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Permanent Residence UK: How to Apply

The United Kingdom has been home to people from all over the world. People who wish to settle in the UK for an extended period can apply for Permanent Residence status. If you meet certain criteria and follow the application process correctly, you can be granted permanent residence in the UK. Depending on which route you apply for, obtaining permanent residence UK (PR UK) status usually takes around 5 (five) years.

For more information about Permanent UK residence permit, including one-to-one advice from an immigration professional on preparing for it and what to expect, get in touch with us today. Call us at 0333 305 9375, or contact us online.


UK Permanent Residence Status

Permanent status means that you can stay in the UK for an indefinite period. You will be allowed to work, study and travel as if you were a British citizen. This status is also known as Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).

You will no longer have immigration restrictions on working or business in the UK, and you can stay in the country for an unlimited time. Nevertheless, if somebody spends more than two years outside of the United Kingdom, their right can lapse.

Benefits of Permanent Residence UK

The population of the UK is very diverse, with 14% of people being born in another country, according to the Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford. Therefore, with a UK permanent residence document, you can enjoy the rights granted to permanent residents, such as working, studying or travelling without restrictions. You will also be able to access many public services and benefits like healthcare.

1. Apply for British Citizenship

As a permanent resident, you can apply for British citizenship after one year of holding this status, with the condition that you must have been present in the UK for five (5) years before applying. The time will be three years if your partner is a British citizen. There are other ways of applying for British Citizenship, but this one is the most straightforward.

2. Entry right to the UK

Having Permanent Residence UK (PR UK) also means you have the right to enter and leave the UK freely. You don’t have to apply for a visa every time you wish to travel. However, please note that you can not stay outside the UK for more than two years. You spend more than two years outside the country. Your pre-settled status will be void, and you will need to reapply for it if you want to continue your PR in the country again.

3. Access to Jobs and Education

With permanent residence UK, you will have access to educational institutions and employment opportunities unavailable to those with a restricted visa. Also, the application process for certain jobs may be easier if you have this status. You also don’t need to prove your right to work in the UK.

4. Bring Family Members

Your immediate family members (spouse or civil partner, children, grandchildren, parents or grandparents) can apply for the EU Settlement Scheme. Your extended family members (partner, sister, brother, uncle, aunt, cousin, niece, nephew) can apply if they have a UK residence card. However, they must meet the same requirements as you do to qualify for permanent residence UK.

5. Social Security Benefits

UK Government offers a range of social security benefits to permanent residents. These include child benefits, job seekers’ allowance, unemployment insurance, state pension contributions, etc. If you are a permanent resident, you can apply for these benefits in the same way as all other UK citizens.

6. Access to Healthcare

When you become a permanent resident of the UK, you will also gain free healthcare through the National Health Service (NHS). This means you will be entitled to a range of medical treatments, such as hospital care and access to medicines.

7. Your child can become a British citizen

Your PR status can benefit your children as well. Your child can be registered as a British citizen if you have permanent residence UK. This can be a great opportunity for their future and your peace of mind.

8. International education benefits for your child

You can access discounts on tuition fees for international students if you and your child have permanent residence UK. SKA fund can also help to cover the costs of international education.

9. Housing Benefits

Permanent residence UK may also give you access to housing benefits, such as the private rented sector deposit guarantee scheme or social rent. You can apply for a range of benefits and support from local authorities, including help with paying your rent.

Obtaining permanent residence UK is a great way to enjoy the rights and benefits of living in the United Kingdom. You can live, work and travel without restrictions, access healthcare services and bring your family to the country. Furthermore, you can apply for British citizenship after one year and benefit from various social security benefits.

Get in touch with our expert immigration lawyers to receive assistance on your Permanent Residence UK.

Limitations of permanent residence

Although permanent residence has many advantages, there are a few limitations to consider. You cannot stay outside the UK for more than two years. After that time, your pre-settled status may be void. Also, you should note that your PR status can be revoked if you are found guilty of a crime or do not meet the financial requirements to remain a PR. Finally, it is important to remember that permanent residence UK does not guarantee British citizenship. To become a British citizen, you may need to make an additional application and pass the Life in the UK test.

Eligibility for Permanent Residence UK

You can only apply for UK permanent residence if you meet certain criteria. You will usually have to demonstrate that you have legally lived in the UK for at least five years and some other requirements depend on your route.

