UK Visa: Tier 2 to Indefinite Leave to Remain to British Citizenship

What’s up? I trust you are well.

In this video, I’m going to share the outcome of our journey to becoming British Citizens after living for 6 and a half years in the UK.

To give you a little bit of background about the process, the first requirement is to secure Indefinite Leave to remain status and you can apply for this status once you have completed the 5-year qualifying period.

I explained this in more detail in the video that I posted on my YouTube channel on the 20th of October last year sharing our timeline from Tier 2 Visa. To make the story short, we managed to secure Indefinite Leave to Remain status or otherwise known as ILR Status.

Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK 2020 [Family Timeline to ILR from Tier 2 Visa]

The next step after that is to wait for a year under ILR status before you can apply for British Citizenship.

I did a 2-part video posted in April 2021 sharing with you the application form and what are the requirements that you need to produce. If you missed that video, you may click the card icon that will appear right now on the upper right-hand corner of your screen.

Looking at the application form (Form AN) in April 2021 – Part 1
Looking at the application form (Form AN) in April 2021 – Part 2

After waiting for 5 months, we have received the decision.

On the 26th of September 2021, I received an unexpected email from the Home Office.

Finally, the time has come for us to find out if our application for British Citizenship is successful or not. We do believe that we’ve completed the form carefully and provided all the relevant requirements being asked on that British Citizenship application form, and having said that, we do believe that we will get a positive result.

Before I open the email, I received from the Home Office, I took a deep breath and thank God for giving this to me as an advance birthday gift.

Here is the email….

We are now being invited to attend the Citizenship Ceremony which concludes that our application for Naturalisation is successful!

I would highly recommend that you click that link to find out more about the ceremony so you know what to do and what to say.

The email is very straightforward and tells you what you should do next.

So, on the same day, on that evening, I did contact the Citizenship Ceremonies Officer of our local borough (Barking and Dagenham) to book the ceremony.

The next day, we received a response from the Citizenship Ceremonies Register Office confirming the day and time of the Citizenship Ceremony.

Since I’m happy with the date and time, we can’t do anything about it so, we’ve just waited.

Finally, the Citizenship Ceremony Day has come and to make sure we don’t go late or miss the ceremony, we arrived early at the address provided.

On arrival, one by one, our temperature was checked and asked to sanitise our hands. Then we presented the invitation letter sent by the Home Office together with some form of identification card. After that, we were handed our Certificate of Naturalisation as a British Citizen and if you have children below 18, you can collect their certificate upon presenting the invitation letter and also some form of an ID. The ID that we’ve presented is our ILR Biometric ID.

Inside, they have their photographer. This is a one of a lifetime experience so I doubt that, for the cost of £10 per photo in a cardboard frame, someone will ignore it. We’ve taken the 2 best photographs amongst the photos taken to us.

Ceremony room photo 1
Ceremony room photo 2

But wait, you are not yet a full pledge British Citizen until the ceremony is conducted.

A few minutes later, the ceremony is conducted. You will be asked to recite after the officiating officer the oath of allegiance or the affirmation of allegiance.

Affirmation of allegiance
Oath of allegiance

The only difference between the two, to help you which one to choose is that an “oath” is sworn to God and is a religious pledge whereas an “affirmation” is a more secular pledge for those without a strong religious commitment.

Since we are practising Catholicism, we did an oath.

Out of 14 people in the room, 3 did an affirmation and the rest did an oath.

After this, we all together recite after the officiating officer, the Pledge.

Pledge to recite after the Oath or Affirmation of allegiance

After that, it is official! We are now British Citizens.

It’s official, we are now British Citizens

Coming up next is we will be looking at the online British Passport application form and the requirements needed.

I hope you find this information useful. Thank you for reading this far.

For those awaiting the decisions from the Home office, we wish you all the best. For as long as you follow and submit the information that is required from you, it’s more likely that you’ll get a positive response.

Have a great day and God bless.

Indefinite Leave to Remain Timeline from Tier 2 General Visa

Hi there. I hope you are all well and enjoying the time in self-isolation/quarantine/working from home. I also trust that you keep yourself healthy to strengthen the immune system. The stronger the immune system, the lower the probability that you’ll get infected by the Covid19 virus. Thanks be to God that no one in my family and relatives has been infected by this virus.

We are actually thankful that we’ve completed submitting our application before this lockdown happens and in spite of what’s happening around the world and the distress that this pandemic has caused, we received last Friday (Holy Week Good Friday) a piece of unexpected news from the Home office through email that our Indefinite Leave to Remain in the United Kingdom has been ‘SUCCESSFUL‘.

Snapshot from the email that I received

I’m here to share with you our timeline to Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK status from Tier 2 General Visa. I hope you’ll find this very useful.

Here is my polite request:

After watching the video, please make sure you subscribe because around 90% (if my calculation is correct) of you guys who watch this video aren’t subscribed! Clicking the like button and leaving a comment would also help massively as the YouTube algorithm will pick up on your engagement and push my videos in recommended! I trust you guys find this video useful. Help me reach 1000 Subscribers this year! Thank you for your visit and support.

Alright, let’s get started.

16 March 2015 – Leave granted (Tier 2) for the main applicant (husband) and dependents (wife and 2 children)

01 April 2015 – The Main applicant (husband) arrived in the UK to work and look for a permanent address. This will be the address fro the house move from Dubai, UAE to the London, UK.

16 May 2015 – The Main applicant signed a tenancy agreement for a 2 bedroom house with a lovely garden. We now have a UK permanent address.

22 May 2015 – The Main applicant flew back to Dubai, UAE to settle/close all relevant accounts (banks, tenancy agreement, utilities, etc.), to arrange the home transfer from Dubai to the UK and to collect the family.

25 June 2015 – GEMS Winchester School Dubai end of the school year.

26 June 2015 – The Main applicant and the dependents arrived in the UK.

Fast forward, we started completing the requirements for the Tier 2 Visa extension for myself and my 3 dependents a few months before the 2017 year ends. You’ll find more information about Tier 2 Visa extension by clicking the image below.

https://www.gov.uk/tier-2-general/extend-your-visa

09 January 2018 – Tier 2 Visa extension application submitted.

09 February 2018 – Received a letter from UKVI by post for Top Up payment because my skill is no longer in the shortage occupation list.

09 February 2018 – Payment sent that evening.

19 February 2018 – UKVI confirmed reciept of payment (see image below).

Snapshot of top up payment receipt confirmation

13 March 2018 – Biometric ID’s received with the expiry date on the 16th March 2020 for myself and my dependants.

Fast forward. One of the very important requirement is that you can apply for ILR status no earlier than 28 days before completing your 5 year period. Our Biometric expiry date is on the 16th March 2020, therefore we could submit our ILR application from the 17th February 2020.

Date Calculator

Who is eligible to switch from Tier 2 Visa to ILR?

If you hold a Worker Visa, you may be eligible to change your status to ILR. To submit your application, you must complete the SET O Form, which can be used by the following eligible visa categories:

  • Tier 2 (General) Visa;
  • Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) Visa;
  • Tier 2 (Sportsperson) Visa;
  • Tier 2 (Ministry of Religion) Visa;
  • Tier 1 (General) Visa;
  • Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa;
  • Tier 1 (Exception Talent) Visa;
  • Tier 1 (Investor) Visa;
  • Representatives of an Overseas Business;
  • Highly Skilled Migrant Visa.

29 February 2020 – Application for ILR submitted for the Main applicant and 3 dependents (wife and 2 children). Part of this online application process is that you can also book for UKVCAS biometric appointment to have your biometric taken. I would suggest that you upload your documents yourself. The fee will cost you from FREE to £700 for each person, depending on your chosen date and additional package taken.

Payment receipt confirmation

02 March 2020 – ILR application payment debited.

In our case, the next FREE biometric appointment will be in the next 3 months and by that time, our current visa is already expired. I don’t want to avail the free service to avoid the potential problem with our current status visa expiry. Therefore, we took the Standard appointment service that cost £69.99 each instead and the next available appointment was on the 09th March 2020.

