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Can I Apply for UK Residence?

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 17 Oct 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.

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My wife has finally received her UK spouse visa. Can you advise when she is likely to receive her BRP decision letter with instructions on collect her BRP card? Will this be sent to her registered address in UK? Thanks
Abz127 - 17-Oct-17 @ 7:34 PM
factfinding - Your Question:
My partner of 8+ years is a UK citizen living and working in the UK. We are not legally married. I am an Australian citizen. I plan to take a leave of absence from work in Australia and stay in in UK as a visitor for less than 6 months after which I am planning to return to Australia for a few months to attend my daughter's wedding and attend to other business and/or go to visit my family in the USA and then return to the UK for another visit of less than 6 months. However, at this point in the plan, we have discussed the possiblity of getting married whilst I am back in the UK but want to know that if we do, can I apply for permanent residency whilst actually back in the country or do I have to apply for some sort of visa outside the UK and re-enter with the new status?Or would it be better to marry in Australia and if so, what would be the best pathway for me to enter the UK on the appropriate visa?

Our Response:
You can choose where you wish to marry. If you marry in the UK, you have to give notice, please see link here. If you wish to apply to live in the UK, regardless of whether you are married or not, you would still have to fulfil the requirements laid out in the family visa link here and apply from outside the UK.
AboutImmigration - 16-Oct-17 @ 12:45 PM
My partner of 8+ years is a UK citizen living and working in the UK. We are not legally married. I am an Australian citizen.I plan to take a leave of absence from work in Australia and stay in in UK as a visitor for less than 6 months after which I am planning to return to Australia for a few months to attend my daughter's wedding and attend to other business and/or go to visit my family in the USA and then return to the UK for another visit of less than 6 months. However, at this point in the plan, we have discussed the possiblity of getting married whilst I am back in the UK but want to know that if we do, can I apply for permanent residency whilst actually back in the country or do I have to apply for some sort of visa outside the UK and re-enter with the new status? Or would it be better to marry in Australia and if so, what would be the best pathway for me to enter the UK on the appropriate visa?
factfinding - 15-Oct-17 @ 7:13 AM
Winny - Your Question:
Hi, I am a British citizen and would would like move to the UK with my husband whom is currently a non citizen. Can he apply for UK citizen passport through marriage or he needs to apply for spouse visa first? thanks.

Our Response:
You and he would have to apply for a spouse visa. However, you would have to be considered ordinarily resident in the UK before he is allowed to apply and fulfil all the other requirements. Otherwise, he would have to apply for a visa independently of you or a visitor visa.
AboutImmigration - 9-Oct-17 @ 3:51 PM
Hi, I am a British citizen and would would like move to the UK with my husband whom is currently a non citizen.Can he apply for UK citizen passport through marriage or he needs to apply for spouse visa first? thanks.
Winny - 7-Oct-17 @ 5:33 AM
I'm Malaysian would like to enquiry about the requirements to apply for residential in UK. I'm married with two sons. We would like to know about the requirements please. We family planning to move to UK. Thanks. Truly appreciate your help.
Liz - 15-Aug-17 @ 4:19 PM
Lulu - Your Question:
I am a Malaysian studying in the UK. I did my A levels (1 1/2 year), undergrad (3 years) and Masters (1 year) here. Do I qualify for permanent residency? Thank you.

Our Response:
You can find out if you can apply for settlement (also called ‘indefinite leave to remain’) in the UK, please see link here .
AboutImmigration - 31-Jul-17 @ 12:17 PM
I am a Malaysian studying in the UK. I did my A levels (1 1/2 year), undergrad (3 years) and Masters (1 year) here. Do I qualify for permanent residency? Thank you.
Lulu - 28-Jul-17 @ 6:28 PM
gilly - Your Question:
Hi,My sister in law is Thai, Married for 13 years and living in UK for all of that period.Can she apply for a British Passport?

Our Response:
Your sister-in-law can check if she can apply via the link here .
AboutImmigration - 21-Jul-17 @ 2:42 PM
Hi, My sister in law is Thai, Married for 13 years and living in UK for all of that period. Can she apply for a British Passport?
gilly - 21-Jul-17 @ 10:46 AM
SofiaZ - thanks for the information.Regards.
Deborah - 4-Jul-17 @ 9:17 PM
@Deborah - he would have to apply under his own steam i.e on a work permit. He's too old to apply as a child and he is not considered to be eligible to apply as a dependent.
SofiaZ - 4-Jul-17 @ 12:34 PM
Hello there. Further to my question posed on the 28th May 2017, is there any advice for me?Thanking you...
Deborah - 3-Jul-17 @ 10:43 PM
Hello, I've completed a online visa application for my wife to come to the UK (settlement visa). The online visa form has been completed but not yet submitted. We are past the point of making any changes. On reviewing the application, I have picked up an error. Should I explain the error in my accompanying letter or cancel the application and reapply to avoid confusion? The error states my wife's daughter (from first marriage) will be also be coming to UK and she actually won't be coming to UK.
Dave - 2-Jul-17 @ 9:21 AM
Man Singh - Your Question:
I have a very unique situation. I am a 46 year old Malaysian single father. I have been divorced since 2010. My ex wife and I have equal joint custody of our 11 year old son. He has been staying with me ever since the divorce. Now my ex has remarried to a UK citizen in early 2016. I gave my permission for her to take our son to the UK for studies and a better future. But this separation is taking a toll on my son and I. He needs me to give him the confidence that my ex doesn't provide. My question is that, can I somehow be able to apply for a UK visa which will allow me to work to support myself and be close to my son? My son is a UK resident but he is only 11. Is there any way for me to get the visa that I desperately need? Thank you for your time

