Overview of Permanent Residence in the UK

Permanent Residence, also known as Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), is a status that allows non-UK nationals to live and work in the UK without any restrictions on their stay. Once granted, it allows the individual to remain in the UK indefinitely and also provides a pathway to apply for British citizenship.

To be eligible for Permanent Residence, individuals must usually have lived in the UK for a minimum period of five years and meet certain requirements, such as passing the Life in the UK Test, demonstrating proficiency in English language, and not having any criminal convictions.

There are different routes to obtaining Permanent Residence, depending on the individual’s circumstances, such as through employment, family, or study. The most common route is through the five-year work route, where individuals can apply for ILR after completing five years of continuous legal residence in the UK, which can be achieved through various work visas such as skilled worker visa.

It’s important to note that not all non-UK nationals are eligible for Permanent Residence, and the eligibility criteria and application process can be complex and subject to change. Therefore, it’s recommended to seek professional advice from a qualified immigration lawyer or consultant before applying.

 

Types of Permanent Residence Status in the UK

In the UK, there are two types of Permanent Residence Status:

  1. Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR): This is the most common type of Permanent Residence status in the UK, which allows individuals to live and work in the UK without any restrictions on their stay. It’s usually granted to individuals who have lived in the UK for a minimum period of five years and meet certain requirements, such as passing the Life in the UK Test and demonstrating proficiency in English language.
  2. Settlement: Settlement is another type of Permanent Residence status that allows individuals to live and work in the UK without any restrictions on their stay. It’s usually granted to individuals who have lived in the UK for a minimum period of five years, and have met certain requirements, such as passing the Life in the UK Test and demonstrating proficiency in English language. The main difference between ILR and Settlement is that Settlement is granted to individuals who are refugees, or who have been granted humanitarian protection or discretionary leave to remain in the UK.

It’s worth noting that the requirements for both ILR and Settlement can be complex and subject to change. Therefore, it’s recommended to seek professional advice from a qualified immigration lawyer or consultant before applying for either of these statuses.

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Requirements for a Permanent Residence Application

The requirements for a Permanent Residence application in the UK can vary depending on the individual’s circumstances and the type of visa they hold. However, the general requirements for an Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) application are:

  1. Continuous Residence: The applicant must have lived in the UK continuously for a minimum period of five years on a qualifying visa, such as a Tier 2 General work visa, and must not have been absent from the UK for more than 180 days in any 12-month period.
  2. Immigration Status: The applicant must have a valid visa or permission to stay in the UK at the time of the application and must not have breached any immigration laws during their stay in the UK.
  3. English Language: The applicant must be able to demonstrate proficiency in English language by passing an approved English language test or by holding a degree taught or researched in English.
  4. Life in the UK Test: The applicant must pass the Life in the UK Test, which assesses their knowledge of British history, government, and culture.
  5. No Criminal Record: The applicant must not have any criminal convictions or civil judgments against them, either in the UK or overseas.

It’s worth noting that the requirements for a Permanent Residence application can be complex and subject to change. Therefore, it’s recommended to seek professional advice from a qualified immigration lawyer or consultant before applying.

 

How to Apply for Permanent Residence in the UK

The application process for Permanent Residence in the UK varies depending on the individual’s circumstances and the type of visa they hold. However, the general steps to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) are as follows:

  1. Check Eligibility: The first step is to check if you meet the eligibility requirements for ILR. You can do this by reviewing the UK government’s guidelines for ILR eligibility or consulting with a qualified immigration lawyer or consultant.
  2. Complete the Application Form: Once you have confirmed your eligibility, you can complete the application form for ILR. The application form can be downloaded from the UK government’s website.
  3. Prepare Supporting Documents: You will need to provide supporting documents to prove your eligibility for ILR. This may include your passport, visa, proof of continuous residence in the UK, English language proficiency certificate, Life in the UK Test certificate, and any other documents required for your specific circumstances.
  4. Submit Application and Pay Fees: Once you have completed the application form and gathered your supporting documents, you can submit your application to the UK Visa and Immigration office. You will also need to pay the application fee, which can vary depending on your circumstances.
  5. Attend Biometrics Appointment: After submitting your application, you will be required to attend a biometrics appointment to provide your fingerprints and photograph.
  6. Wait for a Decision: The processing time for ILR applications can vary, but you can check the current processing times on the UK government’s website. Once a decision has been made on your application, you will be notified by the UK Visa and Immigration office.

It’s important to note that the application process for ILR can be complex and subject to change. Therefore, it’s recommended to seek professional advice from a qualified immigration lawyer or consultant before applying.

The CGM App is designed for expats, sponsoring companies and business immigration advisors. Click here to get started 

Eligibility Criteria

The eligibility criteria for Permanent Residence in the UK can vary depending on the individual’s circumstances and the type of visa they hold. However, the general eligibility criteria for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) are:

  1. Continuous Residence: The applicant must have lived in the UK continuously for a minimum period of five years on a qualifying visa, such as a Tier 2 General work visa, and must not have been absent from the UK for more than 180 days in any 12-month period.
  2. Immigration Status: The applicant must have a valid visa or permission to stay in the UK at the time of the application and must not have breached any immigration laws during their stay in the UK.
  3. English Language: The applicant must be able to demonstrate proficiency in English language by passing an approved English language test or by holding a degree taught or researched in English.
  4. Life in the UK Test: The applicant must pass the Life in the UK Test, which assesses their knowledge of British history, government, and culture.
  5. No Criminal Record: The applicant must not have any criminal convictions or civil judgments against them, either in the UK or overseas.

