Tier 2 Visas and changes to Indefinite leave to Remain under 5 Years Route


Tier 2 is made up of four distinct immigration categories. These are:

  1. Tier 2 (General)
  2. Tier 2 (Intra-company transfer)
  3. Tier 2 Minister of Religion
  4. Tier 2 Sportsperson

In this article we will only explore and discuss the changes introduced by the Home Office under HC 395, para 245AAA (Absences from the UK during Qualifying Time period). It is important to note that the Home Office has brought some serious changes in the whole criteria to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain for both Tier 2 applicants and their dependents. These changes will apply to applications made on and after 11 January 2018.

Read Time: 3 minutes


 What is on this page?

  • Introduction to Tier 2
  • Grant of Indefinite Leave to Remain
  • Absences from the UK
  • Retrospective Effect
  • Exception
  • Family Members of Tier 2 Applicant
  • SET 0 application
  • Fee
  • Minimum Income Threshold
  • English Language and Life in the UK Test
  • Breach of Immigration Rules
  • Apply for ILR (Tier 2)
  • What Would You Do Next?

Grant of Indefinite Leave to Remain

The Home Office will grant an Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK provided the applicant fulfils the requirements of paragraph 245GF or 245HF of the Immigration Rules and does not fall for refusal under the general grounds for refusal in paragraph 322.

Absences from the UK

Under HC 395, para 245AAA, Tier 2 applicants who apply for settlement must not have had more than 180 days absent from the UK per 12 months during the qualifying period. Under these changes, the qualifying period is now extended to the entire 5 years or the 60 months under Tier 2 and the 12 months are calculated on a rolling basis starting from the date of application and backwards.

Retrospective Effect

To ensure that this requirement for the absence does not have retrospective effect, only absences from the UK during periods of leave granted under the rules in place from 11 January 2018 will count towards the 180 days. Absences during leave granted before 11 January 2018 will not count. 


An applicant will be allowed to discount any absences from the UK from counting towards the 180-day limit, provided the absence was due to the reason and fact that the applicant was assisting with the Ebola crisis and provides evidence that this was the purpose of the absence and that his/her sponsor agreed to

Family Members of Tier 2

The requirement of no more than 180 days absence per 12 months in order to qualify for settlement is being extended to partners and dependents of the Tier 2 applicants as well.

SET O                                                                                         

The application form used to apply for Indefinite Leave to remain was SET (0). However, currently there is no paper form available to download. The applicant has to apply online through UKVAC.


The fee for the postal application is £2389 for a single applicant. You can also apply in person at Premium Service centres for an additional fee of over £610 for each applicant.

Minimum Income Threshold

The applicant must earn minimum of

(1) £35,000 if the date of application is on or after 6 April 2016

(2) £35,500 if the date of application is on or after 6 April 2018

(3) £35,800 if the date of application is on or after 6 April 2019

 (4) £36,200 if the date of application is on or after 6 April 2020

(5) £36,900 if the date of application is on or after 6 April 2021

(6) £37,900 if the date of application is on or after 6 April 2022

English Language and Life in the UK Test

You must have passed the Life in the UK test and must also have B1 English language certificate for speaking and listening.

Breach of Immigration Rules

The applicant must not be in the UK in breach of immigration laws except that, where paragraph 39E of these Rules apply, any current period of overstaying will be disregarded by the Home Office.

Apply for ILR (Tier 2)

There is no paper application for SET O. The applicant has to apply online. You can start your application by clicking the following link. https://visas-immigration.service.gov.uk/product/set-o

“If you are affected by the issues raised in this article, you can get expert immigration advice from our experienced Immigration lawyers instantly through any device from anywhere in the world at a time that suits you.”

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