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Applying for UK Residency

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 17 Dec 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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Hello Me and my mother has lived in the UK for 18 years now and every 3 years we would have to reaply for leave to remain. Now we have completed this and we need to send of information to home office for ILR but the fees are to high and we can not afford it each ? What do we do please?
Alex - 17-Dec-18 @ 4:28 PM
Hello. I came to the U.K. on a 2yr Commonwealth Work/Travel visa in Dec 96. I am Canadian and asked my dad to repatriate himself with Slovakia so that I could get my European Union Passport. I am self employed and own a house, or well paying my mortgage on my house that I bought in 2007. Bboth my Slovakian and Canadian Passports arein date and I’ve never applied for permanent residence. Should I apply? As a Canadian and on the electoral roll, I voted to remain, but how will Brexit affect me now? Kind regards.
Mary F - 4-Nov-18 @ 7:42 AM
@Thab.luca - If you leave the UK for more than 2 years all your years of residency in the UK will be lost.
TJ. - 26-Sep-18 @ 5:14 PM
Hi, am a romanian citizenship.I lived in uk simce December 2011, however my proof of address starts from april 2012 I do have fully 6 years proof i lived in UK. Now i want to apply for the british citizenship,but i got married and am outaide the country and i want to return and continue my papers. To apply for the residency card I think there is a limited time I can be outside the country, please can u tell me what the maximum limit I can be outside the country for not losing that 6 years already lived in UK
Thab.luca - 26-Sep-18 @ 12:06 PM
I am a British Citizen and my Husband is an Italian Citizen. We have been married for 3 years and have a child together. We were married in the UK but since then have been living in Italy. We are now looking at coming to the UK to live. He will still work overseas which means he will be away for 7 months of the year. Will he be entitled to residency?
KAT - 8-Sep-18 @ 4:11 PM
Hi, I am British and lived with my French husband in the UK together for 17 years before leaving to live in Prague in August 2016 with our 2 children. We would like to return to the UK at some point (we own a house) but it won't be until at least the end of 2019. Will my husband still have to re-register as if he had never been in the UK for all those years? Thank you for your help. Sa
Sa - 7-Sep-18 @ 11:06 AM
UKNZ - Your Question:
Hello, my partner a new zealand resident entered uk on youth mobility visa. We lived together in germany before this for a year. Wehave lived here for a year now and would like to settlehere permanently. I am a british citizen. What are our options

