If you are in the UK on a Skilled Worker visa, you could be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (“ILR”) once you have spent a continuous period of 5 years in the UK under this visa category. This blog will look into the requirements for obtaining ILR as a Skilled Worker and what you should be doing to prepare during the time leading up to your date of eligibility.
Applying for ILR in the UK will give you the right to stay indefinitely and without restriction, for example, in relation to work or study. Once you are free of immigration restrictions, you may be able to apply to naturalise as a British citizen (subject to meeting the other conditions).
What are the eligibility requirements to obtain ILR as a Skilled Worker?
- You must have spent a continuous period of 5 years in the UK with a Skilled Worker visa:
- The 5-year qualifying period should normally begin on the date your initial Skilled Worker visa was issued,
- You must not have been absent from the UK for more than 180 days in every 12-month period during the qualifying period,
- Any absences from work must be authorised by the employer, and
- Please note, you may also combine previous periods of residence in other visa categories, such as the Global Talent, Innovator and Representative of an Overseas Business categories, and as a Tier 1 Migrant (other than as a Tier 1 (Graduate) Entrepreneur). and count this towards the 5 years of continuous residence.
- You will need to meet the minimum salary requirement of:
- £26,200 per annum, or
- £10.75 per hour, or
- The ‘going rate’ for the job code you are currently sponsored for.
- Your sponsor must continue to need you for your job title and continue to meet the salary requirements on issuance of ILR (your sponsor will need to confirm this) and the sponsor will need to continue to hold a licence at the time of your ILR application.
- You will need to demonstrate your knowledge of the English language and life in the UK
- You will have already proved your knowledge of the English language when you obtained the Skilled Worker visa, but you will need to take and pass the life in the UK test.
The application for ILR should be submitted prior to the expiry of your current Skilled Worker visa, but can only be submitted up to 28 days before the date you will have been in the UK for 5 years continuously.
The application should take no longer than 6 months to decide if the Standard Processing service was used, or you can purchase a priority or super priority service at the time of submission of the application for a faster decision.
How Gherson can assist
Gherson’s Immigration Team are highly experienced in advising on UK visa matters. If you have any questions arising from this blog, please do not hesitate to contact us for advice, send us an e-mail, or, alternatively, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn to stay-up-to-date.
The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please do not hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.