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UK Permanent Residence Requirements for Nigerians

As a Nigerian, you can apply for permanent residence in the UK if you meet certain eligibility requirements.

If you need more information about the UK permanent residence, including more details about the eligibility criteria, how to apply, and to receive advice tailored to suit your situation, reach out to one of our legal advisers at our Lagos office at +23413438882, our UK office at +44 (0) 3316300929 or contact us online today.


Want to Become a Permanent Resident in the UK?

We have helped many Nigerians in obtaining a UK Permanent Residence. Our team of seasoned lawyers is well-equipped to guide you through the eligibbility requirements and support you through the entire application process and address all the questions you might have.

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For Nigerian emigration matters, please call +44 (0) 3316300929 or +23413438882

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Overview of the UK Permanent Residency

Permanent residency, also known as Indefinite Leave to Remain, allows Nigerians to work, study and live in the UK permanently. If you are a permanent resident in the UK, you no longer have a limit on your stay in the UK.

With Indefinite leave to remain, you have rights to public funding, government pension and NHS care. You also have the right to vote during elections and must keep the UK permanent residence rules.

You must meet certain financial and English language requirements to apply.

After you get your UK Permanent residency and stay in the UK for one continuous year, you can apply for British citizenship.

Eligibility Requirements

You must first meet certain residence and financial requirements to be eligible for UK permanent residency.

Firstly, you must have lived in the UK for a certain number of years. The number of years you are required to spend depends on the visa type permitting you to stay in the UK.

One of the following must also apply to you:

  • you have a work, global or innovator founder visa
  • you have family living in the UK. This could be your child, parent, close relative or partner. (they must be either British citizens or permanent residents)
  • you have stayed in the UK for 10 years
  • you have been in the UK for 5 years on a UK ancestry visa.

Routes to Permanent Residency for Nigerians

There are different pathways to apply for UK permanent residence as a Nigerian. Here are the pathways:

The Work, Global Talent or Innovator Founder Visa Pathway

If you have a work visa, you may apply for permanent residence. You must have worked in the UK for at least 5 years before applying. Nigerians with tier 1 work visas can apply if they have worked in the UK for 2 or 3 years.

Applicants using this pathway must meet the minimum salary requirements. For tier 2 visas, the applicant must earn at least £25,600 per year, £10.10 per hour or the going rate for their kind of work.

Sportspersons must earn at least £35,800 per year.

The only exceptions are applicants whose jobs are on the shortage list and those on the Minister of Religion visa.

Note that the tier 2 ICT work visa is not a pathway to getting permanent residence.

If you are in the UK on a global talent or innovator founder visa, you need to have lived in the UK for at least 3 years. You must also show proof that your business is growing.

The Family Member in the UK Pathway

If you have a family member who is either a permanent resident or a British citizen, you can apply for UK permanent residence. This family member must be your parent, child, close relative or partner.

You must have lived with your family member for at least 2 years before you can apply.

The Ancestry Visa Pathway

Since Nigeria is a member of the Commonwealth, you can apply for UK permanent residence if you have been in the UK for at least 5 years on a UK Ancestry visa.

The Long Residence Pathway

If you have legally lived in the UK for at least 10 years, you may be eligible to apply for permanent residence.

If you’re a Nigerian in the UK who meets the eligibility requirements, you can apply for permanent residence.

English Language Requirement

You must demonstrate that you can communicate properly in English when applying for indefinite leave to remain. You can show this by taking a secure English language test (SELT) for listening and speaking at a centre approved by the Home Office.

You must take this test with the following service providers:

  • IELTS SELT Consortium
  • Pearson
  • LanguageCert
  • Trinity College London

You pay £150 for the test, valid for 2 years.

You can be exempted from the English test if:

  • you have any research or academic degree taught mainly in the English language. If the degree was not acquired in the UK, you must submit it for verification at Academic Qualification Level Statement (AQUALS) from Ecctis. If you got your research or academic degree from a country where the primary language isn’t English, you must get an English Language Proficiency Statement (ELPS) from Ecctis as confirmation
  • you are above 65
  • have a mental impairment that can prevent you from performing well on the test.

Life in the UK Test

You must also show the Home Office that you are well-versed in daily British Life. This is done by taking and passing the “Life in the UK test”. It is a computer-based exam that tests your knowledge of British culture, law, history and politics.

It will cost you £50 to take the test. You can also take it multiple times if you do not meet the pass mark of 75%.

This test must also be taken at authorised test centres.

London street at night

Permanent Residence UK Proof of Funds

You must show proof of funds when applying for permanent residence with your family.

  • A family of two (just partners) must show they jointly have at least £18,600 for a year.
  • A family of three (two partners and a child) must show they jointly have at least £22,400 for a year.
  • The family is expected to have an extra £2,400 a year for every additional child.
Red buses on Westminster Bridge

Documentation Required for Permanent Residence Application

Below are the documents you need to present when applying for UK permanent residence:

  • Your ECOWAS passport
  • Your police clearance certificate
  • Your passport photographs
  • Your birth or adoption certificates, if applicable
  • Your marriage certificate, if applicable
  • Your immigration history
  • Your Life in the UK test result
  • Your English language test result
  • Your bank statement
  • Your current payslip
  • Your house rent or lease contract
  • Your tax letters
  • Your employment letters
  • Your registered business permit and address

If you are applying as a partner or parent of a UK citizen or permanent resident, you must also fill out Form Set (O). Others will have to fill out Form Set (M).

Our team of tenured lawyers know the most proficient way to apply for your UK permanent resident status.

How Can IAS Help?

The UK permanent residence application is a tedious and sometimes overwhelming process. But IAS can help you make sense of all you need to do.

At IAS, you can get expert guidance on your permanent residence application. We have a track record of helping many Nigerians scale through this process by assisting with the application. We are ready to help you as well.

Whether you’re looking for help with the permanent residence requirements, unsure of the documents to submit, or need general help regarding your eligibility, we can help.
We have a team of expert immigration lawyers at your beck and call.

For more information about the services we provide and how we can help, you can reach out to a member of our team. Call us on +23413438882 or +44 (0) 3316300929, or submit an enquiry online today.

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

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Frequently Asked Questions

Here is how to get permanent residency in the UK after study. First, you must use the post-study work visa, valid for 2 years. Within these 2 years, you can apply for a full-time job. You have to get a job and work for at least 5 years before you can apply for permanent residence.

You will lose your UK permanent residence if you continuously stay outside the UK for two years. If this happens, you must re-enter the UK with a different visa and re-apply for the permanent resident permit.

It takes at least 6 months for the Home Office to give a decision on your permanent residence application. The application fee for permanent residence is £2,389.

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