Residence permit in UK
A residence permit is needed if you want to live in the UK for more than six months at a time.
A residence permit is an immigration document that lets people from other countries live, work, use public funds, and settle in the country. Here are some of the most common types of permission to live in the UK.
Getting a UK biometric residence permit shows that you are living, working, or going to school in the UK legally. You can get a UK biometric residence permit if you:
- Apply to come to the UK for longer than six months.
- Extend your visa for longer than six months.
- Apply to settle in the UK.
- Transfer your visa to a new passport.
- Apply for certain Home Office travel documents.
The BRP has a chip that prevents it from being forged or misappropriated, with dimensions of 86mm x 54mm, and is made of polycarbonate.
How Do I Apply for a Biometric Residence Permit?
If you are applying for a UK visa or to move there, you do not need to apply for a biometric residence permit separately. You will need to make an appointment with the UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services whether you are applying from inside or outside the UK.
At this appointment, you will have to give some information about yourself for your biometric residence permit. It takes about five to ten minutes to finish. If your visa application is accepted, you’ll get a BRP that you can pick up once you’re in the UK.
How Long Is a UK Biometric Residence Permit Valid?
The biometric residence permit is valid for ten years, but if you were granted indefinite leave to remain within the last few years, then your BRP may expire on the 31st of December, 2024.
In addition, those granted a five-year indefinite leave to remain are also eligible for BRPs with an expiration date of December 31st, 2024.
How Long Does It Take To Get a UK Biometric Residence Permit?
Once the Home Office sends you a decision letter stating that you are permitted to remain in the UK, you will receive your BRP within ten days.
However, if you apply from the Isle Man, Isles of Scilly, and Scottish Highlands and islands, it might take longer.
UK Residence Card
You can no longer get a UK residence card, which is also called an EEA biometric residence card (BRC). As an EU citizen, you need another type of permission to stay in the UK, like settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, if you want to keep living there.
EU Settlement Scheme
The EU Settlement Scheme was made so that people from the EU could live in the UK after Brexit. Most people had until June 30, 2021, to sign up for the EU Settlement Scheme. You can still apply if you or a member of your family lived in the UK by December 31, 2020, and you are from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, or Liechtenstein. Also, you have to either:
- Meet one of the criteria for a later deadline application.
- Have valid reasons for not applying by 30 June 2021.
The pre-settled status is granted to the EU settlement scheme applicants who cannot demonstrate that they lived in the UK for five uninterrupted years.
You must have started living in the UK by 31 December 2020 to be eligible to apply. After being given pre-settled status, you will be given five years to remain in the UK.
You are allowed to stay for two years outside of the UK and not lose the pre-settled status. However, you will not be able to apply for the settled status. In order to qualify for pre-settled status, you need to prove:
- You are an EEA citizen, or
- You are a family member of an EEA citizen, or
- You are a family that gained the right of residence through a relationship with an EEA citizen, or
- You are a person with a derivative right to reside, or
- You are a person with a Zambrano right to reside, or
- You have started to live in the UK on 31 December 2020, and
- You are not eligible for settled status because you have not completed the qualifying five-year period of residence.
There are no fees for a pre-settled status application. It usually takes five working days for an application to be processed.
People who apply for the EU Settlement Scheme and can prove that they have lived in the UK, the Channel Islands, or the Isle of Man for at least five years without stopping are given settled status. Unless you are a new family member, you must have moved to the UK by December 31, 2020.
The settled status is commonly known as the indefinite leave to remain.
The Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)
The UK permanent residence permit is another name for the indefinite leave to stay. If you stay in the UK for a certain amount of time, you might be able to apply for indefinite leave to stay. As an ILR holder, you no longer have to follow any rules about how long you can stay in the UK. You can work, study, and do business there for as long as you want.
Routes to Indefinite Leave to Remain
Visas that provide a route to ILR include the following:
- ILR based on a work visa.
- Skilled Worker Visa.
- Scale-up Worker visa.
- Global Talent visa.
- Tier 1 Entrepreneur.
- Investor visa.
- Innovator visa.
- Representative of an overseas business.
- Turkish Worker or Businessperson visa.
- Private servant in a diplomatic household with an International Agreement visa or a domestic visa.
- ILR based on family.
- Spouse visa (partner visa).
- Parent visa.
- Child dependent visa.
- Adult dependent relative visa.
- Private life route.
- If your partner is deceased.
- If your relationship has ended due to domestic violence.
- ILR based on nationality.
- Ancestry visa.
- Other routes include:
- Discretionary leave.
- Status as a refugee or humanitarian protection.
- Returning residents who have previously held ILR and are a refugee or have humanitarian protection or Discretionary leave.
- Personnel of armed forces.
What Are the Requirements for Indefinite Leave to Remain?
