Indefinite Leave to Remain: How to Settle Permanently in the UK

Saturday, July 30, 2022  by Juliet Edjere

The United Kingdom (UK) is an island country that is a political union of mainland Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland) and Northern Ireland.

Approximately 3.65 million people with non-British nationality work in the UK. The UK's migrant population is concentrated in London with around 35% of people who were born abroad living in the capital city.

Permanent settlement in the UK (also known as ‘indefinite leave to remain’) gives you the right to live, work and study for as long as you like, and apply for benefits.

You can become a permanent resident in 2 years, 3 years, 5 years or 10 years depending on your visa type.

What does it take to settle permanently in the UK you might ask, here’s a brief.

Secure Permanent Residency in 2 years

You may be able to apply to settle permanently in the UK after 2 years if:

  • you invest £10 million in the UK

  • you’ve spent no more than 180 days outside the UK in any 12 months (‘continuous residence’)

    and meet the other eligibility requirements.

    Keep in mind that this is an accelerated route to settlement based on the amount of investment by the Tier 1 Investor migrant.

Secure Permanent Residency in 3 years

You may be able to apply to settle permanently in the UK if:

  • you’ve lived in the UK for 3 years under an eligible visa

  • Innovator visa

  • Global Talent visa - a recognised leader (‘exceptional talent’)

  • Investor Visa - invest £5 million

  • you’ve spent no more than 180 days outside the UK in any 12 months (‘continuous residence’)

    and meet the other eligibility requirements.

Secure Permanent Residency in 5 years

You may be able to apply to settle permanently in the UK if you’ve lived in the UK for 5 years under an eligible visa such as:

  • Skilled Worker visa
  • Health and Care Worker visa
  • Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) visa
  • Tier 2 (Sportsperson) visa
  • Representative of an Overseas Business visa
  • Global Talent visa - an emerging leader (‘exceptional promise’)
  • Investor Visa - invest £2 million
  • you’ve spent no more than 180 days outside the UK in any 12 months (‘continuous residence’)

and meet the other eligibility requirements.

Eligibility

You must:

  • have lived and worked in the UK for 5 years - there are rules for what counts towards your time in the UK
  • meet the salary requirements
  • continue to be needed for your job and meet the salary requirements after you get indefinite leave to remain - you’ll need a document from your employer (sponsor) to confirm this

Secure Permanent Residency in 10 years

You may not be eligible to settle permanently in the UK if you’re in the UK under the following visas:

  • Start-up Visa
  • Student Visa
  • Visitor visa
  • Intra-Company Transfer visa
  • Temporary Worker - Charity Worker visa (T5)
  • Temporary Worker - Creative and Sporting visa (T5)
  • Temporary Worker - Government Authorised Exchange visa (T5)
  • Temporary Worker – International Agreement Worker visa (T5)
  • Temporary Worker - Religious Worker visa (T5)
  • Temporary Worker - Seasonal Worker visa (T5)

unless:

  • you’ve been in the UK legally for 10 continuous years (known as ‘long residence’).
  • there are exceptional compassionate circumstances which you must explain in detail if you choose to apply

Therefore, you may be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain if you’ve been living in the UK for 10 years or more and meet the other eligibility requirements.


Maze provides an end-to-end platform that disrupts the traditional relocation model.

We connect people relocating with service providers, reduce cost and enable the personalization of customer journeys to the UK.

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