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Settlement in the UK


What do you need to know?

Settlement in the UK, also known as Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), is permission to remain in the UK without any time restrictions on the length of stay.
It is not the same as naturalisation as a British citizen and may, in specific circumstances, be ceased or invalidated. For example: if a fraudulent application is uncovered, or if the person resides outside of the UK for more than two years, or because of a criminal conviction that results in a Deportation Order coming into force.

Under the Immigration Rules, if you have spent who have spent five years in the UK under a qualifying UK Immigration Status, then you may apply for ILR and, if successful, no longer need to apply for further permission.

If you have been in the UK for five years and only applied for “further leave to remain”, you must not treat the further leave to remain approved status as one for settlement.

How do I know if I am in a qualifying status for ILR?
To consider the ILR qualification you must either be under a Points-Based System (PBS) status that has not been suspended; or be under a family dependant status which leads to the qualifying status of ILR. You must consider the application under the requirements for the type of leave which is being requested.

As the routes covered in this guidance were superseded by PBS it is no longer possible for individuals to apply for an extension. Where the route (for which further leave to remain applies) has been superseded by PBS you must consult the table that gives the nearest comparable route under PBS.

The categories below were closed when the PBS was introduced (or have closed since) and the table below gives the nearest comparable route under PBS.

Previous category PBS Category Fresh talent:
• working in Scotland Tier 1 (Graduate entrepreneur) International graduate scheme
• Tier 1 (Graduate entrepreneur)
• Tier 1 (Post-study work)
• Tier 1 (Graduate entrepreneur)
• Carers (other than work permit holders)
• Tier 2 (General) or visitors’ category Jewish agency
• Tier 2 (General) General Agreement in Trade-in-Services (GATS)
• Tier 5 (Temporary worker – international agreement)
• Au pairs Tier 5 (Youth mobility scheme) – restricted age and nationalities Gap year entrants Tier 5 (Youth mobility scheme) – restricted age and nationalities Working holiday maker
• Tier 5 (Youth mobility scheme) – restricted age and nationality China graduate work experience
• Tier 5 (Temporary worker – government authorised exchange) International Association for the Tier 5 (Temporary worker – government authorised exchange)
• Teachers and language assistants Tier 5 (Temporary worker – government authorised exchange)
• Work permit holder – Training and Work Experience Scheme, Medical Training Initiative
• Tier 5 (Temporary worker) – Government authorised exchange and sponsored by a UK government department Voluntary worker
• Tier 5 (Temporary worker – charity worker) Japan youth exchange
• Tier 5 (Youth mobility scheme) or Tier 5 (Temporary worker) Research assistants to MPs Any part of the points-based system that they meet the requirements of. British Universities North America Club (BUNAC) students
• Tier 5 (Temporary worker – government authorised exchange) International Fire Fighters Fellowship programme
• Tier 5 (Temporary worker – government authorised exchange) Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) International secondment scheme
• Tier 5 (Temporary worker – government authorised exchange) EU Leonardo da Vinci programme
• Tier 5 (Temporary worker – government authorised exchange)
• Film crew on location Business visitor Overseas qualified nurses, midwives and student nurses not on work permits
• Overseas qualified nurses, midwives and student nurses not on work permits – Tier 2 (General) Student nurses
• Tier 5 – (Temporary worker – religious worker)
• Closed employment categories:
• Highly skilled migrant programme.
• Airport-based operational ground staff of overseas-owned airlines.
• Overseas government employees.
• Private servants in diplomatic households.
• Work permit holders – business and commercial and sports and entertainment.
• Ministers of religion, missionaries and members of religious orders.
• Sole representatives.
• Representatives of overseas newspapers, news agencies and broadcasting organisations.

Categories still qualifying (subject to all the requirements met) lead to ILR are:
• Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrant Representatives of an overseas business
• Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrant, accelerated UK ancestry
• Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) migrant Retired persons of independent means
• Tier 1 (Investor) migrant Bereaved partner
• Tier 1 (Investor) migrant, accelerated Biometric immigration document (Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)
• Tier 2 migrant Other purposes/reasons not covered by other PBS Dependant application forms Employment not requiring a work permit

Can my family members that are living in the UK apply to settle in the UK?
If you are a spouse, civil partner, same sex or unmarried partner of a person present and settled in the UK and entered the UK on the correct Spouse Visa, Same Sex Visa as a civil partner, provided all the legal requirements have been met.

How many EU citizens are eligible for ‘settled status’?
Nearly four million EU nationals could be eligible, with the Government anticipating around 3.5million applications.

Those living in the UK lawfully for at least five years will be granted “settled status” and can live, work and claim benefits just as they can now.

All EU citizens who move to the UK before the cut-off point will be given “blanket permission” to stay for a period – expected to be up to two years.

Close family members of those with settled status who live in a different country will be able to reunite at any point in the future and will be eligible for settled status after five years.
Family members such as spouses, civil partners, partners of more than two years, and dependent grandchildren, parents and grandchildren.

Children born in the UK to parents from the EU will automatically become British citizens. Irish citizens will not have their rights affected by Brexit and will always be able to live and work in Britain freely, provided all the legal requirements are satisfied.

For further advice and guidance on your settlement rights as a spouse or EEA National or Family member call today.

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