Tier 2 ILR – Tier 2 General to Indefinite Leave to Remain

People on Tier 2 General visa can submit applications for ILR (indefinite leave to remain) to settle in Britain. This category of individuals need to have lived in the United Kingdom for five years which is the qualifying period, they should also show evidence of satisfying several criteria like minimum annual income threshold, this must be at the proper rate as well as other requirements. This article offers a detailed explanation on the application process of ILR under Tier 2 General category.

Tier 2 ILR Requirement

Individuals under Tier 2 General visa are mandated to meet every condition for Point Based System settlement applications plus a few specified Tier 2 requirements.

For Tier 2 General visa class, the major settlement requirements are; 

  • Fulfilling minimum salary threshold under the present Tier 2 sponsorship
  • Meeting all requirements for qualifying period of residence in Britain for settlement
  • Understanding both language and Life in Britain – You need to show evidence of having an English language qualification with level B1 at the minimum and evidence of passing the test for Life in the UK.

Tier 2 General ILR qualifying period

Tier 2 General visa holders can be eligible to submit applications for ILR after they have lived in Britain continuously for five years.

While your ILR can be granted under Tier 2 Visa Category,  you can meet your continuous five years requirement under the combination of different visa routes like;

  • Tier 2 Visa for General
  • Tier 2 Visa for Minister of Religion
  • Tier 2 Visa for Sportsperson
  • Tier 1 Visa for Exceptional Talent
  • Tier 1 Visa for Entrepreneur
  • Tier 1 Migrant for Investor
  • Tier 1 Migrant for General
  • An Oversea Business Representative
  • Holder of Work Permit
  • Highly Skilled Migrants.

Your ILR application qualifying period starts immediately your entrance clearance or leave to remain is approved. Only the recent five years will be taken into considerations for individuals who have exceeded five years in Britain.

Before applying for ILR, applicants who delayed to come into the UK after their visa approval date may be required to complete their qualifying period by applying for an extension.

Absences under Tier 2 General

For Tier 2 General visa category ILR applicants should not have above 180 days absence from Britain in any successive 12 months period within the five years. Please note that the 180 days of absence was previously for the entire five years successive period from your application date before the most recent update.

The new rule will be applied to applications whose applications were received after the 28th of July 2018 and it judges absence on a rolling basis instead of in distinct successive 12-month period.

In your application, you are required to list all the days of absence during your period of qualification and the reasons for it.

One major grounds for ILR application refusal is non-compliance with the absence, but discretion can be applied to the qualifying period in some circumstances like when the absent rule results in extremely harsh consequences. In this case, recommendations are that you give a full explanation in a covering letter.

Minimum Earnings Threshold for ILR

For the minimum earning threshold, it is expected of Tier 2 General applicants to receive either a gross yearly income or the proper rate for the job.

Note; the minimum income threshold increases on a yearly basis, below is from 2018 to 2022

  • £35,500, if you submit applications on or after 6th April 2018
  • £35,800 for applications received on or after 6th April 2019
  • £36,200, for applications received on or after 6th April 2020
  • £36,900, for applications received on or after 6th April 2021
  •  £37,900, for applications received on or after 6th April 2022

It is permitted for Tier 2 General visa holders to have secondary employment, but to fulfill the minimum income threshold; the earnings cannot be combined with your primary income. However, both earnings can be claimed separately to meet the threshold. Additional restrictions apply in situations where applicants work on hourly basis, and the type of earnings that can be included to meet the threshold.

English Language Requirement for Tier 2 ILR Applicants

Tier 2 visa holder must meet the English language requirement while submitting their applications for ILR and recommendations from UKVI guidance maintain that a proof of one of following must be submitted;

  • Listening and speaking qualifications in English should be at B1 level or higher than that of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)
  • Degree qualification should be English based
  • Citizen of English-speaking country 

Requirement for Life in the UK for Tier 2 ILR

To meet this criterion, UKVI expects applicants to pass the Life in the UK test in which you are required to score 75% and above in a test consisting of 24 questions on Life in the UK.

Tier 2 Visa Holders prior to 6th April 2011

Applicants who received Tier 2 Visa prior to 6th April 2011 will not be affected by the present change in rule with six-year residency limit and they are eligible to request for Tier 2 visa extensions.

Documents Required for Tier 2 ILR

Some of the essential documents are; 

  • Your present sponsor’s confirmation letter, with your job details well stated and confirming that your employment is well secured for the foreseeable future
  • Documented evidence of absence with reasons during the qualifying period.
  • Your present sponsors confirmation of your Gross yearly earnings
  • Documented evidence of your income to meet the minimum threshold
  • Personal bank statement and payslips

Validity of Indefinite Leave to Remain Status through Tier 2 General Route

Similar to other routes, you will forfeit your ILR if you stay more than two years outside the UK. Your entitlement for the ILR will equally be lost if after securing the status; you proceed to spend more than two years outside Britain, and you will seek entry clearance all over again.

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