The UK offers a diverse range of opportunities for international applicants who wish to obtain settled status and British citizenship. Most eligible visa routes will come with a 5 year qualifying period and a cap on the number of days you can spend outside the UK in each 12 month period.

Investors and entrepreneurs (including startup and innovator visa holders) may qualify for accelerated settlement (known as ‘indefinite leave to remain’) through satisfying specialised criteria. Entrepreneurs, for instance, may settle after 3 years provided they have created a sufficient amount of jobs for local candidates.

You will generally be able to apply for British citizenship after 12 months provided all requirements are met. If you have questions regarding settling in the UK or applying for British citizenship, please speak to one of our legal advisers.

For information on settlement and citizenship for European nationals, please visit our EU nationals page.

Settle in the UK as a Non-EEA National

Most immigration routes based on investment, entrepreneurship and employment in the UK and open to nationals from outside the European Economic Area will lead to the opportunity to obtain settled status in the United Kingdom after a qualifying period of 5 years or less.  Settled status is also known as ‘Indefinite Leave to Remain’, or ‘ILR’.

Investors and entrepreneurs will enjoy the fastest routes to ILR under the terms of the premium Tier 1 Investor and Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa programmes. Your direct family members, if they are in the UK as your dependants, will also be able to apply for ILR after the qualifying period. Please be aware that there is a cap on days you and your family can be absent from the United Kingdom in any 12-month period in order to qualify. The cap is currently set at 180 days.

You will also need to confirm your English language ability through successfully taking one of the approved English language tests and your knowledge of life in the United Kingdom through successfully passing the Life in the UK test.

Please visit our Work and Business Immigration, Talent Based Immigration and Family Immigration pages to learn more about the settlement opportunities available under your visa route.

For information on Permanent Residence in the UK for European nationals, please visit our EU nationals pages.

Become a British Citizen by Naturalisation

If you are at least 18 years old and hold Indefinite Leave to Remain or Permanent Residence, you may be able to apply to Naturalise as a British citizen.

You will need to demonstrate that you have not been absent from the UK for more than 450 days during your 5-year residence and for more than 90 days during the year before your date of application for British citizenship by Naturalisation.

You will also need to confirm your English language ability through successfully taking one of the approved English language tests and your knowledge of life in the United Kingdom through successfully passing the Life in the UK test.

British nationality law is complex. Please speak to one of our legal advisers to learn the specific requirements that apply to your case.

Register your Child as a British Citizen

If the child is younger than 18 years old, they will not be able to Naturalise as a British citizen. You may, however, be able to register them as British citizens.

You may apply to register your child as a British citizen at the same time as you make your application for Naturalisation. Your children must hold Indefinite Leave to Remain at that point.

If a child is born to you before you are granted Indefinite Leave to Remain, they can be registered as a British citizen the moment you acquire your Indefinite Leave to Remain.

British nationality law is complex. Please speak to one of our legal advisers to learn the specific requirements that apply to your case.