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Staying in the UK

I often get asked what the process is for staying in the UK permanently, so I thought a post about it was in order. First, I want to explain that any information I post below is valid as of 13 May 2010. If you have found this post at a later date as part of a search or in the archives, there is a very big chance the information is out of date.

I am in the UK on a two-year spousal visa. Tim and I had to pay £585 for this very elaborate sticker. After the two years are up, we will need to apply for a further visa for me to stay. Under the OLD system, this would have been called ILR – Indefinite Leave to Remain, and would have meant I could permanently stay in the UK and could apply for citizenship if I wanted to, but it would not be mandatory. When the BCI (Borders, Citizenship, and Immigration) Bill was passed in July 2009, the decision to remove ILR as an option as of July 2011 was made. As I will become eligible for my next visa in December 2011, I will fall under the “new rules”…

All we know is it will be called “Probationary Citizenship” and if you want to stay in the UK you will HAVE to apply for citizenship. The few details released are that the road to citizenship will take 5 years or 3 years if you do volunteer work…but this is all we know.

As soon as we have more information, I’ll let everyone know.

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