The UK settlement visa (also referred to as indefinite leave to remain & permanent residency) is for those who have spent a continue period of time in the UK and will lift your immigration restrictions in the UK. For many this is the penultimate goal in the immigration process.
In order to satisfy the general requirements for settlement in the UK, you will need to show that:
- Demonstrating that you have knowledge of life in the UK;
- Demonstrating that you are of good character and sound mind; and
- Demonstrating that you have met the residential requirement
There are several ways in which you can qualify for settlement in the UK – please see the different routes below.
Family Route – Spouses & Partners Routes
Under the UK family visa route, spouses, unmarried partners or civil partners are not required to spend a continued period of their probationary period in the UK to meet the residency requirements for settlement in the UK. If an applicant has spent a limited period outside of the UK during the period for employment/business activities this would be detrimental to any future settlement applications, however large periods of stay outside of the UK for leisure/general reasons may put doubt on the applicants credibility and requirements of the rules having been met. Each case will be judged on it’s own merits.
Please note: All new applications made after 9th July 2012 under the family visa route will be subject to a five year probationary period before they can be eligible for settlement in the UK.
Employment – Tier 1 & Tier 2 Work Permit Visa Routes
Under the the Tier 1 (General, Entrepreneur & Investor) & Tier 2 (General) applicants can apply for settlement in the UK after a continued period of five years work and residence in the UK. Applicants under both categories will need to meet certain requirements as well as satisfy the point’s based test.
Those holding a Tier 1 General will need to satisfy paragraph 245CD of the Immigration Rules - applicants will need to score 75 points on the points test if their last visa was granted before 19 July 2010 or 80 points for applicants granted on or after 19 July 2010. Applicants will be assessed under the Tier 1 eligibility criteria
Under Tier 2 General of the Points-Based Scheme, applicants for settlement must have spent a continued period of five years living and working in the UK. Applicants will required a letter from their employer stating that they are still required for the role and they are paid at the appropriate rate in line with the codes of practice for Tier 2 Sponsors.
Please note: As of 6 April 2012 applicants under the Tier 2 General route who are employed by a UK based employer to fill a graduate level position will not be eligible for settlement unless they are paid £35,000+ and in addition their stay in the UK will be limited to a maximum of six years.
Business – Entrepreneur & Investor Visa Routes
Under the UK Entrepreneur Visa category, applicants who can show that they have created 10 full-time jobs for resident workers or have a turnover of £5 million will be eligible for settlement in the UK upon completion of 3 years residency in the UK.
Under the UK Investor Visa, applicants who can invest £5million in a new or running UK business will be eligible for settlement in the UK after just 3 years and those bringing in £10 million will be eligible after just two years. This sees a massive reduction down from the original 5 years as well as avoiding extension applications.
Long Residency Route
If you have spent a continued period of 10 years legal stay in the UK you are eligible to apply for settlement provided you have no ‘gaps’ or periods of long absence from the UK. This should not be confused with long residency under the 14 year rule which is intended for those who have periods of legal and/or illegal stay in the UK.
Under the long residency visa, you will need to meet the criminality requirement of being free from criminal convictions as well as to show continuous residence in the UK for at least 10 years.
With almost 10 years of combined experience, our regulated UK immigration specialists will ensure that your UK settlement visa application is handled professionally and in a time-efficient manner. Take a free assessment or call us now on +44 (0)203 617 1111 to find out more about how we can help you in your UK settlement visa application.