Permanent Residence
versus
British Citizenship

Have you invested your time in living, studying or working in the UK as a foreign national and would like the security of official UK residence?

Depending upon your current UK visa situation, there are two different levels of permanent UK status. The first is the official acquisition of the right to permanently reside in the UK, and the second is an application for British citizenship which grants you the full rights of a British national.

Permanent Residence

Also known as ‘Indefinite Leave to Remain’ (ILR) in the UK, confirmation of your right to permanently reside in the UK is usually accrued after five continuous years of residence in the UK. An application for Permanent Residence must be made, however, in order for these rights to be officially bestowed upon you by the UK immigration authorities.

The drawback of this status, however, is that it can be taken away from you should you remain outside of the UK for longer than two years, commit a serious crime, or are suspected of no longer residing in the UK. Another downside of this status is that you are not deemed to be a British citizen and are therefore ineligible to apply for a UK passport.

British Citizenship

In most instances, British citizenship can only be applied for once you have held Permanent Residence for at least one year. For many, this UK status is the end-goal. If it is granted, you will be eligible to apply for a British passport. UK citizenship also allows you the full rights of a UK national and can only be taken away from you under very exceptional circumstances.

Smith Stone Walters is a UK immigration practice and moving people to the UK is our business. Contact us for information and support on your UK visa options.

 

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