Our Response:
You would not be allowed to apply for a visa upon the sole basis of being with your son. However, you may be able to apply for the likes of a work/study visa independently which would allow you to work in the UK. You can check here if there is a visa that may suit you.
AboutImmigration - 30-Jun-17 @ 2:29 PM
oli - Your Question:
Hello. Me and my Korean wife and 8 month old son would like to make a move to live in the UK. We really don't want to spend months apart, so could you tell us which would be the easiest way to get a visa for my wife.Thank you

Our Response:
I'm afraid the only way for your wife to apply for a spouse visa is to do so from her own country as it is part of the requirements. I can only suggest she/you bridge the gap by her coming on a standard visitor visa and then returning to her home country to apply. I'm afraid it is a bone of contention for many married couples because of the lengthy application process, the divisions it creates and no guarantee of success.
AboutImmigration - 30-Jun-17 @ 10:47 AM
I have a very unique situation. I am a 46 year old Malaysian single father. I have been divorced since 2010. My ex wife and I have equal joint custody of our 11 year old son. He has been staying with me ever since the divorce. Now my ex has remarried to a UK citizen in early 2016. I gave my permission for her to take our son to the UK for studies and a better future. But this separation is taking a toll on my son and I. He needs me to give him the confidence that my ex doesn't provide. My question is that, can I somehow be able to apply for a UK visa which will allow me to work to support myself and be close to my son? My son is a UK resident but he is only 11. Is there any way for me to get the visa that I desperately need? Thank you for your time
Man Singh - 30-Jun-17 @ 3:33 AM
Hello. Me and my Korean wife and 8 month old son would like to make a move to live in the UK. We really don't want to spend months apart, so could you tell us which would be the easiest way to get a visa for my wife. Thank you
oli - 29-Jun-17 @ 2:01 PM
Dee - Your Question:
Hi thereBoth mine and my husbands' ancestry visas are coming to an end early next year. We are both South Africans. His grandfather was Scottish. What website do we need to use and where do we get more information on how to apply for this? We currently live in Edinburgh.

Our Response:
You can apply to settle in the UK permanently if you’ve lived in the UK for five years on this visa, please see gov.uk link here.
AboutImmigration - 27-Jun-17 @ 12:10 PM
Hi there Both mine and my husbands' ancestry visas are coming to an end early next year.We are both South Africans.His grandfather was Scottish.What website do we need to use and where do we get more information on how to apply for this?We currently live in Edinburgh.
Dee - 26-Jun-17 @ 4:52 PM
Hello.I am a British Citizen (since February 2006 - I originally came over to the UK on a Fiancee Visa in December 2001), and am a Dual National from Australia.My grown son, single (aged 32), is wishing to come to the UK to live to be closer to myself and my husband.He is furthering his hospitality experience there, but wishes to be able to work here when he arrives.Which Visa, if any, is he eligible for...or does he need to gain more experience in the hope that he can gain sponsorship?He wishes to settle here permanently.Any advice would be gratefully received, as the immigration visas website can be very misleading.Thanking you.
Deborah - 28-May-17 @ 3:53 PM
rushi - Your Question:
I am trying to assist my elderly uncle of 73 years old to apply for naturalisation. He came to the country in the 1960s after acquiring a british passport from british high commission in nairobi, kenya. His late father had a british passport and thats why he was able to come to this country. My uncle has been through alot of personal hardships but his always worked hard for his two children. His now lost his kenyan as well as his british passport and now had no luck in getting a kenyan passport through kenyan embassy. I really want him to get his naturalisation so that he can acquire a passport to go visit his sister in kenya. he only has his birth certificate and his childrens as well as a drivers license. How should we go about applying for naturalization. Please advise. Thanks

Our Response:
In a case such as this, due to the complexities you would really need to speak to an independent immigration adviser, please see gov.uk link here.
AboutImmigration - 17-May-17 @ 9:58 AM
Allicarroll - Your Question:
My british fiance and I have been together for 10 years, and had a baby last year (in the UK). We lived together in australia since 2007, moving to the UK in august 2013 - I orginally came on a tier 5 youth mobility visa, and in 2015 I changed to a partner/spouse visa, which expires in february of 2018. I wondered what my best options are from then onwards as we plan to bring our baby up in his dads home country and I hope to naturalise as soon as possible, can you help with some advice?

Our Response:
Please see gov.uk link here which should help you further.
AboutImmigration - 16-May-17 @ 2:40 PM
I am trying to assist my elderly uncle of 73 years old to apply for naturalisation. He came to the country in the 1960s after acquiring a british passport from british high commission in nairobi,kenya. His late father had a british passport and thats why he was able to come to this country. My uncle has been through alot of personal hardships but his always worked hard for his two children. His now lost his kenyan as well as his british passport and now had no luck in getting a kenyan passport through kenyan embassy. I really want him to get his naturalisation so that he can acquire a passport to go visit his sister in kenya . he only has his birth certificate and his childrens as well as a drivers license. How should we go about applying for naturalization. Please advise. Thanks
rushi - 16-May-17 @ 12:10 PM
My british fiance and I have been together for 10 years, and had a baby last year (in the UK). We lived together in australia since 2007, moving to the UK in august 2013 - i orginally came on a tier 5 youth mobility visa, and in 2015 i changed to a partner/spouse visa, which expires in february of 2018. I wondered what my best options are from then onwards as we plan to bring our baby up in his dads home country and i hope to naturalise as soon as possible, can you help with some advice?
Allicarroll - 13-May-17 @ 9:44 AM
Athena - Your Question:
My daughter (British Citizen) is currently in a serious relationship with a US national. She has visited him in the USA and he is currently here on a 5 month visitors visa, staying with her but returning back to the US in May. They've known each other for over 2 years and are planning on getting married once my daughter's divorce comes through,having been separated from her husband for 3 years. My daughter recently found out she is expecting her boyfriend's child and, obviously, will want him to be with her for the birth (Nov). Will he be allowed to return to the UK and eventually apply for residency? If so, what are the steps he would need to take? Will he be allowed to work here? It all seems extremely complicated.

Our Response:
I'm afraid regardless of whether your daughter is having a child, her partner will still have to go through the requirements laid out in the family visa link here. He will have to keep applying for a visitor's visa until such time as he is eligible to apply.
AboutImmigration - 18-Apr-17 @ 12:25 PM
My daughter (British Citizen) is currently in a serious relationship with a US national. She has visited him in the USA and he is currently here on a 5 month visitors visa, staying with her but returning back to the US in May. They've known each other for over 2 years and are planning on getting married once my daughter's divorce comes through,having been separated from her husband for 3 years.My daughter recently found out she is expecting her boyfriend's child and, obviously, will want him to be with her for the birth (Nov).Will he be allowed to return to the UK and eventually apply for residency?If so, what are the steps he would need to take?Will he be allowed to work here?It all seems extremely complicated.
Athena - 18-Apr-17 @ 1:16 AM
My daughter is engaged to an Australian citizen.He is coming to uk on a tier 5 working visa in July for 2 years and they intend to get married whilst he is here. How does he stand with regards to remaining in U.K after the 2 years.
Steve - 7-Apr-17 @ 5:07 PM
Gibbo - Your Question:
I am married to a Moroccan national who is a lot younger than me. I am a British Citizen. We have known each other for a year now and I have visited him 5 times. We were married in Morocco with the full blessing of his family and the assistance of a solicitor who is accredited to the UK Embassy in Rabat. We speak every day on Skype and messenger, WhatsApp, and other messages. The video calling is approximately 2 hours every day because he helps me with everything. We are now hoping to apply for a Spouse Visa and know we will be up against ageist sexist views. But we have compiled 2 files of evidence of our genuine and subsisting relationship as we know this will be the focus of the application for HO. We meet the financial criteria and also are people of good standing, no TB, IELTS and above all else we really love each other. We have a solicitor in the UK to assist with the application. What are the chances of refusal if we have all the eligibility criteria and evidence?

Our Response:
I'm afraid we cannot anticipate or predict how your application will be assessed.
AboutImmigration - 5-Apr-17 @ 11:08 AM
I am married to a Moroccan national who is a lot younger than me.I am a British Citizen. We have known each other for a year now and I have visited him 5 times.We were married in Morocco with the full blessing of his family and the assistance of a solicitor who is accredited to the UK Embassy in Rabat.We speak every day on Skype and messenger, WhatsApp, and other messages.The video calling is approximately 2 hours every day because he helps me with everything. We are now hoping to apply for a Spouse Visa and know we will be up against ageist sexist views.But we have compiled 2 files of evidence of our genuine and subsisting relationship as we know this will be the focus of the application for HO.We meet the financial criteria and also are people of good standing, no TB, IELTS and above all else we really love each other.We have a solicitor in the UK to assist with the application.What are the chances of refusal if we have all the eligibility criteria and evidence?
Gibbo - 4-Apr-17 @ 11:29 AM
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