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Applying for UK Residency

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 25 Feb 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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Hello..May ask.a question. My Cousin is an american passport holder . Born in the middle east. Currently living in the States for over ten years however she will like to obtain Residency as her family is in UK.. Mind you. She had lived while back in UK when she was Younger for several years then.moved to.America. How does she go about obtaning residency thru an American Passport?Is there any sort of arrangement that UK has With Americans?Or are the rules different due to where she was born? Warm Regards .
Peggilina - 25-Feb-17 @ 4:52 PM
I am aged 63 and have lived in Scotland since 1954..Father was German (Prisoner of War) and remained living in Scotland after war.Married my mother who was Scottish in 1948.They moved to Canada for 6 months only, where I was born.Siblings all Scottish.Father was a farmer and I always assumed I was Scottish through my mothers birth right.About 10 years ago I was dismayed to find out I could not get a British Passport, and could only get a British Passport if I first became a British Citizen.I could not afford this at the time and managed to get a German Passport instead.I am always apprehensive going abroad with my German Passport. Would it be better if I were to apply for British Citizenship and would I have to go through the Ceremony and sit the Life in the UK Test etc,or could it be simplified. I have worked since I was 16 and work for Local Government.
Ros - 18-Feb-17 @ 10:25 PM
my 4 year old grandson from Canada is living in the uk on a 6 month visa. it expires soon and we're not sure what to apply for to make it more permanent. my daughter was born in Canada but holds a british passport. she has lived in uk for 25 years. I am the grandmother and was born in the uk
jazzy - 15-Feb-17 @ 12:01 PM
Hi ,I have been living and I have been working in the UK for the 6 years.Paying all essential contributions on time. I am Bulgarian national, and I am holding a Bulgarian passport.I live with my partner (not married yet, but we have a child together/mortgage).My partner is a British citizen and my child is also. British citizen I am about to apply for permanent residencein the UK ,but not really certain whether is called like this. I have the yellow card which was required to be legally employed for the bulgarians/romanians some years back. Please can you kindly inform me of where I can find the relevant application form (or if you can tell me the application code/number),and what documents I am obligated to provide in order to apply for the permanent residence in the UK.I have been searching on gov.uk link where I can find the information about EU and Swiss applicant but not for Bulgarians-there is some info but not really indicate the application form /what doc to provide . Thanks in advance
TJJ - 12-Feb-17 @ 9:37 PM
Hi, I'm an EU citizen living in the UK. I'll be taking a full-time job in Norway. However I will retain my main residence in the UK, where I have my home. I'll have a commuter status, i.e. I'll return probably once per month for the weekend in the UK. Do you believe this will count towards my 5 years needed for receiving the permanent residence in the UK as an EU national? Many thanks in advance!
Jenkins - 12-Feb-17 @ 2:26 PM
I have lived in London for 41 years, I have worked as a self-employed tour guide for the last 31 years, but I have been refused a confirmation of the right to reside in the U.K because I provided insufficient evidence I sent them everything that was mentioned on the Home Office website including my latest tax-return, not good enough They also mixed up my documents with someone else's, as they mention a LLOYDS bank statement, and I sent them a HSBC one. I have 14 days to appeal. This is what it says at the bottom of the form about the appeal: The appeal must be brought on the ground that the decision breaches your rights under EU Treaties in relation to entry to, or residence in, the United Kingdom. If you consider that you have a right to reside in the U.K. as a matter of European Union law, and are in the position to submit the necessary information to support your application for a registration certificate as recognition of that right, you may alternatively wish to submit a further application I don't know what to do in relation to the above, I can do with some help
Pooky - 10-Feb-17 @ 11:16 AM
I am trying to apply for a Permanent Residence card for a 16 year old Lithuanian, she has lived with her family in the UK since she was 7 years old.Her family want to return to their home but she would like to stay in UK to finish her education and work. Does she apply to have her own card or will her father need to remain here to work so they both apply?
jo - 8-Feb-17 @ 10:41 AM
Hi. I am Canadian citizen and often travel to UK and stay there for 4 to 5 months. I want to apply for uk residency visa or open work permit to settle in UK. I cant find enough information on the site. Can you please tell me if i am eligible to apply for UK residency as a Canadian citizen? I was told if I surrender my Canadian Passport I will only be able to get UK residency not the Citizenship and will have to show some funds as well. Is that true? I am a 41 year old single female. Thanks
Zima - 3-Feb-17 @ 1:07 AM
I am the widow of a UK citizen (holder of british passport) and have two children who also have british passport. Can I apply for a certificate of entitlement or what must I do to be able to reside in the UK.I currently reside outside the UK
jones - 1-Feb-17 @ 2:06 PM
My daughter is 22 she visited uk for 6 months then went home. How can I bring her here in uk permanently?
Pam - 28-Jan-17 @ 12:58 PM
Aussie - Your Question:
Hello, I am wanting to retire & live with my son & family in the UK asap.(They are all British Citizens now)I can support myself & my family have room in their household for me.Where do I enquire about the Retirement Visa mentioned in your article? Thankyou

