Personal Immigration
Business Immigration

What Is the Quickest Way to Settle in the UK?

Often people want to come to the UK to settle in the UK, without a specific idea as to what they want to do when they are here.  In fact, our clients regularly ask us, what is the quickest way to settle in the UK? This article will outline some of the quickest routes to settlement or indefinite leave to remain (ILR) for those looking to come to the UK, as well as for those already in the UK.

Settlement Routes for Persons Entering the UK

Settle in the UK after 2 Years

The quickest route to Indefinite Leave to Remain is the Accelerated Settlement route in the Tier 1 Investor category. This has an option for settlement after just two years, for those who have invested and maintained an investment of at least £10 million in the UK.

The Tier 1 Investor route is now closed to new applicants.  However, individuals who already have entry clearance or leave to enter or remain as a Tier 1 Investor Migrant may apply to extend their stay or for indefinite leave to remain.  Applications for further leave to remain as a Tier 1 Investor can be made until 17 February 2026.  Applications for indefinite leave to remain as a Tier 1 Investor, including via the Accelerated Settlement route, can be made until 17 February 2028.  Dependents of Investors are not eligible for accelerated settlement.

Settle in the UK after 3 Years

There are several options for settlement in the UK after three years. These include:

An Investor who wishes to settle after three years, will need to invest and maintain an investment of at least £5 million in the UK.  As mentioned above, the Tier 1 Investor route is now closed to new applicants.  However, existing Tier 1 Investor visa holders can apply for indefinite leave to remain as a Tier 1 Investor, including via the Accelerated Settlement route, until 17 February 2028. Dependents of Investors are not eligible for accelerated settlement.

An Entrepreneur wishing to settle after three years would need to show that their investment and experience has created at least 10 jobs in the UK for the settled population, or alternatively show that there has been a turnover in their business of at least £5 million. This is a net increase in jobs or turnover for those who have joined existing companies.  The Tier 1 Entrepreneur route is now closed to new applicants.  However, if you currently hold a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa, you can apply to settle in the UK as a Tier 1 Entrepreneur, including via the accelerated route, until 5 April 2025.  Dependents of Entrepreneurs are not eligible for accelerated settlement.

Global Talent visa holders who continue to satisfy the requirements for an extension of stay are eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain after spending a continuous period of three years in the UK if:

  • They were endorsed by the Royal Society, British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering or UKRI; or
  • They were endorsed under the exceptional talent criteria by Arts Council England or Tech Nation; or
  • Their initial application was granted using a prize listed in Appendix Global Talent: Prestigious Prizes.

Finally, Innovator visa holders who have been endorsed by an approved UK endorsing body and can demonstrate at least two business achievements in accordance with the Immigration Rules can qualify for indefinite leave to remain in the UK after spending a continuous period of three years in the UK.

Settle in the UK after 5 Years

The categories that have a five year route to settlement include:

Settlement Routes for Persons Already in the UK

Those already in the UK may have a quicker route to settlement by combining different categories of leave together, rather than starting a new period of leave. In some categories, it is possible to rely on different periods of time in different categories to make up the relevant period for settlement.

Time spent in the UK as a Skilled Worker can be combined with time spent in the following routes in order to meet the 5 year qualifying period for settlement or ILR on the Skilled Worker route: Skilled Worker, Global talent, Innovator, T2 Minister of Religion, International Sportsperson, Representative of an Overseas Business, Tier 1 Migrant (other than as a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Migrant), Scale-up or permission on any other route, during the time the applicant was waiting for a decision on their application as a Skilled Worker, providing that application was for permission to stay, was made between 24 January 2020 and 30 June 2021 (inclusive), was supported on the date of application by a Certificate of Sponsorship assigned by a licensed sponsor and was granted.

Time spent in the UK as a Global Talent migrant can be combined with time spent in the following categories in order to meet the 3 or 5 year qualifying period for settlement or ILR on the Global Talent route: Global Talent, Innovator, Skilled Worker, T2 Minister of Religion, T2 Sportsperson, Tier 1 (excluding Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur)) or Scale-up.

Time spent in the UK as a Scale-up visa holder can be combined with time spent in the following routes in order to meet the 5 year qualifying period for settlement or ILR on the Scale-up route: Scale-up, Skilled Worker, Global Talent, Innovator, T2 Minister of Religion, International Sportsperson, Representative of an Overseas Business or as a Tier 1 Migrant, other than Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur);

Time spent in the UK as an International Sportsperson can be combined with time spent in the following categories in order to meet the 5 year qualifying period for settlement or ILR on the International Sportsperson route: International Sportsperson, Skilled Worker, Global Talent, Innovator, T2 Minister of Religion, Representative of an Overseas Business, Tier 1 (other than Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) routes or permission on any other route, during the time the applicant was waiting for a decision on their application as an International Sportsperson, providing that application was for permission to stay, was made between 24 January 2020 and 30 June 2021, was supported on the date of application by a Certificate of Sponsorship assigned by a licensed sponsor and was granted.

Time spent in the UK as a T2 Minister of Religion can be combined with time spent in the following routes in order to meet the 5 year qualifying period for settlement or ILR on the T2 Minister of Religion route: T2 Minister of Religion, International Sportsperson; Skilled Worker; Tier 1 Migrant, other than as a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur); Representative of an Overseas Business; Innovator or Global Talent.

In the following routes it is not possible to combine time spent in one route with time spent in another route in order to reach the appropriate 2, 3 or 5 year qualifying period and instead the entire qualifying period must be spent in the route in order to qualify for settlement in the UK:

This means, for example, that an Innovator who switches into the Skilled Worker route does not need to start their five year period again. However someone switching the other way, from Skilled Worker to Innovator would need to start a new 3 year period, unless they then switch back into the Skilled Worker category before applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain on the basis of 5 years continuous residence.

Hong Kong BN(O) visa holders must spend a continuous period of 5 years with permission in the UK on a route under which a person can settle, of which the most recent grant of permission must have been on the Hong Kong BN(O) route.

Settlement on the Basis of Long Residence

The most frequent way in which different categories of leave are combined to reach settlement is through the Long Residence route. This is the longest time period that it will take to get to settlement at 10 years, but it does let the applicant combine periods of leave in all categories, including categories which don’t lead to settlement such as Student, Visitor, and those who are exempt from immigration control. This means, for example, that someone who has spent six years as a Student, who then switches into the Skilled Worker category, will be able to settle quicker on the Long Residence route, than by waiting to complete five years in the Skilled Worker Category.

British Citizenship

For those who seek to apply to Naturalise as British Citizens, the period required will depend on the method of obtaining settlement. The minimum time period is a period of five years in the UK and the last year must be spent free from immigration time restrictions. This means that in practice those who settle after two or three years, are eligible to apply after five years, and those who settle after five years are eligible to apply after six years.

The only exception to this is where the applicant is married to a British Citizen, in which case it is possible to apply to naturalise after three years and immediately on obtaining Indefinite Leave to Remain. For those who enter in the Spouse visa category, this in practice means a period of 5 years.

Contact our Settlement Immigration Lawyers

For expert advice about the quickest way to settle in the UK, contact our immigration barristers on 0203 617 9173 or via our enquiry form below.

SEE HOW OUR IMMIGRATION BARRISTERS CAN HELP YOU

To arrange an initial consultation meeting, call our immigration barristers on 0203 617 9173 or fill out the form below.




    Attach a file if it supports your enquiry. Only .doc or .pdf files.

    open
    close

    Expert advice & representation from immigration barristers that you can rely on.

    Google+ - Five Stars

    Read the 475+ five out of five star Google reviews of our immigration barristers.

    More
    AWARDS