The United Kingdom sees a rise in international students every year. This is due, in part, to the dozen or so universities that are consistently ranked among the top 100 in the world. The democracy and room for multiple cultures set a conducive environment for learning. It’s a thing of beauty to have studied in the UK yet failing to get the environment within the UK to put your knowledge to good use can be haunting. As a student, it’s always been a dream to remain in the UK. And this raises the question of how you can secure the UK indefinite leave to remain (ILR) status after your studies.
Are you a student looking for a way to pin down an indefinite leave to remain, or do you want to make a shift after years of living on other types of Visas? This guide will discuss the legally possible way of this conversion and how you can secure the ILR from a spousal UK Visa. Read on to discover more.
Getting enrolled in a UK university
There’s no sugar-coating it – getting enrolled at a UK university can be pretty daunting. But luckily, there are some great ways to make it a bit easier on yourself. One way is to start by finding a university that specializes in what you’re interested in. That way, you can be sure that you’re getting the best education possible.
And once you’re enrolled, don’t forget to take advantage of all the great resources the UK offers – from its world-class libraries to its experienced professors. With a little effort, you’ll be well on your way to getting your ILR in no time.
Obtaining the student visa (tier 4)
After securing a studentship, the next important part is getting student Visas. The UKVI portal has all the necessary paperwork for the tier 4 visas. This typically consists of a passport, a passport photo, an acceptance letter from an institution, and UK addresses. You also have to present a doctor’s note stating that you are tuberculosis-free.
A £348 application fee and health surcharge fee, which varies depending on your course duration, submitting your application documents. Assuming your identity has been established, they will evaluate whether to issue the UK student visa. The Visa validity will depend on your course duration.
Integrating work life with studentship
Working while you learn may help with your upkeep and also get some great experience under your belt. Many students with Tier-4 Visas can work a maximum of 20 hours per week, which attracts £1200 to £1500 per month. Doing a paid internship is a great way to build up your CV and get one step closer to the ILR.
Securing an employment
Foreign students are permitted to remain in the United Kingdom for about two years after graduation. But this is on the condition that you secure a post-study work visa. Within the two years, individuals are free to work at whatever job they can find, provided they are granted a PSW visa. This can, however, be transitioned to the usual work Visas.
You are free to seek employment depending on your areas of specialty. The United Kingdom has various visa options, including tier 1, 2, and 5 work visas. Still, graduate business Visa options allow you to set up your own business.
The quest for permanent residency
As soon as you are admitted to a UK university, obtaining an ILR visa begins. However, you can only secure indefinite leave to remain if you’ve had graduate employment for half a decade. Besides, a good moral character and a clean criminal background will have the upper hand on whether you obtain the ILR visa.
In addition to passing a certified English language competence test, you must pass the United Kingdom’s life test. The ILR visa application might take up to 6 months to complete, and you be required to present the following,
- Valid passports
- Two color passport-size photos
- Digital copies of your fingerprints
- Your application signatures
- certificates of Birth
- Current Status of Immigration
- Current Employment or Academic Status
How to shift from tier 4 to tier 2 Visa
Assuming you have the necessary credentials, are in the last three months of your degree, or have completed a year on your Ph.D., you may change the tier 4 visa to UK tier 2 visa. And, you never have to leave the UK to apply for the tier two visa, provided the application is submitted before your present visa’s validity expires. Yet, shifting from tier 4 to tier 2 visa will require that you have either:
- A Degree obtained in the UK
- Master obtained in the UK
- An Education Diploma
As for Ph.D. candidates, they will only be eligible if their sponsor is covered by the tier 4 sponsor accord or if they have coverage under the study abroad UK program. Generally, for all the applicants, the home office sets the following requirements:
- A fair wage is being provided for the employment; depending on the role, this normally amounts to a minimum of £30,000.
- A certified certificate of sponsorship from sponsors authorized by the United Kingdom’s Home Office.
- Evidence of appropriate English proficiency – you are, however, exempt from this if you have a certificate from English related course.
- Evidence of upkeep funds, such amounting to £945 or a guarantee from your sponsor that they will account for your upkeep
- Documentation of your recent half-decade travel patterns
- Your background check results
You must schedule and show up for a biometrics identification interview with the home office UKVCAS for the submission of your photos and biometrics.
What is the time required to go from Tier 4 to Tier 2?
Applicants who choose the basic service should expect a decision on their application in 60 days. But it only takes five business days for urgent services will respond and about 48 hours for super-priority services to respond. But this means the applicant will have to pay extra fees.
How long should I wait to be eligible for lead to an ILR?
When you have been living in the UK on a similar visa for the last half-decade, you may apply for an ILR. Alternatively, you may qualify for ILR using the decade-long residence method if you have been living in the United Kingdom for a decade on several legal visas. However, to be eligible for the latter option, you must live in the UK continuously. Likewise, you are only permitted to apply if you didn’t spend six months outside the UK in a single year or 540 days in the last decade.
The 10-year path to ILR can be challenging, particularly if you have had more than two visas while living in the UK. Please seek the advice of an immigration lawyer to see if the application adheres to all the requirements.
Will marrying a British citizen or having a genuine relationship lead to an ILR?
Yes, marrying a British Citizen does put you on the quest for obtaining the UK’s ILR. To qualify for the ILR application, the spouses must have resided inside the UK continuously for at least half a decade. Unfortunately, the UK spouse visa is only valid for 2.5 years, but it can be renewed if 180 days in a row are spent outside the UK. The five-year period shall reset if either spouse spends more than 180 days outside the UK.
The requirements for securing an ILR on a spouse visa?
You and your spouse need several things to apply for Spouse Visa and then the Indefinite Leave to Remain. The first is that your spouse must be a citizen of the United Kingdom or have recently gotten British citizenship. In addition, they must meet certain requirements regarding their status in the UK when they receive their spouse’s visa.
As for you, in addition to meeting the conditions that apply to your specific situation, you must also be able to demonstrate one of the following:
- That you are either married, in a civil partnership
- Or you have been dating for at least two years.
Demonstrating that you and your partner have been living together is essential when renewing your visa. You’ll need to show that you both intend to stay together after applying, and you’ll also need to meet the English language requirements and pass the Life in the UK Test.
If you’re not married, it can be tricky to establish the validity of your relationship. That’s why it’s always a good idea to speak with an immigration expert before you submit your application. They can help ensure you haven’t missed anything and that all the information you’ve provided is accurate. Your application could be delayed or even rejected if you don’t have all the correct information.
Retrospectively, different variables play a role in getting the Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK. However, getting a student visa has always been one of the best ways to cut through the five years and land the ILR. You can also get the ILR through the spousal visa and the long residence channels.