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Can I Apply for UK Residence?

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 21 Jul 2018 | 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.

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I have lived in the UK for 13 years and five months. My last visa expired in 2009. I am now married and my wife has indefinite leave to remain. We have a son who is British. How do i apply to regularise my stay?
AJ - 21-Jul-18 @ 5:31 PM
My girlfriend is Indonesian.She came to the UK for holiday last October and then she came back in November and left before her 6 month visa expired.She is now in US and wants to come back to UK to live with me.How can she do this and what cost if married or not married? Thanks for any advice and help greatly appreciated.
marty - 15-Jul-18 @ 10:47 PM
ES - Your Question:
Hi,I am on Intra-company transfer visa and working in UK since 2014.My son born in UK in the year 2015.Want to check whether my son is eligible for UK settlement visa?And also is there any changes on cooling period with latest immigration rules.Appreciate for your response.

Our Response:
Unless either parent is a British citizen or has ILR/settled status, then your son will not be eligible for British citizenship.
AboutImmigration - 29-Jun-18 @ 11:02 AM
Hi,I am on Intra-company transfer visa and working in UK since 2014.My son born in UKin the year 2015.Want to check whether my son is eligible for UK settlement visa? And also is there any changes on cooling period with latest immigration rules. Appreciate for your response.
ES - 28-Jun-18 @ 2:58 PM
@Nicole - you can apply for a Fiancee family visa instead of a marriage visitor visa and you will not have to leave the UK after marriage.
TJ. - 27-May-18 @ 9:58 PM
Hello, I am a USA permanent resident. My country of citizenship is Peru. My boyfriend is a UK citizen. I want to go live in the UK permanently but I'm not sure what the requirements are. I've found that the first step would be to get a "marriage visitor visa" so that I could go to the UK, get married, but I'd have to go back the the USA after 6 months. What I want to know is what comes after that? How do I apply to go settle in the UK? What kind of visa do I need and how long does it take? Hope someone can help me. Thank you!
Nicole - 27-May-18 @ 4:46 PM
i have Tier -4 student visa & am studying since oct 2016 in UK Initially i had one year T-4 visa which i extended from within Uk till Oct 2019 till my Graduation .I want to marry ( In UK )a British passport holder & she is student also . what should be my line for applying indefinite Leave to Stay . Will the years i have spent till Oct 2019 be accounted for in the PR period ?
jan - 1-May-18 @ 7:50 AM
@TJ - also, I was under the understanding that as USA is a country on the UK's designated country list.that the US adoption orders are recognised in the UK?
trinityxx - 25-Apr-18 @ 4:39 PM
Hi @TJ - thank you so much for clarifying that but please could you explain how I would go about obtaining UK adoption orders through an agency? - I assume you mean a UK agency ?
trinityxx - 25-Apr-18 @ 4:20 PM
@trinity - Because you did not adopt the children in the UK, the UK Home Office will recognise them as international adoptions. Because you were not resident in the UK when the adoptions took place your children are not British citizens nor eligible for British passports. There are two options available to you regarding their British citizenship. Option 1. Obtain UK adoption orders for the children through an agency and this will make them automatic British citizens eligible for British passports. Option 2. Using the US adoption orders, apply to register the children as British citizens under section 3(1) of the British Nationality Act 1981 (Home Secretary's discretion). In my view the first option tends to be more successful especially where one parent isn't a British citizen.
TJ. - 25-Apr-18 @ 7:39 AM
Hi seeking advice I am british citizen living in US (for 4 years).I am married to an american man, we just have adopted 1 child and am in process of adopting another.I want to return to UK next year - what do i need to do to get my adopted children UK passports and citizenship? also, can anyone recommend UK solicitor who can help us....have spoken to a few but many are confusing my case with international adoption ...which ours is not because we adopted US children while living in the US.Thanks in advance.
trinity - 24-Apr-18 @ 11:21 PM
LIAN - Your Question:
I am a Malaysian and wish to know the criteria for applying a permanent residence in UK. Is owning properties amounting certain value is entitle to apply?

Our Response:
You can see via the link here if you are entitled to apply for permanent residence.
AboutImmigration - 16-Apr-18 @ 3:34 PM
I am a Malaysian and wish to know the criteria for applying a permanent residence in UK. Is owning properties amounting certain value is entitle to apply?
LIAN - 16-Apr-18 @ 7:39 AM
@Nanda - If you are a British citizen you can live outside the UK for as long as you choose and will not lose citizenship. There is no time limit for applying for a British passport if you already are a British citizen.
TJ. - 8-Mar-18 @ 8:45 PM
I have British citizenship. How long can I stay out of the country? I know that leave to remain can stay out for 2 years, does it apply to British citizenship too? Is there a maximum period to apply for the passport after you get the certificate?
Nanda - 8-Mar-18 @ 2:21 PM
mlh1975 - Your Question:
Hi, I met my wife in late 2014 here in the UK, I was born in UK so I am UK citizen and shes Romanian and we've been together ever since. We moved in together in September 2015 and married in October 2016. What do we need to do with regards to brexit etc. Is my wife safe here after brexit, shes had a hard time finding work so for much of the three years we've been together I have supported her. However I don't want a situation when brexit comes of it breaking us up. I've looked online but find it awfully confusing on what I need to do in terms of citizenship etc.

