How could I get the ILR of the UK?
Tony Wang, Head of Globevisa London Office and Regulated Immigration Advisor by OISC (Registration number: P054537), draws from his extensive experience to provide valuable options and advice for those considering applying for ILR in this article. According to the data from the UK Home Office, there are currently six main categories of visas in the UK (work visas, student visas, family visas, visitor visas, business visas, and transit visas), offering close to 40 different types of visas that can be applied for. For most individuals wishing to get ILR (Infinite leave to remain) in the UK, the options are limited. The following is an analysis of visa types with a focus on ILR:
1. Skilled Worker Visa/Health and Care Work Visa: Applicants need to find an employer with a sponsor license, meet salary and occupation list requirements, and can apply for UK ILR after working for 5 years.
2. BNO Visa: Hong Kong BNO passport holders can apply for a one-time 5-year BNO Visa, and after 5 years, they can apply for UK ILR.
3. Global Talent Visa: For leaders or potential leaders in academia or research, arts and culture, and digital technology. Applicants need to obtain endorsements or specific awards to prove industry leadership, with high personal background requirements. It provides a one-time 5-year visa, and after 5 years, ILR can be applied for.
4. Ancestry Visa: This visa requires the applicant to be a citizen of a Commonwealth country, a UK overseas territory, or Zimbabwe, and also requires that one of the grandparents was born in the UK, the Channel Islands, or the Isle of Man. Applicants can apply for a 5-year visa, and after 5 years, they can convert to ILR.
5. Innovator Founder Visa: After receiving an endorsement letter, entrepreneurship for 3 years, meeting 2 of the 7 requirements of the business, allows for applying for ILR and is currently the fastest route to UK permanent residency.
6. Long Residence: Applicants who have continuously resided in the UK for more than 10 years can apply for ILR.
In addition, the UK also has visas with an ILR route such as the International Sportsperson visa, Minister of Religion visa, and Scale-up visa. However, these are highly specialized and without relevant experience and background.
In many of our current consultation cases, if the applicant does not qualify for a work visa or family visa, the most viable option is the UK Innovator Visa. This visa requires the applicant to demonstrate that their business idea is new, innovative, viable with growth potential, and scalable. Additionally, B2 or higher language proficiency is required. Initially, a 3-year visa is granted, and after 3 years, if 2 of the 7 conditions of the business are met, ILR can be obtained. If not, there is an opportunity to renew for another 3 years. It is currently the fastest route to ILR among all visas.
The once-popular UK T1 investor visa and Representative of overseas business visa have been successively closed. Meanwhile, according to immigration data released by the Home Office in August 2023, the number of applications for the Innovator Founder Visa submitted in the first half of 2022 was 513 cases, while the number of applications submitted in the first half of 2023 was 634, representing a year-on-year increase of 23%. Additionally, the application volume in the second quarter of 2023 was the highest among all quarters since 2022.
Time is of the essence, and applicants considering staying in the UK for the long term should take action as fast as possible. Visit Globevisa’s United Kingdom Residency page to check out how we could help.