Indefinite leave to remain and qualifying residence periods
In the majority of cases, visa holders in the UK who wish to meet the ILR requirements need to have lived in the country for a continuous period of at least five years before they can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain. However, there are some exceptions and people may have to wait up to ten years to met the eligibility requirements.
However, for certain qualifying visa holders there is the option for accelerated settlement. If you are hoping to settle in the UK within a shorter timeframe then you may wish to seek expert advice on what visa route may be the most suitable for you.
Accelerated indefinite leave to remain qualifying visas
Immigration rules allow you to apply for accelerated route indefinite leave to remain if you are in the UK on one of the following visas:
- Family visa or spouse visa and your partner has either died or the relationship has ended due to domestic abuse
- Innovator visa
- Investor visa (this closed to new applicants in 2019)
- Global talent visa
Spouse visa and accelerated route to ILR
The Spouse Visa, also known as the Marriage Visa, allows non-UK nationals to join their partner in the UK. Your spouse must be either a British citizen or a UK settled person.
There are two situations that could remove the five-year continuous residence requirement for spouse visa holders leaving in the UK.
Firstly, the five years does not apply following the death of a partner – so anyone whose wife/husband has passed away can apply for indefinite leave to remain before the standard qualifying period.
The other circumstance in which the five-year continuous residence requirement could be overlooked is if the spouse visa holder has been the victim of domestic violence and the relationship has ended because of the abuse.
The innovator visa accelerated route
Overseas entrepreneurs who are interested in investing in a business in the UK can apply for an Innovator Visa. To be eligible, applicants must receive endorsement from an approved endorsing body and have at least £50,000 to invest in their business.
In addition, Innovator visa applicants must be at least 18 years old and meet the English language requirement as well as personal financial requirements.
Multiple applicants can apply for endorsement to be co-directors of the same company, but each applicant still needs to be able to demonstrate that they have £50,000 to invest.
Once in the UK on an innovator visa, a holder can apply for ILR after three years of continuous residence in the UK rather than the more usual five years of residence.
Accelerated settlement with the Global Talent Visa
The Global Talent Visa has recently replaced the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa and is specific route aimed at encouraging scientists, researchers and qualifying foreign citizens to live and work in the UK.
It is possible for the Global Talent Visa route to offer an accelerated permanent residence after three years. However, but you should seek expert advice as it does depending on the nature of your talent and your endorsing body.
Which documents do I need when I make my ILR application?
When you apply for ILR – whether on an accelerated route or not you will need to include supporting documents.
It is important to note that the documents which you provide must be the original issues. If you cannot provide the original documents, you will need to explain why. All documents must be in English or Welsh or a certified translated copy must be provided.
The required documents will include:
- Passport and travel documents, including any old passport which was valid during your time in the UK
- Birth or adoption certificates
- Documents which account for any time spent outside of the UK during your residency, for example travel documents
- A police registration certificate if you were required to register with the police when you arrived in the UK
- A history of your immigration – details of where you were born and your time spent in other countries.
- Financial information, such as bank statements
- Pass certificate of the Life in the UK test
- Pass certificate (if not exempt) to prove B1 level of English
- Two identical passport-sized photographs – these must be in colour and recently taken.
How can London Immigration Lawyers help?
Gaining Settled Status is a life-changing event that comes with many benefits, however, the application process isn’t easy and it can be incredibly difficult to navigate it alone.
Our immigration lawyers are experienced when it comes to assisting with British citizenship applications, they know exactly what it takes for an application to be successful and can give you the best chance of success.
One of the most difficult aspects of the application process is meeting the strict requirements. Our lawyers will help you to do this. We can advise you about whether you need to take an English language test, which test to take and how to book it. We can also help you to meet the other requirements, this includes helping you to prepare for the Life in the UK Test and assisting you with gathering a substantial portfolio of documents to support your application.
To find out more about how our lawyers can assist you, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team today by calling 020 4502 8582.
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