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Switching visas and settlement - Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)

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  • IMPORTANT PLEASE READ Switching visas and settlement - Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)

    Please note that, although it may often be possible to switch from one visa to another, for example, from skilled worker to a family visa if you get married to a British citizen or someone who is eligible to sponsor you as a spouse or civil partner, this may mean losing the ability to apply for ILR in 5 years.

    If you are on a visa that leads to settlement, such as the skilled worker (formerly Tier 2) visa, spousal visa, etc. you are usually able to apply for ILR in 5 years, however, in order to do this, you need to make sure you satisfy the criteria for settlement under that visa, and remain on the same visa for the full 5 years.

    If you switch visas, you may well need to wait 10 years for settlement (ILR) rather than 5, as you can also apply for ILR after having spent 10 years living lawfully in the UK under a combination of visas.

    If, say, you switched from skilled worker to spouse visa, you'd likely need to follow the 10-year route, while remaining under the skilled worker visa for 5 years would mean being able to apply for ILR in just 5 years.

    You should only consider switching if you no longer meet the criteria for your visa.

    If in doubt, you should seek legal advice from an authorised lawyer before deciding to switch over to another visa.
    Last edited by ClaudLatina; 28-09-2021, 10:42 AM. Reason: updated 28 09 2021

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