UK Residency

Foreign nationals will be able to live, work and study in the UK for an indefinite period through obtaining permanent residency in the country.

If you are a Pakistani national looking for more information and/or immigration advice regarding the various pathways to settle in the UK, the eligibility requirements you must meet, and the application process, dial +44 (0)333 305 9375 today to speak with our legal team.

    Request a call back from our immigration experts

    Residency in the UK

    A permanent residence (PR) in the UK is known as indefinite leave to remain (ILR) in immigration terms, and also often referred to as ‘settlement’. Foreign nationals holding ILR status in the UK can live, work and study in the country for an indefinite period, without the need to renew their visa or obtain a new visa. They can also apply for social benefits in the UK provided they are eligible for the same apply for benefits.

    Depending on your immigration circumstances, there are various routes to obtain indefinite leave to remain. It also paves the way to British citizenship eventually, provided you meet the other relevant conditions and requirements.

    Apart from ILR, there are certain other ways for foreign nationals to settle permanently in the UK, such as the EU Settlement Scheme, right of abode in the UK, UK Ancestry visa route etc. We have discussed all these options in this article.

    EXCELLENT
    Immigration Advice Service 4.7 rating 414 reviews
    Reviews.io Logo

    Residency in the UK Through the Family Reunion Route

    Pakistani nationals can apply for permanent residence in the UK if their spouse/partner, parent(s) or child are British citizens or hold the ILR status in the country. The eligibility requirements and application process will vary depending on the UK visa type you currently hold as well as how your family member is settled in the UK.

    Widowed spouses/partners of British citizens, EEA citizens with pre-settled status in the UK or persons with ILR in the country are also eligible to apply for settlement.

    Moreover, if your relationship with your spouse/partner has ended because of domestic violence, you will be eligible to apply for ILR in the UK, provided your ex-spouse/partner is:

    • A British citizen
    • Settled in the country, even if as a refugee
    • Someone who has served in the UK armed forces for at least four years

    Residency Via a UK Work Visa

    Pakistani nationals living and working in the UK for a specified period (depending on their work visa types) may be eligible to apply for ILR. The eligibility requirements and application process will vary depending on the work visas they currently hold.

    For example, tier 1 visa holders can apply for ILR after two to three years, while other work visa holders typically have to wait for five years. The salary or financial requirements will also vary depending on the type of visa.

    Please note that, however, work visas under the Global Business Mobility route will not qualify for ILR.

    Residency in the UK Via Business or Talent

    Foreign entrepreneurs and people with exceptional talent can also apply for ILR in the UK, provided they meet all other eligibility requirements for settlement in the country. So, a Pakistani national holding any of the following UK visas may be eligible to apply for permanent residence:

    • Global Talent visa
    • Innovator Founder visa
    • Tier 1 (Investor) visa
    • Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa

    The Global Talent visa and the Innovator Founder visa have replaced the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa and the Innovator visa, respectively. However, if you hold a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa or an Innovator visa, you will still be able to apply for ILR in the UK if you meet the requirements.

    Similarly, although acceptance of new applications have been stopped for a Tier 1 (Investor) visa and a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa, foreign nationals already living in the UK on either of these visas can apply for permanent residence in the UK.

    Residency Through the UK Ancestry Visa

    Pakistani nationals may apply for a UK Ancestry visa if they can prove that:

    • One of their grandparents was born in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man
    • Are over 17 years of age
    • Have sufficient financial means to support themselves and their dependents without access public funds
    • Are eligible to work in the UK and planning to do so

    UK Ancestry visa holders can apply for ILR after living in the country for five years.

    Our team of legal experts can help you obtain a UK residency. Contact Us

      Request a call back from our immigration experts

      Residency Through the EU Settlement Scheme in the UK

      EEA and Swiss nationals and their eligible family members may be able to apply through the EU Settlement Scheme for settlement in the UK.

      Although the deadline for applying to the EU Settlement Scheme was 30 June 2021, it will not be applicable in case :

      • You already have pre-settled status in the UK and are now applying for settled status, or
      • You or your EEA/Swiss family member were living in the UK by 31 December 2020, and you meet the criteria for a late application deadline or have ‘reasonable grounds’ for applying after the deadline

      So, if you are a Pakistani national married to an EEA or Swiss citizen and meet either of the above conditions, you may be able to apply for permanent residence through the EU Settlement Scheme. You may also be eligible if you are a family member of an eligible person from Northern Ireland.

