UK Permanent Residence – A Complete Guide

Every year, people from all over the world relocate to the UK in the hopes of finding their dream job, starting a successful business, or just because they feel a connection to the location they have always wanted to call home. Because it provides a great way to maximize your potential and experience a vibrant new culture at the same time, the United Kingdom is one of the most sought-after locations for a better life today.

Global recognition for UK voices in the arts, sciences, business, sports, and politics has spread throughout the country. The process usually involves a lengthy wait—an average of 5 years—and will require some perseverance and diligence. Bright prospects will be your reward if you choose to settle permanently in the UK. We’ll go over the requirements for eligibility, the application process, and the various application options.

PR in UK

Any person with permanent resident status in the UK has the option to live and work there indefinitely. The interested party must obtain this permit in order to work or conduct business in the UK without being subject to immigration restrictions or time restrictions on their stay. .

According to current immigration laws, this status is only given to those who do not naturally possess the right to a place of residence. If a person is granted permanent residence in the UK and then spends more than two years continuously outside of the country, their permit may expire.

What is ILR?

Similar to permanent residency (PR) in the UK is ILR (Indefinite Leave to Remain). Foreign nationals are granted immigration status, enabling them to live, study, and work in the UK without any time restrictions or other limitations.

Who can apply for PR or ILR?

To get UK PR, it is required to live in UK for 5 years under one of the following categories:

  • Tier 1
  • Tier 2 of the points-based system: for the skilled professionals from overseas who has a valid job offer in United Kingdom
  • Businessperson
  • Investor
  • International students and Research Fellows
  • Representative of an overseas newspaper, news agency, PR agency or broadcasting organization
  • Private servant in a diplomatic household
  • Domestic worker in a private household
  • Overseas government employee
  • Self-employed lawyer or solicitor
  • UK ancestry
  • Highly skilled migrant under the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP)
  • Retired person of independent means
  • Sole representative of an overseas firm

One can also apply for UK PR if you have a family member or a partner who is a British citizenship. 

Eligibility Criteria

The applicant must be able to provide documentation showing that they have lived in the UK for the specified amount of time, either legally or in another manner consistent with the visas they have been granted. The time period needed to finish the listed categories in the UK is shown in the following Table:.

S. NoVarious visas/ Conditions of StayDuration of Stay
1Marriage or unmarried partner to UK citizen2 years
2Lawful stay on any basis (long stay)10 years
3Unlawful stay14 years
4Tier 1 and Tier 2 work permit5 years
5Investor, sportsperson, business owner, arts5 years
6Ancestry5 years

Eligibility for settlement as a family member of a UK Citizen

A UK citizen or someone who has made the UK their permanent home is required for the applicant. He or she must be a British citizen and be a partner or spouse who is currently on a family visa (2, 5 or 10 years).


If a person is applying for a current visa under the partner category, they must be married to a British partner, in a civil partnership, or in a committed but unmarried relationship.

Living together

You must show evidence that you are currently residing together and intend to do so after being granted residency. Joint bank accounts, a lease agreement, and other official documents are examples of acceptable forms of proof.

Life in the UK’ Test

The “Life in the UK” test must be passed in order to proceed. This test is intended to evaluate your familiarity with British culture as well as your affinity and suitability for it.

English test

Since English is the official language of communication in all spheres of British life, it is necessary for applicants who do not speak it as their first language to demonstrate their proficiency in speaking and understanding it. An academic degree from a reputable UK institution is accepted as fulfilling the criteria for this requirement.

Proof of finances

If you have dependent family members, your finances must be in order and within the immigration system’s established guidelines. If you are on a 5-year route visa, the current funding requirements to support your family are as follows:.

  • At least £18,600 a year in case of no dependents.
  • At least £22,400 a year in case of one dependent child.
  • Extra £2,400 a year for each child above the limit on one.

This income calculation scheme applies to all minors under the age of 18, with the exception of minors of British or European Union descent. The ceilings account for the combined income of both partners. Both the 2-year and 10-year routes have no minimum earnings requirements. When submitted, financial documentation must demonstrate the applicant’s capacity to support their family without relying on UK government assistance.

Permanent residence as a family member of someone settled in the UK

The spouse or partner must be a permanent resident of the United Kingdom under a work visa (Tier 1, 2 or 5 visa). For eligibility to obtain permanent residence, a candidate must be married, in a civil partnership, or have been in a committed relationship for at least two years.

