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Applying for UK Residency

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 15 May 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Applying For Uk Residency

All British citizens and the citizens of some Commonwealth countries have the right to live in the UK. Citizens of these countries who do not have a passport to prove this may apply for a certificate of entitlement to the right of abode to prove that they are permitted to live and work in the UK.

Citizens of the European Economic Area are entitled to live and work in the UK under European law. However, they must show that they are able to support themselves and their families financially without having to rely on public funds.

Citizens of other countries may be entitled to apply for UK residency if they satisfy certain criteria.

UK Ancestry

Commonwealth citizens with a grandparent who was born in the UK can apply for permanent residence on the basis of UK ancestry. Applications must be made, and permission granted, before coming to the UK. Rights of residency based on UK ancestry cannot be claimed if the applicant entered the UK on another basis.

To be eligible for UK residency under this heading, Commonwealth citizens must be at least 17 years old. They must also prove that they can, and intend to, work in the UK, and can support themselves and any dependant family.

Partners and Children

The husbands, wives or civil partners of UK residents are entitled to live in the UK with their partner but must prove that the marriage or civil partnership is genuine and fulfil certain financial eligibility requirements. They are not automatically entitled to permanent residence. Partners will have to obtain entry clearance before coming to the UK.

Prospective spouses and couples who are not married but live together as if they were may also apply for temporary residence to join their UK resident partner. Special rules apply to those who come to the UK to marry a UK resident.

Children of UK permanent residents who are under the age of 18 and unmarried will usually be entitled to permanent residency in the UK but will have to obtain entry clearance before they travel.

Other Relatives

Some members of a UK resident’s extended family may be entitled to UK residency. Widowed parents aged at least 65 or grandparents where one is aged at least 65 can apply to live in the UK with their family member.

In some cases children over the age of 18, siblings, aunts and uncles, and parents or grandparents under the age of 65 may also come to live in the UK. However, there is no automatic entitlement for these relatives to have UK residency. To be considered they will have to show that:

  • They are entirely or mostly financially dependent on the UK resident;
  • They have no close family members in their own country who can support them; and,
  • The UK resident can afford to support them financially.

Returning Residents

Permanent UK residents who have lived abroad for less than two years may return to live in the UK if they intend to live here permanently. Former UK residents who have lived abroad for longer than two years may be entitled to return if they can show that they have lived in the UK for most of their lives or have close family there.

Foreign Citizens with Temporary Leave to Remain in the UK

Foreign nationals who have been granted temporary leave to live in the UK may be entitled to apply for permanent residence after they have been in the UK continuously for a number of years. Whether people in this category will be entitled to permanent residence will depend on the type of visa under which they have been in the UK. To be successful applicants will usually have to show a good understanding of the English language and life in the UK.

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[Add a Comment]
vedhika - Your Question:
HI I am Vedhika,my husband is applying for PR this year, I am living with him for past 5 years, I can also apply for PR with him

Our Response:
Much depends upon whether you are eligible and from the EU, please see link here .
AboutImmigration - 18-May-18 @ 3:45 PM
HI I am Vedhika, my husband is applying for PR this year, I am living with him for past 5 years, I can also apply for PR with him
vedhika - 15-May-18 @ 2:24 PM
Hi, I am Filipina and my husband is a British Citizen we both living in Singapore. We are planning to visit UK for 10 days. Do I need to get Visa? Thank you.
Alice - 12-May-18 @ 8:30 AM
im married to a brittish citizen and is living with my husband on a spouse visa for 33 months ,my Biometric card would expire in December2018,i already lives in uk for over 2 years, can i apply for IRL,i pass my life in uk test and have my test certificate, im from an English speaking country and speak English.ll
Paula - 8-May-18 @ 11:55 AM
Hi, I came to the uk in 2008 as a family member of an EEA national. I was 14 and I am now 23. My father is now a British citizen. What application would you advice me to go for? Regards,
Loulou - 1-May-18 @ 9:54 PM
I am Italian and been in England since 1978, I worked in uk and got business , was married with an English woman and have children and grandchildren I never had a resident car! Now I like to have a resident card and also like to apply for citizen and passport I don't understand why I need to wait 6 month before they can give me the resident card!!! I have been in UK for 40years
IGNAZIO PILLITTERI - 30-Apr-18 @ 6:23 PM
Hello, I stayed in London for 14 years. How can i apply for a permanent resident ? Is there a chance for getting the PR ? Thank you in advance
johnson - 29-Apr-18 @ 9:15 PM
Vanessa - Your Question:
My son has been living in the U.K. for 15years now, I am a 53year old single mom, will I be able to come and live in the U.K. with my son.?Kind regardsVanessa

