Persons on a Tier 2 sportsperson visa who have remained on that visa route and have lived in the UK for over 5 years may be eligible for settlement under the same route
As a general rule, you will normally be eligible for an indefinite leave to remain in the United Kingdom after remaining in the country on one visa route for 5 years. A combination of routes would lead to settlement in 10 years. Note also, that the 10 years route would only be applicable where there was a continuous and legal residence.
Continuous and legal residence refers to periods of breach of immigration rules. In more simple terms, within that 10 year period you must have always had a valid leave to remain. This is why we mostly advice our clients to never overstay their visa. There is a 28 day period you can take advantage of as well as the 2C and 3C leave. These are there for you not to become an overstayer. Once you have overstayed your visa, chances are that subsequent visa application will almost be automatically rejected
2C and 3C leave mentioned above refers to the process of lodging an application before or at the expiration of your current leave, the application allows you to continue to remain in the UK on the terms of your last leave while the current visa is in process. A practical example is where you have stayed in the UK for 5 years as a student, probably studying something related to sports. Let’s say you have now gotten a job and now making a Tier 2 application, even though your Tier 4 may have expired at the time of your Tier 2 application, the terms and conditions of your Tier 4 will continue to be in place until your new Tier 2 visa is approved.
Given the example above, periods of stay under the Tier 4 visa will not count towards Indefinite Leave to remain as a Tier 2 Sportsperson. This is because ILR in this circumstance is based on you living in the UK for a period of 5 years under the same visa category.
However, if for some reason you do not complete 5 years under this route (on a continuous residence basis), you will then need to wait to complete 10 years (lawful) residence in the UK to be eligible for ILR