UK: Five years, not four, to gain permanent residence

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The UK Home Office has announced important changes in Immigration Rules, which will affect people applying for leave to remain, and indefinite leave to remain (or settlement). The changes will take effect from 3 April this year.

The changes, in summary, are:

  • For all employment-related categories of entry to the UK, and those who have entered under the Ancestry category, the qualifying period for indefinite leave to remain (settlement) is now 5 years.
  • The initial grant of leave to remain will now be 2 years (except for Work Permit holders and Retired Persons of Independent Means), followed by a subsequent period of up to 3 years. The rules previously allowed for an initial period of up to 12 months leave to be granted, followed by a subsequent period of up to 3 years,
  • The UK ancestry provision has been changed to allow leave to be granted in a 2 and 3 year pattern, rather than allowing one single period up to the settlement qualifying period.
  • Retired Persons of Independent Means will still be eligible for one single period of leave all the way up to the settlement qualifying period as before.
  • Work Permit holders will still be eligible for an initial grant of leave up to the currency of their work permit.
  • Highly Skilled Migrants will now be able to amalgamate continuous time spent in the UK as a work permit holder, Highly Skilled Migrant and / or an Innovator when applying for indefinite leave to remain as a Highly Skilled Migrant.

Remember: the changes take place on April 3, so you should apply before then. Let help you apply for permanent residence! is OISC registered and can submit your UK visa application to the Home Office to be dealt with on the same day, so you don't have to wait in line.