Understanding Permanent Residency Eligibility in the UK

Permanent Residency Eligibility in the UK - UK Immigration Solicitors

Every year, people from all over the world relocate to the UK to find a dream career, a potential business opportunity, or a connection to the place they wish to live. The UK is one of the most popular locations for a better living since it allows you to maximise your potential and experience a vibrant new culture. Voices from all around the UK are recognised globally in the arts, sciences, business, sports, and politics. The process requires patience and dedication because of the typical 5-year wait. You will have a lot of good opportunities if you decide to live in the UK permanently. In this blog, we will discuss permanent residency UK, eligibility criteria, and application routes.

Overview of Permanent Residency UK

Indefinite Leave to Remain is the name given to permanent residency in the UK. You can study, work, and live here permanently with ILR status, and there are no limits on how long you can remain or what you can do with it. Sponsored employment or marriage to a British citizen are two of the many ways to get ILR status and UK residency.

Read more about Permanent Residency.

Eligibility for Permanent Residency UK

Only those who fulfil specific requirements can apply for permanent residency in the United Kingdom. The requirements vary by route, but in general, you’ll need to show proof of legal UK residency for at least five years.

The chart below shows the amount of time you must stay in the UK on various visas before being eligible to apply for Permanent Residence.

  • Partner of a British citizen: 2 (two) years
  • Legally stay for a long period: ten years
  • Unlawful stay (in the absence of valid documentation): fourteen years
  • Five (5) years under Tier 1 and Tier 2 work permits
  • Five (five) years as an investor, business owner, athlete, or artist, and
  • Ancestry: five years 

You can apply for permanent residency in the UK if you match the criteria and belong to one of the categories listed above.

Permanent Residency UK Advantages 

Sponsoring a family member for a UK Family Visa is one perk of having Permanent Residence. This allows the sponsor to bring their loved ones to the UK. Obtaining permanent residency in the UK is often the fastest route for people who wish to settle there with their families.

The ability to use public funding in the United Kingdom to assist with living expenses is another perk of Permanent Residence. For instance, if they are qualified, permanent residents can apply for Universal Credit. The permanent residence also comes with other benefits:

  • The ability to depart the country often without facing penalties
  • Cost savings on British visa applications
  • Being a “home student” instead of an “international student” allows you to pay less for tuition.
  • Accessing free healthcare through the NHS.

Permanent Residency Restrictions

Although permanent residence has numerous advantages, there are certain drawbacks to consider. More than two years of non-UK residency is not permissible. Your pre-settled status may become void after that time. It is important to be aware that your PR status can be revoked for several reasons, including being found guilty of a crime or failing to satisfy the financial requirements to maintain your PR status. Last but not least, keep in mind that permanent residence in the UK does not automatically provide citizenship of the UK. You might have to submit an extra application and pass the Life in the UK test before you can become a British citizen.

Post-Brexit UK permanent residency requirements for EU citizens

Citizens of the European Union who were already living in the United Kingdom before Brexit may submit their UK residence card as evidence of residency when seeking British citizenship. Following Brexit, the termination of free movement between the EU and the UK, and the implementation of new immigration regulations, the following changes have occurred to the UK settlement routes for EU nationals:

Expiration of EEA permanent resident cards

Swiss, European Union, or EEA citizens can no longer apply for permanent residence cards issued by the European Economic Area. EEA national family members who previously held a permanent residence card were required to transfer their status under the EU settlement scheme. This is necessary because UK permanent residence cards are no longer valid.

Applying for lawful permanent resident status in the UK through the European Union settlement program

Individuals from the European Union (EU) and their family members who arrived in the UK before December 31, 2020, were required to submit an application for pre-settled or fully settled status through the EU settlement program no later than June 30, 2021.

Making a settlement application under the Indefinite Leave to Remain process

If they fulfil the UK immigration eligibility, citizenship, and residence (ILR) criteria, such as the minimum residency duration applicable to their visa category, EU nationals who enter the UK after January 1, 2021, may be able to stay there permanently.