Our Response:
Unless you are a British citizen, you would not be eligible to come and live in the UK. To come to the UK to visit or work you would have to apply for the appropriate visa.
AboutImmigration - 24-Apr-18 @ 3:45 PM
My son has been living in the U.K. for15years now, i am a 53year old single mom, will i be able to come and live in the U.K. with my son.? Kind regards Vanessa
Vanessa - 24-Apr-18 @ 12:11 PM
Hi, please I want to know if my son can apply for a British passport. He was born in the UK before I got my British passport, he had ILR and I sent him abroad to live with my mum. I brought him back in Dec on returning residents visa. Please what do I do next in regards passport. Thanks
Bunny - 23-Apr-18 @ 10:51 AM
@kawa - you will have to apply for a British passport for your child through the British Embassy. Your wife can apply for a family visa under the 10 year route which will allow her to live and work in the UK. However you will have to expect significant delays with your applications because there is a concern regarding British citizens who have travelled to Iraq and Syria in recent years.
TJ. - 16-Mar-18 @ 12:00 PM
@bw - your continuous residence will exclude any period where you have been outside the UK for more than 90 days in one year.
TJ. - 16-Mar-18 @ 11:48 AM
Hi, I am a british citizen, I left UK few years ago and moved to another country ( KURDISTAN- IRAQ ), I got married and I have a child now, I want to bring them with me to UK, where shall I start to make the documents please and how difficult it is? Thanks
kawa - 16-Mar-18 @ 9:50 AM
I have got an enquiry - I first moved to the UK in 2013 for one year and after that, I left the country to complete my diploma in my home country. Then again, I came back and been here ever since September 2015. How to count my continuous residence period here in the UK? Starting from Sept 2015 when I came back after graduation or is 2013 still a year I should start counting my continuous residence from with ignoring the yearly absence? Thank you!
bw - 15-Mar-18 @ 5:49 PM
@SIM - You can include your children under 18 in your ILR application.
TJ. - 13-Mar-18 @ 6:22 AM
@Tommy - You can apply for leave to remain if you have a 7 year old child who was born in the UK and has lived here all their lives.
TJ. - 13-Mar-18 @ 6:20 AM
My wife and I have been in the Uk with two of our children for over 5 years now. I am here on a T2 religious worker visa and am needed to stay. I am aware that both my wife and I can apply for ILR. My question, do my children qualify too. They are both now over 18
SIM - 12-Mar-18 @ 1:12 PM
Just wants to make an enquiry, please can someone who has spent 19 years in the uk and has already had 7 years's old girl born in the uk apply for leave to remain ?
tommy - 12-Mar-18 @ 4:25 AM
@Jenny - it is unlikely that your mother can sponsor you to come and live with her in the UK because you are an adult
TJ. - 8-Mar-18 @ 5:55 AM
Hi, my mother is a permanent resident of UK and she has been living in UK for more than 15 years, somehow she doesn’t apply for British Passport. And I’m 22 this year, is there any possibility that I could apply as a permanent resident to stay with my mum in UK?
Jenny - 7-Mar-18 @ 9:59 PM
@Chester - A child under 18 can apply for ILR
TJ. - 5-Mar-18 @ 6:53 AM
@NLB - You can only apply for ILR after living continuously in the UK for at least 5 years on one visa.
TJ. - 5-Mar-18 @ 6:51 AM
Can 17 years old apply for permanent residency independently.
Chester - 4-Mar-18 @ 8:55 PM
My daughter is a British Citizen and only able to visit her once in 2 years since 2012. I will be 59 years old in 2018 July and am single and she is my only child. Can I apply for ILR?
NLB - 4-Mar-18 @ 4:16 PM
Satva - Your Question:
I'm from Romanian I work on the 6th month I'd like to apply for Resident card how to apply for Resident card and which application do I have to print if you guys give me some information that will be very helpful thank you

Our Response:
All residence card details can be found via the link here . However, you don’t need to apply for a document to prove you can live in the UK unless you’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland and/or an extended family member of someone from the EEA or Switzerland
AboutImmigration - 26-Feb-18 @ 12:32 PM
I'm from Romanian I work on the 6th month I'd like to apply for Resident card how to apply for Resident card and which application do I have to print if you guys give me some information that will be very helpful thank you
Satva - 26-Feb-18 @ 12:40 AM
@Aqwxsz - Any EU citizen who comes to the UK before the UK leaves the EU in March 2019 will be allowed to stay 5 years and will be granted settled status after. No need to worry.
TJ. - 11-Feb-18 @ 8:56 AM
Hi, I'm a UK born citizen and married a person from Finland in March 2016 - before brexit. My wife has lived in the UK since December 2015. We have since had a child and are having another in a few months. What do we need to do to ensure that my wife can stay living in the UK after Brexit next year? Many thanks.
Aqwsxz - 10-Feb-18 @ 4:40 PM
@Naga - You can only apply for ILR after living in the UK for at least 5 years on one particular visa.
TJ. - 5-Feb-18 @ 7:37 AM
Hi , I have entered UK in Nov 2012 under ict short term visa and then moved to ICt long term visa from October 2013 onwards. So as of today I have completed 5 years and 2 months continuously in Uk. Can I apply for PR ?
Naga - 5-Feb-18 @ 12:07 AM
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