      Other Ways to Apply for a UK Residency

      Foreign nationals meeting any of the following criteria may be able to apply for ILR:

      • They hold a refugee status in the UK, or have humanitarian protection or Discretionary Leave
      • They have previously had ILR in the UK, and are now returning to the country
      • They have served in the UK armed forces
      • They have rightfully lived in the UK for at least 10 continuous years (also known as ‘long residence’)
      • They have a UK visa on the basis of their private life
      • They were born in the UK and have lived in the country continuously up to the age of at least seven years

      All these pathways mentioned above come with their respective eligibility requirements, which applicants must meet to apply for ILR.

      Right of Abode in the UK

      Since Pakistan is a Commonwealth country, you as a Pakistani citizen may apply for the right of abode, i.e. to live in the UK without any immigration restrictions, if:

      • One of your parents was born in the UK, and was a citizen of the UK and colonies when you were born or adopted
      • You were a Commonwealth citizen on 31 December 1982, and did not stop being so after that date

      Likewise, if you are a female Commonwealth citizen, who has been married to someone with right of abode in the UK before 1 January 1983 and has not stopped being a Commonwealth citizen after 31 December 1982, you may apply for the right of abode.

      Windrush Scheme

      Foreign nationals who are otherwise settled in the UK but do not have a legal document to prove it, may be eligible to apply to what is known as the ‘Windrush Scheme’, if they meet any of the following criteria:

      • They or their parents came to the UK from a Commonwealth country before 1973
      • They came to the UK from any country before 31 December 1988 and are now settled here

      If their application is successful, they will receive a document to prove that they are allowed to live and work in the UK.

      Speak to our legal team today. They can help with any matter. Contact Us

        Request a call back from our immigration experts

        Eligibility Requirements for Residency in the UK

        Overview

        The eligibility requirements a foreign national must meet to be able to apply for permanent residence in the UK will vary depending on their current UK visa type. Broadly speaking, there are three main categories of ILR eligibility criteria, which are:

        • Time spent in the UK
        • Financial requirements
        • Knowledge of language and life in the UK

        Time Spent in the UK

        Foreign nationals will have to live in the UK for a specified time period on an eligible visa to be able to apply for ILR. The required period of time will vary depending on their current UK visa type. For example:

        • Five years for Tier 2, T2, International Sportsperson or Skilled Worker visa, Scale-up Worker visa
        • Three to five years for Global Talent visa
        • Three to five years for Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa
        • Two to five years for Tier 1 (Investor) visa
        • Three years for Innovator Founder visa
        • Five years if you are a representative of an overseas business
        • For spouses/partners and parents on family visa, two to 10 years depending on their family visa route
        • Five years for spouses/partners living as dependents on their partners’ work visa etc.

        Financial Requirements

        Financial requirements you must meet to be eligible to apply for permanent residence in the UK also vary depending on your current visa type. For example, if you are in the UK on an eligible work visa, you will need to meet the minimum salary threshold as specified by the Home Office for your visa type to be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain.

        On the other hand, if you are on an Innovator Founder visa, you must have a new endorsement demonstrating that you have met the requirements for growing your business in the UK.

        For spouses/partners holding family visas, the minimum income requirement must be met, while spouses/partners living as dependents on their partners’ work visa must have enough income as a family to support themselves and their dependents, and must not be using public funds.

        Knowledge of English Language and Life in the UK

        It is mandatory to pass the Life in the UK Test to be eligible to apply for settlement in the UK. You will not be required to take the test only if you belong to any of the following categories:

        • You are under 18 or over 65
        • You have a long-term physical or mental condition

        In addition, you will also have to prove that you meet the English language requirements, by either having an English qualification at CEFR B1, B2, C1 or C2 levels, or holding a degree taught or researched in English language. You are exempted if you:

        • Are 65 or over
        • Have already proved so while applying for your current UK visa, as is the case for Skilled Worker visa holders for example
        • Have a long-term physical or mental condition
        • Are a citizen of certain countries, e.g. Australia, the US, Canada etc.
        • Are applying on the basis of your private life
        • Have been a victim of domestic violence by your spouse/partner, who is either a British citizen or a person settled in the UK
        • A widowed spouse/partner of a British citizen, an EEA citizen with pre-settled status in the UK or a person with ILR
        • A person living in the UK as a refugee, with discretionary leave, or with humanitarian protection
        • Have permission to stay in the UK as a retired person of independent means
        • Are a Commonwealth citizen on discharge from HM Forces, e.g. Gurkhas
        • Have been in exceptional circumstances, e.g. as an orphaned child or over-age dependent relative of a British citizen or a person settled in the UK

        How to Apply for Residency in the UK

        Similar to all UK visa applications, applying for permanent residence in the UK is also an online process. Please visit the Home Office site to complete the online application form, which will vary depending on the ILR route you have chosen.

