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Settlement in the UK

Settlement, also known as “indefinite leave to remain” under the Immigration Rules, or “permanent residence” under the European rules, will be granted to those that meet the specific eligibility requirements and either have a current visa or a particular relationship to people in the UK.

Skilled Migration have expert knowledge of the immigration rules and processes to make the transition to an indefinite stay in the UK as smooth as possible. If you are from a country outside the European Economic Area and would like to live in the UK without any time restrictions, our specialist immigration barristers can give you professional and practical advice on applying for settlement.

Settling in the UK Permanently

There are various routes for settlingg in the UK permanently.  Here are a number of examples:

  1. The first is to apply for settlement on the basis of a current visa which has a “route to settlement.”  
  2. The second is where a person has a close relationship with, or a high degree of dependence on someone in the UK, usually because a family member or partner has settled or is a British citizen.
  3. The third is to apply for settlement on the basis of long residence. This route is available for those that have been in the UK continuously for 10 years.
  4. Family members of someone who has been granted indefinite leave to remain may also apply for settlement.  If granted, this will also them to remain in the UK with their settled spouse, civil, same-sex or unmarried partner, or their child or dependent relative.

Below are a few examples of the main eligibility requirements that can apply to different types of visa:

  • If you are in the UK on a current Tier 1 EEntrepreneur visa, you must have been continuously resident in the UK for 5 years in accordance with the requirements of that route, and pass the Life in the UK and English language tests.  
  • For Tier 1 Investors, the residence period can be as short as 2 years, depending on the size of the investment;
  • If you a family member or partner of someone who settled in the UK on a work visa, you must possess a partner visa, been continuously living with your partner in the UK for either 2 or 5 years (depending on the category) and pass the Life in the UK and English language tests.
  • If you have resided in the UK on a continuous lawful basis for 10 years, and there are no public interest reasons to refuse your application bearing in mind your strength of connections here, age, character, conduct, associations and employment record, and any domestic or compassionate circumstances;
  • There are limits on the number of days absence from the UK that are permitted within each settlement category.  So if you plan to undertake more than a minimal amount of international travel during your visa, it is wise to obtain expert advice in advance to help you to manage those absences and avoid visa problems further down the line.

Getting settlement even after living here for some years is not always easy, because you have to be resident here in excess of certain precisely defined periods: small gaps in leave, or excessive stays abroad, may defeat your case. Sometimes the Immigration Rules seem to say one thing, policy guidance another, and common sense may point in another direction altogether. We can give you fast, pragmatic advice on whether there are arguments available which will get you settlement.

Apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain

If your application is successful and you are granted indefinite leave to remain, you can work freely in the UK, leave and re-enter the country and will not be subject to immigration control.

Immigration Advice from Direct Access Immigration Barristers

For high quality legal services and a bespoke immigration strategy, contact our team of expert immigration barristers.

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