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If you have lived in the UK for a number of years, there may be scope for you to apply to settle permanently in this country. Settlement status gives you complete freedom from immigration control and is often referred to as Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).

If you are considering applying to settle in the UK, speaking to one of the specialist Immigration Solicitors at Wilford Smith can be hugely beneficial. Our immigration law experts will be able to answer all your questions on your eligibility to apply to settle in the UK and provide you with all the legal support and guidance that you will need to complete your application. Speak to one of our Immigration Lawyers today to find out how we can help.

What are the benefits of gaining settlement status in the UK?

Having settlement status allows you to have unrestricted entry to the UK – you will not have to go through immigration control when you re-enter the country following a period away. You will also be free to work in this country without any restrictions and may be eligible to apply for British citizenship, sometimes referred to as naturalisation, after a further qualifying period.

What are the eligibility requirements for settlement in the UK?

The eligibility requirements for settlement in the UK will be different depending on your circumstances and the type of category that you are applying under. Speaking with an Immigration Solicitor can provide valuable guidance on what steps you will have to take to ensure that your application for settlement is successful. Some general requirements are relevant for most types of application. These are:

  • You have resided in the UK for a particular number of years relevant to your immigration status
  • You have proof that you have continued to reside in the UK during the time that you have held your current visa
  • You can show that you have adhered to the requirements of the visa you currently hold
  • You meet all relevant suitability requirements and have not broken any immigration rules
  • You have long-term plans to settle in the UK
  • You can satisfy the English and Life in the UK tests

How long must I have lived in the UK before I can apply to settle here?

The length of time required for settlement will depend on the type of visa you currently have and your circumstances. The following provides guidance for those living in the UK who wish to seek ILR:

  • Unmarried partner of a UK national/person settled in the UK – five years, if your current visa was granted after 9 July 2012
  • Spouse, civil partner or same-sex partner of a UK national/person settled in the UK – five years, if your current visa was granted after 9 July 2012
  • Work permit, Tier 1 Investor, Tier 1 General or Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visas – five years
  • Tier 2 General or Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer Visas – five years
  • Permanent Residence as a European Economic Area (EEA) national or Permanent Residence as a family member of an EEA national – five years
  • Lawful stay – 10 years
  • Unlawful or lawful stay – 20 years

How can my dependents apply to settle in the UK?

You can include dependent family members, such as a spouse or children, within your main ILR application. If one of your dependents has their own ‘main' visa, for example if your spouse holds their own Tier 2 visa, then they cannot be included. Children who were not born in the UK can only apply if both parents are applying to remain in the UK indefinitely. If you have children who were born in the UK, then they will not require to apply for settlement status. These children can register for British citizenship once both parents have been granted settlement status.

Contact our Immigration Lawyers in Sheffield and London

Wilford Smith's experienced Immigration Lawyers are based in Sheffield and London, and advise clients throughout England and Wales. We take pride in our reputation for providing a client-focused service, working closely with you to ensure that your settlement application is completed as quickly and thoroughly as possible. Our Immigration Lawyers have many years of experience advising individuals from all over the world and from a wide range of backgrounds on how they and their families can achieve ILR in the UK. Contact us today on 01709 828 044 to find out how we can help.

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