A large number of international students that go to study in UK end up planning to remain there for their entire life. Well, this is highly expected, knowing that UK offers great opportunities to start a new life and a successful career.But, there are certain rules applied to whom every prospective pursuant has to stay in line with. Furthermore, these rules may be a subject of regular changes so it is always good to seek the right information.

Let’s move straight forward into the topic. So, can an international student seek citizenship in UK? If yes, how?

What’s the difference between citizenship and permanent residence?

First, one must know the difference between the citizenship and permanent residence. By definition, a citizenship and permanent residence can be defined differently in each particular country. By definition, the permanent residence gives you the chance of traveling in and out of UK without needing to pursue a visa every time you move. Surely, you can work and study as a permanent resident. In contrast, having a British citizenship it means you have full rights and benefits of UK nationals.

Can I get a British citizenship as an international student in UK?

No. There are no specific law regulations that make you eligible to seek British citizenship as an international student. Your student visa doesn’t allow you to change your civil status as a regular resident of UK. Even if the validity of your student visa is 5 years, the minimum required time to apply for UK citizenship.

But once you have completed your degree you can look up for possible chances of switching your type of visa and remaining for longer in UK.

Am I eligible to apply for citizenship in UK?

The set of conditions described below make you eligible or not to apply for citizenship in UK

  • If you have been living in Uk for 5 years or more in these two circumstances you’re allowed to seek British citizenship
  • You have an Indefinite Leave to Remain for 12 months
  • You’re from an EEA country and have a permanent residence permit for over 12 months
  • Your spouse/wife has British citizenship and you’ve been living in UK for over 3 years
  • You were born in UK
  • Your parent is a legal British citizen
  • You’re a stateless person or you gave up from your previous nationality

Can I seek permanent residence in UK?

If you’re an EEA and Switzerland international student who’s been living in UK for over five years, yes, you can, otherwise not. If you come from a country rather than EEA and Switzerland you need to check for the chances of switching the type of visa after your student visa expires and you’re obligated to return home.

If you have been living in UK for years you’re eligible to seek permanent residence in UK under these circumstances:

  • You’re an EEA “qualified person” (self-sufficient, self-employed, student or job seeker)
  • A family member of yours (EEA national) is a permanent resident in the UK
  • A family member of a British citizen

Note that your permanent residence can be disapproved if you stay out of UK for longer than 2 years.

What should I do if I’m not an EEA or Switzerland student to remain in UK?

If you want to remain for longer in the UK, but fear of possible restrictions that would disallow you to further stay there, you still have realistic chances. UK has a very rich scheme of visas to suit different categories of applicants and has a flexible system of granting them.

Under current law regulations in Uk you’re allowed to stay in the country for the duration of your student visa. As such you are allowed to remain in the country for up to 12 months after getting your degree using your student visa. If you use this time wisely there are greater chances for you to switch to another visa and remain in UK for longer.

Tier 2 (General) visa is the most common type of visa taken by those who want to work in UK. After you complete your degree you can seek to find an employer in UK who offers a job placement and has a Tier 2 sponsor license. Under his sponsorship, you can easily get such a visa. Furthermore, its validity lasts for 5 years and if you’re an EEA or Switzerland national after your Tier 2 visa expires, you can seek to become a permanent resident in the UK.

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