10 Tips on How to Get UK Permanent Residence
In order to maintain your immigration status in the UK, it’s important to file all the necessary paperwork and pay the associated fees on time. If you make any mistakes, you could end up risking your immigration status and getting deported from the country entirely – something that’s never fun! These 10 tips on how to get UK permanent residence will help you avoid this kind of mistake, so you can stay in the UK legally without worry or stress.
1) Where to apply
It’s a common misconception that you can apply for indefinite leave to remain at any time. But it is only possible once you have spent five years in the UK with temporary leave or while you are serving a prison sentence. You may also be able to apply before then, if you meet certain criteria and satisfy an immigration officer that your life would be at risk if you returned home. This typically means fleeing persecution or political unrest in your country of origin, but only a legal expert can say for sure whether that applies in your case. You will also need evidence such as newspaper clippings or transcripts of public statements supporting your claim of imminent danger.
2) The 1st step
The first step is to understand that getting a UK permanent residence visa (or any non-UK visa for that matter) is not as easy as many people believe it is. The Home Office takes its job very seriously and it is unlikely that you would be approved for a visa if you can’t prove your right to be in Britain. It might seem unfair but it’s a fact of life, so better get used to it!
3) Next steps
If you are applying for a visa under one of these categories, you’ll need to prove that your sponsor can support you financially. Make sure your sponsor has sufficient savings in order to help pay for food, rent and other living expenses while they wait for their application(s) to be processed.
4) Being honest
While most immigration consultancies are honest, there are a few that will take advantage of you—tricking you into paying for services they don’t deliver. The first way to get UK permanent residence is by investing 500,000 pounds in a business or start-up fund and hiring two full-time employees within your first year. Be sure to ask how many companies they’ve helped and their success rate with getting people permanent residence.
5) Ensure you have no unlawful presence before applying
You may think that you can apply for indefinite leave to remain as soon as you have held settled status for five years. You’re wrong: any period of unlawful presence (when your stay in the UK was not authorised) will count against you when applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain. Be sure there are no gaps in your immigration history before submitting an application. Unless a gap is due to official error, you must pay a £2,389 bond while waiting for your application decision. Gaps caused by leaving without a valid visa would prevent you from obtaining Indefinite Leave To Remain in any case.
6) Tick all the boxes
Applicants must also check a number of boxes and meet various criteria before they can obtain permanent residence. For example, applicants need at least 6 months of legal residence in another European Economic Area (EEA) country, a total of 10 years in Europe, proof that they have not been absent from their home country for more than 18 months in any five-year period, and show that they have enough money to support themselves. That’s easier said than done. Since time spent outside of your own country is counted against you, it’s important to maximize opportunities while you’re still resident there. The government website outlines some tips on how best to do so.
7) Help from friends, family and employers
The main ways you can show that you’re economically active in Great Britain is by getting either a job or self-employment, as well as proving that you have family and friends there. If you have a job offer in Great Britain, it will count as one of your points; if you’re planning to start your own business there, it could also be counted towards your economic activity. As long as they’re genuine and stable relationships, having friends and family in Great Britain who are helping you financially is also another way to prove economic activity – but here it’s important that they can verify their relationship with you. This means keeping letters or emails from them with contact details where they can be reached easily if called upon.
8) Live as normal a life as possible
It is much easier to gain residence if you are already in Britain with a valid visa. If you have limited funds, it is worth considering staying with friends or family and eating at their house rather than going out and buying food yourself. This way, it will be easier for you to live a low-key life until your application for permanent residence has been accepted. Another advantage of living with friends or family is that they can provide you with references in support of your case when applying for permanent residence.
9) No touching back to your home country – ever!
If you leave the UK for more than two years, your Indefinite Leave to Remain will lapse. When you apply for indefinite leave to remain, you should have no plans of returning to your home country in a hurry. It is also important that you don’t go back permanently after applying or at any time before your visa application is approved and finalized. You should not make any comments that would hint at such an eventuality, especially if immigration officers ask about it during an interview. A mistake in any of these areas can cost you dearly when it comes time for processing your application because an immigration officer might see it as a sign that they shouldn’t approve your permanent residence certificate based on whether they believe you’ll return to your home country or not.
10) Go for it!
If you can’t afford a costly immigration lawyer, don’t panic. You have every right to navigate your way through these waters and stand up for yourself against any unscrupulous legal counsel. It will be hard work, but when you sit in your gilded flat overlooking Kensington Palace Gardens, we won’t tell anyone if you shed a tear or two at all those sleepless nights. Here are ten things that will help