Our Response:
The link here should help answer your question. If your parnter is not eligible, then he would have to return to his home country and apply for a new visa. If you intend staying togther as a couple, a family visa may be an option, please see the link here . To be eligible for this, you would have to be resident in the UK and earning at least £18,600 in order to sponsor him.
AboutImmigration - 4-Sep-18 @ 9:51 AM
@cc - You will be able to apply for Permanent Residency (ILR) after 10 years of continuous legal residence in the UK
TJ. - 3-Sep-18 @ 1:14 PM
Hi, I've been held Tier4 General Visa since 2011 and this is my 7th year in the UK. My current visa expires in Jan,2019. I was wondering that when can I start applying for my permit residence card. Do I need to hold another Tier4 visa to prove that I can stay longer in the UK or find another visa sponsored job first, then I can apply for it? Thank you
CC - 3-Sep-18 @ 12:35 PM
Hello, my partner a new zealand resident entered uk on youth mobility visa. We lived together in germany before this for a year. Wehave lived here for a year now and would like to settlehere permanently. I am a british citizen. What are our options
UKNZ - 3-Sep-18 @ 7:28 AM
Hi . I came first time for working in2015 December and been here for 8months. After thatI came back in 2017 March . So been here 2 years continuously. Can I apply for permanent visa?
Lisa - 23-Aug-18 @ 2:14 AM
@Pat - You will need to apply for a new Certificate of Entitlement in your new Singapore passport.
TJ. - 20-Aug-18 @ 3:56 PM
I am a Singapore citizen and have lived in the UK since 1984 and have employment records since 1986.I am married to a British citizen and have held Right of Abode certificates all this time.I have applied for British citizenship because Singapore does not recognise dual citizenship.I had been informed, both by the British High Commission in Singapore and at UK Border Control that by showing my Certificate of Right of Abode in my old passport is sufficient to see me through passport control.Recently though, I have been told by airline checkers that my Certificate of Right of Abode in my 'expired' passport is not longer acceptable although on my last return to the UK, the passport control officer said that it was still ok.I am confused. In order to avoid future complications at passport controls, I would like to apply for a Full UK Resident Permit. How do I go about this without surrendering my Singapore passport for up to 6 months?I already have several European trips planned in the next 2-3 months.
Pat - 20-Aug-18 @ 1:00 PM
@Karen - If you all move back to the UK before your son turns 18 and your husband adopts him here, your son will become an automatic British citizen upon granting of the adoption order and will be eligible for a British passport. Your son however does not need to be adopted by your husband in order to apply for a family visa as your dependant.
TJ. - 16-Jul-18 @ 1:26 PM
Hi there, I am a New Zealander married to a UK Ctizen who has been living in New Zealand for 16 years. My son (my husband's step son) will be 18 soon and we are planning to live in the UK. Does my husband need to adopt my son before he turns 18 to enable him to get a visa? If he intends on studying in the UK and live with us as a dependent while he studies will be be eligible for a visa once he graduated? Thanks Karen
Karen - 15-Jul-18 @ 9:42 PM
@Annie - Your husband should adopt your daughter legally as his child and she will automatically become a British citizen.
TJ. - 11-Jul-18 @ 1:45 PM
Hi! I'm a dual citizenship Republic of Moldova and Romania. Recently married with a British citizen. I have a 13 years old child. We are living in the husband's and my mother- in- law house. How I and my daughter can apply for a UK residence?
Annie - 10-Jul-18 @ 8:32 AM
Hi. I'm a British national married to an American (D.O.B 1950) via British Embassy in Ecuador in 2008. We moved to Cyprus- residency granted 2010. 2012 mother not well and returned to UK. 2014 mother, husband and I went back to Cyprus for 6 months thinking change of climate would be healthy for mum - wrong. back in UK conclusion of tests resulted in Heart failure and asthma. 2015 UKBA police visited looked and took copies of both residency papers, UK & USA passport and said: 'Apply within 5 years to remain' 2016 EEA2 submitted. Supporting documents: UK & USA passports, letters, marriage certificate (translated and stamped by Cyprus Government and Husbands Cyprus residency. EEA2 refused on 2,6,9.'No evidence shown as to how husband got his CY document' - Not working -No evidence to support Dr's letters or prescription (DWP carers payment or letter not considered either) Make a further submission - Human Rights under rule 276ADE on FLR(M) or (O). As complaint fell on deaf ears - 'the onus is on the applicant to fill out the correct form' We filed FLR(M) application with the same information this time-inclusive of my Cyprus residency. Application ticked for 'Spouse' - processed under 'partner with a private life. Result: Human Rights Clearly certified. Looking up this 276ADE rule it is apparent the Rule is for persons under the age of 25. There was cut-&-paste of this rule and why my husband did not meet requirements. Decision paragraph: British Citizen go go and return with you to USA and mother-in-law can access the NHS and Social services. Classified as an 'overstayer' (But EU law applies to entry does it not?) UKVI cannot tell B.C's to go to a country they have never been to or who can provide care = discrimination. Sorry this is so long. Your help is truly needed and appreciated.
Jayne - 8-Jul-18 @ 3:32 PM
I'm from Romania and I arrived in the UK in September 2012 and I never left the UK since then. Can I apply directly for Permanent Residence? As I know, Romania is an EU country, and EEA country as well.
MS - 6-Jul-18 @ 3:53 PM
@Cris - If you have lived in the UK legally for at least 10 years continuously then you can apply for ILR.
TJ. - 22-Jun-18 @ 10:38 AM
Hello, can you please help me about my situation. I have been living in UK for about over 10 years now, i have been married to a British citizen for nearly 3 years, we have a 6 years old British daughter. My visa at the moment is on a 10 year route visa, my visa at the moment is Leave to remain and its my 2nd term from the 10 year route. We have ups and downs with my wife and unfortunately things are just going bad my relationship with my wife that I may have want to separate with her.my question is what are the chances for me to apply for a Permanent residency visa if I tend to get out of our marriage and the 10 year route. Can I apply for Right to Leave in UK on the basis of my living here in UK for over 10 years? Or please advise me on what type of visa will be appropriate for me.Thank you.
Cris - 22-Jun-18 @ 6:38 AM
@laird - In order to work in the UK your son will require a National Insurance number. He can only apply for this once he is in the UK.
TJ. - 18-Jun-18 @ 10:13 AM
I have duel citizenship.I was born in the UK and reside in the USA.My son was born in the USA and has a UK passport.He has a job in the UK for 2 months this summer and need to know if he only needs a national insurance number to work or does he need get a residence permit?
laird - 17-Jun-18 @ 8:52 PM
Luke - Your Question:
Hi there I move to the Uk when I was 8 years old and left to Trinidad when I was 25 years of age for holiday, my passport was deemed mutilated on the holiday and they kept it and I ended up staying. In the mean time I have been helping with major bills in the house. I have currently applied for a returning resident to come back and continue my career as a chef and permanently live in the Uk. What are the possibilities of me being successful?

Our Response:
If you qualify to apply, then you stand a chance. However, it is impossible to predict what the Home Office may decide. As you will know, to qualify to enter the United Kingdom as a returning resident, you must have had indefinite leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom when you last left, have not been away from the United Kingdom for more than two years and have not have received assistance from public funds towards the cost of leaving the UK.
AboutImmigration - 8-Jun-18 @ 9:05 AM
Hi there I move to the Uk when I was 8 years old and left to Trinidad when I was 25 years of age for holiday, my passport was deemed mutilated on the holiday and they kept it and I ended up staying. In the mean time I have been helping with major bills in the house. I have currently applied for a returning resident to come back and continue my career as a chef and permanently live in the Uk. What are the possibilities of me being successful?
Luke - 7-Jun-18 @ 3:27 PM
@AGRO - You are being assessed as an EU national applying for citizenship. In that case your marriage to a British citizen is irrelevant.
TJ. - 24-May-18 @ 9:42 AM
Hi, I am a Swedish citizen who have: (1) lived in the UK since 1998 (received my NI card then). (2) I got married to a native UK citizen in 2007 in Zanzibar and was told by the Home Office in 2007/2008 that I did not need to register our marriage as it is recognised in the UK anyway. (3) My children were born in the UK in 2011, (4) Today, 2018 I am being asked to prove my residency. Question: Should it not be enough to show our marriage certificate dated 2007? I mean after 3 years I qualify for UK citizenship which is 7 years ago. I have been asked to show approximately 20 documents ranging from the ticket I entered into the UK on, job search prior to arriving in the UK, tenancy agreement, bank statements etc etc But not once have I been asked to provide evidence of being married to a native UK citizen. Have they made a mistake?
AGRO - 23-May-18 @ 7:30 AM
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
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