After completing 5 full years in the UK on a Tier 2 General Visa you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) so long as you have not spent any more than 90 days outside the country in any one year.
Holding Indefinite Leave to Remain (also known as Permanent Residence) means that you spent long enough in the UK for the country to be considered your permanent home, although not long enough for it to be considered your country of Citizenship.
ILR status will allow you to come and go from the UK freely and work in the country without requiring a temporary work visa. Please note however that if you are planning to leave the UK (after securing settlement) for an extended period (2+ years) you will lose your entitlement to the status and you will need to qualify all over again.
Are you a highly skilled IT, Engineering, or Financial Services Professional? Do you need a Tier 2 General visa for the UK? If so Commonwealth Contractors may be able to help! We partner with Tier 2 Licensed employers and consultancies who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor an individual under Tier 2 General.
Submitting an Application for Tier 2 General to ILR
To submit an application as a Tier 2 General or Business and Commercial Work Permit holder you will need to:
- Provide a fully completed and up to date SET (O) application form – You can find application forms on the UK Border Agency website within the ‘settling in the UK’ section here
- Include supporting documents with your application including;
- Original Passports
- Current Passport Sized Photos
- Proof of qualify against the Knowledge of Language and Life in the UK requirement (KOL)
- Proof that you have been paid at or above the minimum required level for your Tier 2 General role
- Birth Certificates and Marriage Certificates (for dependents)
Tier 2 / Work Permit Salary Requirements
If you hold a Tier 2 General Visa (or old style Work Permit) you will need to prove that you have been paid at or above the appropriate rate for the job as set out in the Tier 2 Codes of Practice.
To do this you will need to provide:
- A written confirmation from your employer(s) confirming that you have been paid at or above the required level, AND
- Original stamped and signed payslips to confirm the gross and net monthly payments, AND
- Original personal bank statements to prove that net sums have been paid to you
If you are unable to provide this information you may find that you visa application is rejected.
Knowledge of Language and Life in the UK
In order to apply for ILR you will need to:
Prove that you can speak English to a satisfactory level, AND
Pass a Life in the UK Test – You will find more information on the test by clicking here
Losing ILR Status
If you secure ILR and then decide to leave the UK for a period of 2+ years you will lose your entitlement for the status and you will need to apply for entry clearance (normally further to a Tier 2 General Visa) all over again.
You will be able to return to the UK so long as:
- When you last left the UK you held ILR status, AND
- You have been away for less than 2 years, AND
- You are returning to the UK to live here permanently, AND
- You were not given public funds to pay the costs of leaving the UK
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- 29 October 2021