Immigration Corner | Different ways to apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK
Dear Mr Bassie,
I would like to know under what circumstances someone can obtain indefinite leave to remain in the United Kingdom. Any insight would be appreciated.
Persons should know that indefinite leave to remain is the way persons can settle in the United Kingdom. This is also sometimes referred to as ‘settlement’. It gives persons the right to live, work and study there for as long as they like, and apply for benefits if they are eligible. They can also use it to apply for British citizenship.
There are different ways to apply for indefinite leave to remain and this is based on their circumstances.
If they or their family member are a European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) or Swiss citizen, they may instead be able to apply for settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme.
PERSONS WORKING IN THE UK
Persons may be able to apply if they are in possession of a work visa.
These persons must usually have lived and worked in the United Kingdom for five years. If they have a tier 1 visa, it can be two or three years. If they have an Innovator or Global Talent visa, it can be three years.
Please note that they may also need to meet the salary or financial requirements – this will depend on their visa.
How persons apply will depend on whether they:
• Have a tier 2, T2, International Sportsperson or Skilled Worker visa;
• Have a Scale-up Worker visa;
• Have a Global Talent, Tier 1 Entrepreneur or Investor visa;
• Have an Innovator visa;
• Represent an overseas business;
• Have a Turkish Worker or Businessperson visa;
• Are a private servant in a diplomatic household with an International Agreement visa, or a domestic worker.
FAMILY IN THE UK
Persons may be able to apply if they have a partner, parent or child or other relative settled in the United Kingdom – either as a British citizen or a person with indefinite leave to remain.
How they apply will depend on which visa they have and how their family member had settled. Please note that there are other ways to apply if their partner had died or if their relationship ended because of domestic violence.
LIVED IN THE UK FOR 10 YEARS
Persons may be able to apply if they have been living there for 10 years or more. Please note that there is a different way to apply if they have a visa that is on the basis of their private life and that these applications started to be entertained from June 2022.
A COMMONWEALTH CITIZEN
Commonwealth citizens can apply if they have been living in the United Kingdom for five years on a UK Ancestry visa.
Some Commonwealth citizens have ‘right of abode’ in the United Kingdom. This means that they can live or work in the United Kingdom without immigration restrictions. Persons who believe that they are eligible should check if they can apply to prove that they have right of abode in the United Kingdom.
Those persons may be eligible for citizenship instead, for example, by applying under the Windrush scheme.
OTHER WAYS TO APPLY
Persons may be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain if they are a refugee or have humanitarian protection or Discretionary Leave. Persons may also apply if they are returning to the United Kingdom, having previously had indefinite leave to remain or if they had served in the United Kingdom armed forces.
I hope this helps.
John S. Bassie is a barrister/attorney-at-law who practises law in Jamaica. He is a justice of the peace, a Supreme Court-appointed mediator, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a chartered arbitrator, deputy global president of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, and a member of the Immigration Law Practitioners Association (UK). Email: email@example.com