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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:
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
To apply for UK citizenship when you have been in Britain for three or more years, you must:
You may have been in Britain for five or more years. If this is the case, you must:
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.
Residence requirements for those applying for naturalisation as a non-spouse are:
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.
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.
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: