You can apply to settle in the UK if you have been in the UK legally for 10 continuous years. This is known as long residency.
The following must be demonstrated for you to be eligible:
- You must have permission to stay in the UK in any immigration category.
- You must have been in the UK legally for 10 continuous years.
- You must have kept to the terms of your UK visa.
- If you are between 18-65 years old, you must:
- Pass the Life in the UK Test
- Have sufficient knowledge of the English Language
If you do not meet point 4’s two requirements, you should apply to extend rather that settle.
The 10-year qualifying period starts either from when you were given permission to stay in the UK or when you arrived in the UK with a visa.
Continuous residence is 10 years spent in the UK without any gaps. You could have left the UK within these 10 years for no longer than 18 days at a time or 540 days in total.
You must meet all eligibility requirements for you to be able to settle in the UK. If you do not meet all the eligibility requirements, you may be able to extend your stay for another 2 years.