If you are already have permission to stay in the UK as a retired person of independent means, you can apply to extend your stay or settle here. The maximum period you can extend in this category for is 5 years.

To be able to extend your permission to stay, you must:

  • currently have permission to stay as a retired person of independent means
  • have a minimum disposable income of £25,000 a year under your control in the UK
  • be willing and able to maintain yourself and any dependants indefinitely in the UK entirely from your own resources and without working or any help from public funds
  • demonstrate a close connection with the UK
  • not have already spent 5 years in the UK in this category

1. What is meant by income?

This must be actual income. It is not enough to show a capital sum of several hundred thousand pounds and say it will produce £25,000 a year in interest. You must:

  • be able to bring into the UK not less than £25,000, net of any overseas tax
  • be able to use the money freely; nobody else should have a controlling interest in it
  • be able to freely transfer all the income to the UK and convert it to sterling. If we have any doubt about your ability to transfer the money to the UK, we can ask for evidence of this (such as a letter from the bank or authorities concerned)

Income that belongs to your husband, wife or civil partner, or to both of you jointly, may be counted as under your own control, as long as both of you are applying at the same time.

2. What is a close connection with the UK?

The 2 usual connections are:

  • close relatives (such as parents, children, brothers or sisters) already settled here
  • long, relatively recent periods of previous residence here

These factors may be taken into account as part of a close connection (although they do not show a close connection on their own):

  • longstanding ownership of substantial property in the UK
  • long periods of employment by the government of the UK or a British overseas territory
  • employment with a UK company involving frequent business trips to this country
  • past service to the UK resulting in the establishment of close contacts with this country
  • letters of support from eminent British citizens

British status that is not full British citizenship (such as British subject status, British overseas citizenship, British overseas territories citizenship, or British protected person status) is not considered a close connection with the UK.

3. Do my dependants have to be over 60 years old as well?

They do not have to be over 60 years old but they must not work in the UK.

4. Can I work?

You must not be employed in any capacity or take an active interest in the running of any business in the UK or any other country. You can do a limited amount of voluntary charity work if it is unpaid and part-time.

5. Can I keep my home abroad?

You can keep your home abroad, but your main home must be in the UK. You must not keep a home outside the UK as your main residence and spend only short periods of time in the UK. You should confirm your intention either verbally or in writing. We may carry out further checks if you spend significant periods of time abroad while you have permission to stay in the UK as a retired person of independent means.

6. How long will I be allowed to stay in the UK?

Permission to stay in the UK is normally granted for 5 years. After that time, you can apply for permission to settle in the UK permanently (known as ‘indefinite leave to remain’). You will need to have met the requirements of this immigration category throughout the whole 5 years.

7. How do I apply?

Find out more about fees, how to pay and the documents required, in the guidance notes on the Application to extend stay in the UK: form FLR(BUS) page or the Application to settle in the UK: form SET(BUS) page.