If you have lived in the UK for a while, you can change your immigration status to settled. This is also called “Indefinite leave to remain in the UK” If you’re a child of a UK citizen or someone who is already settled in the UK, then this can entitle you to permanent permission to remain in the UK under the Partners and families section of the UK Border Agencies scheme. Depending on your current immigration status, if you applying for settled status in the UK, you need to take into account the requirements length of stay to see when you are allowed to apply for settled status. The UK BA prefers if you have a working knowledge of the English language in order to settle in the UK.
Depending on your choice, you can apply for settlement inside the UK by one of two ways. You can either apply through the post, or through a public enquiry office.
If you apply through the post you can use a settlement checking service which is a service offered by the local authorities in the area you are applying in, in order to help you to check your status, and whether you will be eligible to apply for settled status. As part of the application, you must be aware that you will have to submit your fingerprints and a facial image, and you will also need a residence permit, which will hold all your details and facial image with the government while your application in processed. This will confirm your right to reside and if you have a right to work. If you have any dependents in the UK, and they are applying at the same time as you then the UK BA will need this information from them too. You will have to attend a local place for fingerprinting and photograph.
In December last year (2012) the immigration rules were amended to allow for absences from the UK for business purposes during the period of application. This however, is only relevant for the working categories for immigration.
If you had settled status in the UK but then decided to live abroad for a time, you may be able to return as a settled person. Contact your UK Border Agency local office and they will advise you if you could be eligible for return as a settled person.