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Applying for UK Residency

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 20 Jun 2017 | 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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I emigrated from Portugal to the uk in 2001 after separating I got custody of my kids from the court and the court states that my kids aren't allowed to leave the uk without court authorisation so I'm wondering if my kids can apply for a British passport
Catia - 20-Jun-17 @ 8:08 PM
Manraj - Your Question:
Hi, I am divorced from my wife and we have joint custody of our 11 y/old son. My son continued to live with me after the divorce. Now my ex has married a UK citizen and I gave my permission for my son to live and get residency in the UK. Question is can I, a Malaysian citizen and 47 year old father, obtain a visa that allows me to live and work in the UK. My son needs me as we are very close

Our Response:
You must tell the Home Office when you divorce or separate from your partner if your visa is based on your relationship, please see link here.
AboutImmigration - 16-Jun-17 @ 4:26 PM
Lola - Your Question:
Hi I been here 20 years I come from Albania I have UK residence permit live to remain how do I become British citizen how to get a British passport

Our Response:
You can see more via the gov.uk link here which will help answer your question.
AboutImmigration - 16-Jun-17 @ 12:28 PM
Hi, I am divorced from my wife and we have joint custody of our 11 y/old son. My son continued to live with me after the divorce. Now my ex has married a UK citizen and I gave my permission for my son to live and get residency in the UK. Question is can I, a Malaysian citizen and 47 year old father, obtain a visa that allows me to live and work in the UK. My son needs me as we are very close
Manraj - 16-Jun-17 @ 12:19 PM
Hi i been here 20 years I come from Albania I have UK residence permit live to remain how do i become British citizen how to get a British passport
Lola - 9-Jun-17 @ 5:50 PM
Hey I'm merried to my husband he is 24 years old live in Erbil Iraq and we are merried and we have proof and papers even pictures and I'm 17 years old and I live in uk for 6 years and I'm working full time and studying and I pay for my study and I have a flat in my Own and I want to bring my husband to the uk
Aroa - 4-Jun-17 @ 1:09 PM
Hi, does anyone know if it would be possible for my 9 year old grandchild from Slovakia to come and stay with me in the UK with her mums consent.My son, her father, is not on the birth certificate and doesn't accept any responsibility for her.Could I just fly out and bring her back with me, kind regards
Pearl - 1-Jun-17 @ 12:03 PM
Gular- Your Question:
Hi there! I have a fiance in UK, been dating going to three years, she's have a permanent residence in uk,she has been there for 9 years+staying in Scotland. we don't know how to go about joining her from Africa "Nigeria". Thanks.

Our Response:
Please see gov.uk link here which will tell you all you need to know.
AboutImmigration - 30-May-17 @ 1:48 PM
My cousin was born in America, his mother my Aunt was born in England and his parents married here before he was born. He was born before 1983 does he automatically qualify for british citizen by decent? He has aunts and uncles and cousin's still living in uk.
Donnbenn - 30-May-17 @ 10:41 AM
Hi there! I have a fiance in UK, been dating going to three years, she's havea permanent residence in uk,she has been there for 9 years+staying in Scotland. we don't know how to go about joining her from Africa "Nigeria". Thanks.
Gular - 30-May-17 @ 9:25 AM
Good day, I am a South African born British citizen by descent. I would like to know if I can get residency in the UK and how to go about doing so?
Dean - 26-May-17 @ 9:31 AM
PJ - Your Question:
I am British, my husband is Brazilian. We got married in Brazil in July 1998 and have been living here ever since (18 years). We now have three children, 16, 14 and 12 years old. They all have dual Brazilian-British nationality. We are currently considering the possibility of a move to the UK to be nearer my parents, who are now elderly. My father has Alzheimer’s and my mother’s finding it difficult to cope on her own. I’ve looked on the gov.uk site and contacted them by e-mail. However, they can’t explain to me the procedure and relevant forms for our situation. The examples on the site all refer to a partner joining a spouse in the UK. In our case, we would obviously like to return together as a family. Is this possible? How could we go about this? I would appreciate any advice.

