After you have lived legally in the UK for a certain length of time, you may be able to apply for permission to settle here. This is known as ‘indefinite leave to remain’.
- You can apply for settlement if you are in one of the following immigration categories and you have been living in the UK in a relevant category for 5 years:
- Tier 1 or Tier 2 of the points-based system (excluding the Post-study work category of Tier 1)
- Work permit holder
- Representative of an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation
- Private servant in a diplomatic household
- Domestic worker in a private household
- Overseas government employee
- Minister of religion, missionary or member of a religious order
- Airport-based operational staff of an overseas-owned airline
- Self-employed lawyer
- Writer, composer or artist
- UK ancestry
- Highly skilled migrant under the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP) – but if you applied to the HSMP before 3 April 2006 and came to the UK on the basis of that application, you can apply after you have been in the UK for only 4 years.
- You can apply to settle here as the husband, wife, civil partner or unmarried/same-sex partner of a British citizen or someone who is settled here if you:
- Currently have temporary permission to remain in the UK as the husband, wife, civil partner or unmarried/same-sex partner of a British citizen or a person settled here;
- Have lived here for 2 years in this category; and
- Are still planning to live together (and are still married or in a civil partnership, if applicable).
- You can apply for settlement by children of British citizens or people who are settled here if you are:
- A child aged under 18 of a parent, parents or a relative who is a permanent resident of the UK and currently living here;
- An adopted child aged under 18 of a parent or parents who are permanent residents of the UK and currently living here; or
- A parent, grandparent or other dependant relative aged 18 or over of a person who is a permanent resident of the UK and currently living here.
- You can apply to settle here if you have been legally resident in the UK for a continuous period of 10 years.
Your 10-year qualifying period starts from either:
- The date when you arrived in the UK with a visa; or
- The date you were given permission to stay in the UK.
- You can apply for settlement if you are the victims of domestic violence. That is if you have been given temporary permission to remain in the UK as the partner of a permanent resident, and the relationship has broken down because you have suffered domestic violence.You may be able to apply for settlement if:
- You were given permission to come to the UK for up to 27 months or to extend your stay for two years as the husband, wife, civil partner, unmarried partner or same-sex partner of a permanent resident ( even if that permission is no longer valid) ; and
- You were still in that relationship at the time when you came to the UK or extended your stay as their husband, wife, civil partner, unmarried partner or same-sex partner; and
- You can produce evidence that the relationship has broken down permanently since then as a result of domestic violence.
- You can apply for settlement if you are
- A retired person of independent means; or
- A sole representative of an overseas firm.
You cannot apply until you have been living legally in the UK for five years in the relevant category.
Note: Please do not send your application more than 28 days before you become eligible to apply. However, you must make your application before your current permission to stay in the UK expires.
Knowledge of Language and Life in the UK
There are 2 ways to demonstrate your knowledge of language and life (KOL) in the UK.
- If you are an English speaker (see below) and/or you are currently in the UK as a skilled or highly skilled migrant, you must pass the ‘Life in the UK test‘.
- If you are not an English speaker and you are not a skilled or highly skilled migrant, you must pass a course in English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) which contains citizenship materials.
If you are under 18 years old or at least 65 years old, you are exempt from the KOL requirement. When you apply for settlement, you should send us your passport or birth certificate as evidence of your age.
Contact our solicitor immediately for legal advice and you need to take action in timely,
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