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Applying for UK Residency

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 14 Aug 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]
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
Lorena - Your Question:
Hi there, I'm a Colombian national with British passport, married to an English mans and we both work in the financial sector. We are now expecting twins and would like to bring my mother to live in the uk. She currently as a 5 years visitor visa that expires next year but we want to now apply for the indefinite leave to remain. She has not husband, other children or other relatives in colombia. We want her to be with us and help out with bringing up our babies and have the family that she has not have in Colombia. She has kept good records of her entries to the uk since 2008. What would I need to apply for her and how soon can we do it? She is 70 years old. Kind regards.

Our Response:
Your mother's only option is to apply to extend her visitor visa, please see link here. Or apply for a family visa. However, your mother would have to qualify, please see link here .
AboutImmigration - 21-Jul-17 @ 10:43 AM
Hi there, I'm a Colombian national with British passport, married to an English mans and we both work in the financial sector. We are now expecting twins and would like to bring my mother to live in the uk. She currently as a 5 years visitor visa that expires next year but we want to now apply for the indefinite leave to remain. She has not husband, other children or other relatives in colombia. We want her to be with us and help out with bringing up our babies and have the family that she has not have in Colombia. She has kept good records of her entries to the uk since 2008. What would I need to apply for her and how soon can we do it? She is 70 years old. Kind regards.
Lorena - 20-Jul-17 @ 11:37 AM
Monica - Your Question:
Hello; I am a British citizen my mum ( Palestinian) aged 64, at the moment resides in Libya, and retired wants to join me and live in UK. She is physically healthy but needs care as she is aging. How can I apply it a residency for her. Awaiting your reply. Thank you

Our Response:
Please see gov.uk link here which will tell you all you need to know.
AboutImmigration - 20-Jul-17 @ 10:52 AM
Hi there, My husband is a EU national and he first applied for a Family Permit visa. I am originally from Venezuela. I have a 19 years old son and he could not come with me during the time the permit lasted. Recently, I've been granted temporary leave to live in the UK. I was wondering if it is possible for me to apply for my son because my husband couldn't do it according to the Embassy. They argued that he is not directly related to him and therefore he had to apply for a different visa. He applied for a Tourist visa and it was refused. The reason apparently was that he had not enough funds to support himself during his stay. We obviously were going to help him. I see very unlikely than a 19 year old person can demonstrate he has the same amount of funds as an older one that has a job or is self-employed, hassaved money and can show proof through bank accounts, but anyway. Please help me as I'm very concerned about him and the situation in our country. Many thanks.
Yenny - 20-Jul-17 @ 12:23 AM
Hello; I am a British citizen my mum ( Palestinian) aged 64, at the moment resides in Libya, and retired wants to join me and live in UK. She is physically healthy but needs care as she is aging. How can I apply it a residency for her. Awaiting your reply. Thank you
Monica - 19-Jul-17 @ 5:41 AM
I am the Australian mother of a 17 year old who was born in the U.K. while we were living there for 2 years. She has Australian citizenship and passport - can she apply for the right to live and work in the U.K?
TJ - 13-Jul-17 @ 11:50 PM
AaM - Your Question:
My husband has lived in the UK since he was 7, he came here from Spain and has a Spanish passport. He is almost 30yrs old and we have been married almost 9 yrs. We have 2 children under 8yrs, the youngest has SENs. My daughter, aged 16 also lives with us.What route does my husband take to be settled in the UK and how much will that cost? Can he be refused settlement?

Our Response:
Please see gov.uk link here which will tell you all you need to know.
AboutImmigration - 13-Jul-17 @ 12:13 PM
My husband has lived in the UK since he was 7, he came here from Spain and has a Spanish passport.He is almost 30yrs old and we have been married almost 9 yrs.We have 2 children under 8yrs,the youngest has SENs. My daughter,aged 16 also lives with us. What route does my husband take to be settled in the UK and how much will that cost? Can he be refused settlement?
AaM - 12-Jul-17 @ 2:36 AM
Hannah- Your Question:
Hi, I am a British citizen and I am married to a Cuban resident. He is a dentist in Cuba and wants to work when he comes to The U.K. How do I get a visa for him to be able to live and work here. Can you help me with this please.

