Many people around the world have been looking for information on how to move to London and become a permanent resident. However, the UK immigration regulations can be complex and sometimes confusing when it comes to moving to London and becoming a permanent Londoner. Additionally, these rules keep on changing and therefore the information can quickly become outdated and inapplicable. It is therefore important to constantly seek the current UK immigration information from credible sources such as the official UK government website and others like us. Here, you are sure to get the latest and most credible tips on how to move to London and permanently live in the city of London.

Expats from European Economic Area

For expats from the European Economic Area (EEA), you can move to London and become a resident permanently after staying in the UK for five years. Expats from outside the EEA can apply for Indefinite Leave to Enter or Remain (ILE or ILR) in the UK. This means that you can enter or leave the country without being subject to immigration controls governing entry and exit. Being granted ILR means that you have been given the “settled status” in the country and you can live in London with worrying about immigration issues. The time needed to elapse before you can apply for permanent residency depends on the type of visa held and the residency status. This ranges from two to six years. For example, a person on a tire 1 or 2 visa will need to have been residents in the UK for five years before applying for permanent residency.

Although it is good and important to be in a foreign country legally, the Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights allows an illegal migrant to apply for permanent residency status on the grounds to his/her right to a private life. However, for you to apply for this having been in the UK illegally, you need to have stayed in the country for between 17 and 30 years depending on your age and years spent in the country.

In order to become a permanent resident in London or UK, you need to take and pass “Life in the UK” test. This is for all those relocating to London with exception of those who were in Highly Skilled Migrant Programme.

Application Process to Become Permanent Resident in London UK

Once your time of residence in the UK has elapsed and qualified to apply for ILE status, you can start the process by making an application to the Home Office Public Enquiry Office. The forms for this can be downloaded from the official government website using a step by step guide. The most downloaded forms are those for expats on work visas and those for dependents.

The climax of moving to and becoming a permanent resident in London is by becoming a fully-fledged citizen in the UK (becoming a British Citizen by naturalization). After 12 months with ILE status, you can apply for British citizenship.

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By BLOG | 31 Dec 2022 | London Tips & Culture