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Settlement and Citizenship


Once you have been a lawful resident for a specific amount of time, you may be eligible to apply to settle in the UK. Settlement is also referred to as Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). You will typically have had the right to live and work or study in the country on a different visa, and at the end of your qualifying period, you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain.

Most visa holders may be eligible to apply for ILR after five years spent in their visa categories. However, others may need to complete up to 10 years of residence.

Once you receive your Indefinite Leave to Remain, you may be able to apply for British citizenship after 12 months of living in the UK.


Continuous Lawful Residence in an Eligible Category

To be eligible for ILR, you must be in the UK on a category that leads to settlement for a time period stipulated under that category.

1. You may settle in the UK after two years if you have the following visas:

• The Investor visa (if you have invested at least £10 million).

2. You may settle in the UK after three years if you have the following visas:

• The Investor visa (if you have invested at least £5 million);
• Innovator visa;
• Entrepreneur visa (if you have created at least ten full-time jobs or you generated at least £5 million from your business activity);
• Global Talent (if you are endorsed as an exceptional talent).

3. You may settle in the UK after five years if you have the following visas:

• The Investor visa (if you have invested at least £5 million);
• Global Talent (if you are endorsed as an exceptional promise).
• Entrepreneur visa;
• Partner visa;
• Child visa;
• Skilled Worker;
• Dependent visa;
• EU Settlement Scheme;
• Ancestry visa.

4. You may settle in the UK after ten years if you have the following visas:

• A combination of different visas that either lead or do not lead to settlement and you were unable to settle earlier (Long Residence);
• If you were given a 10-year route to settlement on any Family or Private Life visas.

Absences and Continuous Residence

Evidencing that you meet the residency requirement by calculating your continuous period and absences from the UK is not always straightforward. You will normally be required to demonstrate that your absences from the UK do not exceed 180 days in any 12 months of the qualifying period.

Knowledge of English Language and Life in the UK

Applying for settled status involves a commitment to respect the UK's laws, values and traditions. Your knowledge of the English language and life in the UK forms an integral part of this commitment.

You must provide evidence of a UK degree taught or researched in English or obtain an approved English speaking and listening qualification in certain circumstances. For example, if you are from a country where English is not the dominant language as determined by the Home Office.

You can satisfy the knowledge of life requirement by passing the 'Life in the UK' test, which must be taken at a UK test centre where you will need to confirm your identity, for example, by way of a passport or other travel document.
You may be wholly exempt from this requirement if you are aged under 18 or over 65 or have a long-term physical or mental condition that prevents you from meeting these requirements.


There are no conditions attached to your Indefinite Leave to Remain. You only need to ensure you have not been away from the UK for more than two years at any one time to keep your status.

Most immigration applications have strict factual and evidential requirements that are not necessarily straightforward to comprehend or satisfy. LS Legal Solicitors are well versed and highly experienced in providing advice and assistance on immigration applications. We appreciate that many of the requirements may seem overly complex and onerous. However, we guarantee to make your experience as smooth and stress-free as possible.

For the quickest response, please WhatsApp or call us on +44 (0) 75 3595 9450. You can also contact us via email at info@LSLegaLUK.com or use the contact form to discuss your requirements further or arrange an appointment with one of our experts.