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We have been contacted often by people from overseas informing they wish to have residency in the UK and eventually settle here without having an actual idea of the available options.

This article will summarise the available options for settlement for those who are outside the UK and are looking to come here.


Tier 1 Investor visa with the option to settle after only 2 years

The investor category is designed to allow wealthy individuals who make substantial financial investments in the UK to obtain a permit to enter and settle in the UK.

Those interested in this category will need to invest not less than £2 million in the UK by way of UK Government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active and trading companies that are registered in the UK. The money must be of the applicant and in its own control, held in a regulated financial institutions and disposable in the UK.

Those who invest and maintain at least £10 million in the UK have the option to apply for indefinite leave to remain just after 2 years provided, they meet the other requirements. Applicants must have spent at least 6 months of each year in the UK to meet the residential requirement. With £2 millions applicants can settle after 5 years and with £5 millions after 3 years.

Innovator visa with the option to settle after 3 years

The innovator visa is ideal for experienced businesspersons intending to establish a business in the UK. The applicant needs to have at least £50,000 to invest in the business and a business idea which is new, innovative and viable.

To apply for this visa the applicant will first need to get his business idea endorsed by an approved endorsed body. Business Partners can apply together for this category; however, each applicant must invest £50,000.

This visa is granted for an initial period of 3 years with the possibility to a apply for further 3 years extensions at a time. There is no limit on the number of times someone can extend under this route.

In certain circumstances the applicant may be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after only 3 years.

To be eligible for settlement after 3 years for example you will need to show the business has created at least 10 full-time jobs for residents or 5 full-time jobs which have at least an average salary of £25,000 etc. Applicants will also need to satisfy the standard requirements for ILR.

Global talent visa with the option to settle after 3 years

Individuals with exceptional talents and experience in their work/research in the field of Engineering, Medicine, Science, Humanities, Digital Technology and Arts & Culture may apply for an endorsement which will be considered by one of the six designated endorsing bodies.

Each body has it is own criteria for endorsement, but you will need proof of substantial work and recognition from experts in your field. You may be endorsed as exceptional talent if you are recognised leader or exceptional promise if you are considered an emerging leader.

Once the endorsement is granted individuals can apply for the actual visa; they may choose how much leave they want, up to 5 years. Individuals can apply for settlement normally after 5 years under this category, however, those who have been endorsed by one of the four science bodies may qualify for accelerated settlement in 3 years.


Tier 2 General visa

Individuals with Tier 2 General work visa can apply for indefinite leave to remain after 5 years provided, they earned the appropriate rate for the job or the minimum income threshold under the Tier 2 Sponsorship, whichever is higher and their job is secure for the near future which has to be confirmed by the sponsor.

ECAA Turkish Businessperson visa

This category is available for Turkish Entrepreneurs who intend to come to the UK and establish a business or help to run a business already established. Briefly, the individual will need to satisfy they have enough experience and knowledge in their choses field, a viable and feasible business idea, sufficient funds and that there is a genuine need of the service.

The initial visa will be valid for 12 months after which individuals may apply for an extension which normally granted for 3 years as far as the business is operating well and is making a profit which is sufficient to support yourself and your family if applicable. After 5 years under this route the Turkish businessperson may apply for indefinite leave to remain.

Sole representative of an overseas Business

Senior employees of an overseas organisation may be appointed to come in the UK and set up a branch or wholly owned subsidiary of that organisation. The senior employees may apply for the sole representative visa to have permission to remain and enter in the UK for an initial period of 3 years after which they may apply for 2 years extension.

Provided that the individual remained for the whole period a senior employee of the overseas organisation and that the branch/subsidiary in the UK continues to operate, he may be able to be granted Indefinite leave to remain after 5 years.

Spouse or unmarried partner

Overseas spouses and unmarried partners of British nationals may settle in the UK under the 5-year route provided they meet all the requirements in Appendix FM. If the person doesn’t meet some of the eligibility requirements but falls within the exception their application will be considered under the 10-year partner route.

UK Ancestry

Commonwealth citizens who have a grandparent who was born in the UK may be able to work and live in the UK on the basis of their ancestry. The applicants will need to proof their grandparent was born in the UK and that the grandparent is by blood or recognise adoption. The applicants will need to convince the home office they have enough funds to maintain themselves and good chances of securing an employment. After 5 years provided other requirements are met the individuals can apply for Indefinite leave to remain.

This should give an idea of the available options and is not intended to advise on the requirements. If you have any questions regarding your eligibility or are unsure which category may be the most suitable for you, please contact us for a consultation.

Halil İbrahim Koca

Immigration Adviser

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