Find out if you can apply to settle in the UK

You can apply if you have a Tier 2 (General) visa or a Skilled Worker visa

Check if you meet the requirements for settlement (‘indefinite leave to remain’).


You can apply if:

  • you have a Tier 2 (General) visa or a Skilled Worker visa
  • you’ve been living and working in the UK for 5 years and spent no more than 180 days outside the UK in any 12 months (‘continuous residence’)
  • your employer (sponsor) still needs you for your job - they’ll need to provide a document confirming this
  • your job meets the salary requirements

Continuous residence

The 5 years can include time in the UK on another visa if it was one of the following:

  • Tier 2 (General) or Skilled Worker
  • Tier 2 Minister of Religion
  • Tier 2 Sportsperson
  • Tier 1, but not Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur)
  • Representative of an Overseas Business
  • Global Talent
  • Innovator

If you’re 18 to 64 when you apply, you must also pass the Life in the UK Test.

Salary requirements

You’ll usually need to be paid at least £25,600 per year unless the ‘going rate’ for your job is higher than this.

Example Your salary is £27,000 per year, but the annual going rate for the job you’ll be doing is £30,000. You do not meet the usual salary requirements for this visa.

Each occupation code has its own annual going rate. Check the going rate for your job in the going rates table.

If you work in healthcare or education

There are different salary rules if you work in some healthcare or education jobs, where the going rate is based on national pay scales.

When you can be paid less

If you do not meet the usual salary requirements, and you do not work in healthcare or education, you might still be eligible if your annual salary will be at least £20,480.

You do not have to be paid £25,600 if the main job you’re sponsored for:

You also do not have to be paid £25,600 if you were sponsored for a Tier 2 (General) visa in one of the following occupation codes:

  • 2111 Chemical scientists
  • 2112 Biological scientists and biochemists
  • 2113 Physical scientists
  • 2114 Social and humanities scientists
  • 2119 Natural and social science professionals not elsewhere classified
  • 2150 Research and development managers
  • 2311 Higher education teaching professionals

Fees and how to apply

You must apply online. It costs £2,389 for each person applying. You’ll be told whether your application has been successful within 6 months.

You’ll be contacted if your application is complex and will take longer, for example:

  • if your supporting documents need to be verified
  • if you need to attend an interview
  • because of your personal circumstances, for example if you have a criminal conviction

After you submit your application you’ll be asked to provide your fingerprints and a digital photo (called ‘biometric information’).

Decision within 5 working days

If you want to get a faster decision, you can pay an extra £500 for the priority service to get a decision within 5 working days.

Decision by the end of the next working day

If you pay an extra £800 to use the super priority service you can get a decision:

  • by the end of the next working day after providing your biometric information if your appointment is on a weekday
  • 2 working days after providing your biometric information if your appointment is at the weekend

Working days are Monday to Friday, not including bank holidays.

Get help to apply online

You can get help with completing the online form if you:

  • do not feel confident using a computer or mobile device
  • do not have internet access

You can only use this service if you’re applying in the UK.

You cannot get immigration advice through this service.

When your application can be refused

Your application might be refused if, for example, you’ve:

  • got a criminal record in the UK or another country
  • provided false or incomplete information to the Home Office
  • broken UK immigration law

Read the guidance on why applications can be refused.

Family members (dependants)

Your partner and children under 18 can apply on the same form as you if they’re eligible.

Eligibility for partners

Your partner may qualify if all of the following apply:

  • they have permission to be in the UK as your partner
  • they’ve been living in the UK with you for at least 2 years if they applied before 9 July 2012 or 5 years if they applied on or after 9 July 2012
  • your relationship is genuine
  • you intend to continue living together
  • you have enough income to support yourselves and your dependants
  • you’re not using public funds

They must:

Eligibility for children

Your child can apply if they:

  • were previously given permission to stay in the UK as your child
  • are not married or in a civil partnership
  • will live with you and be supported by you without using public funds

You and your child’s other parent must both be settled in the UK legally, or currently applying to settle, for the child to be allowed to settle.

Your child can also apply to settle in one of the following situations:

  • you’re the child’s sole surviving parent
  • you have sole responsibility for the child’s upbringing
  • there are serious or compelling family or other considerations, for example you (if you’re settled in the UK) or your child has a serious illness

If your child is 16 or older when you apply you’ll need to provide proof of where they live. Provide 2 documents from this list:

  • bank statement
  • credit card bill
  • driving licence
  • NHS registration document
  • a letter from their current school, college or university, on headed paper and issued by an authorised official of that organisation

The documents you provide cannot be more than a month old on the date you make your application.

You need to give details of any payments your child makes for rent or upkeep per month.

You must explain why if your child does not live with you and your partner. If it’s because they’re studying, you must provide confirmation from the university or college on headed paper and issued by an authorised official.

You’ll also need to show that you’ve supported your child while they’re away by providing bank statements for you and your child covering the 3 months before the date you apply.

If they’re over 18 by the time you apply, they must pass the Life in the UK Test and prove they have English language skills.

They must apply online.

Your answers

Start again

1. What's your situation?
You have a work visa
2. What's your visa?
Tier 2 (General) visa