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Applying for UK Residency

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 11 Oct 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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[Add a Comment]
Blossom - Your Question:
My nephew emigrated to New Zealand aged 7 with his Father and Sister. Now aged 31 he has decided to return to live in the UK. He has a British Passport. What does he need to do? Hes already bought his return ticket, he only has roughly £2,000 saved. I can put him up for a couple of weeks, put finacially I am unable to support him. Will immigration let him in with such a small amount? Any help would be appreciated Thanks

Our Response:
Yes, he is eligible to return to the UK, but he would have to be able to support himself financially. He would not be eligible to claim means-tested benefits until he was classed as being 'ordinarily resident', please see link here .
AboutImmigration - 13-Oct-17 @ 3:02 PM
JF - Your Question:
Being a UK citizen for 22 years by marriage. I lost my dad 18months ago in Nigeria. Now it is just my mum who is back home, no siblings or carer. She is 73 years old, often visits but I would like to apply for a residency permit for her as she is all alone.Your advise on how to go about it is highly appreciated.Thanks,JF

Our Response:
You would need to fulful all the requirements for a family visa to be able to apply to bring your mother to the UK to live, please see link here .
AboutImmigration - 12-Oct-17 @ 10:15 AM
Being a UK citizen for 22 years by marriage. I lost my dad 18months ago in Nigeria. Now it is just my mum who is back home, no siblings or carer. She is 73 years old, often visits but I would like to apply for a residency permit for her as she is all alone. Your advise on how to go about it is highly appreciated. Thanks, JF
JF - 11-Oct-17 @ 11:43 AM
My nephew emigrated to New Zealand aged 7 with his Father and Sister. Now aged 31 he has decided to return to live in the UK. He has a British Passport. What does he need to do? Hes already bought his return ticket, he only has roughly £2,000 saved. I can put him up for a couple of weeks, put finacially I am unable to support him. Will immigration let him in with such a small amount? Any help would be appreciated Thanks
Blossom - 6-Oct-17 @ 10:51 PM
Jean - Your Question:
HiI have a British passport and own my flat and want to bring my 15 year old Philippino son to live here with me. Do you have any advice?

Our Response:
Much depends upon who your son is living with currently and why you wish to bring him to the UK. You can see more via the gov.uk link here for more information.
AboutImmigration - 5-Oct-17 @ 3:57 PM
Hi I have a British passport and own my flat and want to bring my 15 year oldPhilippino son to live here with me.Do you have any advice?
Jean - 4-Oct-17 @ 8:13 PM
@amr You wouldn't be able to get a work permit because you are married. You would have to apply for one independently. It's really difficult to bring your wife or husband to the UK, unless she's wealthy.
JayJay - 29-Sep-17 @ 2:48 PM
I m a Norwegian citizen. I want to marry my girl-friend who is British citizen. Can I get a residency permit and work permit in UK if I marry her?
amr - 28-Sep-17 @ 11:21 PM
we have two kids who were born in U.K. We are from Ghana and my husband is from Norway. I lived in U.K. For 7years . Two years on working Visa and 5years of marriage .until we moved to Norway. I still have a 10 years of permanent residency and I come to Uk every year after leaving U.K. In Dec 2012 to Norway. Shortly after arriving I was subjected to domestic violence.Since then I went to report the case but the policeman heard my case and the names of people involved and decided to rather direct me to counselling because of they are untouchables. In U.K. I worked and paid taxes. And I would like to come back and work again since I have still not found a job here in Norway. What are my chances of obtaining a U.K. Citizenship after returning. How many years do I have to work and reside in U.K. To be able to acquire the citizenship. Plus what are my rights under human rights law as a domestic violence victim.
Cassandra - 24-Sep-17 @ 6:11 AM
My daughter is in the process of getting her Cuban husband to the uk but she would like to move closer to her family the question is can she move address while the process of getting him is going on. Thanking you Woody
Woody - 21-Sep-17 @ 6:56 PM
Eva - Your Question:
I am an EU citizen married to British citizen, I am a home owner living in U.K. for 17 years, which is the right application to fill in order to change my passport into British one?? 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 - 11-Sep-17 @ 3:11 PM
I am an EU citizen married to British citizen, I am a home ownerliving in U.K. for 17 years, which is the right application to fill in order to change my passport into British one?? Thank you
Eva - 9-Sep-17 @ 11:36 AM
I am married to a British fir 26 years and am on a settlement visa. I will be one month short of five years when it expires . Do I have to renew the settlement visa then apply for Indefinite leave to remain? It is going to cost double just fir the one month!
Devi - 3-Sep-17 @ 9:40 PM
Bec - Your Question:
Hellooo, just wandering what the age limit is for permanent residency?

