Get in touch for expert advice

Settlement Visa UK

It is important to settle in the UK as this is the route to British citizenship. You need to be settled in the UK usually for one year before being able to apply for British nationality, unless you are married to a British national. Please contact us to check if you are eligible for settlement in the UK, so that you can live in the UK without any restrictions.

How to become a Permanent Resident in the UK

You can now apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. European nationals are able to apply for a UK Permanent Residents document, but in principle they do not need to apply for it, unless they want to apply for British nationality. Those who have permanent residence documents will have to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme after 31st December 2020 in order to continue living in the UK.

An application for Permanent Residence status or settled status should be successful if you have lived in the UK for five years and have been exercising treaty rights by working, studying, being self-employed or self-sufficient or for part of the time looking for work. You can include close family members in your application who might also qualify for permanent residence. Those family members can be spouse, child or parent. You can also include extended family members in your application if they are dependent on you or a member of your household. This can include unmarried partner, brother, sister, aunt, uncle etc.

Indefinite Leave to Remain Conditions

One of the requirements to satisfy in order to get indefinite leave to remain is to have continuous lawful residence in the UK. Under the Tier Points Based System you need to have a five year period of continuous lawful residence. You should not spend any of your time in the UK without valid leave to remain. The period between entry clearance being issued and your entry into the UK may be counted towards the qualifying period and therefore it is an allowable absence. You should not be absent for more than 180 days in the continuous 12 month period. Absence of more than 180 days will break the period of continuous residence.

Another requirement when you apply for indefinite leave to remain is you will have to pass the Life in the UK test and provide evidence of your ability to speak English to the required standard.

You have to provide evidence that you have no criminal convictions or breaches of your immigration status.

The period that you will have to live in the UK in order to obtain indefinite leave to remain varies:

  • The qualifying period for applicants who make an application on the basis of family life, ie., spouse, unmarried partner and EA family member is five years.
  • UK ancestry visa and Tier 1 and 2 visas is five years, or three years depending on the level of investment and business activity.
  • If you were granted discretionary leave to remain for a period of six years you can make an application thereafter.
  • If you were granted refugee status for a period of five years you can make an application thereafter.
  • Under the long residence provision you can make an application for settlement after 10 years continuous lawful residence in the UK.

Does indefinite leave to remain expire?

If you are away from the UK for more than two years you may lose your indefinite leave to remain. However, we can assist you in returning to live in the UK under the previous conditions if you have strong family ties in the UK or lived in the UK most of your life. However, this will be a matter to address with the Immigration Authorities.

You will need to make an application as a returning resident in order to be granted your indefinite leave to remain status again. Another way to lose your indefinite leave to remain is if the Home Office decides to revoke your indefinite leave to remain. There are instances where a person who is granted indefinite leave to remain will lose it, for example, if they are liable to deportation or if they obtained indefinite leave to remain by deception.

Section 76(3(a-d) Article 1(c) of the Refugee Convention applies to persons granted refugee status, but ceased to be a refugee because they voluntarily availed themselves of the protection of their country of nationality voluntarily established themselves in a country in respect of which they were refugees. We will be able to mitigate against the revocation of indefinite leave to remain.

Can I apply for British Citizenship immediately after obtaining Indefinite Leave to Remain ?

You can apply for British citizenship by naturalisation if you are married to a British citizen and you are over 18 and have lived in the UK for at least three years before the date of the application. You can apply as soon as you obtained indefinite leave to remain in the UK. You must prove your knowledge of English and take the Life in the UK test.

Another circumstance in which you can apply for British citizenship immediately after obtaining indefinite leave to remain is if you were “deemed settled” for over a year in the event that you are an EU national.

The British Nationality Act 1981 requires successful applicants for British citizenship to show that he/she has been free from immigration restrictions.

Citizens of the EU and EA countries were until 12th November 2015 able to qualify once they have possessed permanent residence for a 12 months period and met all the other requirements. Permanent residence was something that was acquired automatically by operation of the law after five years continuous exercise of EU law rights such as being a worker or self-employed person. Previously there was no need to formally apply for it. However, on 12th November 2015, it was decided that a person with at least 12 months of permanent residence who wished to apply for British citizenship had first to apply for a permanent residence certificate or card.

Can you lose your British nationality after divorce?

Separation and divorce will not affect your entitlement to British nationality if at the time of your application you were in a genuine and subsisting relationship and acted in good faith.

Can ILR be revoked if you divorce?

You must tell the Home Office when you divorce or separate from your partner if your visa is based on your relationship. However, if you obtain indefinite leave to remain on the basis of the marriage, and at the time of the application for indefinite leave you had the intention of remaining living with your spouse then the relationship breakdown later on down the line should not affect your ability to remain in the UK.

Danielle invites you to take a look at her blog, where you will see the diverse range of clients that she has helped.

We appreciate that Immigration Law can seem complex and confusing – if you would like us to help you with an application or an appeal, or you would like some general advice, call us on 020 7267 4133. Danielle will only charge you for the first consultation if you decide to become her client and if she can assist you. Please call or contact us to discuss your queries or to schedule an appointment.

Contact Us! Leave Your Details or Call 020 7267 4133

The Firm is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority