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

Can I Apply for UK Residence?

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 17 Jan 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]
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
Hello My name is Mariusz, I am from Poland. I have lived in UK since 1 year, and I am a little bit afraid of BREXIT. I would like to apply for a temporary residence permit, and after 5 years I would like to apply for permanent residence permit. What documents should i have? I dont understand what does it mean the extended family member of EEA or direct... After 1 year I have become a temoprary resident according to informations from Home Office. I am just wondering, in case of Brexit, can I be forced to return home, if I pay taxes, have legal job, and I also have bought a car and I pay rates every month....
Talpa91 - 17-Jun-16 @ 9:38 PM
Hello My name is Mariusz, I am from Poland. I have lived in UK since 1 year, and I am a little bit afraid of BREXIT. I would like to apply for a temporary residence permit, and after 5 years I would like to apply for permanent residence permit. What documents should i have? I dont understand what does it mean the extended family member of EEA or direct...
Talpa91 - 12-Jun-16 @ 10:29 PM
Mel - Your Question:
Good afternoon,I am married to a Costa Rican, where we currently reside. Later this year we will visit England. Last year we spent the 6 months he is allowed over there and are now wondering if our marriage changes the circumstances for us in England or if it remains. We are interested in applying for him to stay the 2.5 years as a spouse and work over there one day. We also wonder, regarding his 6 month allowance in the country- how is that measure; 6 months per annum or 6 months in a year since the time he arrives in the country? Is there any information you could please provide regarding our situation please?Thank you very much,Mel

Our Response:
I assume you are from the UK, if so then you would need to live in the UK in order to be able to bring your husband over on a spouse visa, and/or apply for him to remain. Plus you would have to fulfil the eligibility criteria laid out here and/or here.
AboutImmigration - 7-Jun-16 @ 1:45 PM
Good afternoon, I am married to a Costa Rican, where we currently reside. Later this year we will visit England. Last year we spent the 6 months he is allowed over there and are now wondering if our marriage changes the circumstances for us in England or if it remains. We are interested in applying for him to stay the 2.5 years as a spouse and work over there one day. We also wonder, regarding his 6 month allowance in the country- how is that measure; 6 months per annum or 6 months in a year since the time he arrives in the country? Is there any information you could please provide regarding our situation please? Thank you very much, Mel
Mel - 6-Jun-16 @ 6:17 PM
Marina - Your Question:
Hello ! I am Italian and have been living in the UK for thee last 5 years. Have been here before (in 2008) for a few months, also working.I wanted to know if I can apply for a British residence and if so, how.I have checked the Government website but it only says members from the EEA can apply. I just don't understand it. Thank you very much for your help !

Our Response:
Please see gov.uk site here.
AboutImmigration - 3-Jun-16 @ 12:53 PM
Hello ! I am Italian and have been living in the UK for thee last 5 years. Have been here before (in 2008) for a few months, also working. I wanted to know if I can apply for a British residence and if so, how. I have checked the Government website but it only says members from the EEA can apply. I just don't understand it. Thank you very much for your help !
Marina - 2-Jun-16 @ 9:18 PM
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 - 1-Jun-16 @ 4:16 PM
My Dad has an ILR in the UK, which names me and my sister on it as we were babies. Is there any way that we can both get our own as it is also a right to work over here and we can't all share one document for three people. I am hoping that this can just be transfered into our names for a very small if not free sum of money. I have lived in the UK for 51 years now, never once leaving it.
Donna - 30-May-16 @ 3:04 PM
Miss Evee - Your Question:
Hello, I am getting married next month with UK citizen and I am Latvian, how can I exchange my passport in UK?

Our Response:
You cannot 'exchange' your passport - you will still keep your Latvian one. You will not naturally acquire British citizenship because you have married a person from the UK. You will have to go through the usual immigration application processes if you wish to apply.
AboutImmigration - 23-May-16 @ 2:50 PM
Hello, I am getting married next month with UK citizen and I am Latvian, how can I exchange my passport in UK?
Miss Evee - 23-May-16 @ 1:36 AM
Graham - Your Question:
I am a British citizen but been working and living in South Africa for the past 2 1/2 years. I recently got married to a South African whose grandfather was born and grew up in the UK.My Wife has a 20 year old daughter in her last year of school here in South Africa but we are planning on selling up our business and home and moving back to the UK. How are we able to bring my new Daughter with us to the UK?

Our Response:
You may have a problem bringing back your wife, so you would need to address this in the first instance. Your step-daughter should be able to apply on the same visa as your wife which is a 'family of a settled person visa'. However, you also would have to fulfil legal requirements in order to sponsor both your wife and her daughter, please see link here.
AboutImmigration - 19-May-16 @ 12:06 PM
I am a British citizen but been working and living in South Africa for the past 2 1/2 years. I recently got married to a South African whose grandfather was born and grew up in the UK. My Wife has a 20 year old daughter in her last year of school here in South Africa but we are planning on selling up our business and home and moving back to the UK. How are we able to bring my new Daughter with us to the UK?
Graham - 18-May-16 @ 5:32 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.