Our Response:
I'm afraid in 2008, the retired persons of independent means immigration category was closed to new entrants. This means people cannot enter the UK in this category or if the person is already in the UK in a different category, they cannot switch into retired persons of independent means, please see guidance link here.I have updated the article to reflect this. Instead, you would have to see whether you are eligible to apply for the visa listed here.
AboutImmigration - 25-Jan-17 @ 2:40 PM
Hello, I am wanting to retire & live with my son & family in the UK asap. (They are all British Citizens now) I can support myself & my family have room in their household for me. Where do I enquire about the Retirement Visa mentioned in your article? Thankyou
Aussie - 25-Jan-17 @ 9:32 AM
Wooty - Your Question:
My daughter, a British citizen has been living in the US for some years. She is coming back to the UK to live as her father and I are getting old. She has a partner who has retired. He is an American citizen, what does she need to do to obtain permission to enter this country?

Our Response:
In order to be able to apply for her partner to come to the UK, your daughter would have to be considered 'ordinarily resident' in the UK, earning a salary of at least £18,600 or have capital savings of over £64,000 in order to be able to apply. Please see gov.uk link here.
AboutImmigration - 23-Jan-17 @ 2:23 PM
Hello, I was born in Cuba but I am also a Spanish citizen. I am 18 years old and I have permanent residence in USA. I am planning to eventually move to the UK and apply for a residence. Would being 18 years old affect the application even if I am employed? Which way it would be easier for me, with my Spanish citizenship or my American green card? Thank you very much
Laura - 22-Jan-17 @ 7:34 PM
My daughter, a British citizen has been living in the US for some years. She is coming back to the UK to live as her father and I are getting old. She has a partner who has retired. He is an American citizen, what does she need to do to obtain permission to enter this country?
Wooty - 22-Jan-17 @ 6:20 PM
M - Your Question:
Hello There.I am a resident of India. I have never nor my ancestors or friends lived in UK before except for a short term official visit. I wish to become a PR of UK and search a job.What are the procedures for this? Is this doable?

