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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 7676
Experience:  UK Lawyer holding practising certficate for England & Wales.
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I am a New Zealand citizen who has been living in the UK for

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I am a New Zealand citizen who has been living in the UK for about 8 years. Initially I was linked to my Wife's tier 1 visa, but 5 years into our stay in the UK I switched to a Tier 2 sponsorship visa. The Right to Abode eligibility details online state 'the 5 years can include time in the UK on another visa if it was one of the following: any tier 1, except post-study and graduate entrepreneur' - I've been given informal advice that this doesn't apply to me, as I wasn't the primary visa holder for the first 5 years of my stay. Can you confirm if this is correct, or if can I use the first 5 years of my stay to gain Right to Abode?


Thanks for your question. I will try to help.

I assume by “right of abode” you are referring to “indefinite leave to remain”, which is the right to remain permanently in the UK without any other visas.

Unfortunately, the advice you have received is correct.

If you are going to apply for ILR under your tier 2 visa then no time that you have spent as a dependent of your wife’s tier 1 visa is permitted to count towards the 5 years residence requirement.

So, if you have already spent two years on your tier 2 visa then you will have to wait a further three years on it until you can apply on the basis of 5 a 5 years residence because none of your tier 1 time counts.

However, as you will reach 10 years total time in the UK on work visas before this you can probably apply under the 10 years long residence rules, in which you have to show that you have been in the UK legally for 10 years.

So, if you have been in the UK on work visas for 8 years now then you only need another 2 years to apply under the long residence rules. However, the evidential burden under the long residence rules is quite high because you have to show your 10 years period of residence with documentary evidence, so there’s quite a bit of evidence (eg. Tenancy agreements, tax documents, employment contracts, payslips, banks statements, utility bills etc) to cobble together over a long period of time.

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Kind regards,


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