To be eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain, you must reside in the UK for a certain period that depends on the categories of immigration:
|Current Category||Qualifying ILR Period|
|Spouse or civil partner of a British Citizen or person settled in the UK visa||After five years|
|Unmarried partner||After five years|
|EEA Family Permit||After five years|
|UK Ancestry visa||After five years|
|Tier 1 (Investor) visa||After two, three or five years depending on the level of investment|
|Tier 1 (Entrepreneur)||After three or five years depending on the business activity|
|Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa||After three years|
|Tier 2, T2, International Sportsperson or Skilled Worker visa||After five years|
|Scale Up visa||After five years|
|Innovator visa||After three years|
|Global Talent visa||After three or five years|
|PBS visa dependants||After five years|
|Representative of overseas business visa||After five years|
|Turkish Worker of Businessperson visa||After five years|
|Retired Person visa||After five years|
|Discretionary Leave to Remain||After six years|
|Long residence||After ten continuous years|
|Returning resident||If settled in the UK prior to departure and returning to the UK within three years of departure, they may be able to apply immediately on return|
|Turkish worker or businessperson||After five years|
Except for completing your period of staying in the UK, you will also need to submit:
- Proof that in any 12 months of the qualifying period, you are not absent from the UK for more than 180 days.
- Proof that you have passed a Life in the UK Test.
- English proficiency evidence.
- Provide evidence that your application meets the General Grounds for Refusal.
How Long Can I Stay in the UK With a Indefinite Leave to Remain?
The validity of indefinite leave to remain is indefinite, but it may expire if you stay away from the UK for two years, regardless of the expiration date of the BRP or passport stamp.
UK Residence Permit for Commonwealth Citizens
Commonwealth citizens can get a UK residence permit through:
- UK Ancestry Visa.
- Certificate of Entitlement for the Right of Abode, and
- Residence permits under the Windrush Scheme.
UK Ancestry Visa
As a commonwealth citizen, you can apply for a UK ancestry visa if one of your grandparents was born in the UK and you intend to work there. A UK ancestry visa is valid for five years. To be eligible for a UK ancestry visa, you must:
- Be 17 years or older.
- Have enough money to support yourself or any other dependents without help from public funds.
- Prove that you can and plan to work in the UK.
- Prove that you have a grandparent born:
- In the UK, the Channel Islands, or the Isle of Man.
- Before the 31st of March 1922 in what is known now as Ireland.
- On a ship or aircraft registered in the UK or belonging to the UK government.
Certificate of Entitlement for the Right of Abode
A certificate of entitlement for the right of abode is a vignette inside your passport or any travel documents proving that you have the right of abode in the UK. Commonwealth citizens have the right of abode because of their parents or spouse.
Residence Permits Under the Windrush Scheme
The Windrush Scheme enables Commonwealth citizens and their children of the UK to obtain documentation confirming their status free of charge. You can apply for the Windrush scheme within and outside of the UK. You can apply to prove you can live and work in the UK if:
- Before the year 1973, you came to the UK from a Commonwealth country.
- Your parents came to the UK from a Commonwealth country before 1973.
- You came to the UK before the 31st of December 1988 from any country and now live in the UK.
To get UK PR, it is required to live in UK for 5 years under one of the following categories:
- Tier 1
- Tier 2 of the points based system: for the skilled professionals from overseas who has a valid job offer in United Kingdom
- International students and Research Fellows
- Representative of an overseas newspaper, news agency, PR agency or broadcasting organization
- Private servant in a diplomatic household
- Domestic worker in a private household
- Overseas government employee
- Self-employed lawyer or solicitor
- UK ancestry
- Highly skilled migrant under the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP)
- Retired person of independent means
- Sole representative of an overseas firm
One can also apply for UK PR if you have a family member or a partner who is a British citizenship.
Applicant must be able to submit proof of living in the UK for a pre-set time duration, legally or otherwise corresponding to their granted visas. The following Table shows time period of stay in UK to be completed the stated categories:
|S. No||Various visas/ Conditions of Stay||Duration of Stay|
|1||Marriage or unmarried partner to UK citizen||2 years|
|2||Lawful stay on any basis (long stay)||10 years|
|3||Unlawful stay||14 years|
|4||Tier 1 and Tier 2 Work Permit||5 years|
|5||Investor, sportsperson, business owner, arts||5 years|
Eligibility for settlement as a family member of a UK Citizen
Applicant must be a partner of a UK citizen or of one permanently settled in the UK. He or she must be currently on a family visa (of 2, 5 or 10 years) as a partner or spouse the partner who is a British citizen.
The applicant for a partner visa is eligible if they are married to a British partner, in a civil partnership, or in a long-term relationship with a British partner who is not married.
You must show that you are living together and plan to stay together after you get residency. Proof can come in the form of a joint bank account, a joint lease, or other official papers.
‘Life in the UK’ Test
It is compulsory to pass the ‘Life in the UK’ test. This test is designed in a simple manner to evaluate your knowledge of British life and assess your reverence and compatibility towards it.
Since English is the official language of communication in all parts of British life, applicants who don’t speak English as their first language must take this test to show that they can speak and understand it well. This requirement can be met with a degree or certificate from a UK school that is known and respected.
