Permanent Residence / UK Settlement
Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) is an important goal for many clients and their family members. Either as an end in itself, or as the last step on the road before applying for Naturalisation in the UK and the passport that is available to almost all UK nationals.
When considering ILR, the key issues are often
- Ensuring that applicants have not spent too long outside the UK (since increasing the allowable absence to 180 days annually for Tier 1 and Tier 2 visa holders, the Home Office has become reluctant to ‘forgive’ greater absences as the 180 days is considered to be generous). For those that have spent a lot of time abroad, timing the application to fine tune the ‘year periods’ can be important.
- Ensuring that Tier 2 applicants have the support of their sponsoring employers (if an employer is not supportive, it may be best to look for another job sooner rather than later). From April 2016 (or, more accurately, for those whose initial Tier 2 application was made after April 2011), it will also be important to comply with the £35,000 minimum earnings requirement,
- Ensuring Tier 1 applicants have met their visa criteria. For Tier 1 investors looking for accelerated settlement in 2 or 3 years, it is essential to consider the ILR criteria from day one. For Tier 1 entrepreneurs looking for accelerated settlement in 3 years, it is possible to comply with a last minute dash in year 3, but much much easier to plan from day one, or at least from one’s first year end.
It is also important to remember that, while Tier 1 applicants can bring their spouse and dependent children under 18 to the UK, their dependents will not qualify for ILR on an accelerated basis. Tier 1 entrepreneurs may be able to get accelerated ILR for a spouse by making them a member of the ‘Entrepreneurial team’ rather than bringing them in to the UK as a dependent.