        You cannot apply more than 28 days before you complete your qualifying period for ILR. You will be able to include your partner and children in your application if they are staying in the UK as your dependents. Your ILR application will also include an application for a biometric residence permit (BRP) and biometric immigration document.

        Once you have completed the online form, please submit the same along with scanned copies of required documents and pay the required processing fees. Next, please book an appointment at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) office for providing your biometric details.

        Residency Application Processing Time and Fees in the UK

        Typically, an ILR application takes up to six months for processing. However, the waiting time may increase depending on your circumstances. You may, however, avail the priority service for getting a decision in five working days by paying an additional fee of £500, or the super priority service to receive a decision within one working day for an additional fee of £1000.

        The ILR application fee is currently £2,885 per applicant. However, you will not be required to pay the immigration healthcare surcharge.

        Contact our expert immigration lawyers for a UK residency. Contact Us

          Request a call back from our immigration experts

          Become a British Citizen

          ILR holders and people with settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme are usually able to apply for British citizenship after living in the UK for 12 months. You may also be able to apply for British citizenship if you qualify for the Windrush Scheme.

          Other scenarios where foreign nationals may be eligible to apply for British citizenship include where:

          • They have a British parent, or a parent with British overseas territories citizenship
          • They possess another type of British nationality
          • They classify as a ‘stateless person’
          • They renounced their British citizenship previously etc.

          How Total Law Can Help

          Obtaining indefinite leave to remain in the UK is a straightforward process, but involves a considerable time commitment and several requirements that you must meet. The criteria also vary depending on your current UK visa as well as your personal circumstances.

          Our team of sympathetic immigration lawyers at Total Law have the required expertise, experience, and legal knowledge to assist you, even if your case is complicated. If you are seeking overall advice with your ILR application, or would like an immigration expert to complete your application on your behalf, we are here to help.

          Get in touch with our expert immigration advisers today on +44 (0)333 305 9375, to receive bespoke advice or discuss how we can help you.

          Advice Package icon

          Advice Package

          Comprehensive immigration advice tailored to your circumstances and goals.

          Application Package icon

          Application Package

          Designed to make your visa application as smooth and stress-free as possible.

          Fast Track Package icon

          Fast Track Package

          Premium application service that ensures your visa application is submitted to meet your deadline.

          Appeal Package icon

          Appeal Package

          Ensure you have the greatest chance of a successful appeal. We will represent you in any case.

          Advice Package image

          The Advice Package

          During this untimed Advice Session with our professional immigration lawyers in London, you will receive our comprehensive advice, completely tailored to your needs and your situation.

            Request a call back from our immigration experts

            Request the Advice Package
            Application Package image

            The Application Package

            With our Application Package, your dedicated immigration lawyer will advise you on your application process and eligibility. Your caseworker will then complete and submit your forms to the Home Office on your behalf.

              Request a call back from our immigration experts

              Request the Application Package
              Fast Track Package image

              The Fast Track Package

              Our Fast-Track Application Package is a premium service for those who need to submit their application in time with their deadlines. Your case will become a top priority for our lawyers and you will benefit from our highest-quality services.

                Request a call back from our immigration experts

                Request the Fast Track Package
                Appeal Package image

                The Appeal Package

                By choosing our Appeal Package, you can rely on our lawyers’ legal knowledge and experience to ensure you have the highest chance of a successful appeal. We will also fully represent you in any hearings/tribunals.

                  Request a call back from our immigration experts

                  Request the Appeal Package

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

                    Request a call back from our immigration experts

                    Related pages for your continued reading.

                    Frequently Asked Questions

                    No, buying a property in the UK does not qualify for an ILR application, unlike certain European countries where investment in real estate is a viable route to obtain a temporary residence permit.

                    No, Time spent on a Student visa in the UK does not qualify towards ILR or British citizenship applications.