Promising citizens from all over the world move to the UK every year with hopes of settling down with their dream job or exploring a plethora of business opportunities. In this article brought to you by Kampus Group we will be talking about how to gain a UK permanent residence as an international student.
Today the UK is one of the most popular destinations for those abroad who are aiming to get a better life. This is because it offers a great way to harness your potential and enjoy a new dynamic as a UK resident.
Typically there is a long wait to gain a UK permanent residence. This can be an average of 5 years… the process will call for some patience and due diligence on your part.
If you decide to take up a permanent residence in the UK, you will be rewarded with bright prospects and a promising future.
We will discuss the eligibility criteria, the application procedure and the different routes that an international student can take.
PR in UK
Permanent resident status in the UK provides any individual who wants to live and work in the UK indefinitely an opportunity to do so. The interested person needs to acquire this type of permit in order to work or conduct their own business in the UK. This is without any time limits on their stay and immigration restrictions.
UK Permanent Residence
In accordance with current immigration rules in the UK, this status is granted to those who do not have the Right of Abode naturally.
This permit can be withdrawn if the person spends more than 2 years outside the UK continuously after being granted a permanent residence in the UK.
What is Indefinite Leave to Remain ?
ILR (Indefinite leave to remain) is similar to a permanent residency (PR) in the UK. It grants an immigration status to the foreign nationals in the UK to live, study and take employment in the UK without any time constraints or restriction.
Who can apply for PR or ILR ?
To get UK PR, it is required to live in the UK for 5 years under one of the following categories:
This means having a Tier 1 visa or a Tier 2 visa. Tier 2 is based on a points-based system. This accounts for the skilled professionals from abroad who have a valid job offer in the United Kingdom. These professions include:
- 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 Permanent Residence if you have a family member or a partner who is a British citizen.
Eligibility for settlement as a family member of a UK Citizen
Applicants must be a partner of a UK citizen or of an individual close to the applicant that is permanently settled within the UK. He or she must be currently on a family visa (of 2, 5 or 10 years) as a partner or spouse of the partner who is a British citizen.
Current visa in the partner category is eligible if the applicant is married to a British partner or at least in a civil partnership or in a subsisting relationship though not married.
You must provide evidence that you’re living together and intend to continue doing so after you are granted residency in the UK. Evidence can take in the form of joint bank accounts, or a joint tenancy agreement and other official documents to show you are legitmately together.
‘Life in the UK’ Test
It is absolutely compulsory to pass the ‘Life in the UK’ test. This test is designed in a to evaluate your knowledge of British life and assess your compatibility living within in the UK and taking up permanent residency.
For applicants who do not speak English as their first fluent language, this test is vital to prove fluency in the language and understanding the language. An educational qualification from a recognised UK institution is accepted as meeting the standards in this instance.
Proof of Finances
In case you have a dependent family, your finances need to be in accordance with the UK immigration system. The financial expectations to support your family if you are on the 5-year route visa 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 of one
All children below 18 are a part of this scheme described with the exception of children who are of British or EU origin. The limits also take into account the total income for both partners.
No minimum earnings constraint is given for the 2-year and 10-year route. Proof of finances when submitted must validate the ability of the applicant to provide for their family without the support from public funds of the UK.
Permanent Residence as a Family Member of Someone Settled in the UK
Spouse or partner must be settled in the UK on the basis of a work visa which includes the; Tier 1, 2 or 5 visa. Applicants are required to be married, in a civil partnership or be in a relationship for at least 2 years to be eligible for the permanent residence.
Eligibility for Partners
You must currently be on a visa stated as your partner’s dependent. If you received your visa after your partner was granted the ‘settled status’. You are also required to apply as a partner of a settled person.
If your current visa was issued prior to 9 July 2012, you must have lived with your partner for the duration of 2 years. This will go up to 5 years if your visa was granted on or after 9 July 2012.
When you apply for this, you must still be living together with your partner and intend continue the arrangement. You should not be claiming benefits in the UK when you apply for this.
English Language and the knowledge of life in the UK test require you to make sure you satisfy these requirements before making your application.
- Current Payslips
- Bank account statements
- Address proof (such as rent or lease contract etc.)
- Council tax letters
- Proof supporting calculation of an applicant’s other sources of income
- Appointment Letter from employer on company Letterhead with signatory authority stamp and date
- In case of business owners, documents provided must be provided regarding registered business address, relevant valid permits etc.
