Home > Ask Our Experts > Can I Apply for UK Residence?

Can I Apply for UK Residence?

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 16 Feb 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Uk Residence Work Permit Worker Visa

Q.

I have been on a work permit since July 2002 but spent one year and four months (from December 2003 to May 2005) on a spouse visa. I have been working full time with the company I got the work permit with and there is no gap in my work permit. After taking one year and four months in total out on a spouse visa, since 2002, I have compleated a 5 year period on a work permit. Can I apply for residence now?

(Mr J Singh, 11 January 2009)

A.

Many foreign nationals who wished to work in the UK were required to obtain a work permit before coming to the UK. Foreign nationals who needed a work permit would be denied entry to the UK if they travelled before obtaining one. In addition to a work permit, some foreign citizens require a visa before the come to the UK. These include nationals of countries who always require a visa to come to the UK (visa nationals) and those who held a work permit that was valid for six months or longer.

On 27 November 2008 the old work permit scheme was replaced with Tier 2 of the new points-based immigration system. Workers who originally came to the UK under the work permit scheme will be entitled to apply to transfer to the new Tier 2 category. Tier 2 – General applies to foreign nationals who come to the UK with an offer of a skilled job which could not be filled by a worker already resident in the UK.

Foreign workers who come to the UK under the Tier 2 General category will be given permission to stay in the UK for a period up to a maximum of three years and one month. At the end of the initial period foreign nationals who wish to continue working in the UK must apply to extend their leave to remain in the country. Additional leave to remain may be granted for a further period of up to a maximum of two years. Foreign workers who originally came to the UK under the old work permit scheme may apply to extend their stay under the Tier 2 category pursuant to transitional arrangements put into place after the implementation of the new points-based scheme.

Once workers in the Tier 2 category have been in the UK for a continuous period of five years they may be eligible to apply for permanent residency – also known as indefinite leave to remain or settlement. The worker’s employer will have to confirm in writing that the foreign worker is still required for the job and will have to supply a new certificate of sponsorship in support of the worker’s application for permanent residence.

For any application for permanent residence to succeed, the applicant must have been in the UK with the appropriate visa or other permission throughout the five-year qualifying period. It is essential that all visa requirements you had were satisfied both before and after you were on a spouse visa. If at any time during the five-year period you did not have permission to be in the UK, your application for permanent residence is likely to fail. It may be wise to get specific advice on this point before starting an application.

Free advice on immigration issues may be available from The Citizens Advice Bureau, The Immigration Advisory Service or Community Legal Advice.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
Doug - Your Question:
Hi, Can my wife apply for a "family of a settled person" visa from within the UK, if she is her on a standard 6 month visitor visa?

Our Response:
No, she has to leave the country in accordance with the terms of her visa and apply from her home country for a family visa. Please see link here.
AboutImmigration - 17-Feb-17 @ 2:07 PM
Hi, Can my wife apply for a "family of a settled person" visa from within the UK, if she is her on a standard 6 month visitor visa?
Doug - 16-Feb-17 @ 8:24 PM
Hello, I have got my British Citizenship approved last year in october 2016, we got our ILR in month of March 2015 after which my wife left uk for holiday to india for 6 months for delvery on 14 oct 2015 and came back in april 16th 2016, can she now apply for her british citizenship?
Mahesh - 9-Feb-17 @ 2:53 PM
I am Canadian , retired, born of British parents, can I move to uk?i
Maggie - 7-Feb-17 @ 5:41 AM
Hi, does anyone know if school attendance (over five years) counts as a "qualifying activity" for uk residence card? I am a long term resident, came here when I was four.
Maria - 6-Feb-17 @ 10:28 PM
With reference to response 23-Jan-16 2:39pm. "The fact your wife is pregnant will not speed up the matter. In fact, it slightly changes your eligibility requirement in that you will have to be earning an extra £2,500 on top of the £18,600 minimum in order to bring a child into the UK." the child will be a UK citizen so I think the extra £2,500 does not apply. Reference: Appendix FM Section 1.7 financial requirement. Paragraph 2.8
Dave - 4-Feb-17 @ 11:43 AM
I am a US citizen with a British partner. We lived together in the US for 21 years and raised three children. He is a dual citizen of the US and the UK. We were married in Guatemala where we currently live and teach. At the end of this year, we will be moving back to the UK. 1. Will we need to marry again in Britain to have our marriage recognized there? 2. Will I have to apply for a marital visa or because we are already married, will I be permitted to stay in Britain without leaving after 6 months due to marital visa restrictions? 3. is there anything else I need to do before we arrive in England?
Ran - 3-Feb-17 @ 2:20 PM
I am contacting to find out the likelihood of my Son obtaining a British Passport. A bit of background: I and his father (since separated) were born in Hungary. Our Son was born in Toronto, Canada, where we lived for 4 years. We moved back to Hungary just prior to his 2nd birthday. He has since held a Hungarian ID Card. We now reside in UK, and have since 2007. Both I and his father have acquired British Citizenship. His Hungarian ID Card has always allowed him to travel from the UK to Hungary and back again without any issues. However, it is Expired. He also holds a Canadian Passport, having been born there, but that has been met with talk of "restrictions" on arrival in airports in the UK. With that in mind I am now enquiring about this and would appreciate any response. I have already contacted the Passport Office and they were most unhelpful, as too were the Citizens Advice Bureau. I have also done the online test on the gov.uk website and that was inconclusive.
APB - 25-Jan-17 @ 8:00 AM
KK - Your Question:
I am British national and in 2010 I married Polish Citizen. My husband would like to apply for permanent residency in the UK, as we are concerned about his situation in view of BREXIT. Please advise if and how to do it?