Our Response:
Please see the link: Status of EU citizens in the UK: what you need to know here, which will give you the information you need to help answer your question.
AboutImmigration - 5-Feb-18 @ 2:22 PM
Hi, I met my wife in late 2014 here in the UK, I was born in UK so I am UK citizen and shes Romanian and we've been together ever since. We moved in together in September 2015 and married in October 2016. What do we need to do with regards to brexit etc. Is my wife safe here after brexit, shes had a hard time finding work so for much of the three years we've been together I have supported her. However I don't want a situation when brexit comes of it breaking us up. I've looked online but find it awfully confusing on what I need to do in terms of citizenship etc.
mlh1975 - 3-Feb-18 @ 7:05 PM
@CARLOS - A suspended sentence and a prison sentence are the same for immigration purposes. The amount of time that you are restricted from applying for settled status depends on the length of the sentence.
TJ. - 10-Jan-18 @ 7:35 PM
IHI, IS A SUSPENDED SENTENCE THE SAME AS A PRISON SENTENCE WHEN AN EU CITIZEN APPLIES FOR SETTLED STATUS. IF ITS NOT HOW LONG I HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL I CAN APPLY? AND IF IT IS HOW LONG I HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL I CAN APPLY?
CARLOS - 10-Jan-18 @ 5:17 PM
Thanks TJ. I will do that. Your advice is sincerely appreciated.
Des - 2-Jan-18 @ 10:22 AM
@Des- You should look into applying for the Tier 1 (Exceptional talent) visa as it seems to be most suitable for you. More information on this visa can be found on the govuk website
TJ. - 1-Jan-18 @ 4:36 PM
Hi there, require some advice regarding the qualification for long term immigration to - and working in the UK. I will be 62 on Jan 2018 and my wife 60 on 20 May 18.Health both good. We have a daughter married to a UK citizen and they are resident in Kings Lynn. She has been in the UK for the past 15 Years and is also prepared to sponser us initially. We have sufficient funds to support ourselves for at least 5 - 7 years and to build a pension there. I have a technical engineering registration in Railway signal engineeringand could still be an asset to the British Rail Industry for at least the next 5 years. What are our chances of success and what process do i need to follow. Many thanks
Des - 1-Jan-18 @ 1:12 PM
In December 2013, i moved to the UK on a spousal Visa from Australia with my British Partner and our 2 young children (they both have Dual Passports). Unfortunately we broke up in January 2016, so i was granted a 'Leave to remain' as i was not living with my 2 children anymore and paying Maintenance whilst seeing them once a week. My 'Leave to Remain' is valid until 23/12/2018. By then i will have been living and working in this country continuously for 5 years. Am i eligible for residency?if so what Tier or circumstance? or an indefinite leave to remain? its all very confusing especially with my circumstance and I'm very close to my children. Thank you for your time.
Charlie - 24-Dec-17 @ 3:16 PM
In December 2013, I moved to the UK on a spousal Visa from Australia with my British Partner and our 2 young children (they both have Dual Passports). unfortunately we split up in January 2016, i was granted a Leave to Remain' as i was not living with my 2 children and paying maintenance whilst seeing them once a week. My 'Leave To Remain' is Valid until 23/12/2018. By then i will have been living and working in this country continuously for 5 years. Am i eligible to apply for residency? or an indefinite leave to remain? Its all very confusing especially with my circumstance and I'm very close to my Children. Thank you for Your time.
Charlie - 24-Dec-17 @ 3:04 PM
Thank you but that link doesn't specifically answer whether you need to be an EU citizen for the entire duration of 5 year qualification period for permanent residence document (or 6 for citizenship)? There is no answer to my unique situation online, and it seems the only way to find out is by applying - but would prefer not to waste my time or the governments if not eligible.
James - 16-Nov-17 @ 11:58 AM
Tina - Your Question:
I am geman I been in England since 1979 Can I stay in the uk or do I have to live.Thank you

Our Response:
You can see more via the gov.uk link here, which should help answer your question.
AboutImmigration - 14-Nov-17 @ 12:24 PM
James - Your Question:
Question. I have lived in the UK continuously for just over 6 years, however, the first 2 years was under an Australian Tier 5 Youth Mobility Migrant Visa. Just before my visa expired, I became a Greek (EU) citizen through ancestry and was able to leave the UK for a day and return as an EU migrant. I would like to apply for British Residency in order to someday apply for British Citizenship. The question I hope you could help with please is am I eligible to apply for Residency now given I have continuously lived here for 6 years, or do I need to wait until I hit 5 years under the time I lived here since entering on my EU passport instead of now expired Tier 5 Visa? Many thanks for your help as the Governments website is not clear on this point.

Our Response:
You can see more via the gov.uk link here , which may help answer your question.
AboutImmigration - 14-Nov-17 @ 10:24 AM
I am geman I been in England since 1979 Can I stay in the uk or do I have to live.Thank you
Tina - 13-Nov-17 @ 8:13 PM
Question. I have lived in the UK continuously for just over 6 years, however, the first 2 years was under an Australian Tier 5 Youth Mobility Migrant Visa.Just before my visa expired, I became a Greek (EU) citizen through ancestry and was able to leave the UK for a day and return as an EU migrant. I would like to apply for British Residency in order to someday apply for British Citizenship. The question I hope you could help with please is am I eligible to apply for Residency now given I have continuously lived here for 6 years, or do I need to wait until I hit 5 years under the time I lived here since entering on my EU passport instead of now expired Tier 5 Visa? Many thanks for your help as the Governments website is not clear on this point.
James - 13-Nov-17 @ 5:32 PM
@MD - you can't apply for British citizenship retrosepctively or from outside the UK, you would have to be living here.
JaNV - 13-Nov-17 @ 12:20 PM
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