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Thomas, Solicitor
Category: UK Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 7617
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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My name is Petronella Sandham.I am a South African citizen.

Resolved Question:

My name isXXXXX am a South African citizen. I am married to Robert Brian Sandham, a British citizen. We first cam to te UK in 1996, lived here for about 5 years, and then returned to South Africa. We came back to the Uk on the 10th February 2008 to settle for good, this time. I obtained my indefinate leave to remain stamp in my passport in 1998. I have had new passports since then so applied for a Residence Permit, settlement Visa, which I then received on the 24th Sept 2009. Can you tell me when the earliest will be for me to apply for a British citizenship.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: UK Immigration Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 7 years ago.



Thanks for your question.


If you have received your settlement visa you will now have to wait two years until you are eligible to apply (again) for indefinite leave to remain. Once you have received ILR you can then apply for naturalisation (British Citizenship) after one year from the date of ILR.


It would have been better to have waited for one year from the date you previously obtained ILR and then applied for naturalisation. Because you have applied for settlement again your ILR has now fallen away, but perhaps this may not have been practical at the time.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thank you for your answer. I am a little confused as the visa I have is a Residence Permit, Settlement and it also states - No time limit on holder's stay in the UK. I was under the impressio that this was an Indefinite Leave to remain. I applied for the original ILR stamp in old passport to be transfered to my new passport, hence the Residence Permit Visa
Expert:  Thomas replied 7 years ago.

Right. This explains it, if your previous has ILR has been transferred to your present passport then you can apply immediately for British Citizenship as the time limit is one year from receiving ILR and you have been here for much longer than that.


If your present has an "indefinite leave to remain" stamp on it as a result of your request for it to be transferred then you can apply for naturalistion now.


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Kind regards,



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