UKVCAS Appointment details and payment receipt

You will be able to upload copies of your documents on the Home Office commercial partner’s website, UKVCAS website, or you can take your documents to your biometrics appointment to be scanned and uploaded by our commercial partner for a fee.

You do not need to send any physical documents to the Home Office or UK Visas & Immigration unless you are advised to do so.

09 March 2020 – UKVCAS family appointment (Biometric). We arrived at 2 PM at the reception and was given a number (Number 259) after presenting my printed appointment letter (the one with QR code) and the passport for verification. After that, we’ve waited in the lounge area, with very comfy sofas and free drinks (water, coffee or tea). We’ve been called after about 5 minutes. Our passports have been scanned (I’ve given the last 2 passports and when I asked if he needed my other old passports (I have 3 old passports so far), I was told that he actually needed only the current one but still he scanned the previous passport I handed to him. Photograph and fingerprints were taken. I was told that the documents I uploaded prior to attending the appointment were all good. I was not asked for any other documents to show to the guy to verify that what I have uploaded is a true scanned copy of the originals. We finished after around 30 minutes for a family of 4. That was quick.

At about 6:05 PM, I received a SMS from UKVCAS confirming that our information has now been submitted to UKVI. From this point, we can’t do anything than to wait for the result of our Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK application.

10 April 2020 – I received an email from the Home Office confirming that our application is successful and we will be able to receive our Indefinite Leave to Remain Biometric card within 7 days.

Snapshot from the email that I received

16 April 2020 – Biometric ID’s received at about noon time.

So, from the day we have submitted our ILR application, it took us almost 7 weeks of processing time

Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK application duration

What are the documents we’ve provided?

You will be provided with the checklist of required documents that you MUST include as part of your application at the end of your online application. Below are the list of what we’ve uploaded to UKVCAS website prior to our visit for biometric:

  • Our Passports – bring all your old passports, just in case, though they only required the current one)
  • Reasons for absences from the UK – I made a one-sheet summary (for each applicant) as a cover page and attached all the letter of invitations, boarding passes and itineraries. See image below.
Main applicant Record of Absences
  • The copy of the current biometric card (front and back) for husband, wife and 2 children
  • Proof of English Language for husband and wife
  • Life in the UK test result for husband and wife
  • Your most recent payslip and bank or building society statement. These must be dated no earlier than one calendar month before the date of the application. The statement must show the payment, as shown on the payslip. You should not provide any additional payslips or statements, unless you are currently on maternity, paternity, shared parental or adoption leave.
  • Signed declaration document to confirm consent for the Home Office to request verification checks.

Additionally, you need to provide a document from the sponsor, of the main applicant, who issued the certificate of sponsorship that led to your last permission to stay as a Tier 2 migrant confirming that you are:

  • still required for the employment in question for the foreseeable future, and in the case of Tier 2 (General), Tier 2 (Sports Person) and Tier 2 (Intra Company Transfer) migrants this document should also contain:
  • the nearest applicable SOC code which best describes your employment
  • your current rate of pay (this should be given in the same format as given in the codes of practice, for example, hourly rate or yearly salary), and
  • confirmation that this is at or above the appropriate rate for the job as stated in the codes of practice for Tier 2 sponsors. (See note 8 below)
  • if you are currently on maternity, paternity, shared parental or adoption leave, confirmation of the date this started, your salary immediately before the leave, and what your salary will be on your return.

I hope that from the given dates above, you can also workout yours and I also hope that our experience will also provide you with some answers that you have in mind. I am sure there are still some specific questions that are unanswered in this article but, do not hesitate to leave your questions in the comments section.

Don’t forget to leave your comment below about this article or any questions so we can start in spreading this news for the benefits of those looking for ILR status in the future. If your ILR application is also successful, after getting some useful information from this article, please do share with us your summarised timeline.

Thank you for reading this article this far.

Have a great day and keep safe.

Cheers.

Disclaimer: The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Allscan12 accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact any immigration lawyers who could provide you with a proper and documented legal advice.