01 March 2006

Rules on indefinite leave to remain

Last week, the Home Office announced that, with effect from 3 April 2006, work permit holders must complete at least five years of continuous ‘work permit employment’ to be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK (permanent residence).

Under current rules, work permit holders may apply for indefinite leave to remain after only four years of continuous work permit employment.  So, any permit holder who has completed four years’ work permit employment, and who wishes to apply for indefinite leave to remain, should do so before 3 April 2006, or they will have to wait an additional year.  

Work permit holders who accumulate four years after 3 April 2006, and who do not already have a five year work permit, will need to obtain an extension of their existing work permit in order to complete five years before they apply.

Applicants can apply for indefinite leave to remain in person, at the Public Enquiry Office at the Home Office, or by post. They may apply up to 28 days before they become eligible for indefinite leave to remain. 

The change also affects other business and employment-related immigration categories, including the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP), Innovators, UK Ancestry Applicants and Investors. The initial grant of stay for the HSMP, Innovator and UK Ancestry categories will change to an initial period of two years, followed by an extension of up to a further three years.

Category: Article