Popular routes to Settlement in the United Kingdom under the Immigration Rules

If you have lived legally in the UK for a certain length of time, you may be able to apply for permission to settle in the UK. Settlement is also known as ‘Indefinite Leave to Remain’ (ILR). Depending on your UK immigration history and which visa category you are in, the qualifying period for UK Settlement will vary. Below we have provided an overview of some of the most popular UK Settlement routes.

General requirements for UK Settlement

In order to be eligible for UK Settlement, the general requirements that Applicants must satisfy are:

  • That they can demonstrate that they will continue to meet the requirements of their current visa;
  • That they do not have an excess number of absences from the UK;
  • That they plan to remain present and settled in the UK once they have been granted settlement status; and
  • That they can pass the ‘Life in the UK’ test and meet the English Language Requirement.

Depending on the specific visa route an Applicant is on will affect the UK Settlement route.

5-year route to UK Settlement on the basis of Family life as a partner or parent

The 5 year route to UK Settlement relates to Entry Clearance, Leave to Remain, Further Leave to Remain and Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK submitted on or after 9 July 2012 by an Applicant who first applied for Entry Clearance or Leave to Remain on or after that date as either a:

  • Partner – a fiancé(e), proposed civil partner, spouse, civil partner or unmarried partner of a British citizen or person who is present and settled in the UK; or
  • A bereaved partner (other than a fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner) of a British citizen or person who is present and settled in the UK; or
  • Parent of a British citizen child living in the UK or a settled child living in the UK.

The 5 year route as a partner or parent is for those who meet all of the relevant suitability and eligibility requirements of the Immigration Rules at every stage.

10 year (long residence) route to UK Settlement on the basis of Family life as a partner or parent

The 10-year route to UK Settlement as a partner or parent can be applied for in circumstances where the Applicant can meet all of the suitability requirements, but cannot meet certain of the eligibility requirements of the 5-year routes. This long residence route can also be used for those in exceptional and compassionate circumstances. Applications for UK Settlement on the 10 year route cannot be made from outside the UK and must be made from within the UK. Time the Applicant has spent in the UK with 3C leave also counts towards lawful residence. The 10 year route as a parent is not for couples who have a child together and are in a genuine and subsisting relationship. An Applicant can only apply for the 10 year route as a parent if they are not eligible to apply for the partner route.

Tier 1 Accelerated UK Settlement Route

Tier 1 Entrepreneurs and Tier 1 Investors can apply for UK Settlement after 5 years as long as they can satisfy the relevant requirements. There is also the option to apply for accelerated settlement in the UK under these two visa routes.

Tier 1 Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurs who have invested in the UK may be eligible to apply for UK Settlement after 5 years of continuous and lawful leave in the UK; however there is an option for accelerated UK Settlement after a period of 3 years. The requirements for accelerated UK Settlement under the Tier 1 Entrepreneur route are:

  • That a Tier 1 Entrepreneur who sets up a new business and can show that their business has had a minimum income of £5 million directly from their business in the first 3 years of their Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa; or
  • That a Tier 1 Entrepreneur who has taken over an existing business and can show an increase of £5 million in the gross income as a result of business activity; or
  • That a Tier 1 Entrepreneur who has created the equivalent of 10 new full-time jobs for persons settled in the UK.

Tier 1 Investor

Investors who have invested at least £2,000,000 in the UK may be eligible to apply for UK Settlement once they have reached 5 years continuous leave in the UK under the route. Investors wishing to apply for UK Settlement must ensure they do not exceed 180 days absences from the UK during each 12 months of the continuous period. However there is an option for accelerated UK Settlement after 2 years if they can demonstrate that they have invested £10,000,000 or after 3 years if they can demonstrate that they have invested £5,000,000. This accelerated settlement route encourages non-EEA business people to invest in the UK and potentially apply for early settlement depending on their investments.

Using Legal Representation to Apply for UK Settlement

Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration status. It is possible to instruct a legal representative to submit a UK Settlement application.

Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your application succeeds, all necessary documents must be provided.

This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules.

Successful UK Settlement Applications

Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your immigration status and the merit of your applications before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation of your immigration or visa application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.

We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients.  We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.

Preparation is the key to successful immigration applications. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation.

Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.

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