Our Response:
Your only option would be to apply for a visa through your job or study. Please see list of visas here.
AboutImmigration - 19-Jan-17 @ 11:03 AM
Hello There. I am a resident of India. I have never nor my ancestors or friends lived in UK before except for a short term official visit. I wish to become a PR of UK and search a job. What are the procedures for this? Is this doable?
M - 18-Jan-17 @ 1:03 PM
Hi there, I'm a Polish national and have been living in the UK 10.5 years. I now decided to apply for permanent residency and am in the middle of my application - I'm stuck at "Give details of any period in which you were working for an employer in the UK." There's a sample start date below: 23/12/1976 (1976!!!). Does this mean I need to provide details of when I worked for an employer not just in the last 5 years but since I first arrived to the UK? I was 19 at the time and didn't think of retaining payslips then, unfortunately... The application asks to submit salary - there's no way I'd remember the exact figure for the first couple of jobs. Can you clarify the period the details are required for please? And if it's the 10 years, can you give me any advice on what to do in this situation? Thanks in advance.
Ania - 14-Jan-17 @ 8:44 PM
Hello Dear, I am from Italy. I came here for one year for my studies. I am pregnant, my delivery is due on 10th september 2017. Is this is possible me and my baby will got British Visa?
Akam - 14-Jan-17 @ 8:08 PM
My Wife & I live in Australia, My wife was born in the UK and has a UK Passport, but has lived in Australia most of her life, and I am Australian, we have been married 25 years. I currently work fulltime in Australia & my wife is retired. We are looking at permanently relocating to the UK in the future. Could you please let us know what requirements there are to move to the UK and what type of visa I would need.
kimbo - 12-Jan-17 @ 11:34 PM
Hi, I am polish national, I received my Registration Certificate in July/09 (after being under the working registration scheme since 07),and since then worked permanently until Jan/16 (more than 6 years). Since Jan/16 am a fulltime mum and rely on my husband income, never have applied for benefits. Can I still apply for permanent residency? will my last year unemployment will negatively affect my application? Or the 5 years treaty rights apply backwards from the time of application i.e. Feb 17. I have been looking for jobs since Dec 16. Thanks
Bluesky - 10-Jan-17 @ 4:57 PM
My mother is 75 and German. She has permanently lived in the UK since 1963 after marrying my father in Germany in 1963 where he was stationed as a British soldier.My father who was British died 5 years ago.She is self-sufficient.What does she have to do to get permanent residency in the UK. She is anxious about her status.She is now retired - having been a homemaker and having worked part-time until her 60s.
Janet - 6-Jan-17 @ 6:26 PM
zed - Your Question:
My daughter is a British Citizen, through her mother being British.I am now separated from her mother. I now wish to be closer to my daughter who is in her late thirties.I am a non EEC. A retiree with a pension.I am also interested in operating a business in the UK, if given residency.

Our Response:
You would have to apply for a visa independently, unless you qualify for the requirements laid out in the gov.uk link here.
AboutImmigration - 6-Jan-17 @ 2:13 PM
My daughter is a British Citizen, through her mother being British. I am now separated from her mother. I now wish to be closer to my daughter who is in her late thirties. I am a non EEC.A retiree with a pension. I am also interested in operating a business in the UK, if given residency.
zed - 5-Jan-17 @ 4:33 PM
Hi my partner is a new zealander. He worked in the uk for 9 years on a visa. If he was to come back on a visa could he add on them previous 9 years to the requirements of applying for residency or would he have to start a fresh?
Lou83 - 31-Dec-16 @ 11:30 PM
After what seemed like forever my sister (UK resident) and husband (Ghanaian National, but family in the UK) got permanent residency in Canada in 2015 and both have very good jobs. They are expecting their first baby and would like to move back to the UK eventually to where close family is. What do they need to do? Does the permanent residency of Canada restrict them from coming back sooner?
H - 31-Dec-16 @ 12:26 AM
Hi, My cousin is 26 years old and lives in the Caribbean, his father (a British citizen) wants to help him to come to live in the U.K. permanently, how would they go about this?
Kelly - 28-Dec-16 @ 11:03 PM
hi, i am from the seychelles, i was a student in the uk between 2003 to 2008, during that tinei have a son who was born in 2004, and a daugter in 2007, whilst in the uk, my son was in school , but then due to the death of my wifes mum ,we were forced to come back to seychelles , now my kids have grown up, and are desperate to relocate back to the uk, can you advice on which type of visa or entry route can we apply please
GAZ - 27-Dec-16 @ 9:21 PM
My Wife & I both currently live in Australia, I am an Australian Citizen, my wife was born in the UK, and has UK citizenship,we have been married over 20 years, we are looking at relocating to the UK in the future, I currently work in Australia, and my wife is retired, would I need a spouse or partner visa, and how complicated is this process, is it started from the UK or when in Australia?
Kimbo - 26-Dec-16 @ 6:00 AM
ingrid - Your Question:
Hello,I am planning to relocate to York Yorkshire March 2017 where we own our own home.My husband of 37 years is British and I am Canadian, I would like to know if I am entitled to immediate permanent residency.This is what I have read on this page:"If a couple has been married for four years and can show that they have lived together throughout that time, the non-UK resident may be entitled to immediate permanent residency "My next question how do I proceed to obtain such documents.I appreciate any help.Thanking youIngrid Zimnoch

Our Response:
I'm afraid entitlement to 'immediate' permanent residency no longer applies, you/your husband would have to fulfil the eligibility requirements laid out in the gov.uk link here.
AboutImmigration - 19-Dec-16 @ 11:46 AM
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