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Tier 2 / Skilled Worker Visa to ILR Requirements and Guidance

As a Tier 2 or Skilled Worker visa holder, you may be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) after you have lived in the UK for 5 continuous years.

The earliest you can apply for ILR from a Tier 2 visa or a Skilled Worker visa is 28 days before you reach the 5-year qualifying period. It is important to apply for ILR before your Skilled Worker visa expires.

It is possible to combine time in the UK on other visa types to meet the 5 year ILR qualifying period, including the following:

Those with ILR are no longer subject to immigration control and are free to work, run a business, study, use public healthcare and schooling, and apply for public funds. And after 12 months, ILR holders can apply for British citizenship and then secure a British passport.

Tier 2 / Skilled Worker visa to ILR requirements

As a current Skilled Worker visa holder, to qualify for ILR, you will need to meet certain eligibility requirements. The Tier 2 to ILR requirements are as follows:

  • Have spent 5 or more continuous years in the UK
  • Meet the salary requirements: £25,600 per annum or £10.10 per hour
  • Meet the English language requirements
  • Have passed the Life in the UK test
  • Still be employed in your sponsored role

5 years continuous residence period

You will need to show that you have spent 5 or more continuous years in the UK on one or more of the above visas. According to the rules for ILR eligibility for Tier 2 general visas and Skilled Worker visa, ‘continuous residence’ means that you must not have been outside of the UK for 180 days in any year.

Meet the salary requirements

The Home Office will ask for evidence that you are still being paid a salary of £25,600 per annum, £10.10 per hour, or the ‘going rate’ for your occupation. In some cases, your salary may be lower to qualify for ILR (no lower than £20,480) if:

  • You have a job on the Home Office’s shortage occupation list or,
  • You are sponsored for a job that was (but is no longer) on one of the above Home Office lists when you applied for your Skilled Worker or Tier 2 (General) visa (jobs are being added and removed from these lists on a regular basis).

The Tier 2 ILR guidance states that holders of an International Sportsperson, T2 Sportsperson, or Tier 2 (Sportsperson) visa must have a salary of at least £35,800 a year to qualify for Tier 2 leave to remain ILR.

Meet the English language requirements

ILR applicants must show that they have an English language qualification at CEFR B1, B2, C1, or C2 level or have a degree that was taught or researched in English. You will not need to meet this requirement if you are over 65 years, have a long-term physical or mental condition, or if you are from a qualifying English-speaking country1.

How to apply for ILR from Tier 2 / Skilled Worker visa

To apply for ILR as a Tier 2 visa or Skilled Worker visa holder, you will need to complete the following steps:

  1. Complete and submit the Tier 2 ILR application form2 - note you can add your partner and children to your application if they’re eligible (see below)
  2. Pay the required application fee (£2,404 per person)
  3. Upload any documents required by the Home Office (the Home Office will tell you which documents to provide) – including evidence that you are still employed (e.g. letter from your employer), how much you are being paid (e.g. recent payslips), and pass certificates for your English language and Life in the UK tests.
  4. Book and attend an appointment at a UKVCAS service point to have your photo taken and fingerprints scanned (your biometrics)

ILR applicants should remain in the UK until they receive a decision from the Home Office.

In most cases, ILR applications can take up to 6 months. If you would like a faster decision, you may be able to pay an extra £500 for a decision within 5 working days (priority service) or £800 for a decision within 1 working day (super priority service).

Can Tier 2 / Skilled Worker dependants apply for ILR?

As a Tier 2 or Skilled Worker visa holder with dependant family members in the UK, your partner and children will also be able to apply for ILR if they have also been in the UK for 5 or more continuous years. Your dependant partner must:

  • Be in the UK as your partner on a dependant visa
  • Have lived in the UK with you as your dependant for 5 or more continuous years
  • Be in a genuine relationship with you

In addition, you will need to show that you intend to remain living together, you have sufficient income to support yourselves and your dependants, and you do not rely on public funds.

Your dependant child must:

  • Be in the UK as your dependant
  • Not be married
  • Live with you (unless at university or boarding school)
  • Not rely on public funds

In addition, you and your child’s other parent must both be applying to settle or already be settled.

How can Reiss Edwards help?

Reiss Edwards specialises in all aspects of indefinite leave to remain applications. Our immigration lawyers can:

  • Verify if you can move from Tier 2 to ILR or a Skilled Worker visa to ILR and when you can apply
  • Explain the ILR requirements for Tier 2
  • Complete the ILR application process on your behalf and that of your dependants
  • Deal with a refusal of your ILR application on your behalf
  • Advise on gaining citizenship once you have ILR


References

1 GOV.UK: English language exemptions

2 GOV.UK: Online application form for Tier 2 to ILR

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O.L

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Kiran Sardar

"I found Joe very helpful and tremendous patience which is a must in this profes...

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Cheyam Shaked

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