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Awan-Legal, Solicitor
Category: UK Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 128
Experience:  Specialist in immigration law with the highest level of accreditation in this area and with many years experience.
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Residential qualifying period

Customer Question

I have been in the UK as a Student (on student visa) for the past 5 years, last year i had to claim Asylum while i still had visa on my passport and my application was accepted withing 2 weeks. Now if i want to apply for UK citizenship, can i consider my 4 years stay in the Kingdom (Before i apply for Asylum) as residential qualifying period? Thank you
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: UK Immigration Law
Expert:  Awan-Legal replied 5 years ago.

Awan-Legal : Hi
Awan-Legal : When were you granted asylum? Have you applied for indefinite leave yet?

A year ago, but i have not applied for indefinite leave. Can i do that?

Awan-Legal :

You cannot apply for indefinite leave to remain until the end of your refugee status which will be just before the expiry of the four years granted, so you will have to wait a further three years for this. Did you apply for asylum while you still had a valid student visa?

Awan-Legal :

The requirements are as follows if you are not married to a British national:


Yes i had 2 years of my student visa left, and i was given a 5 years limited remain, so i have 4 more years to go.

Awan-Legal :

There are seven requirements you need to meet before you apply:

  • You must be aged 18 or over.

  • You must be of sound mind.

  • You must intend to continue living in the UK, or to continue in Crown service, the service of an international organisation of which the UK is a member, or the service of a company or association established in the UK.

  • You must be able to communicate in English, Welsh or Scottish Gaelic to an acceptable degree.

  • You must have sufficient knowledge of life in the UK.

  • You must be of good character.

  • You must meet the residential requirements (see below).

Residential requirements

To demonstrate the residential requirements for naturalisation, you must have:

  • been resident in the UK for at least five years (this is known as the residential qualifying period); and

  • been present in the UK five years before the date of your application; and

  • not spent more than 450 days outside the UK during the five-year period; and

  • not spent more than 90 days outside the UK in the last 12 months of the five-year period; and

  • not been in breach of the Immigration Rules at any stage during the five-year period.


"Did you apply for asylum while you still had a valid student visa?"


Does this make a difference?

Awan-Legal :

You must be free from immigration time restrictions when you apply for naturalisation. Unless you are married to or the civil partner of a British citizen, you should have been free from immigration time restrictions during the last 12 months of the residential qualifying period. Therefore, you will need to have held indefinite leave to remain for at least one year before you can apply for British naturalisation.

Awan-Legal :

This would only make a difference if you were to marry a British national prior to being eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain on your asylum status. This is because you could rely on the student visa period together with your current status to apply for British citizenship - but only if you were granted indefinite leave through your spouse application. Basically it would mean switching from your asylum status to a spouse visa for two years and then applying for indefinite leave to remain. This is just another option if you were in a relationship with a British national who you wish to marry. However, at present, you would need to wait one further year after holding indefinite leave before you can apply.

Awan-Legal :

Therefore, in another five years (ie after four years you can apply for indefinite).

Awan-Legal :

please let me know if you have any further questions, in the meantime please click accept on my answer above.


if i was to get marry now, how long would it take to get indefinite leave? is it immediate after marriage? this is my last question


Sorry i got it, i need 2 more year to get indefinite, and then i have to wait one year to apply for citizenship


together 3 years, if i got married

Awan-Legal :

that's ok, I am happy to help. If you are in a relationship or have been living with your partner for two years with documents to prove that you have been living together, you would be entitled to apply for a spouse visa. This would be valid for two years and you could apply for indefinite leave just before this expires. You would therefore only need to wait around two years as you can apply immediately for British naturalisation once you have indefinite leave through a spouse. You would not need to wait a further year if you married a British spouse.

Awan-Legal :

One year with indefinite leave is only if you are not applying on the basis of marriage to a British spouse.


Thank you

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