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City Legal is a multi award winning law firm specialising in UK Immigration Law, Wills & Estate Planning, Global Citizenship as well as providing Business, Education and HR Consultancy to both individual and corporate clients around the world.
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Personal Immigration

Work and Business Settlement

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Work & Business Settlement

This route is for applicants looking to settle in the UK on the basis of their work or business activities and include Tier 2 general, Appendix W workers (Innovator & Global Talent), Sole Representative of overseas business & UK Ancestry visa.

Eligibility Requirements for Settlement

In order to qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain, the applicant would normally need to satisfy the below requirements.

  • Spent a continuous period lawfully in the UK under a permitted category - ordinarly 5 years unless applying for accelerated settlement.
  • Not been absent from the UK for more than 180 days in any of the 12 month periods preceding the date of application in a rolling basis
  • Have sufficient knowledge of the English language or exempted
  • Passed Life in the UK test or exempted

The different work related categories also have their own additional eligibility criteria for settlement, which are summarised below.

Settlement as a Tier 2 General Worker

Workers under the Tier 2 General category may qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain if they have spent 5 years in the UK under any permitted combinations under immigration rules Para 245HF(c) and satisfy the below requirements.

  • Employed by a Tier 2 registered sponsor who can confirm that applicant is required in the employment for the foreseeable future
  • Paid at or above the appropriate salary for the current role as set out in the Codes of Practice
  • Be paid a minimum salary as set out by the guidance (changes every year), or exempted as job is at PhD level or on a shortage occupation
Settlement as an Appendix W migrant

Workers under the Innovator may qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain if they have spent 3 years in the UK. No other leave is permitted to be combined with this category. In order to be eligible to apply for settlement as an Innovator migrant, the applicant must obtain an endorsement letter confirming that the applicant has shown significant achievements, judged against the business plan assessed in their previous endorsement, the applicant’s business is registered with Companies House and the applicant is listed as a director or member of that business, the business is active and trading, the business appears to be sustainable for at least the following 12 months, based on its assets and expected income, weighed against its current and planned expenses and the applicant has demonstrated an active key role in the day-to-day management and development of the business.

In addition to this, the applicant must also meet at least two of the following requirements.

  • Invested £50,000 into the business and actively spent furthering the business plan assessed on previous endorsement
  • The number of the business’s customers has at least doubled within the most recent 3 years and is currently higher than the mean number of customers for other UK businesses offering comparable main products or services.
  • The business has engaged in significant research and development activity and has applied for intellectual property protection in the UK.
  • The business has generated a minimum annual gross revenue of £1 million in the last full year covered by its accounts.
  • The business is generating a minimum annual gross revenue of £500,000 in the last full year covered by its accounts, with at least £100,000 from exporting overseas.
  • The business has created the equivalent of at least 10 full-time jobs for resident workers
  • The business has created the equivalent of at least 5 full-time jobs for resident workers, which have an average salary of at least £25,000 a year (gross pay, excluding any expenses).

In relation to Global Talent category, applicants may apply for Indefinite Leave after the completion of 3 years if the last endorsement was given under exceptional talent criteria by any endorsing body, exceptional promise criteria by endorsing bodies for science, engineering, humanities and medicine or endorsement was given under the UKRI “endorsed funder” fast track criteria. If the last endorsement was given under the “exceptional promise” criteria for Arts Council England or Tech Nation, applicants should wait 5 years before they can apply. In order to be eligible to apply for settlement as a Global Talent migrant, the applicant must meet both of the below criterias.

  • Must have earned money in the UK during their last grant of leave and must be linked to the expert field which led to their initial endorsement.
  • The endorsement is not withdrawn by the ensorsing body.
Settlement as a Sole Representative of Overseas Business

In order to qualify for Settlement in the UK as a Sole Representative of an Overseas Business, the applicant would normally need to satisfy the below requirements.

  • Spent 5 years continuously in the UK as a sole representative of the overseas business & remains on the same route at the time of application
  • Intend to continue in the job for which the applicant was first granted leave to enter the UK
  • Applicant has maintained self and dependants in the UK without recourse to public funds
  • Provide evidence of establishment of the UK registered branch or subsidiary of the overseas business and generated business from that
  • Be able to prove that the company’s head office is still actively trading and based overseas
Settlement as a person with UK Ancestry

In order to qualify for Settlement in the UK on the basis of UK Ancestry, the applicant would normally need to satisfy the below requirements.

  • Spent continuous period of 5 years lawfully in the UK on Ancestry visa
  • Be employed, self-employed or seeking employment on the date of application and have been doing the same throughout the 5 year qualifying period
  • Meet the absence and Knowledge of Language and life in the UK
How can we assist?

Our Immigration lawyers at City Legal have immense experience in assisting clients on Settlement under the work based category. We are a multi award winning law firm and pride ourselves in being approachable, innovative and always going that extra mile to make sure our clients receive the individual attention they deserve. Our Immigration team maintains a high reputation and is committed to provide clear, transparent and reliable advice to our clients.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it possible for my partner and child to apply for settlement?

Partners may qualify for ILR if they have permission to be in the UK as a partner and they have been living with the main applicant in the UK for at least 5 years (if they applied on or after 9 July 2012).Child may qualify for ILR if they were previously granted permission to stay in the UK as the child of the main applicant.

When can I apply for British Citizenship after obtaining Settlement?

Applicants will normally be able to apply for naturalisation as a British Citizen 12 months after obtaining the settlement, unless they are married to a British Citizen spouse, in that case they can apply immediately.

Is it possible to get an exemption for Knowledge of Language & Life in the UK?

Applicants under the age of 18 or over 65, those suffering from long term illness, mental condition or disability that restricts them from preparing for the test are normally exempted.

How many days of absence normally break the continuous residence?

Applicants are permitted to spend up to 180 days outside of the UK each year and may still qualify for Settlement if they meet all other eligibility conditions.

Will my settlement status ever lapse?

Settlement status will lapse if absent from the UK for more than 2 years. If that happens, applicants must apply as a returning resident in order to return to the UK.
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