Our client, Mr G, was an Indian national residing in the UK as a Tier 2 migrant with his family members. We were instructed by his employer to prepare for the extension application for Mr G and his dependants.
As with our standard practice, a Client Care Letter was sent to Mr G to confirm his instructions, our advice and the application process. Once this was received, a questionnaire and documents checklist were sent to him to prepare for his application.
Upon reviewing his supporting documents, it came to our attention that Mr G and his family members first arrived in the UK in February 2016 and had in fact, already completed their 5-year qualifying period for settlement.
Under the Skilled Worker route (including Tier 2 (General) migrants), applicants are eligible for indefinite leave to remain once they have completed a continuous 5 -year qualifying period in the UK, which can be combined with a few other eligible routes, provided the applicant meets the specific settlement requirements.
Requirements for settlement under this route include the residence requirement whereby:
We therefore contacted Mr G and his employer to confirm their instruction as we were not sure whether there was a mistake in the client’s instruction or the client was not eligible for indefinite leave to remain due to the residence requirement.
It turned out there was indeed a mistake in the instruction as the employer had not realised Mr G is already eligible for settlement. We therefore revised our templates and documents checklist for Mr G and his family member for indefinite leave to remain instead.
It is worth noticed that although the application form still asks for details on how the main applicant meets the English language requirement for indefinite leave to remain, this is no longer required based on the Immigration Rules and policy guidance as this requirement is deemed met in a previous application by a Tier 2/ Skilled Worker migrant. It appears that the Home Office has yet to update their application forms to reflect the changes on this which may cause confusion to some.
Having been satisfied that all supporting documents are in place and all applicants meet the requirements for indefinite leave to remain, the application was submitted with priority service.
With the priority service, the Home Office will aim to make a decision within 5 working days from the date of the biometric appointment. This is beneficial for those who need to travel frequently as you are typically not permitted to leave the UK while your application is pending. With the processing time for standard service being 6 months, we were delighted to find that the Home Office has not reinstated both the priority and super priority service.
Having said that, there is still an approximately 3-week waiting time for biometric appointments. The application was submitted in late February and our client was not able to secure an appointment until late March. Nevertheless, although the application was submitting with the 5 working days service, we received the grant of indefinite leave to remain for Mr G and his family within 1 working day from the date of their appointment.