Route to Permanent Residency chart:
|Tier 1 (Investor)||2, 3, or 5 years depending on the investment|
|Tier 1 (Entrepreneur)||3 or 5 years depending on the business|
|Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent)||5 years|
|Sole Representative||5 years|
|Tier 2 (General), (Sportspersons), (Religious Workers)||5 years|
|Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer)||Not allowed to settle any more|
|Marriage / Civil Partnership||5 years|
|Unmarried Partner||5 years|
|Long residency (Tier 4 or a combination of continuous lawful stay in the UK on any visas)||10 years|
|Continuous unlawful stay in the UK||20 years|
|Retired Person of Independent Means||Granted upon entry clearance|
|Dependent Child / Adult Relative||Granted upon entry clearance|
The old Work Permit and Highly-Skilled Migrant schemes are now closed to new applicants. The Home Office has introduced new categories in Tiers 1 and 2, and the ancestry visa to allow migrants to settle after residing in the UK for a continuous period of 5 years (Does not apply to students). In some cases, applicants may be allowed to combine the times spent under different work visas to make up those 5 years. Dependents may also apply for settlement along with the main applicant.
If a person has spent a continuous period of 10 years in the UK on any visa types (for example a Tier 4 student visa) without any break in residence, they may be eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain. Dependents cannot apply in line with the main applicant. Please click here for more details.