Indefinite leave to remain (aka settled status) gives the respective applicant the right to live and work in the United Kingdom on a permanent basis.
Under the Tier 1 Entrepreneur scheme, the applicant is typically required to have spent five years residing in the United Kingdom, prior to applying for indefinite leave to remain. However, it’s possible for the process to be fast-tracked if the applicant meets other requirements outlined by the Home Office.
By consulting with an expert immigration lawyer before submitting your application, you’ll benefit from a better understanding of your current position and your rights.
Also referred to as permanent residence, indefinite leave to remain grants an individual the right to settle permanently in the United Kingdom, with no specific immigration and movement restrictions. Indefinite leave to remain is only granted upon the applicant meeting a variety of strict criteria as determined by the Home Office.
The Qualifying Period for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Indefinite Leave to Remain
Under the Tier 1 Entrepreneur scheme, the applicant must satisfy minimum length-of-stay requirements to be considered for indefinite leave to remain. Key criteria are as follows:
- Most individuals in the United Kingdom under the Tier 1 Entrepreneur scheme can apply for permanent residence after residing in the UK for five continuous years.
- In all instances, only the five consecutive years leading up to the date of the application will be considered by the Home Office.
- It is strongly recommended that the applicant does not exit the United Kingdom for more than 90 days in total during the year running up to their application.
- Any departures from the United Kingdom lasting more than 180 days during any year could disqualify the applicant.
- Exceptions apply in instances where the time spent outside the United Kingdom is necessary and related directly to the applicant’s UK business activities.
Qualification for ILR – Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Settlement
Along with spending a certain amount of time in the United Kingdom, there are additional requirements that must be met to be granted indefinite leave to remain. The most important examples of which are as follows:
- The entrepreneur should have invested no less than £200,000 in one or more UK businesses.
- They have formally registered as a self-employed worker with HMRC, or have registered as director of a new or existing business with Companies House no later than three months prior to their ILR application.
- Full-time jobs must have been created for at least two settled persons in the United Kingdom for a minimum of one year each.
- The applicant has resided legally in the United Kingdom for the minimum time required, which doesn’t include time spent in formal detention of any kind.
Only upon meeting these criteria will most applications for ILR be considered.
Accelerated Settlement – 3 years
There are instances where an entrepreneur may be eligible for accelerated settlement, allowing them to apply for indefinite leave to remain after just three years. Criteria that must be fulfilled are as follows:
- The creation of a minimum of 10 full-time jobs for settled UK persons.
- Annual company turnover of at least £5 million during the three-year period.
Evidence of the creation of 10 or more full-time jobs can be submitted in the form of employment contracts, pay slips and other formal documentation.
Documents Required for Settlement
Applicants must provide sufficient supporting documentation in order to be granted settled status, including but not necessarily limited to the following:
- Evidence of having met all applicable financial/investment requirements.
- Evidence of registration as a business director or self-employed worker.
- Evidence of the creation of a minimum of two full-time jobs for one year.
Documents Required for Accelerated Settlement
Additional evidence is required for applicants seeking accelerated settlement, including but not limited to the following:
- Evidence of the creation of at least 10 full-time jobs
- Formal financial documentation demonstrating total annual business turnover of at least £5 million.
- Financial records and accountancy documents bearing the name of a recognised and registered accountant, completed and endorsed in accordance with statutory requirements.
- Where the applicant has taken over an existing business, a registered accountant’s letter must be provided to indicate the net increase in business activity.
Most applications for indefinite leave to remain under the Tier 1 Entrepreneur scheme involve additional requirements such as:
- Successful completion of the Knowledge of Life in the UK test.
- Evidence of English language skills to a specified level, which in most instances will have already been provided as part of the initial Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa application process.
- Criminal background checks and evidence of no unspent convictions in the United Kingdom.
Please note that when indefinite leave to remain is granted, it is possible to apply for full British citizenship after one year.
Conditions for Stay – ILR
One of the most important requirements when applying for indefinite leave to remain is the length of unbroken time the applicant has resided in the United Kingdom. While there are allowances and exceptions, it is generally advisable to avoid spending extended periods outside the UK during your initial period of leave. If there is any evidence to suggest that the UK is not or will not continue to be your primary place of residence, your application for indefinite leave to remain may be rejected.
Tier 1 Entrepreneur IRL Specialists in Luton
As experienced business immigration lawyers, we understand the complexities of Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa applications better than most. We also know how to provide the complete and compelling evidence needed to support an application for indefinite leave to remain. Aristone Solicitors would be delighted to provide you with an obligation-free consultation, during which we’ll discuss your eligibility for settled status and decide on an appropriate course of action. Contact a member of our legal team today to discuss your case in more details.