With Brexit making the headlines on a daily (if not hourly) basis, we have received a number of calls to our advice line regarding settled status and British citizenship.

Although we’re not immigration experts here is an overview of the right to work in the UK.

Settled status

A person who qualifies for settled status or British citizenship has an unconditional right to work in the UK.

If a person has settled status in the UK, then they are entitled to work here. ‘Settled status’, ‘indefinite leave to remain’ and ‘permanent residence’ all mean the same thing.

Family members may join a person with settled status and can apply for British citizenship after 12 months.

There is a wide variety of categories of person who can qualify to apply for settled status. They include:

  • persons who have continuous compliant employment in the UK for five years under various schemes:
    • work permit holders, except key workers or Training and Work Experience Scheme permit holders
    • overseas journalists and broadcasters
    • sole representatives of overseas businesses
    • private servants in diplomatic households
    • domestic workers in private households
    • overseas government employees
    • ministers of religion, missionaries or members of religious orders
    • members of the operational ground staff of an overseas-owned airline
    • Commonwealth citizens with UK ancestry
    • Tier 1 (General) migrants
    • Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) migrants
    • Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrants (reduced to three years continuous employment if ten full time jobs have been created or an extra turnover of £5,000,000 has been achieved)
    • Tier 1 (Investor) migrants (reduced to two- or three-years continuous employment if an investment of £10 million or £5 million respectively has been made in the UK)
    • Tier 2 migrants (except for those coming in the Intra-company transfer category since 6 April 2010)
    • retired persons of independent means
  • spouses and civil partners of certain persons who are settled or applying for settlement at the same time
  • bereaved spouses, civil partners and unmarried or same-sex partners
  • unmarried or same-sex partners of settled persons, after two years
  • children of parents or relatives who are settled or applying for settlement at the same time
  • adopted children of parents who are settled or applying for settlement at the same time
  • parents, grandparents or other dependent relatives of persons who are settled or applying for settlement at the same time
  • persons granted asylum or humanitarian protection (who are given a renewable 5-year UK residence permit)

Guidance on settling in the UK is available from the GOV.UK website: GOV.UK—Settling in the UK.

British citizenship

British citizens are entitled to live and work in the UK. There are four methods of obtaining British citizenship:

  • birth or adoption
  • descent
  • registration
  • naturalisation

Applicants for naturalisation are required to have enough knowledge about life in the UK, and enough knowledge of the English, Welsh or Scottish Gaelic language.

Applicants for registration and naturalisation are required to undertake an allegiance ceremony and may lose their citizenship if it was obtained by fraud, false representation or concealment of a material fact.

If you would like more information on this or any other employment issue, please call us on 0345 076 2288.