Spouse / Partner
1. The dependant is subject to qualifying residential period to be eligible for settlement. For the duration of qualifying residential period and associated conditions that may apply, see Note below.

2. If the dependant has completed the relevant qualifying residential period at a time that the principal migrant applies for settlement and meets the other requirements then the dependant may be included in the principal migrant's settlement application.

3. If the dependant has not completed the qualified qualifying residential period at the time that the principal PBS migrant applies for settlement, then:
a) If the PBS dependant's current leave will expire after he/she has completed the qualifying period and the dependant meets the other requirements for settlement then the dependant may apply for settlement directly (319E).
b) If the PBS dependant's current leave will expire before he/she completes the qualifying period then the dependant can apply , before his/her current leave expires, to extend his/her PBS dependant leave until such time that he/she becomes eligible for settlement (319C and 319D). Though switching to FLR(M) leave is also an option but extending PBS dependant leave is simpler (e.g. - only maintenance funds to be shown, no English language requirement) ***** CHANGES 6th April 2014 *****.
c) Doctor / dentist dependant with employment restriction - For PBS dependant who is a doctor / dentist but does not satisfy 319D(b)(iii) should consider switching to FLR(M) at the earliest opportunity to become free from the employment restriction, instead of continuing on PBS dependant leave.

Entry clearance application as PBS dependant submitted before 09-Jul-12: The PBS dependant will always be subject to rules in place before 09-Jul-12. The PBS dependant must have lived with the principal PBS migrant in the UK for at least 2 years in a marital relationship, civil partnership or in relationship akin to marriage or civil partnership (319E(d)(i)). This "2 year" period need not be as a "dependant" and need to be "continuous". *** Probably unchanged? *** These requirements and conditions apply both when extending leave as PBS dependant (319E(d)(i)) or if switching to FLR(M) leave (287(a)(i)(d) or 287(a)(i)(e)) any time during the 2 years period to become eligible for settlement. ***** CHANGES 6th April 2014 *****
Entry clearance application as PBS dependant submitted on/after 09-Jul-12: The PBS dependant will be subject to the new rules introduced on 09-Jul-12. The PBS dependant will be eligible for settlement only after completing 5 year probationary period as a dependant of the principal migrant (319E(d)(ii) or E-ILRP.1.3.). This "5 year" period need not be "continuous".

We often get asked about switching rules if moving from Tier 2 ICT to Tier 2 General and there seems to be quite alot of confusion as to whether it is possible, and whether it would lead to Settlement?

Individuals can switch into Tier 2 (General) from Tier 2 (ICT) if they entered the UK before 6 April 2011, providing they have not made an application for entry clearance (i.e from abroad) since then and providing they are changing sponsors.

If such individuals have continued to reside lawfully in the UK since they arrived under Tier 2 (ICT), and providing any applications they have made to extend their stay under Tier 2 (ICT) have been made from inside the UK, they will not be affected by the 12 months ‘cooling off’ period if they subsequently decide to switch into Tier 2 (General). Under the rules that are currently in place, they will be able to switch into Tier 2 (General) and take up a job with a a new employer providing the other requirements of Tier 2 (General) are met (RLMT, skills threshold, salary level, etc).

Individuals who entered the UK under Tier 2 (ICT) on or after 6 April 2011, or those who entered before then but have since made an application for entry clearance from abroad, will have to leave the UK for the 12 month ‘cooling off’ period before they can return under Tier 2 (General). The only exception to this rule is if the individual has been offered a new role and will be paid a salary of at least £152,100.

And what about settlement I hear you ask?

From 6 April 2011 Tier 2 ICT Long Term Staff (LTS) will be limited to a maximum period of 5 years with no extension permitted after this date.

 Since 6 April 2010 new Tier 2 (ICTs) have not been able to qualify for settlement but are able to extend for as long as their Sponsor has needed them in the UK but as mentioned, above in the above point, a 5-year limit was added in 2011.

Please refer to the post April 2017 changes for the latest information. Click here

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