Our Response:
Please see gov.uk link here which will help answer your question.
AboutImmigration - 24-Jan-17 @ 12:26 PM
I amBritish national and in 2010 I married Polish Citizen. My husband would like to apply for permanent residency in the UK, as we are concerned about his situation in view of BREXIT. Please advise if and how to do it?
KK - 23-Jan-17 @ 5:40 PM
Dave - Your Question:
I'm a UK national and married my Vietnamese wife in UK last year. Unfortunately her application for 2 year Spouse visa was declined due to a technicality with my financial supporting documents. This technicality has now been resolved but we need to wait 6 months before reapplying so that I can produce 6 months bank statements. My question, now that my wife is pregnant, can we receive any dispensation that changes the supporting documents requirement and may speed up the application time? I have been working less than 6 months and can't rely on salary statements as proof of income.

Our Response:
The fact your wife is pregnant will not speed up the matter. In fact, it slightly changes your eligibility requirement in that you will have to be earning an extra £2,500 on top of the £18,600 minimum in order to bring a child into the UK.
AboutImmigration - 23-Jan-17 @ 2:39 PM
I'm a UK national and married my Vietnamese wife in UK last year. Unfortunately her application for 2 year Spouse visa was declined due to a technicality with my financial supporting documents. This technicality has now been resolved but we need to wait 6 months before reapplying so that I can produce 6 months bank statements. My question, now that my wife is pregnant, can we receive any dispensation that changes the supporting documents requirement and may speed up the application time? I have been working less than 6 months and can't rely on salary statements as proof of income.
Dave - 22-Jan-17 @ 7:53 PM
hi, my partner got 5 years non EEA umarried partner family visa and it is expiring 1 May 2017. can we apply now for permand residence? I have residence certificate from May 2012 (got together when we requested family visa). thank you
Rito - 17-Jan-17 @ 1:58 PM
Hi , I am Australian Citizen and my Husband is a British Citizen through his parents , He never lived in UK. I have a job offer and I would like to find out if I would qualify to apply for settlement or permanent residency in uk and satisfy the financial requirement , We have been married for 26 years, we have two kids under 18, my salary for the new job is 44500 British pound for six months. Thank you so much in advance. Rita
Rita Chadbone - 24-Nov-16 @ 3:10 AM
@Mrs Mu - you'd have EU freeedom of movement anyway if you're a Dutch national, but you'll have to hurry before the Brexit barrier goes up! TD.
Tess. - 11-Oct-16 @ 2:49 PM
Hi there I am wondering whether / how I could apply for UK permanent residency and wondered if you could help to clarify my situation. I'm a Dutch national. Moved to the UK in 2004 Met my husband, a uk citizen and lived together from 2005 Married him in the UK in 2009 Had a daughter in the UK in 2012 Moved to new Zealand in October 2014 Had a son in NZ in November 2015 Husband separated from from me in January 2015 Now that the dream of living in nz has failed and my marriage is ending I'd like to return to live in the UK with the kids as it has been home for ten years. Could I likely be granted residency and for my NZ son, and would it on the basis of continued residency or having a UK spouse? Do I need to be in the UK to apply? Thanks in advance ?? Muriel
Mrs Mu - 11-Oct-16 @ 8:38 AM
I am trying to figure out how to live/work in the UK. My mother was born and raised in Liverpool England. It looks like i'd want a UK Ancestry visa.....but its all very confusing. I have my mothers birth record and her wedding license to my dad also. My has passed away many years ago. How do i go about figuring out what to apply for. And do you have to have a lawyer? Or can you fill out the paper work yourself? Any information would help out greatly. thank you
shanan - 22-Aug-16 @ 5:24 PM
Hello, Me and my husband both live in Egypt and want to move to live in the UK. I am a British citizen but he is not as he is an Egyptian national. Are we able to apply for the residency from Egypt or would I have to move back before I apply? We would have been married for two years in October and currently live and work in Egypt. the situation in Egypt is getting difficult and we're getting desperate. Thank you
H - 21-Jul-16 @ 9:46 PM
My wife and brother( both British citizens) died this year. My sister in law is Malay and holds that country's passport but not a UK one. My brother died in the far east where he spent much of his working life as a helicopter engineer. My sister in law is in her mid 60s. I am in my late 70s. My sister in law has two daughters, both hold a British passport. One is currently taking a Phd in Cambridge.( has been in England for 6+ years) The other is working in Canada where she has just spent three years at Toronto University. My sister in law and I get on well together. Would it be possible for her to come to the UK, share my home and spend our dotage together?
JR - 13-Jul-16 @ 1:57 PM
Franco - Your Question:
I have lived and worked in the UK for the past 40 years, married and now divorced. I am a French citizen will this effect me living in the uk?Will I have a problem coming back into the uk after o/s travel?

