A Tier 2 indefinite leave to remain visa is granted to people who have completed 5 years as a Tier 2 (General) Migrant and satisfy requirements of paragraph 245HF of the Immigration Rules.
Tier 2 ICT migrants granted leave before 5 April 2010 and Tier 2 ICT Long Term granted leave before 5 April 2011 may also be eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain provided they satisfy all the requirements under paragraph 245 GF of the Immigration Rules.
A Tier 2 General Visa can be granted for a maximum of 6 years and the applicant can apply for ILR after completing 5 years in the UK. At the date of application, they need to meet the general requirements under the paragraph 245 AAA of the Immigration Rules which require the applicant not to have travelled for more than 180 days in a year. Any other holidays must not exceed the allowable annual holidays or unless there is a compelling and compassionate reason for absence from the UK.
Requirements for Tier 2 ILR
Criteria for obtaining ILR after holding Tier 2 visa are as follows:
- They must be paid an annual salary of be at least:
- £35,000 if the date of application is on or after 6 April 2016
- £35,500 if the date of application is on or after 6 April 2018
- £35,800 if the date of application is on or after 6 April 2019
- £36,200 if the date of application is on or after 6 April 2020
- £36,900 if the date of application is on or after 6 April 2021
- £37,900 if the date of application is on or after 6 April 2022
- They must hold a Tier 2 General visa and still be required in their employment for foreseeable future
- They must not have any unspent convictions
- They must have been living and working in the UK for five years. During this period, they must not have spent more than 180 days outside the UK in any 12 month period of continuous residence
- The employer must hold a valid licence
- They must fulfil the requirements for language and life in the UK
A person will be exempted from annual income threshold criteria if they hold a job role in the UK which has appeared on the shortage occupation list at any time while they were being sponsored to do that job. However, they must meet other settlement criteria in order to obtain ILR status in the UK.
Tier 2 visas granted before 6th April 2011
Those who entered the UK before 6th April 2011 with a Tier 2 General Visa will not be subject to the six-year residency in the UK limit. They have the choice to apply for extensions to their visa indefinitely. So, if one still wants to apply for ILR for settlement in the UK, they must meet the following conditions:
- They must meet the income threshold for ILR, or
- They must have been in the UK legally for ten continuous years (known as long residence)
You need to note that you can lose your ILR status as well – even after obtaining it successfully. For example, if you successfully secure ILR status and then leave the UK for a period of 2 or more years, you will lose it. You will then need to re-apply for entry clearance to the UK all over again.