Do you want to settle in the UK? With great healthcare, world-class education, and lots of art, history, and culture, it’s an excellent place to call home.
In this guide, we’ll explore how to take up permanent residence in the UK. We’ll delve into who can apply, and the online resources you’ll need to start your application.
Why Live in the UK
The UK is very multicultural. In fact, about 14% of the population in the UK was born abroad, according to the Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford. About 35% of the immigrant population lives in London.
The UK has an excellent healthcare system, too. The National Health Service (NHS) is free for residents and has been ranked among the best in the world for its affordability, safety, and efficiency. UK countries also boast world-class research facilities, universities, and a strong education system in general.
How to apply for permanent residence
Permanent residence in the UK is also known as Indefinite Leave To Remain (ILR). With this, you can live and work in the UK permanently. You may also be able to apply for British citizenship after 12 months.
There are different ways to apply to live permanently in the UK, depending on your situation. For example, you might be able to apply for ILR if:
You’ve lived in the UK for 5 years or more
If you have lived in the UK for 5 or more years, you should be able to apply for permanent residence in the UK. There are exceptions, though. For example, you won’t be able to apply for ILR if you’ve lived in the UK on a Tier 2 ICT work visa – given to people who’ve transferred to a UK company branch from abroad to work on a specific project.
You’re a family member of a UK citizen or permanent resident
If you’re the spouse, parent, or dependent relative to a UK citizen or permanent resident, you might also be eligible for ILR. Depending on the type of visa you’ve been living in the UK on, you might be able to apply for permanent residence as soon as 2 years.
Check to see if you’re eligible – and learn about the financial requirements needed to apply – here.
You have a work visa
You can apply for ILR if you’ve had a Tier 2 (General) work visa for five years. Your employer will need to sponsor you. You’ll also likely have to prove you earn at least £25,600 per year unless you work in healthcare or in a profession that’s in short supply in the UK.
Learn more about how to apply through ILR through your work visa here.
These aren’t the only ways to apply for ILR in the UK. To check to see if you’re eligible in another way, fill out the questionnaire on GOV.UK
Fees and processing times
According to UK Visas and Immigration, ILR takes about 6 months to process. The application for ILR costs £2,389. But keep in mind that many categories have financial requirements, which can make applying much for expensive.
To apply for ILR, you might have to demonstrate your English skills are at least a B1 level. And, our PTE Academic UKVI secure English language test is recognized by the UK Home Office for all UK visas. The test is computer-based to reduce human bias, fast, and convenient – you get your results within 48 hours.
The EU Settlement Scheme
If you’re an EU citizen – and don’t have IRL – you can apply for the EU Settlement Scheme.
Applying for the scheme is free, and with it, you’re granted either “settled” or “pre-settled status.” With settled status, you can stay in the UK indefinitely. With pre-settled status, you can stay for another 5 years – but can always apply for settled status later.
With both, you’ll get the right to work and study in the UK, access NHS, access public benefits and pensions, leave the UK to travel – and apply for British citizenship after 12 months.
Read our article here.
Ready to apply for permanent residence?
At PTE Academic, we’re here to help make your dream come true.