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How to Apply for UK Permanent Residency in 2024 - Eligibility, Process & Requirements

Permanent residency, also known as 'Indefinite Leave to Remain' or settlement in the UK, allows non-British citizens to live, work and study in the UK indefinitely without any immigration restrictions. Obtaining permanent residency is a major milestone and offers several advantages over other types of UK visas. This comprehensive guide provides all the key details about eligibility criteria, application process, requirements and documents needed to successfully apply for permanent residency in the UK in 2024.

Who is Eligible to Apply for Permanent Residency in the UK?

To be eligible to apply for permanent residency in the UK, you must normally have lived in the UK for a continuous period of 5 years on a suitable visa. The main visa categories that allow you to accumulate residency include:

  • Skilled Worker Visa
  • Family Visa as Partner or Spouse
  • Investor or Business Visa

In addition, you must meet several other eligibility conditions related to your stay in the UK:

  • You should not have spent more than 180 days outside the UK in any 12 months during the 5 years
  • You must have been employed, self-employed, self-sufficient or a student during this time 
  • You need to demonstrate sufficient knowledge of English language and Life in the UK
  • You must be of good character and not have any serious criminal convictions
  • You need to meet the financial requirements and have adequate accommodation

The Home Office reviews each permanent residency application on a case-by-case basis. Meeting all the criteria does not guarantee approval.


Step-by-Step Process to Apply for UK Permanent Residency

Follow these key steps when preparing and submitting your UK permanent residency application:

1. Determine your Eligibility

Carefully go through all the eligibility conditions mentioned above to confirm you qualify. Calculate and document the number of days spent in the UK during the last 5 years.

2. Collect Documents & Proof  

Gather all the required documents to prove you meet the eligibility criteria. This includes passports, visas, payslips, bank statements, proof of accommodation, NHS contributions, Life in the UK test pass, English test score report and other evidence.

3. Complete the Application Form  

Fill out the permanent residency application form accurately. Form SET(O) covers your personal details, contact information, immigration history, eligibility conditions and declaration.

4. Pay the Fee

The standard permanent residency application fee is £2,389. You can pay online via credit/debit card or at a post office and get a receipt.

5. Attend Biometrics Appointment

You'll need to visit a UKVCAS service point to get your fingerprints and photo taken. This biometric information is required for your residence permit.

6. Submit the Application

Post the completed form, supporting documents, biometrics receipt and fee receipt to UK Visas and Immigration. Include a pre-paid return envelope.

7. Await Decision

It takes around 6 months for a decision. You may need to provide more details during this period. If approved, you'll get an endorsement in your passport.

8. Get Biometric Residence Permit

Once approved, you must collect your biometrics residence permit (BRP) within 10 days. This card proves your permanent residency status.


Key Requirements & Supporting Documents 

Your permanent residency application must include various supporting documents as proof that you meet all the eligibility requirements.

  • Passports: Copy of current and previous passports with UK visas and stamps 
  • Evidence of 5 years residence: Payslips, P60, bank statements, tenancy contracts, utility bills, NHS contributions
  • Life in the UK test: Pass notification letter
  • English language: IELTS, degree certificate or other proof
  • Work documents: Employment contract, payslips, letter from employer
  • Finances: Bank statements, investment portfolio
  • Accommodation: Tenancy agreement, land registry docs, council tax
  • Good character: Police certificate from all countries lived in

Having all the required documents and evidence organised in advance will help support your permanent residency claim and avoid any delays.


Benefits of Permanent Residency in the UK

Gaining permanent residency in the UK offers several advantages if you intend to continue living in the country long term:

  • You can stay in the UK indefinitely without needing to extend visas
  • No restrictions on your right to work or study in the UK  
  • You can access public services and funds like social security and healthcare
  • After 12 months of permanent residency, you become eligible for British Citizenship
  • Your close family members can join you in the UK
  • You gain protection under EU laws on free movement while the UK remains bound to them
  • You will have an overall easier time with day-to-day life admin living in the UK

Permanent residency provides a path to full British citizenship. But it also removes the stress of maintaining continuous immigration leave and gives peace of mind if you wish to make the UK your forever home.

Planning your application for UK permanent residency well in advance and ensuring you meet all the eligibility criteria is key to being successful. This will give you the right to permanently live and work in the UK going forward.

Read these FAQs

How can I get PR in United Kingdom?

You must have continuously resided in the UK for at least 5 years.

Do Indians get PR in UK?

After you complete five continuous years of employment in the country, you become eligible for a PR.

What is benefit of UK PR?

It gives the right to study, work and live in the UK for an unlimited period of time.

Can I move to the UK with no job?

One of the easiest ways to move to the UK without a job is to study in the country.

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