Our Response:
You can apply for a residence card via the link here or here whichever is applicable.
AboutImmigration - 5-Jul-16 @ 12:20 PM
I have lived and worked in the UK for the past 40 years, married and now divorced. I am a French citizen will this effect me living in the uk? Will I have a problem coming back into the uk after o/s travel?
Franco - 4-Jul-16 @ 7:20 PM
Hello, I'm a UK national and my Vietnamese finacee will come to UK shortly, under a marriage/cp visa. What is the procedure for extending her visa beyond 6 months, after we are married?
Abz - 2-Jul-16 @ 1:44 PM
I am (non EU) married to EU citizen since 2013 and currently on 5 years EEA family permit. I believe after 5 years i would be eligible to apply for ILR. My question is, our baby born this year has go british passport based on the fact that my spouce is here more the 6-7 yeers. So do i still have to wait for 5 years (to finish EEA family permit) to get ILR? or can I apply for ILR ased on the fact that I am the father of new born who holds british passport? Thanks
G Singh - 1-Jul-16 @ 4:46 PM
Saz - Your Question:
Hi, my family moved to the UK in 1997 from Italy, in 2009 my parents and my brother obtained their British citizenship, however I was at University and was unable to do the citizenship myself. I have permanent leave to remain but do I have the citizenship and if so do I need to complete the AN form and naturalise as a British citizen? Please an you advice what steps I now need to take to obtain my citizenship?i was told that I do not need to do the life in the UK test as I have had all of my education in the UK, is this also correct?Thank you in advance.

Our Response:
The gov.uk site here should answer your questions.
AboutImmigration - 24-Jun-16 @ 12:52 PM
Marina - Your Question:
I am an italian citizen. I lived and worked in London all through the early '80s till early 90s. My daughter was born in London from an English father and has british nationality. I never married. I came back to Italy for work and I am still residing over here. I have a NHS number and visit London and family every so often.I wonder if I still need a Visa from now on or if I am entitled to some kind of special permit considering the family bond. Please note that for study purposes my daughter is now attending Uni abroad.Thank you for your reply.

Our Response:
Nothing will change for a while, any changes will be notified. You can apply for a registration certificate if you’re a citizen of a European Economic Area (EEA) country and want to prove your right to live or work in the UK, please see link here to see if you qualify.
AboutImmigration - 24-Jun-16 @ 12:47 PM
Hi, my family moved to the UK in 1997 from Italy, in 2009 my parents and my brother obtained their British citizenship, however i was at University and was unable to do the citizenship myself. I have permanent leave to remain but do i have the citizenship and if so do i need to complete the AN form and naturalise as a British citizen? Please an you advice what steps i now need to take to obtain my citizenship? i was told that i do not need to do the life in the UK test as i have had all of my education in the UK, is this also correct? Thank you in advance.
Saz - 24-Jun-16 @ 9:50 AM
I am an italian citizen. I lived and worked in London all through the early '80s till early 90s. My daughter was born in London from an English father and has british nationality. I never married. I came back to Italy for work and I am still residing over here.I have a NHS number and visit London and family every so often. I wonder if I still need a Visafrom now on or if I am entitled to some kind of special permit considering the family bond. Please note that for study purposes my daughter is now attending Uni abroad. Thank you for your reply.
Marina - 24-Jun-16 @ 8:11 AM
lost - Your Question:
I was born in the uk came to ghana 2004 to help my dad with business he died uk on holiday ten years ago I was left in ghana with baby so I could not just leave the baby and come back since then I have two more children I want return to my country of birth with my children what do I have to do.my father I as a british citizen also my mother is a british citizen but they are both diedplease advise me

Our Response:
You may automatically qualify as a British citizen, depending on where and when you were born, and your parents’ circumstances. You can check if you’re already a British citizen here.
AboutImmigration - 22-Jun-16 @ 10:23 AM
i was born in the uk came to ghana 2004 to help my dad with business he died ukon holiday ten years ago i was left in ghana with baby so i could not just leave the baby and come back since then i have two more children i want return to my country of birth with my children what do i have to do . my father i as a british citizen also my mother is a british citizen but they are both diedplease advise me
lost - 21-Jun-16 @ 8:26 AM
My friend has UK permanent residency on her Malaysian passport.Malaysia doesn't recognize dual citizenship so if my friend applied for Uk citizenship and subsequently a British passport, would her dual citizenship details be made known to Malaysia. Secondly would her PR status on her Malaysian passport be rendered obsolete and not recognized by the UK if she holds a British passport?Thanks
Minvesttrust - 20-Jun-16 @ 4:21 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the AboutImmigration website. Please read our Disclaimer.