Eligibility for partners

You must currently be a dependent of your partner on a visa. If you obtained your visa following the grant of settled status to your partner, you must submit an application as their partner. You need to have lived with your partner for at least two years if your current visa was issued prior to July 9, 2012. If your visa was issued on or after July 9, 2012, this period will increase to five years. You must still be living together with your partner at the time of application and have the intention of doing so. When you apply, you shouldn’t be receiving benefits or using taxpayer money. You should make sure you meet the requirements for English language proficiency and UK lifestyle knowledge before submitting your application.


  • Current Pay slips
  • Bank account statements
  • Address proof (like rent or lease contract etc.)
  • Council tax letters
  • Proof supporting calculation of an applicant’s disclosed other sources of income, if any.
  • Appointment Letter from employer on company Letterhead with signatory authority stamp and date in case the applicant is a job employee.
  • In case of business owners, material apropos must be provided regarding registered business address, relevant valid permits etc.

Application Process

Check each eligibility criterion’s requirements carefully, then gather all the necessary supporting documentation to submit as proof. Access to your immigration history, including information on any UK visas you have received since arriving. .

Categories of application forms offered:

Select the one suitable to the applicant’s personal background out of the two categories:


Applicable to partner of a UK citizen or the parent of a child settled in the UK.

Documents as proof of your legal relationship status:

  • Marriage / Birth certificate (as the case may be).
  • Documented Photo/ video proof with the said settled family member.


Applicable to immigrants living in the UK in any one of the above-mentioned categories.

Registration for family members of non-EU Immigrants in the UK

For each family member wishing to join them, non-EU immigrants may submit a separate application using a different form. Children and minors under the age of 18 may have their parent or legal guardian submit the application on their behalf. If a case satisfies all eligibility requirements, it will be assessed on its own merit for residency registration. If each specific permit for sponsoring a spouse or dependent children is confirmed to be valid, applicants on Tier 1 or Tier 2 visas may choose to allow their family to join them in the UK. Online applications can be submitted with a copy of the downloaded application form filled out with accurate and verified information in all required fields. It must also be accompanied by a copy of the applicant’s passport, biometric data, and all necessary supporting documentation. . Your application can be submitted online. Within six months, you will hear back about your application. Use the premium processing service if that’s what you’d prefer. You will be given a date and time for a meeting at which your application will be reviewed in person.


An individual application submitted by mail costs £2389. The benefits of applying in person are that a decision is made immediately rather than having to wait six months, though the fees may be slightly higher.


It will take around 6 months or more.

Permanent residence Visa application for EU, EEA Nationals or Swiss citizens

EU, EEA, and Swiss nationals are no longer eligible to apply for visas for permanent residency in the UK. It may take up to 6 months to receive a decision if the application was submitted before January 1, 2021, but it will still be taken into consideration. All previously issued EEA permanent residence cards, which confirm the right of permanent residence in the UK for individuals who have continuously exercised Treaty rights in the United Kingdom for five years, will expire on June 30, 2021. Until then, you can use it to apply for British citizenship and sponsor your partner’s visa request if they’re doing so based on your place of residence.

Living in the UK after 30 June 2021

It is possible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme if you were a resident of the UK as of December 31, 2020. If your application is approved and you are given “settled status,” you can then submit an application for British citizenship at a later time. On June 30, 2021, applications expire.

Family members

Your spouse or civil partner, child, grandchild, parent, or grandparent are examples of close family members who may apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. If they possess a UK residence card, your “extended” family members (unmarried partner, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, cousin, nephew, or niece) are eligible to apply.

Applying for British citizenship

You can only apply for British citizenship with a PR document after one year, provided you’ve lived in the country for at least five years prior to the application. However, if your spouse or civil partner is a British citizen, you may apply after residing in the country for three years.

Conditions that apply in permanent residency

Your visa status expires if:

  • You stay outside of the country for more than two years. If you want to continue living in the country, the pre-settled status expires, and you must reapply for it.
  • Any criminal offense is committed by the individual which would cancel the PR permit and could lead to deportation.

If you have a PR document and have lived in the UK for at least five years prior to applying for citizenship, you can do so after one year. But after three years of residing in the UK, you can apply if your spouse, civil partner, or husband is a British citizen.

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