How to get settlement in UK as a retired person of independent means and as a dependent of a retired person?


The United Kingdom procedure for entry for any non-UK national is dependent on the visa category (such as UK startup visa, London investor visa, business investment visa UK or any of the Tier visa category etc.) that they wish to apply on. This implies that the requirements that need to be fulfilled for entry into the UK are entirely dependent on the visa category the applicant wishes to enter the UK on.

The visa categories are defined in such a way as to serve every purpose of entry, such as a person who wishes to enter the UK for purposes of study will apply on the Tier 4 visa while a person who wishes to enter the UK for business purposes might apply on the business visa and fulfill the UK business visa requirements. However, there are some cases that do not fall within any visa category, such as a person applying to enter the UK to see his/her child, an Afghan citizen who served for the UK government seeking entry in this regard, retired persons of independent means seeking entry etc.

The requirements and procedures for such categories are defined in Part 7 of the UK Immigration Rules. The following blog looks at the requirements that must be adequately met by a retired person of independent means to stay in the UK, along with the requirements for any of his/her dependents. It should be noted that the UK government has announced that entry into country on this category is now closed, implying no person can now apply on this visa category to stay in the UK. However, all persons who are already residing in the UK as a retired person of independent means can seek an extension or apply for nationality of the UK. It should be noted that the following rules do not apply to European Union (EU) nationals.

Requirements for a Retired Person of Independent Means seeking an Extension to Stay in the UK

The requirements to seek an extension on this category are listed as follows:

  • The applicant is in possession of a valid entry clearance document which he/she obtained for this visa category to enter the UK;
  • The applicant’s annual expenditure (or income) must not be less than 25,000 pounds. Furthermore, these funds must be under the complete control of the applicant;
  • The applicant intends to not seek any further employment while in the UK;
  • The applicant intends to provide for any dependants who are residing in the UK with him/her;
  • The applicant is financially stable enough to accommodate his/her stay in the UK without asking for money from any person or government/private institution;
  • The applicant must show a close connection with the UK;
  • The applicant has made UK his/her home;
  • The applicant must not have broken any laws of the UK, including any immigration laws, during his/her stay in the UK. However, staying in the country past the due date allotted on the visa for a time span less than 28 days does not count as a breach of law;

In the scenario the above mentioned requirements are adequately met by the applicant, the Home Office will grant an extension of stay to the applicant. Furthermore, the time period of the extension can be granted for a maximum of 5 years and the conditions set on the visa will include the applicant being obligated to not take up employment in the country.

Requirements for a Retired Person of Independent Means seeking a Permanent Residency in the UK

  • The applicant must currently be staying in the country on this category on a visa that was granted for a temporary period of time;
  • The applicant must have spent a period of 5 years in the UK on the continuous residence period;
  • The applicant must have obliged on the conditions that were set in his/her previous visa granted under these circumstances;
  • The applicant must not have broken any laws of the UK, including any immigration laws, during his/her stay in the UK. However, staying in the country past the due date allotted on the visa for a time span less than 28 days does not count as a breach of law;
  • In case the applicant left the UK for any serious or compelling cause, significant evidence to attest this fact must be provided in the visa application for permanent residency. The evidence can be in the form of a written statement detailing the reason along with documents such as medical certificates, death certificates etc.

Regarding the continuous residence period, the UK government has its own set of rules to determine whether the applicant spent the required time in the UK by taking into account the applicant’s travel history and other similar factors. To complete the continuous residence period, the below listed criteria must be fulfilled:

  • The applicant must not have been outside of the country for a total of 180 days or more before applying for permanent residency in this category;
  • After the application for permanent residency in this category is submitted to the Home Office, the time period until a decision is reached in this regard shall be disregarded;

Requirements for the Partner of a Retired Person of Independent Means to join him/her in the UK

While the visa category for retired persons of independent means has been closed by the UK government, any partners of a visa holder in this category who is already in the UK has the right to apply to join him/her. To apply as a partner of such a visa holder, the below listed requirements must be met:

  • The applicant must be a legal partner under a marriage or civil partnership of the visa holder. Also, in case the applicant is an unmarried partner (which includes same-sex partners), the relationship must have existed for at least two years where the current nature of the relationship is approaching to marriage and a proof of such circumstances must be provided;
  • For unmarried partners, any other relationships of both the applicant and the visa holder must have permanently ended;
  • The applicant is not a direct cousin or other similar relative of the visa holder, where the nature of the relationship becomes illegal under UK law;
  • The couple must state the intent of living with each other permanently;
  • The applicant is in possession of the necessary finances required to sustain his/her stay in the country, along with having enough money to support any dependants thereof;
  • The applicant must state the intent and submit proof of not staying beyond the limit period of stay granted to them;
  • The applicant must state the intent to not break any of the laws of the UK which includes following the conditions that would be set in the visa.

In the scenario the above requirements are successfully met by the applicant, he/she will be granted temporary residence in the country for a time period not longer than the time period granted to the visa holder. This implies that the total period will equal the remainder of the visa holder’s period of stay, and will also end on the same date as the applicant.

Requirements for the Partner of a Retired Person of Independent Means to seek an Extension of Stay

  • The applicant meets the above requirements necessary for entry;
  • The applicant is currently residing in the UK on a visa granted on this category;
  • The retired person of independent means, who is the partner of the applicant, must be UK national or have been granted permanent residency in the country;
  • The applicant must not have broken any laws of the UK, or any conditions that in his/her visa, while staying in the UK under these circumstances;

In the scenario these requirements are met, the applicant will be granted a further period of stay of a maximum 2 years in the UK.

Requirements for the Partner of a Retired Person of Independent Means to seek Permanent Residency in the UK

  • The above requirements necessary to seek an extension and entry combined must still be met by the applicant;
  • The applicant must demonstrate to the Home Office, that he/she possess the necessary English language skills necessary to sustain and accommodate him/herself in the UK;
  • The applicant must demonstrate sufficient knowledge of what life is like in the UK;
  • The applicant must not have broken any laws of the UK, or any conditions that in his/her visa, while staying in the UK under these circumstances;

If the Home Office is satisfied that the applicant meets the above mentioned requirements, nationality of the UK under these circumstances will be granted.

Requirements for the Children of a Retired Person of Independent Means to join him/her in the UK

While the visa category for retired persons of independent means has been closed by the UK government, any children of a visa holder in this category who is already in the UK has the right to apply to join him/her. To apply as a child of such a visa holder, the below listed requirements must be met:

  • The parent of the child (who is the applicant), must have been granted a visa and must be staying in the UK under this visa category;
  • The age of the child who is applying is less than 18;
  • As children under 18 are not allowed to marry in the UK, the child must not be married or in any civil partnership;
  • The child must not be living a life where he/she is not dependent on the parent holding the visa in this category;
  • The parent must submit significant proof in this regard that he/she has enough money to take care of the child and will not request finances in this regard from any government institution;
  • The child cannot stay in the country past the due date on his/her visa, and intent in the form of a statement must be submitted in this regard;
  • If the other parent of the child holds responsibility over him/her, he/she must also be present in the UK with the visa holder to take care of the child. This requirement is wavered if this parent has passed away, or cannot join them in the UK due to any compelling reasons;
  • The child must state the intent to not break any of the laws of the UK which includes following the conditions that would be set in the visa.

In the scenario the above mentioned requirements are met, and the Home Office is satisfied in this regard, the period of stay that will be granted to the child in this case of application will not exceed 30 months. Furthermore, an entry clearance document issued to the child under these circumstances must be shown to an Immigration Officer upon arrival in the UK. In the scenario where the document cannot be shown, the child can be refused permission to enter the country.

Requirements for the Children of a Retired Person of Independent Means to gain Permanent Residency in the UK

To gain permanent residency in the UK under these circumstances, the requirements mentioned above must again be met by the applicant.

In addition to these requirements, the child must still be aged 17 or less. In the scenario the age is more than that, the child must show proof of possessing the necessary English language skills required under these circumstances.

Furthermore, it should be kept in mind that the Home Office possesses the right to deny any person a visa on this, or any other visa category (such as UK startup visa, London investor visa, business investment visa UK or any of the Tier visa category etc.) if their presence is felt a threat to the security of the UK.