Your right to apply for settlement will depend on your current immigration category. The Immigration Rules are subject to change and applicants will need to meet the Rules in force at the date of application. To qualify as a Tier 2 (General) migrant or Tier 2 (Sportsperson) Migrant an appicant must not have one or more unspent convictions within the meaning of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, must have spent a continuous period of 5 years lawfully in the UK in any combination of the following categories providing the most recent period of which has been spent with leave to remain as a Tier 2 Migrant, Tier 1 Migrant, other than a Tier 1 (Post Study Work) Migrant, as a Tier 2 (General) Migrant, a Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) Migrant or a Tier 2 (Sportsperson) Migrant.
The sponsor that issued the Certificate of Sponsorship that led to the applicant's last grant of leave must certify in writing that the applicant is still required for the job the applicant does and, in the cases of applications for indefinite leave to remain made by Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) migrants and Tier 2 (General) migrants, that the applicant is paid at or above the appropriate rate for the job as stated in the SOC codes published by UKV&I.
From 13 December 2012, the level of permitted absences for migrants applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain on the basis of Tier 2 or Work Permit approved employment or as Sole Representatives will be increased. The current practice by UKV&I has led to inconsistency in the absences that have been allowed and uncertainty for applicants and has prevented Indefinite Leave to Remain being granted to senior executives, researchers and academics who often spend longer periods than are generally allowed overseas due to the nature of their work.
Absences of up to 180 days in each of the calendar periods of 12 months for the qualifying period of continuous residence will therefore be permitted, provided that the absences are for a reason that is consistent with the person’s employment or economic activity in the UK, annual leave or for serious or compelling reasons such as the serious illness of a close relative.