The journey we took with a work permit holder to gain citizenship

28 Sep 2023, 11 mins ago

One of the key advantages of the Skilled Worker visa is the ability to apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) after five years of residence in the UK. After being granted ILR, you can then transition to British citizenship.

The five years necessary to qualify for ILR can be made up of time spent exclusively on Skilled Worker visas, or, in certain cases, you can combine time spent on other visa categories with time then spent on a Skilled Worker visa. 

In order to be eligible for ILR under the Skilled Worker route you must present proof of meeting the English language and knowledge of life in the UK requirements (for individuals between the ages of 18 and 65). You must also provide evidence of continuing to work for your Skilled Worker sponsor and meeting the minimum salary requirements, and that you have absences from the UK of no more than 180 days in any 12-month period making up the overall 5-year period relied upon for ILR.

Being granted ILR means that you will no longer be subject to any time limits on your stay in the UK. However, ILR does not give you all the rights and privileges of British citizenship. ILR holders are not permitted to vote in the UK and it can be possible to lose ILR status in more circumstances.

Typically, if you are 18 years or older and have held ILR for at least 12 months, you may apply for British citizenship by way of naturalisation. If you are an existing British citizen’s spouse or civil partner, you can naturalise as a British citizen as soon as you receive ILR; you do not need to wait a further year.

A person is not automatically entitled to naturalisation. The Home Office will decide whether to give British citizenship based on the documentation you submit as part of your citizenship application and confirmation that you meet the legal requirements, including residence requirements.

Depending on whether you are applying on the basis of your marriage or civil partnership with an existing British citizen or in your own right, the requirements for naturalisation as a British citizen will differ. We can explore the options with you in further detail.

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 TwitterFacebookInstagram, 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.

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