Permanent Residence

The following table gives full information on the qualifying periods for permanent residency/settlement in the various immigration categories, and whether certain categories can be combined to complete the required qualifying period and whether or not the Life in the UK test is necessary for applicants or not in each category.

From 2013 applicants must hold a B1 (intermediate) level English language speaking and listening qualification.
The Home Office have stated that the English language qualifications they will accept as meeting the B1 level speaking and listening requirements include:

  • Qualifications covering speaking and listening at B1 or above from the Home Office's Secure English Language Test (SELT) list;
  • ESOL qualifications at entry levels 1, 2 or 3, including speaking and listening, that have been regulated by the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual). The qualification must be listed as an ESOL qualification on the Ofqual Register of Regulated Qualifications and must have been taken in England, Wales or Northern Ireland;
  • A National Qualification in ESOL at Scottish Qualifications Framework levels 4, 5 or 6, awarded by the Scottish Qualifications Authority and taken in Scotland.

For applications for settlement , the only exceptions will be those applicants:

  • under 18 years of age;
  • aged 65 or older;
  • whose physical or mental condition will severely restrict their ability to learn English and/or take the Life in the UK test;
  • who are making an application for settlement on the basis under the domestic violence rule or if their spouse died (please note: this is only for applicants whose spouse was a British citizen or settled in the UK);
  • who have leave as a Refugee, Humanitarian Protection or Discretionary Leave.

 

 

Immigration Category

Required period of stay in the UK

Categories that can be combined to complete the required qualifying period

English Language Test and Life in the UK

1

Tier 1 (General)

5 years 

HSMP, Work Permit, Innovator, Self employed lawyer, Writer, Composer & Artist, Tier 2

Yes

2

Tier 1 (Entrepreneur)

3 or 5 years* (depending on business generated)

Business Person & Innovator

Yes

3

Tier 1 (Investor)

2,3 or 5 years* (depending on amount invested)

Investor

Yes

4

Tier 2

5 years

Member of Operational ground staff of overseas owned Airlines, Minister of Religion, Work permit, Representative of Overseas Newspaper etc., Tier 1 (except Tier 1 PSW) & Tier 2

Yes

5

Innovator

5 years

None

Yes

6

Business Person

5 years

None

Yes

7

Investor

5 years

None

 Yes

8

Writer

5 years

None

Yes

9

Composer

5 years

None

Yes

10

Artist

5 years

None

Yes

11

Ancestry Visa

5 years

None

Yes

12

Representatives of Overseas newspapers, News Agencies etc.

5 years

None

Yes

13

Sole Representatives

5 years

None

Yes

14

Oversees Govt. Employees

5 years

None

Yes

15

Domestic workers

5 years

None

Yes

16

Private servants in Diplomatic households

5 years

None

Yes

17

Minister of Religion

5 years

None

Yes

18

Airport based operation ground staff  of overseas owned Airlines

5 years

None

Yes

19

Retired Person of Independent means

5 years

None

No

20

Long Residence – legal

10 Years

All visas so long as the residence of the applicant remains continuous throughout

Yes

21

Long Residence – Illegal

20 Years + 10 years legal residence

Not Applicable

Yes

22

Gurkhas discharged from HM Forces

4 Years

None

Yes

23

Foreign / Commonwealth citizen discharged from HM Forces

4 Years

None

Yes

24

Refugee

5 Years

None

No

25

Discretionary Leave to remain

6 Years

None

No

26

Humanitarian Protection

5 Years

None

No

27

Spouses of persons present and settled in the UK

5 Years

None

Yes

28

Unmarried partners of persons present and settled in the UK

5 Years

None

Yes

29

Victim of Domestic Violence (Spouses / Unmarried partners of settled persons only)

No time mentioned

Not Applicable

No

30

Bereaved Partners (Spouses / unmarried partners of settled persons only)

No time mentioned

Not Applicable

No

31

Persons having right of access to their child

5 or 10 Years

None

Yes

32

Elderly Dependants

Not Applicable

Not Applicable

No

33

EEA nationals and their family members

5 years

Not Applicable

No

* Subject to scoring the requisite points under Appendix A of the Immigration Rules

 

 
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