Settlement and Naturalisation

What Is Settlement Status?

This is the status which gives you complete freedom from immigration control. To apply for it, you will need to have lived in the UK continuously and lawfully for a specified duration of time, normally for five or 10 years depending on your status. Settlement is otherwise known as indefinite leave to remain (ILR). The benefits of gaining settlement status in the UK include:

  • You Will Enjoy Unrestricted Entry to the UK - That Is Freedom from Immigration Control
  • You Will Be Free to Work within the UK without Restriction
  • You May Be Eligible to Apply for Naturalisation (British Citizenship) within a Further Qualifying Period, Giving You the Full Benefits of Being a British Citizen

It is important to note that, should an individual with ILR remain absent from the UK for two consecutive years, the ILR status is likely to lapse.

What Are the Requirements for UK Settlement?

Eligibility for settlement depends on the type of visa that you currently have in the UK. There are three types of visa of which you need one before you can apply:

  • If you have a visa that already provides you with 'settled status' in the UK, you can apply for settlement after five years of continuous lawful residence. These visas would include a spouse, unmarried partner, or civil partner visa.
  • If you have a 'worker visa', you can apply for settlement after five years of continuous lawful residence.
  • Long Residence Rule - This rule enables individuals to become settled in the UK after either 10 years’ lawful continuous residence or 20 years’ unlawful continuous residence (subject to requirements).

Long Residency

If you qualify for having lived in the UK with 10 years’ lawful residence (or ‘long residence’), you are eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain. Our expert UK immigration advisor can provide you with professional legal advice as to whether you qualify for UK long residency and regarding applying for indefinite leave to remain. It is vital that you get proper legal representation as soon as possible to maximise your chances of succeeding.

What Is Long Residence?

Long residence is where you have been living legally in the UK continuously for 10 years or more. If you have left the UK for a continuous period of 180 days or more, or if you have spent a total of 539 days outside of the United Kingdom during this period, then your long residence will be considered to have been broken and you will not qualify.

Indefinite Leave to Remain

Am I Eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain?

Events That Break Long Residence

Family and Long Residence

Indefinite Leave to Remain

We offer all our clients professional help when it comes to applying for indefinite leave to remain in the UK. We believe in equal representation for all, and so will offer expert advice and assistance to all clients with the intention of reaching an outcome that is best suited to them. Our professional team of multi-lingual solicitors will help you even if you don’t speak any English as we understand the importance of giving everyone an equal voice.

Indefinite leave to remain in the UK, otherwise known as settlement or ILR, means that you can stay in the UK without any time restrictions. You can enter the UK to live and work and are no longer subject to immigration controls so long as you abide by UK laws and remain a resident in the UK. This is not the same as naturalisation or citizenship, where you would be given the right to a passport and the full rights of a UK citizen and EU citizen. An ILR can lapse if you remain away from the UK for longer than two years.


UK Citizenship

UK Citizenship can be obtainable for those who take an active part in the community. In order to extend a UK visa to a work permit, active citizenship must be demonstrated. Active citizenship can involve voluntary work that benefits children, teenagers, or vulnerable groups in the UK. A migrant worker may volunteer in charitable work or take part in an activity that advances education or health, community welfare, or the natural environment.

UK Citizenship Criteria

  • You Must Be at Least 18 Years Old
  • Have Been a Resident in Britain for at Least Three Years

To apply for UK citizenship when you have been in Britain for three or more years, you must:

  • Have Held ILR and Be Married to a UK Citizen
  • Have Not Spent More Than 270 Days outside the UK in the Last Three Years and No More Than 90 Days in the Last 12 Months
  • Be Able to Speak English

You may have been in Britain for five or more years. If this is the case, you must:

  • Have Held ILR and Be Married to a UK Citizen
  • Have Had ILR in the UK for at Least 12 Months
  • Have Held a UK Marriage Visa or Unmarried Partner Visa (De Facto) for at Least Two Years
  • Have Not Spent More Than 450 Days outside the UK in the Last Five Years and No More Than 90 Days in the Last 12 Months
  • Be Able to Speak English

Should you need an in-depth consultation, they are charged at £70 per hour. If you do not currently have settlement status, no VAT will be added to the charge.


All applicants for naturalisation, including those applying to naturalise on the basis of marriage, must show “sufficient knowledge about life in the UK”, which includes passing English language and good character tests. Those making non-spouse applications must intend to live in the UK.

Non-Spouse Cases

Residence requirements for those applying for naturalisation as a non-spouse are:

  • That they were in the United Kingdom at the beginning of the period of five years ending with the date of the application and that the number of days on which they were absent from the United Kingdom in that period does not exceed 450.
  • That the number of days on which they were absent from the United Kingdom in the period of 12 months so ending does not exceed 90.
  • That they were not at any time in the period of 12 months so ending subject under the immigration laws to any restriction on the period for which they might remain in the United Kingdom.
  • That they were not at any time in the period of five years so ending in the United Kingdom in breach of the immigration laws.
  • However, there is discretion to treat these conditions as satisfied despite insufficient periods of time being accumulated.

Spouse Cases

For applications by persons married to a British citizen, the required residence period is 270 days, with the references to five years replaced by three years. There is no requirement to be free from immigration control (i.e. to have indefinite leave to remain) for 12 months prior to the date of application, with the practical consequence that a spouse can apply from the grant of indefinite leave to remain without waiting for a further year.

There is no requirement to make the UK their permanent home, though they are expected to meet the good character requirement, and the language requirement, or to comply with the language test.

Citizenship Ceremonies

Anyone over the age of 18 who wishes to acquire British citizenship, whether by registration or naturalisation, will now do so at a public ceremony and are required to take the Oath of Allegiance (there is an affirmation to be used by people of different religions and of none) and now a new pledge.


Naturalisation is a discretionary power. There is no right of appeal against a refusal of naturalisation.

Benefits of Choosing Visas & Immigration (UK) Consultants Ltd

  • Same-Day Visa Services Ensuring Your Passport Is Endorsed within 24 Hours
  • Fixed Fees So You Stay in Control
  • Direct Access to a Qualified Advisor with in-Depth Experience
  • Specialist Advisor Who Can Get the Application Right the First Time
  • Consultation with a Specialist Advisor to Assess Your Eligibility and Avoid Disappointment and Wasted Fees
  • Wealth of Experience and Knowledge as to the Best Way Forward for You and Your Family

Committed to You

Should you need an in-depth consultation, they are charged at £70 for 60 minutes. Our team is dedicated to your successful UK visa application, and we make this commitment to all of our clients:

  • Our Initial Free Visa Assessment Means We Select the Right Visa for You
  • Our Team Will Guide You through the Evidence and Paperwork Needed for Your Application
  • We Will Fully Complete Your Application Form and Collate All Necessary Documentation
  • We Will Submit Your Application, Documentation, and Evidence on Time and on Your Behalf
  • We Will Liaise with the Home Office Regularly to Check That Your Application Is Progressing
  • We Make Our Team Available to You 24 Hours a Day, Seven Days a Week

Contact our immigration advisor now, in Oldham/Manchester, Lancashire, to receive more information about settlement and naturalisation.

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