Absences: 180 days per year.

Most common problem: driving offences and absences.

Standard route – 5 years in the UK continuously.

Accelerated Entrepreneur route – 3 years if your business has created 10 jobs or generated £5 million in sales.

Only Entrepreneur visas are counted; cannot be combined with others including Graduate Entrepreneur.

Accelerated Investor routes – 3 years if you have invested £5 million or 2 years if you have invested £10 million.

Only Investor visas are counted, cannot be combined with others.

Exceptional Talent – 5 years and cannot be combined with other categories.

Life in the UK test and English B1 – for all.

Absences: 180 days per year – for all.

Most common problem: absences.

5 and 10 years in the UK respectively.

In the 5-year route only Spouse/Partner visas are counted, and they have to be from 5-year route ‘type’. 

In the 10-year route it can be other visas (see above in ILR 10 years). 

Life in the UK test and English B1.

Absences: no written rules, in practice 6 months per year is often acceptable, providing the UK remained your main home.

Most common problem: Financial Requirement and Life in the UK test.

EEA citizens – 5 years in the UK continuously while working, studying or living self-sufficiently.

Family members (of any nationality) – 5 years in the UK while living with ‘your’ EEA citizen of the type above.

5 years have to be continuous but don’t need to end ‘now’.

No need for Life in the UK test or English test.

Absences: 6 months per year.

Most common problem: breaks in work, especially not working while raising children.

Summary of ILR rules on absences – all in one place.

Tier 1, Tier 2 and Representative of Overseas Business 180 days per year. 
Dependants of Tier 1 and Tier 2180 days per year during the periods when your visa was issued under the Rules from 11 January 2018 (before that there was no written rules). 
Ancestral180 days per year.
10 years residence6 months in each absence and 540 days total in 10 years. 
Spouse / Partner of UK citizensNo written rules, in practice 6 months per year is often acceptable, providing the UK remained your main home. 
EEA citizens6 months per year. 

Family members of EEA citizens.This rule applies whether a family member if EEA or non-EEA citizen, i.e. ‘Polish married to Polish’ as well as ‘Brazilian married to Italian’ etc.

6 months per year.
What about 90 and 450 days?That’s for Citizenship.

 

Firstly, you can lose ILR status by leaving the country for more than 2 years. This may also happen if you make your home overseas and return to the UK for holidays to keep it within 2 years. Secondly, your ILR visa card will have an expiry date of 31.12.2024 and ‘shrinking’ every day (except if you qualified under EEA rules). You will be able to renew it, paying another Government fee. Solution to both – apply for a British passport!

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