We do advise to carefully check all requirements for eligibility criterions and compile all the relevant documents to submit as evidence. Provide information of your immigration history, with details of UK visas since your arrival.
Registration for Family Members of non-EU Immigrants in the UK
Non-EU immigrants can apply separately for each individual family member wishing to join them in the UK in different application forms. For minors and children under 18, the parent or guardian can submit the application for them. Each case will be evaluated on independent merit for the residency registration in the UK.
Applicants on Tier 1 or Tier 2 visa have the choice of letting their family join them in the UK. This is if each particular permit for sponsoring a spouse or dependent children is verified as valid.
Online applications can be submitted with a copy of the downloaded application form filled in with the correct details. This will require a copy of the applicant’s passport, biometric information, and the supporting documents for all information provided.
You will receive a response to your application within the duration of 6 months.
If you prefer to use the premium processing service, you can also choose this option. You will receive an appointment where your application will be considered in person and you can recieve a decision on that day.
It costs £2389 for an individual application by post. Application in person might be more pricey and the advantages of this method is that a decision is declared on the same day which avoids the long 6 months waiting period.
It will take around 6 months or more for the application to be processed.
Permanent Residence Visa Application for EU, EEA Nationals or Swiss Citizens
Visa applications for Permanent residence in the UK are no longer being accepted from EU citizens, EEA citizens or Swiss citizens. If application has been created before 1 January 2021, it will still be considered but can take up to 6 months to get a final decision.
All EEA permanent residence cards that has been granted prior this time( that confirms the right of permanent residence in the UK for those who have exercised Treaty rights in the United Kingdom for a continuous period of 5 years), will not be valid after 30 June 2021.
Until that date, it can be used to apply for your British citizenship and sponsor your partner’s visa application if they’re applying for a visa based on your residence in the UK.
Your close family members such as; spouse or civil partner, child, grandchild, parent or grandparent can also apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. Your ‘extended’ family members such as; unmarried partner, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, cousin, nephew or niece can apply if they have a UK residence card.
Applying for British Citizenship
A Permanent Residence document qualifies you to apply for British citizenship only after the first year. This is provided you have lived in the UK at least 5 years just prior to the application.
However, if your husband, wife or civil partner is a British citizen, you can apply after living in the UK for the duration of 3 years.
Conditions that apply in permanent residency
Your visa status expires if:
- You spend more than 2 years outside of the country. The pre-settled status becomes void and you will need to reapply for it if you plan on carrying out a residency again
Any criminal offence that is committed by the individual would in fact cancel the PR permit and could lead to deportation…
Permanent Residency applications could be not taken if the social media handles of the applicant do not pass the fairness test. Immigration officers have the authority to verify the information provided by the applicants on the basis of data collected from the social media accounts also so please bear this in mind.
Why do I need to apply for a permanent residence in the UK?
A Permanent Resident status in the UK provides any person with a valid work visa or student visa to stay indefinitely in the UK. It is a lasting solution to avoid repeated paperwork and hassle of renewing visas to support a legal stay which can be stressful. It is an opportunity to ensure your presence in the country is approved formally and legally by the immigration system in the UK. You can also pursue higher education, work or conduct your own business/businesses in the UK, without any violation of immigration laws and and visa deadlines.
Who is eligible for permanent resident status in the UK?
Permanent Residence is usually given to an individual living in the UK with a valid visa for at least 5 years and are genuinely interested in continuing their stay for longer. This is often for an indefinite period of time… another reason to ask for the PR is if the applicant is married to a UK citizen and expects to remain in the UK for the years to come.
What happens if permanent residence in the UK expires?
This permit comes with a condition of a time constraint. If the person spends more than 2 years continuously outside the UK after being granted permanent residence in the UK, the individual’s permit will expire. The whole terms and conditions have to be repeated for the invidual’s new application. This includes the period of stay starting from the exact day of return to the UK. Earlier short periods of stay will not be considered valid for this.
How to get PR in the UK for International students?
The UK is one of the best choices for pursuing a higher education because it is in fact very student friendly. The Uk is also listed among the top 100 universities in the world. If you secure an admission in a UK University, you have the chance of getting employed with a full-time job in the UK as well as a stable income. Also no criminal record will help in securing your ILR or PR visa.
UK Work Visa for Indians
The UK is a major globalised economy, which ranks fifth in the world. There are amazing opportunities for working in the UK. The UK holds the latest innovative technologies, expansion of scientific research and world-class management on top.