Our Response:
Please see gov.uk link here which will answer your question further.
AboutImmigration - 23-May-17 @ 12:10 PM
I am British, my husband is Brazilian. We got married in Brazil in July 1998 and have been living here ever since (18 years). We now have three children, 16, 14 and 12 years old. They all have dual Brazilian-British nationality. We are currently considering the possibility of a move to the UK to be nearer my parents, who are now elderly. My father has Alzheimer’s and my mother’s finding it difficult to cope on her own. I’ve looked on the gov.uk site and contacted them by e-mail. However, they can’t explain to me the procedure and relevant forms for our situation. The examples on the site all refer to a partner joining a spouse in the UK. In our case, we would obviously like to return together as a family. Is this possible? How could we go about this? I would appreciate any advice.
PJ - 22-May-17 @ 3:07 PM
Hello, I'm an Italian National working in the UK for 12 years. My Wife of 4 years and her Daughter have a Resident Permit as a Family Member of an EEUU National since end 2013. It is a Civil Marriage in the UK and registered in Italy. The little one has had no dad added onto her 5 years UK Birth Certificate. What can I do to have them getting an Italian Passport? Many Thanks
fed - 22-May-17 @ 3:07 PM
Hi, am from Uganda leaved in UK for 5 years since I came,in 2012-2017. I have got indefinite leave to remain, but I lost my passport, I reported it but it took long to come back. At the moment am not working. Is it OK to apply for a residence card please. Thanks.
Kaddu ronald - 18-May-17 @ 10:21 PM
Hi, I am a British citizen; unmarried and have no children. My partner is Bulgarian national who has been working in the UK for almost 5 years; initially, as a live in baby sitter for almost 3 years and presently as a self-employed cleaner for almost 2 years. She moved into my rented home almost 3 years ago to live with me. Consequently, I lost my entitlement for a 25% discount for Council Tax. We are not married but we live like a husband and wife. Since she lived with me I helped her with NHS registration and opening a bank account as she did not have any when she was working as a live in babysitter with different families of Nigerian origins (in the London area) who deprived her from basic rights. Also, I got her an accountant to do her self-assessment tax return since she began working as a self-employed cleaner. Rent and all bills including Council Tax are under my name (though she does contribute a bit as she earns little; approx. £5K a year minus approx. £1750 a year for transport costs). When I asked Council Tax staff to include my partner's name in the Council Tax statement, they refused stating that the bill can only be issued to one person only in the household. My partner has no formal residency certificate and since she moved to live with me I did not consider that it was important for her to apply for a certificate simply because she is from EU. Since Brexit, we are becoming truly worried. Is marriage the only option to get her a formal residency status that will help her to, ultimately get a British passport? If no, what documents does she require to prove her period of stay in the UK, legally when all house bills are under my name? Kind Regards,
BEN - 14-May-17 @ 4:16 PM
@AboutImmigration Cuz if returning to UK need to apply for the returning Visa, that's why I am confused as I haven't live in UK before, I don't need a visa? If so, when I go to UK, will I be able to rent an apartment or house and look for a job as normal citizen? Thank you
Emily - 13-May-17 @ 7:11 AM
Emily - Your Question:
Hi there,I am holding a UK passport (citizen), but I never stayed in UK. If I want to live in UK now, do I need to apply for any visa or how things work?Also, my boyfriend wants to go with me as well, but he is not holding UK passport. Can he sign partnership with me or need to wait?