The table below displays the required amount of time you have to spend in the UK on different visas before being eligible to apply for Permanent Residence:

  • Partner (Married/ Unmarried) of a UK citizen: 2 (two) years
  • Long-term Lawful stay: 10 (ten) years
  • Unlawful stay (without proper documents): 14 (fourteen) years
  • Under work permit (Tier 1 & tier 2): 5 (five) years
  • Investor/business owner/sportsperson/artist: 5 (five) years, and
  • Ancestry: 5 (five) years

If you fall into one of the above categories and meet the other requirements, you can apply for PR UK.

Getting UK Permanent Resident Status for a Non-EU Citizen

If you are a non-EU Citizen, you can apply for permanent residence in the UK under one of the routes specified above. Before applying, it’s important to ensure that you meet all requirements and have all the applicable documents needed for your application.


To make the process easier, we recommend hiring an experienced immigration lawyer who will help with the paperwork and the application process. And remember, if you need assistance or advice regarding UK permanent residence, don’t hesitate to contact us directly. Our team of experts will help you understand your eligibility requirements and advise you on how to proceed with the application. Call us on 0333 305 9375, or contact us online. We are here to help!

Two application forms are available: the SET (M) Form and the SET (O) Form. The application form you choose depends on your specific circumstance, so selecting the right one is important. Once you have completed your application form, ensure all documents are in place and pay the fee as specified. Submit your application with all supporting evidence and await a decision.

Set (M) Form

The application form is for those who have stayed in the UK under any immigration categories mentioned. You will need to submit documents that verify your legal stay in the UK as part of applying. These include:

  • Income documents (e.g., payslips).
  • Letter of employment on the company letterhead with signature and stamp.
  • Any lease agreements or rental contracts (Address proof).
  • Bank statements.
  • Council letters for tax.
  • The proof to support the calculation of an applicant’s other sources of income, if any, is disclosed.
  • You’ll need to provide documentation about your registered business address, licenses, and permits if you’re a business owner.

Set (O) Form

This form applies if your partner is a UK citizen or your child is settled in the UK. Again, documents are required to prove the relationship and residence in the UK.

If you have any questions about your Permanent Residence UK, our team is happy to assist.

Registering your non-EU family members in the UK

You can apply for the registration of your non-EU family members if they are living with you in the UK. The process is similar to applying for permanent residence, but there are a few extra requirements.

Every family member must complete an application individually. For a child under 18, a parent or guardian will need to apply on their behalf.

If you already have a Tier 1 or 2 visa, your family may be able to migrate to the United Kingdom if you fulfil the requirements for providing sponsorship to a dependent child or spouse.

Settling as a UK citizen family member

If you have been living in the United Kingdom as a family member of a citizen, you may be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain or settle. This will entitle you to permanent residence in the UK after a successful application. This is a common route for those married (or unmarried) to UK citizens.

Settlement Eligibility

To be eligible for settlement, you will need to meet certain requirements. These vary depending on your present visa status and the country of your origin. Generally speaking, you must have lived in the UK continuously for certain years and not broken any laws while living there.


The three routes for this visa type are:

  • 2-year visa route
  • 5-year visa route
  • 10-year visa route

If you fall into any of the visas listed above, you must meet the specific visa’s time requirement. For example, those on Tier 2 (General) Visa must have lived in the United Kingdom for five years. As long as you satisfy this living condition and meet all other requisites below, then you can apply:


You will need a current visa in the partner/marriage category. You can apply if you have a British partner through marriage or a civil partnership or have been cohabiting for at least two years but have not gotten married.

Living together

You must have lived together in a genuine and subsisting relationship and is interested in continuing the relationship once your PR is granted. An agreement as joint tenants, bank statements, and other proof of the two of you living together may be used as evidence.


You must pass a test called ‘Life in the UK’, a series of multiple-choice questions on British culture and history. The test is designed to ensure your basic understanding of the country you are applying to live and work in.

English language test

If you are not a native English speaker, you’ll need to prove your competency by passing the test for English Language qualifications. To achieve this, generally, you need to show an English or educational qualification from a reputable UK institution.

Financial requirement

You must meet the financial requirement, which is currently £29,000 if you do not have children in your care.

A child is considered anyone under 18 years of age, even if they are not included in the PR application. Do not include the earnings of British children or European Area (Economic) citizens when estimating your yearly income. Please note that these incomes are joint and consider both partners’ incomes.

