Once you have spent a certain period of time in the UK in certain categories (usually five years) you may be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK (also known as permanent residence or settlement). However, this very much depends on your immigration status as not all categories lead to settlement.
In addition, if you have spent 10 continuous years in the UK under any immigration category or combination of immigration categories you may be able to apply for settlement on the basis of long residency.
We are well placed to assist with settlement applications and to advise you on the process and the documents required. Once you have settlement or indefinite leave to remain you are no longer subject to immigration control and may work for any employer in the UK. Settlement is therefore usually highly sought after.
It is however possible to lose your indefinite leave to remain status. So if you are planning to leave the UK, especially for a period of more than two years, we recommend you seek advice on whether this will impact your indefinite leave to remain status.
Once you have obtained indefinite leave to remain you may wish to consider applying for naturalisation as a British citizen, the first step to obtaining a British passport. There are strict requirements which have to be met, particularly in relation to aspects such as good character (including past convictions) and residency requirements. The team has a wealth of experience in advising individuals in relation to submitting these applications and maximising the chance that the application will be successful.