Proof of finances
In case you have dependant family, your finances need to be in order as per the prescribed limits of the immigration system. Currently the funding expectations to support your family if you are on the 5-year route visa are as follows:
- At least £18,600 a year in case of no dependents.
- At least £22,400 a year in case of one dependent child.
- Extra £2,400 a year for each child above the limit on one.
This way of figuring out income includes all children under 18 except those who were born in the UK or EU. The limits are based on the combined income of both people.
For both the 2-year and 10-year routes, there is no minimum amount of money that must be made. When submitted, proof of finances must show that the applicant can take care of their family without help from UK public funds.
Permanent residence as a family member of someone settled in the UK
Spouse or partner must be settled in the UK on the basis of a work visa (Tier 1, 2 or 5 visa). Applicant must be married /in a civil partnership/ be in a relationship for at least 2 years to be eligible for permanent residence.
Eligibility for partners
You must currently be on a visa as your partner’s dependent. If you received your visa after your partner was granted settled status, you will need to apply as a partner of a settled person.
If your current visa was issued before 9 July 2012, you must have lived with your partner for at least 2 years. This will go up to 5 years if your visa was granted on or after 9 July 2012.
When you apply, you must still be living together with your partner and intend to continue doing so. You should not be claiming benefits (accessing public funds) when you apply.
English Language and knowledge of life in the UK requirements also apply so you should make sure you satisfy these requirements before making your application.
- Current Pay slips
- Bank account statements
- Address proof (like rent or lease contract etc.)
- Council tax letters
- Proof supporting calculation of an applicant’s disclosed other sources of income, if any.
- Appointment Letter from employer on company Letterhead with signatory authority stamp and date in case the applicant is a job employee.
- In case of business owners, material apropos must be provided regarding registered business address, relevant valid permits etc.
Carefully check all requirements for eligibility criterions and compile all the relevant documents to submit as proof. Provide access to your immigration history, with details of UK visas since your arrival.
Categories of application forms offered:
Select the one suitable to the applicant’s personal background out of the two categories:
Applicable to partner of a UK citizen or the parent of a child settled in the UK.
Documents as proof of your legal relationship status:
- Marriage / Birth certificate (as the case may be).
- Documented Photo/ video proof with the said settled family member.
Applicable to immigrants living in the UK in any one of the above-mentioned categories.
Registration for family members of non-EU Immigrants in the UK
Non-EU immigrants can fill out a separate application form for each member of their family who wants to join them. The application can be sent on behalf of minors and children under 18 by their parent or guardian. If all of the requirements are met, each case will be judged on its own merits to see if it can be registered as a resident.
Applicants for a Tier 1 or Tier 2 visa can let their family join them in the UK if each permit for sponsoring a spouse or dependent children is checked and found to be valid.
Online applications can be sent in with a copy of the downloaded application form that has all of the required fields filled out with correct and checked information. Along with it, the applicant must include a copy of his or her passport, biometric information, and proof of all the information given.
Your application can be sent online. In 6 months, you will hear back about your application.
You can use the premium processing service if you would like to. You will be given a time when your application will be looked at in person, and on that day, you will find out what will happen.
It takes £2389 for an individual application by post. Application in person fees might be slightly higher and the advantages of this method is that a decision is declared on the same day avoiding the 6 months waiting.
It takes 6 months in general.
Citizens of the EU, the EEA, or Switzerland can no longer apply for a visa to live permanently in the UK. If a request is made before January 1, 2021, it will still be looked at, but it could take up to 6 months to get a decision.
After June 30, 2021, all EEA permanent residence cards that have already been issued will no longer be valid. These cards show that a person has the right to live permanently in the UK if they have used their Treaty rights in the UK for 5 years straight.
Until then, it can be used to apply for British citizenship and sponsor your partner’s visa application if they’re applying for a visa based on your residence.
Living in the UK after 30 June 2021
For those who were living in the UK by 31 December 2020, it is possible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme and if ‘settled status’ is granted, you can apply for British citizenship at a later date. Applications close on 30 June 2021.
Your close family members (spouse or civil partner, child, grandchild, parent or grandparent) can also apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. Your ‘extended’ family members (unmarried partner, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, cousin, nephew or niece) can apply if they have a UK residence card.
Applying for British citizenship
A PR document qualifies you to apply for British citizenship only after 1 year, provided you have lived in the UK at least 5 years just prior to the application.
However, if your husband, wife or civil partner is a British citizen, you can apply after living in the UK for 3 years
Conditions that apply in permanent residency
Your visa status expires if:
- You spend more than 2 years outside the country. The pre settled status becomes void and you will need to reapply for it in case you want continuous residence in the country once again.
- Any criminal offense is committed by the individual which would cancel the PR permit and could lead to deportation.
Permanent residency applications could be turned down if the applicant’s social media handles don’t pass the fairness test. Immigration officers are allowed to check the information that applicants give based on the information they get from their social media accounts.
Are you intending to get a Permanent Residence in UK or a residence permit?
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