It’s worth noting that the eligibility criteria for Permanent Residence can be complex and subject to change. Therefore, it’s recommended to seek professional advice from a qualified immigration lawyer or consultant before applying.

 

Document required  for Permanent Residence in the UK

The documents required for Permanent Residence in the UK can vary depending on the individual’s circumstances and the type of visa they hold. However, the general documents required for an Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) application are:

  1. Passport or Travel Document: You will need to provide your current passport or travel document.
  2. Current Visa or Permission to Stay: You will need to provide evidence of your current visa or permission to stay in the UK, such as a biometric residence permit.
  3. Proof of Continuous Residence: You will need to provide evidence that you have lived in the UK continuously for a minimum period of five years, such as utility bills, bank statements, or council tax bills.
  4. English Language Proficiency Certificate: You will need to provide an English language proficiency certificate, such as an approved English language test or a degree taught or researched in English.
  5. Life in the UK Test Certificate: You will need to provide a Life in the UK Test certificate, which assesses your knowledge of British history, government, and culture.
  6. No Criminal Record Certificate: You will need to provide a certificate of no criminal record from your home country or any other country where you have lived for more than 12 months.
  7. Other Supporting Documents: You may need to provide additional supporting documents depending on your specific circumstances, such as marriage or civil partnership certificates, proof of income or employment, or proof of accommodation.

It’s important to note that the documents required for Permanent Residence can be complex and subject to change. Therefore, it’s recommended to seek professional advice from a qualified immigration lawyer or consultant before applying.

 

Cost for Permanent Residence in the UK

The cost for Permanent Residence in the UK can vary depending on the individual’s circumstances and the type of visa they hold. However, the general cost for an Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) application is:

  1. Application Fee: The application fee for ILR is currently £2,389 per person. However, this fee is subject to change, so it’s worth checking the latest fee information on the UK government’s website.
  2. Biometric Fee: You will also need to pay a biometric fee of £19.20 to provide your fingerprints and photograph at a designated biometric enrolment center.
  3. English Language Test Fee: If you need to take an approved English language test, you will need to pay the test fee, which can vary depending on the test provider.
  4. Life in the UK Test Fee: You will also need to pay a fee of £50 to take the Life in the UK Test.

It’s worth noting that the cost for Permanent Residence can be complex and subject to change. Therefore, it’s recommended to seek professional advice from a qualified immigration lawyer or consultant before applying.

The CGM App is designed for expats, sponsoring companies and business immigration advisors. Click here to get started 

Processing time for Permanent Residence in the UK

The processing time for Permanent Residence in the UK can vary depending on the individual’s circumstances and the type of visa they hold. However, the general processing time for an Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) application is approximately six months from the date of submission.

It’s important to note that the processing time can be longer if additional documents or information are required, or if the application is complicated. It’s also worth noting that the processing time can be affected by factors outside of the Home Office’s control, such as the volume of applications being processed.

To ensure a timely processing of your application, it’s recommended to provide all required documents and information accurately and promptly. It’s also advisable to seek professional advice from a qualified immigration lawyer or consultant to ensure that your application is complete and meets the eligibility criteria.

 

The EU Settlement Scheme

The EU Settlement Scheme is a UK government program designed to allow European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA), and Swiss citizens, as well as their family members, to continue living and working in the UK after Brexit. The scheme was introduced in March 2019 and closed on June 30th, 2021. However, certain individuals may still be eligible to apply under certain circumstances.

Under the scheme, eligible individuals who were living in the UK before December 31st, 2020, could apply for either settled status or pre-settled status, depending on how long they had been living in the UK. Settled status was granted to those who had been living in the UK continuously for at least five years, while pre-settled status was granted to those who had been living in the UK for less than five years.

The scheme aimed to make the application process as straightforward as possible, with most applications being completed online. The application required proof of identity, proof of residence, and declaration of any criminal convictions. Successful applicants were granted either settled or pre-settled status, which allows them to continue living and working in the UK, as well as accessing public services such as healthcare and education.

It’s important to note that the EU Settlement Scheme is separate from the Permanent Residence application process. If an individual wishes to apply for Permanent Residence in the UK, they will need to meet the eligibility criteria and follow the application process specific to that category.

 

Conclusion

In conclusion, obtaining Permanent Residence in the UK is an important step towards settling in the UK permanently. The process can be complex and time-consuming, but it allows eligible individuals to live, work and access public services without restrictions. The eligibility criteria, required documents, and cost can vary depending on the individual’s circumstances and type of visa. Seeking professional advice from a qualified immigration lawyer or consultant can help to ensure a successful application. Additionally, the EU Settlement Scheme provided a way for eligible EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens, as well as their family members, to continue living and working in the UK after Brexit

Frequently asked questions

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