UK Settlement Regulations for Stateless Person under UK Immigration Laws


The immigration procedure for all individuals in the United Kingdom is defined through a set of laws that exist to regulate procedure for all visa categories such as business visa, tier 1 investor visa, tier 1 immigration, tier 4 student visa, UK graduate entrepreneur visa, British entrepreneur visa etc.

The government department responsible for handling immigration related cases is the Home Office. Headed by the Secretary of State, all decisions on immigration cases including cases of asylum, detention, deportation and stateless persons are made by the Home Office. The laws for stateless persons and their entry into the UK are defined in Part 14 of the Immigration Rules of the UK. The following blog looks at the policies and procedures in place for stateless persons in the UK.

Definition of a Stateless Person under UK law 

UK law defines a stateless person as any person who is not recognized as a national of any country and satisfies his/her categorization as a stateless person under the UN Convention of 1954. Furthermore, the person must also be in the country to be categorized as a stateless person.

Requirements to Temporarily Stay in the UK as a Stateless Person

Any person who wishes to temporarily stay in the UK must fulfill the following criteria:

  • The person must submit an application to the Home Office stating his/her case to enter the UK temporarily as a stateless person.
  • The person must fall under the legal definition of a stateless person as stated above.
  • The person is not being granted entry into any other country and the country where he/she previously held routine residence.
  • The person has provided the Home Office with all necessary and relevant evidence required to assess his/her categorization as a stateless person. This includes documents of identity, documents proving which country the person stayed in before entering the UK such as any medical records, statements detailing stay with neighbors and any documents that show the person applied for nationality of any other countries or any applications thereof. It can also be any travel or immigration documents.
  • A list of such documents exists that the person can include in his/her application form.

Note that in the scenario a person fears for his/her life if he/she returns to another country, an asylum application should be first lodged or a case of human rights abuse should be made. In the scenario that the application for appeals is refused by the Home Office, the person can then lodge a case for stateless persons.

Temporary stay is usually granted for 30 months for stateless persons by the UK government. This is commonly referred to as a ‘leave for remain’ and the person can further apply for an extension on this period of stay when his/her stay expires.

Any family member(s) who wishes to stay in the UK with the person needs to apply as a dependant on the stateless person’s application. The dependants must also be present in the UK when the application is being made. Documents must be provided that prove the relation of the dependant to the person making the application such as any travel documents, visas, official letters that confirm the status of immigration (containing the ASL.2150, 2151, 2152 as reference numbers), current passports, marriage certificates or birth certificates.

On what grounds can the UK government refuse person’s application for limited stay as a stateless person?

Several scenarios exist under which a person can be refused permission to temporarily stay in the UK as a stateless person which are listed as:

  • If any of the above listed requirements for temporary stay cannot be fulfilled by the person.
  • If the UK government has reasonable grounds to believe that the person applying to enter as a stateless person could be of possible threat or danger to the security and public order of the country if he/she is allowed to enter.
  • If the person’s application violates Paragraph 322 of the Immigration Rules i.e. The application contains misrepresentation or falsification of information related to the person’s case, the application has been made at the date of a deportation order, a criminal offence or imprisonment record exists (with certain circumstances outlined in the paragraph).

If a stateless person’s stay in the country has resulted in the country facing a danger to its security or public order, the leave for remain of the stateless person can be cut back by the government.

Requirements to Permanently Stay in the UK as a Stateless Person

Any person who wishes to permanently stay in the UK must fulfill the following criteria:

  • The person must submit an application to the Home Office stating his/her case to permanently settle in the UK by applying as a stateless person.
  • The person is currently staying in the UK as a stateless person after having being granted permission for temporary stay as a stateless person.
  • The person has been consistently staying in the UK for a period of 5 years. The UK has its own set of rules to measure the lawful period of stay of the applicant known as the
  • ‘Continuous Residence period’. Note that any person who overstays in the country will not be given permission for permanent residency unless the period is equal to or less than 28 days.

If the above mentioned requirements are met, a person will be eligible for permanent residency in the United Kingdom.

On what grounds can the UK government refuse person’s application for permanent stay as a stateless person?

Several scenarios exist under which a person can be refused permission to permanently settle in the UK as a stateless person which are listed as:

  • The person does not fulfill any of the requirements of permanent settlement listed above.
  • If the UK government has reasonable grounds to believe that the person applying to stay as a stateless person could be of possible threat or danger to the security and public order of the country if he/she is allowed to enter.
  • If the person’s application violates Paragraph 322 of the Immigration Rules i.e. The application contains misrepresentation or falsification of information related to the person’s case, the application has been made at the date of a deportation order, a criminal offence or imprisonment record exists (with certain circumstances outlined in the paragraph).

