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Thomas
Thomas, Solicitor
Category: UK Immigration Law
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Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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Is a student who has lived for 6 years in London, Uk, under

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Is a student who has lived for 6 years in London, Uk, under the tier 4 visa (undergraduate and masters degree), eligible for naturalisation? If not is there any other way, knowing that I have only studied and lived here for 6 years (without any work involved)?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: UK Immigration Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 10 months ago.
Hi

Thanks for your patience.

I’m afraid not, no. The reason is because as part of the eligibility criteria to naturalise as a UK citizen the applicant must be free of immigration time restrictions for 12 months, this (in other words) means that the applicant must have held “indefinite leave to remain for 12 months at the date they make their application for naturalisation ”:-
http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/britishcitizenship/eligibility/naturalisation/standardrequirements/

Please refer to the heading on the above link entitled “Immigration time restrictions“ for confirmation.

Students do not get an automatic right to apply for indefinite leave to remain in the same way that work visas (eg. Tier 2 sponsored skilled worker) visas do. You must have indefinite leave to remain before you apply for naturalisation and therefore this rules students out from applying for naturalisation.

The only other option is to seek to switch your category of visa to another category that does give a right to apply for naturalisation once you have remained in the UK under that visa for the requisite period to time.

The final alternative is to remain legally in the UK for another 4 years until you have reached 10 years continuous legal leave to remain in the UK, if you do this you can apply for indefinite leave to remain under the long residence rules. Once you have this you can apply for naturalisation 12 months later provider you meet the requirements on the above link

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Kind regards,


Tom
Thomas, Solicitor
Satisfied Customers: 6258
Experience: BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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