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Can I Apply for UK Residence?

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 18 Apr 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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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
Kiwimom - Your Question:
My son (28) is British, living in NZ with permanent residency with his NZ girlfriend (26), they have been together for over 2yrs, living together for a year. He is coming back to the uk this summer to study full time at university for a 4yr degree course. He will be living in a house that we are providing for him and he will be part time working and eligible for student loans. His girlfriend also will be working full time although she does not have a job offer. The youth mobility visa is only granted once and is for only 2yrs. If they were to marry in NZ or arrange to marry in the uk would it be possible for her to arrive on a fiancé or spouse visa with my son being a student? I am struggling to find out so your advice would be greatly appreciated.

Our Response:
If your son is a British citizen, then his only option would be to apply for his girlfriend to come via a 'spouse' visa, please see link here. However, your son would have to be earning the required amount in order to be able to apply, please see link here. Alternatively, your son's girlfriend (if eligible) would have to apply for an independent visa to come to the UK to work or study here. She could also apply to come on a standard visitor visa, but this would not allow her to work.
AboutImmigration - 17-Mar-17 @ 1:50 PM
My son (28) is British, living in NZ with permanent residency with his NZ girlfriend (26), they have been together for over 2yrs, living together for a year. He is coming back to the uk this summer to study full time at university for a 4yr degree course. He will be living in a house that we are providing for him and he will be part time working and eligible for student loans. His girlfriend also will be working full time although she does not have a job offer. The youth mobility visa is only granted once and is for only 2yrs. If they were to marry in NZ or arrange to marry in the uk would it be possible for her to arrive on a fiancé or spouse visa with my son being a student? I am struggling to find out so your advice would be greatly appreciated.
Kiwimom - 17-Mar-17 @ 10:21 AM
raby - Your Question:
Helloi have been living in the uk since 1997 to 2009 and I came back in 2017 can I still apply for a british passeport, and can I still stay in the country after the brexit thank

Our Response:
The gov.uk link here will tell you all you need to know regarding your situation. However, you would have to have five full years consistent residency in the UK to the current date, in order to be able to apply.
AboutImmigration - 17-Mar-17 @ 10:08 AM
hello i have been living in the uk since 1997 to 2009 and i came back in 2017 can i still apply for a british passeport, and can i still stay in the country after the brexit thank
raby - 16-Mar-17 @ 12:05 PM
Hi I am Portuguese and I am living permanently in UK since June 2011, I started working in September 2011 and always have paid my taxes and never received any Gov. benefits. I am married with a Polish lady that also fixed residence in UK at the same time as me and been working and paying tax since August 2011 also never received any Gov. benefits. We are now expecting a baby (due in May), and would appreciate if you can advise on the following: * Can our child have British nationality as Portuguese and/or Polish? *How we can apply for our baby British passport? *How can we apply to become British Citizens/ dual nationality)and apply for British passports?
zeca - 8-Mar-17 @ 10:19 AM
Hi..... Thank you for this great website and all the help you provide here. I hope you can help with this question if possible. I have living in the UK since 2005 and have been employed all this time and now have my own successful business. I am from Poland originally and want to apply for British Citizenship. My questions are: 1. My current Polish passport has expired. Do I need to renew my Polish passport in order to apply for British Citizenship? 2. Do I need to apply for a Permanent Residence card prior to my application for British Citizenship? Many thanks for you kind support Rob
Rob - 3-Mar-17 @ 10:32 AM
Asking for a friend (no, seriously). He is a EU citizen who lived and worked full time in UK from 2005 to 2013, then got back home (while still working full time, albeit teleworking, for his UK employer until very recently). Now he is considering a move back to UK. Can he apply for his residency card straight away? Does he need to physically live in Britain to do so (and to have a current tenancy proofs, ctax payments and so on) or can he apply while still being abroad (abroad since 2013!)? Thanks!
Squirrel - 2-Mar-17 @ 8:09 PM
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
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