Legal Definition of a Person Applying as a Family Member of a Stateless Person

The legal definition of a family member of a stateless person (applying as a dependant) is defined under UK law as:

  • As the spouse of a person applying for stateless person status.
  • As the civil partner of a person applying for stateless person status.
  • An unmarried couple who have stayed and lived together in a consistent relationship that equals to that of a marriage/civil partnership for at least 2 years or more.
  • Any individual categorized as a child under eighteen. The child must not be living a life independent of the stateless person along with being unmarried or not in any civil partnership. Furthermore, the child under the age of 18 must not have formed an independent family.

Requirements of a Person applying as a Family Member of a Stateless Person

Any person applying as a family member (known as a dependant) must fulfill the following legal requirements to be eligible:

  • The person must submit an application to the Home Office stating his/her case to temporarily stay as family member of a stateless person.
  • The person applying as a stateless person meets all the necessary requirements to be legally eligible as a stateless person.
  • The person applying as a dependant holds entry clearance for the UK that is valid in the UK.

Entry into the country as a family member is granted for a period of 30 months at maximum. After that, an application for extension can be submitted.

On what grounds can a family member of a stateless person be refused entry into the UK?

A family member of a stateless person (known as a dependant) can be refused entry into the UK on the following grounds:

  • The person does not meet any of the above mentioned mandatory requirements needed of a family member of a stateless person.
  • If the UK government has reasonable grounds to believe that the person applying to enter the UK could be of possible threat or danger to the security and public order of the country if he/she is allowed to enter.
  • If the person’s application violates Paragraph 320, 321 or 322 of the Immigration Rules i.e. The application contains misrepresentation or falsification of information related to the person’s case, the application has been made at the date of a deportation order, a criminal offence or imprisonment record exists (with certain circumstances outlined in the paragraph) among other points. The paragraph text in full can be viewed at the official website of the Home Office which as listed as https://www.gov.uk/guidance/immigration-rules.

If a person’s stay in the country as the dependant of a stateless person has resulted in the danger to country in terms of security or public order, the leave for remain of the stateless person can be cut back by the government.

Requirements to Permanently Stay in the UK as a Family Member of a Stateless Person

Any person who wishes to permanently stay in the UK as a family member (known as a dependant) of a stateless person must fulfill the following criteria:

  • The dependant must submit an application to the Home Office stating his/her case to permanently settle in the UK as a dependant of a stateless person.
  • The dependant is currently staying in the UK on limited remain as a dependant of a stateless person.
  • The dependant still remains the family member of the stateless person with whom he/she entered the UK.
  • The dependant is over the age of 18 and last was granted stay in the UK as a dependant of a settled person.
  • The dependant does not live a life independent of the stateless person with whom he/she entered the UK.
  • The dependant is not married or in a civil partnership of any kind.
  • The dependant has not formed a family on his/her own independent of the stateless person.
  • The dependant has been consistently staying in the UK for a period of 5 years. The UK has its own set of rules to measure the lawful period of stay of the applicant known as the ‘Continuous Residence Period’. Note that any person who overstays in the country will not be given permission for permanent residency unless the period is equal to or less than 28 days.

On what grounds can a family member of a stateless person be refused for permanent stay in the UK?

A family member of a stateless person (known as a dependant) can’t acquire residence in the UK on the following grounds:

  • The dependant does not meet any of the above mentioned mandatory requirements of permanent settlement needed.
  • If the UK government has reasonable grounds to believe that the dependant applying to enter the UK could be of possible threat or danger to the security and public order of the country if he/she is allowed to enter, then residency in the country can be refused.
  • If the dependant application violates Paragraph 322 of the Immigration Rules i.e. The application contains misrepresentation or falsification of information related to the dependant case, the application has been made at the date of a deportation order, a criminal offence or imprisonment record exists (with certain circumstances outlined in the paragraph) among other points.

The official website of the UK government can also be visited for information regarding the immigration rules of all types of cases and visa categories such as tier 1 visa, tier 2 visa, tier 4 visa, tier 5 visa with detailed information for all subcategories also (such as tier 1 investor visa, tier 1 immigration, tier 4 student visa, UK graduate entrepreneur visa, British entrepreneur visa etc.).