Our Response:
Please see gov.uk link here which will explain more.
AboutImmigration - 31-Aug-17 @ 3:44 PM
Hellooo, just wandering what the age limit is for permanent residency?
Bec - 31-Aug-17 @ 2:59 AM
My ex husband have been living in the UK for the last 5 years as a tier 2 dependent . Now that we are divorced, is he able to apply for permanent residence independently? Thanks
Ann - 26-Aug-17 @ 9:09 PM
Hi I been leaving in UK . for 21 years . I am from Eu coutry . my doughter she's British . Her mother this British . can sameon telling me my wrigts. After uk leave the Eu. Thank you Jorge.
alves - 26-Aug-17 @ 6:43 PM
I am a Canadian, my husband of 7 years is British (now with a Permanent residence card in Canada) and we live in Canada with our two children but would like to move to Wales next year. I would be hoping to enter the workforce and my husband would likely commute back to Canada once a month for his work. We hope to spend 5 to 10 years at least in the UK. As my husband does not currently reside in the UK I can't quite figure out which Visa we can apply for. Your help is appreciated, thank you.
Kat - 26-Aug-17 @ 4:28 PM
ana - Your Question:
Hi, I have a few questions. Firstly, My boyfriend has a blue Belgian passport and he currently lives in Belgium. I am a British national living in the UK. My boyfriend and I want to get married and live together in the UK. We want to know what we need to do in order to get married in the UK and live here permanently. Also, does he need to apply for a visa to come here when its time for us to have our wedding? thank you.Ana

Our Response:
There currently no change to the status of EU citizens living in the UK, or freedom of movement where EU citizens choose to live in the UK while the UK remains in the EU, please see link here . With regards to marrying a foreign national in the UK, please see link here which will advise further.
AboutImmigration - 24-Aug-17 @ 3:16 PM
Hi, I have a few questions. Firstly, My boyfriend has a blue Belgian passport and he currently lives in Belgium. I am a British national living in the UK. My boyfriend and I want to get married and live together in the UK. We want to know what we need to do in order to get married in the UK and live here permanently. Also, does he need to apply for a visa to come here when its time for us to have our wedding?. thank you. Ana
ana - 22-Aug-17 @ 4:26 PM
I was born in the UK but have been living abroad for the last 40 years. By two children have British passports. I would like to find out the process for me and my children to return to the UK. In my case for employment and for my first daughter for further education and then employment. I am in the UK currently in holidays and would like to speak to someone if possible.
Blacks - 14-Aug-17 @ 8:40 AM
My husband has lived in uk27 years he has indefinite leave to remain can he apply for a British passport
T - 13-Aug-17 @ 1:49 PM
RR - Your Question:
Hi Im from the PHilippines and will be going to UK for the first time next year to work as a Staff Nurse. When and how would I able to apply for Uk residency? Thank you!

Our Response:
You would have to live in the UK continuously for a minimum of five years on a valid visa in order to be eligible to be able to apply for UK citizenship.
AboutImmigration - 11-Aug-17 @ 10:54 AM
Hi Im from the PHilippines and will be going to UK for the first timenext year to work as a Staff Nurse. When and how would i able to apply for Uk residency? Thank you!
RR - 10-Aug-17 @ 4:36 PM
Sardar - Your Question:
Helo sir I am practicing in lawyer at high courts of Pakistan want to move uk permanently forever to live there what should I do

Our Response:
You would have to apply for a visa in the first instance. You can see more via the gov.uk link here which will guide you to pick which visa is suitable for you and inform you whether you are eligible to apply.
AboutImmigration - 8-Aug-17 @ 9:40 AM
I have a friend who is an EU national, she has lived and worked in the UK for 25 years.She married an English national 5 years ago, he recently died.Can she still obtain UK citizenship as his widow ?
Elsie - 6-Aug-17 @ 12:40 PM
Helo sir I am practicing in lawyer at high courts of Pakistan want to move uk permanently forever to live there what should I do
Sardar - 5-Aug-17 @ 9:22 PM
EMAGINATIVE - Your Question:
Good evening, I am Ema, I am Italian and I lived in UK from the 2008 till September 2016. I then moved to Berlin and I am staying there until next August 2017. I am planning to move back to London late September/beginning October. I always worked in uk and studied. I am not sure if the brexit will deny me the right to move back to UK to live and work there. How can I get more information about my situation? Thanks Ema

Our Response:
You will not be denied to come and live in the UK until Brexit has been finalised and the new immigration laws come into force. You can see more via the gov.uk link here which should tell you all you need to know.
AboutImmigration - 31-Jul-17 @ 2:03 PM
Good evening, I am Ema,I am Italian and I lived in UK from the 2008 till September 2016. I then moved to Berlin and I am staying there until next August 2017. I am planning to move back to London late September/beginning October. I always worked in uk and studied. I am not sure if the brexit will deny me the right to move back to UK to live and work there. How can I get more information about my situation?Thanks Ema
EMAGINATIVE - 30-Jul-17 @ 3:27 PM
my son whos is 40 this year went to live in australia 9 years ago, he has australian citizens ship. he is with his girlfriend and they have 2 daughters aged 1 and 2, he now wishes to come back to live in the uk,how does he go about this has he wants to bring his girlfriend and 2 children with him to live in uk perminently
cocopop - 24-Jul-17 @ 11:30 AM
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