Our Response:
You/your husband may be eligible to apply for a spouse visa, please see link here , or a work visa, please see link here .
AboutImmigration - 6-Jul-17 @ 4:25 PM
sylvie - Your Question:
I am a British national married to an American for 41years. He has lived here for 41 years.How can he get a British passport?

Our Response:
You can check here to see whether your husband is eligible to apply. Or whether he is already a British citizen here.
AboutImmigration - 6-Jul-17 @ 3:41 PM
Hi, I am a British citizen and I am married to a Cuban resident. He is a dentist in Cuba and wants to work when he comes to The U.K. How do I get a visa for him to be able to live and work here. Can you help me with this please.
Hannah - 5-Jul-17 @ 9:38 PM
I am a British national married to an American for 41years. He has lived here for 41 years. How can he get a British passport?
sylvie - 5-Jul-17 @ 4:55 PM
hdeb - Your Question:
I'm an Australian citizen who married a British man back in 1995 -- so this is a long term relationship. We have moved back to this side of the world post-Brexit-vote and are confused about HOW to get a residency visa for me. We have the option of moving to France for awhile, getting a Carte du Sejour (residency card) for each of us in France, but will that still allow me to apply for British residency next year via the Surinder Singh ruling? Suggestions are welcome!

Our Response:
You can only apply for British citizenship once you have been living in the UK for five years or more. You don't say what visa you were on while living in the UK making it difficult to answer your question. Generally, if a person wishes to live in the UK with their spouse, they would apply for a family visa, via gov.uk link here . However, your husband can only sponsor your application if he is living within the UK.
AboutImmigration - 4-Jul-17 @ 10:32 AM
My mother in law is south african she is 52 very fit and healthy still working but wants to come live and work in the UK as her son is here (my husband). She has a daughter in South Africa but doesn't live with her. How can she come over as she wants to work. But working visa only goes to 45. Any help much appreciated.
Caz - 3-Jul-17 @ 10:47 PM
Liliana - Your Question:
Hello, I'm from Romania, I've been living and working in the UK since the 18th of March 2014, do I need to apply for an ILR or do I need to wait another two years to be entitled to apply straight away for the UK British citizenship ? I'm little bit confused if I should apply first for ILR or directly for the UK British citizenship after 5 years living in the UK? Thank you very much!

Our Response:
You can see more via the gov.uk link here which should help answer your question.
AboutImmigration - 3-Jul-17 @ 3:48 PM
I'm an Australian citizen who married a British man back in 1995 -- so this is a long term relationship. We have moved back to this side of the world post-Brexit-vote and are confused about HOW to get a residency visa for me. We have the option of moving to France for awhile, getting a Carte du Sejour (residency card) for each of us in France, but will that still allow me to apply for British residency next year via the Surinder Singh ruling? Suggestions are welcome!
hdeb - 3-Jul-17 @ 12:11 PM
Hello, I'm from Romania, I've been living and working in the UK since the 18th of March 2014, do I need to apply for an ILR or do I need to wait another two years to be entitled to apply straight away for the UK British citizenship ? I'm little bit confused if I should apply first for ILR or directly for the UK British citizenship after 5 years living in the UK? Thank you very much!
Liliana - 30-Jun-17 @ 9:06 PM
lain - Your Question:
Hi I am a Filipino married to a Scottish and I've been here for two years. I just want to ask some information on the requirements for a residency and things that I need to do for my application. My spouse visa will expire March of 2018. I would greatly appreciate any help that you can give. Thank you very much.lain

Our Response:
If you’re already in the UK, you can apply to extend your stay with your family member, please see link here.
AboutImmigration - 30-Jun-17 @ 11:31 AM
Hi I am a Filipino married to a Scottish and I've been here for two years. I just want to ask some information on the requirements for a residency and things that I need to do for my application. My spouse visa will expire March of 2018.I would greatly appreciate any help that you can give. Thank you verymuch. lain
lain - 29-Jun-17 @ 5:00 PM
pet - Your Question:
Hi,I ve been living and working in the uk since 2014.My children are British,I was born in Slovakia. Whate are the steps to follow in order to get a British passport. Thanks

Our Response:
Please see gov.uk here which should tell you all you need to know.
AboutImmigration - 29-Jun-17 @ 3:47 PM
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