How do I apply for settlement (indefinite leave to remain) under the business person scheme?
This section explains whether you can settle in the UK under the business persons scheme.
You will need to spend a continuous period of at least 5 years in the UK before you can apply for permission to settle here (also known as 'indefinite leave to remain'). During the continuous residence period, you cannot be outside the UK for more than 180 days in any 12 consecutive months. The absences must be for a reason that relates to the purpose of your leave in the UK, or for a reason that relates to the purpose of your leave in the UK, or for a serious compelling reason (such as a serious illness). You must confirm the reason for the absence if it was for a serious or compelling reason.
Time spent in the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man may be included in the continuous period, as long as you were given permission to stay a business person.
Your most recent permission to stay must have been given in the UK as a businessperson.
If you are aged 18 or over but under the age of 65, you must show that you have sufficient knowledge of the English language and life in the UK when you apply. To demonstrate this, you will need to pass the Life in the UK Test (unless you enrolled on a course of English for speakers of other languages before 23 November 2010). For more information, see the Knowledge of language and life in the UK page.
Making an application
You will need to use the SET(O) application form to apply for settlement (indefinite leave to remain) and you can download a copy of this form and guidance from the right side of this page. You should read the guidance for further information on knowledge of life in the United Kingdom as well as how to fill in the application form.
Once you have completed your application form you should see Where to send your application form.
You will need to apply for your dependants at the same time as you make your application for settlement and using the same form. Dependants will also need to take the 'Life in the UK' test if they are aged 18 or over but under the age of 65 and are not exempt from taking the test (see above). You should see the section on dependants for further information.
Any dependant children over 18 years old should make their own application on a separate form and pay the appropriate fee.
You will have to pay a fee when you make your application and you should see Costs.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is my immigration status while my application is being decided? If you make an application before your authorised stay ends, your existing immigration status will continue until your application is decided, even if the decision is not made until after the end of your permitted stay. You can continue to work until your case is decided if the conditions of your existing leave allows you to do so.
Application for permanent residence in the UK in an employment or other category listed on the form
- Form SET(O) PDF 641KB opens in a new window
- Guide SET(O) PDF 240KB opens in a new window
- Photo guidance (new)PDF 374KB opens in a new window