Our Response:
If you are a UK citizen, you would not have to apply for a visa. However, you would not be able to bring your boyfriend to the UK, as he would have to apply for a visa. If you wished to bring him as your dependent you would have to fulfil the requirements laid out here .
AboutImmigration - 12-May-17 @ 1:56 PM
Hi there, I am holding a UK passport (citizen), but i never stayed in UK. If i want to live in UK now, do I need to apply for any visa or how things work? Also, my boyfriend wants to go with me as well, but he is not holding UK passport. Can he sign partnership with me or need to wait?
Emily - 12-May-17 @ 8:14 AM
@Braziltime your step daughter can only live and work in the UK with a valid work permit as she is over 18 years of age. Her Fiance can live and work in the UK anytime as he is an EU citizen. Once they get married she can easily join him in the UK with an EU family permit.
TJ. - 8-May-17 @ 1:26 PM
@Tamasin since neither you or any of your parents were born in the UK you probably do not qualify for a British Passport unless your mother is a British citizen otherwise than by descent.
TJ. - 8-May-17 @ 1:20 PM
Hi, my mother has a british passport, she was born in india 1946 to a british mother and irish father. I was a british resident for 13 years (16 years including university). My husband is british. I live in ireland now (i have an irish passport as born here and father is irish). Can i get a british passport? Thanks
Tamasin - 7-May-17 @ 12:43 AM
Hello, I came to the uk on a family member visa which last 5 years because my mum was not settled and she was married to eu national ...she was later issued a permanent residence and also had a divorce which means I'm no longer a eu family member as I continue to leave with my mum, I came to Uk when o was 17 and now I'm 19 and I applied for another residence card under retained right of residence having been living with my mum since under 18 and my mum is now settled.. Does this mean if I qualify I will be granted a permanent residency like my mum as I've continued to live with her since I was 17 or I will be granted another 5 years because I'm now over 18?
Qa - 6-May-17 @ 9:03 AM
My wife is Brazilian but now has a British passport as I am British. My step daughter who is Brazilian wants to come to the UK to live and work. 1) Will my step daughter, who is 26 and currently lives in Brazil, be able to live and work in the UK legally as her mother has a British passport? 2) Will my step daughters' finance, who is also Brazilian, but also has an Italian passport, be able to do the same.
Braziltime - 6-May-17 @ 1:16 AM
If I applied for provisional residence in the UK, and have I been asking for the documents for a while because of an emergency that can happen? Is it possible to refuse?
Asan - 4-May-17 @ 1:39 PM
Steam - Your Question:
Please, I am a Nigerian, but I wish to move to the UK to reside. I'm a senior school certificate holder and I intend to live and work in the UK. How possible is that, please?

Our Response:
You would have to apply for a suitable visa, please see link here.
AboutImmigration - 3-May-17 @ 1:54 PM
Magda - Your Question:
Hi,I am a romanian citizen.living in uk for over 8 years. I am employed for over 5 years with the same company and I am also studying at college.Recently I am divorced,I had to rely on public founds as single mother.I want to apply for permanent.Is the public founds going to affect my application.I don't have a blue card.I just worked continue.thank you

Our Response:
EU nationals who have lived continuously and lawfully in the UK for at least six years are eligible to apply for British citizenship if they would like to do so. The eligibility requirements can be found here.
AboutImmigration - 3-May-17 @ 1:53 PM
Boo - Your Question:
Good evening. I am a South African citizen. My ex husband has a British passport and lives and works in Wales. We share a 6 year old daughter and I have a 15 year old son from a previous marriage. Because of all the political unrest and danger in South Africa currently, my ex husband is wanting me (and the children) to leave SA and join him in the UK. What are the "rules" in a situation like this?Regards

Our Response:
Please see gov.uk link here, which will tell you what requirements he has to fulfil in order to sponsor your application.
AboutImmigration - 3-May-17 @ 12:01 PM
Good evening.I am a South African citizen. My ex husband has a British passport and lives and works in Wales. We share a 6 year old daughter and I have a 15 year old son from a previous marriage. Because of all the political unrest and danger in South Africa currently, my ex husband is wanting me (and the children) to leave SA and join him in the UK. What are the "rules" in a situation like this? Regards
Boo - 2-May-17 @ 10:25 PM
Hello please I need help. I am a nigerian and have lived in the uk for 3 years under a student visa. During this period, I applied for a British residency given that my mom was British but ever since I applied, I have done all the necessary things I ought to do , my mom signed all the paper requested but up till now I have not received a reply from the UKBA concerning my quest. It's been over 3 years since I applied. Please what should I do? Should I consider it a failure or a pass? Thank you
Willis - 1-May-17 @ 10:10 AM
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