Families on the quickest route (2 years) don’t have to meet a minimum earnings requirement, but they must show that they can support their families without government funds. There is also no minimum income requirement for families on the longest route (10 years), although evidence of income must be provided.

If you have any questions about your Permanent Residence UK, our team is happy to assist.

The application process for a family member of a person settled in the UK

As a partner of a person living in the United Kingdom on any of the work visas (Tier 1, 2, or 5), you could also be eligible to settle down here. You must be in a marital or civil partnership or have been together for at least 2 years.

Eligibility requirements for a partner

You must already have a visa to apply as your partner’s dependent. If your partner was settled before your visa application, you must apply as the partner of that settled person.

You can only apply for this if you are in a live-in relationship and plan to do so in the future. Additionally, you cannot receive any other benefits (from public funds). Also, keep in mind that you must fulfil the English skill test and other requirements before applying to become a resident of the United Kingdom.

If all these conditions are met, you can apply for permanent residence. Once your application is approved, you will have indefinite leave to remain (ILR) status. You will also have the right to stay in the UK permanently and not be subject to immigration control.


The application process for UK PR can be completed online, and you will get a response on your status within six months.

The priority processing service is available for those who choose to use it. This involves an in-person appointment for the review, and you can receive a decision the same day.

Processing times and fees

The processing fee for PR applications is £2,389. This fee applies to all entry routes regardless of the length of stay or country of origin. Applications should be processed within six months, although this can vary depending on the nature of the application.

The premium processing fee is an additional £500 for getting the decision within five working days. For a super-priority service, the fee is £800, and you can get a decision in the next working day.

Ensure all relevant documents and supporting evidence are ready when submitting your application. Once approved, enjoy the benefits of living in one of the world’s most vibrant countries!

Before you apply for the UK permanent residency

Permanent residence in the UK entitles you to many benefits, including the right to live and work anywhere in the UK. You can also access social security and public services like healthcare and apply for British citizenship after six years of residency.

The status allows you to live in the UK for an unlimited period, but if you stay more than two years outside of the country, your status will be removed. In this case, you have to go through the process again. Additionally, if you get involved in any criminal offences which could end up in deportation from the UK, you will lose your PR status.

Applying for British citizenship as a Permanent Resident UK

You can apply for British citizenship after one year of permanent residence in the UK, provided that you have lived for five years in the UK. However, if your partner (husband, wife, or civil partner) is a British citizen, you can apply for citizenship after three years of permanent residence.

For both cases, you will need to fulfil the English language and knowledge of life requirements before applying. Additionally, you must be free from immigration time restrictions and have completed a period as a Permanent Resident – meaning that your ILR status has been in effect for at least 12 months.

How can IAS Help

At IAS, our advisers are highly trained to help you with all matters of UK immigration. We understand the complexities of the process and can assist you with navigating it successfully. Our team will guide and advise you on every stage of the application, ensuring that your case is handled effectively.

We have helped thousands of people from around the world to settle in the UK, so why not get in touch with us today? We’d be happy to help you achieve your dream of living and working in the UK. Call us at 0333 305 9375 to get started.

We look forward to hearing from you soon and helping you on your journey!

We offer immigration advice sessions as face to face appointments at all of our UK offices, or via the phone.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Permanent residence in the UK is a status that allows you to stay in the country for an indefinite period without being subject to immigration control.

Yes, you must apply for permanent residence in the UK if you wish to stay and work here indefinitely. This will also give you access to social security and public services such as healthcare.

The processing time for PR applications is usually six months. You can opt for the premium processing service, which will get you a decision within five working days, or the next working day with the super-priority service.

The application fee for PR applications is £2,389. The premium processing fee is an additional £500 for a decision within five working days or £800 for the super-priority service.

You may be eligible for permanent residence in the UK if you have lived there for a certain period and meet certain criteria. This period is usually shorter if you are married to a UK citizen.

You can apply for permanent residence in the UK online using the correct form, biometric information, your passport, and required supporting documents.

Yes, if you spend more than two years outside of the UK, your status will be removed, and you will have to reapply for it. Additionally, committing any criminal offences that can lead to deportation from the UK can also cause your right to remain here as a permanent resident to be revoked.

The process may not be complex, but getting permanent residence in the UK is not always easy. That’s why you should consult a qualified immigration adviser who knows how the process works and can help you with your application. At IAS, we have helped thousands of people from around the world settle in the UK and are here to assist you. Contact us today at 0333 305 9375 for more information!

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