Previously the UK’s immigration system was restrictive. Currently, the UK government is focusing on improving their competitive edge, they are welcoming skilled professionals to work in the UK under the Tier 2 visa program and the Skilled Worker Visa also known as the Points-based system.
Under the Tier 2 program in the UK, skilled workers from countries like India (whose occupations are listed under the Tier 2 Shortage Occupation List) can apply to work in the UK long term. They can also advance their professional prospects.
Entrepreneurs, investors and exceptional talented indvidual’s are given extra preference in this visa category.
The applicants must not be from EU/EEA/EFTA region as the employment protocols are different for citizens of those countries.
Popular Professions on the list include;
- Doctors (Physicians)
- Nurses/Healthcare workers
- Scientists and Research Fellows
- Finance experts
- Entrepreneurs/Business Investors
- IT specialists
At Kampus Group we advise that you apply 3 months prior to the appointment date mentioned in your job offer letter. Once you successfully get the Visa interview out of the way, the visa approval decision is finalised within the duration of 3 weeks. Recently the UK has fast-tracked many applicants who have occupations in the ‘Shortage Occupation List’, as a result this has reduced the processing time to a minimum.
The five tier, points-based UK Visa Application system was put into action in between 2008 to 2010. Applicants must score a minimum of 70 points for their application to be considered by the UK office.
The eligibility assessment criterions are:
- Professional qualifications
- Future expected earnings as per recommended standards
- Valid UK work permit
- Job offer letter
- Licensed UK employer’s Sponsorship
- Ability to communicate fluently in English
- Present funds in your bank
Salary requirements for this visa Your job offer letter must state a salary of at least £25,600, or the specific salary requirement or ‘going rate’ for the listed occupation on the list mentioned.
Indian students holding a Tier 4 visa or a student visa very often apply for the ‘Post Study Work Visa’ and later upgrade it to a Permanent Residency in the UK.
Work Permit applications directly from individuals are unfortunately not considered. Your employer in the UK must apply on your behalf. They have to clearly state the nature of your work, the area of your expertise or specialism and the time you are expected to stay in the UK to achieve certain aims. The type and length of your permit will depend on the details provided.
Tier 2 (General) Visa / Skilled Worker visa
This is exclusively meant for skilled foreign nationals who are Non-EU citizens applying for an ‘Employment Visa’. This has to come with proof of an offered employment/place in the UK, which is specifically related to a profession on the shortage occupation list mentioned previously.
You must have certificate of sponsorship from a licensed UK employer.
The work you plan to do in the UK must be directly related to the declared work profile of your sponsor in the UK.
If you plan to switch fields or major you will have to reapply under the right occupation category. Or, you may have to do the necessary transfer of permit paperwork, this will have to be discussed by the immigration authority.
Tier 2 visa also provides options for professionals in certain situations or placements.
Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer Visa: this is for transfer workers employed in companies who are based in the UK as well as other countries.
Tier 2 Minister of Religion Visa: this is for ministers of religions within a religious organisation and who has a registered UK Chapter.
Tier 2 Sportsperson Visa: this is for coaches and sportspersons who have excelled in achievements in Sports or has unique skill or knowledge that can improve the performance of British individuals participating in the sports/fitness sector.
Other Important FAQs
How much is the Visa fee for a work visa for the UK ?
The standard Visa fee for a Skilled Worker Visa goes from £610 to £1,408. You might also be asked to pay the healthcare surcharge which costs around £624 per year.
Can I leave the UK while my visa is being processed ?
Under the new immigration rules in the UK, if you apply for a UK Visa while in the country, you cannot travel outside the UK. This is because you will have to keep your passport with the immigration office while your application is being processed.
Which UK companies are more suitable to help me with my Work Visa?
It is important to know that your employer has a sponsor licence to hire workers from outside the UK. This will be beneficial to gain more points when you are applying for a visa to gain in the UK.
How can I convert my UK Tourist Visa to a Work Permit ?
It is not possible to switch a UK Visitor Visa to a Work Permit unless you can prove yourself to be a prospective entrepreneur… or an exceptional innovator that can secure funds for setting up businesses in the UK. However, there is a scheme called the ‘Working Holiday Visa’ or the UK Youth Mobility Scheme visa (also known as Tier 5) which is available for young people who would like to live and work in the UK for the duration of 2 years.