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Background:

American citizen (only), wife and infant son (born in UK and now on a Tier 2 Child) American citizens (only).

I am applying for my ILR in the UK shortly, having been living and working on a Tier 2 general since November 2013.

I married my wife and she joined me in early 2016 on a Tier 2 dependant visa. We both extended in November 2016, and hold an extension good until November 2019. Thus, as of the time I am eligible for ILR, she will have been resident in the UK for a bit less than three years, and thus not eligible for ILR (as far as I know) -- this is the essence of my question.

Questions:

(1) Am I correct in my reading of UKVI's "Points Based System (Dependant) - Policy Guidance" that my wife is fine to remain on her Tier 2 dependant visa until its expiry (even after I receive my ILR)?

(2) To what visa should we be looking at moving my wife so that she will be able to apply for ILR after five years collectively. Probably pertinent: I intend to secure a UK Passport for myself and my son as soon as possible, so around the time of the expiry of her Tier 2 Dependant Visa.

Possibly related, but their circumstance seems more complicated: Tier 2 dependent children born in the UK

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  1. This is correct. She can remain on her current visa until she applies for either an extension or ILR. She can extend the current visa type even after you acquire ILR.
  2. You should NOT move her to any other type of visa if she will qualify on the current visa. You risk 'resetting her clock' so to speak.

In order to secure a UK passport for you and your son, you must both first be UK citizens. As your son was born in the UK, the day you acquire ILR, he will qualify to register as a UK citizen under 1(3). You yourself will have to be resident in the UK for one year on ILR and then you can apply naturalization. Your wife will be able to apply for citizenship on the day she acquires ILR (as she will presumably be married to a British citizen - i.e. you - at that point).

  • This is brilliant, thank you. Apologies, if I may -- do you have a source for the assertion that she can extend her current visa type? Thus far I have not been able to piece together such a conclusion, though it fully makes sense. As well, thanks for the note on passport -- I was colloquially using 'secure a passport' to mean 'obtain citizenship', but your pointer to the British Nationality Act of 1981 is spot on! – user39430 Sep 12 '18 at 23:02
  • If you do a Google search on 'UK dependent visa reset clock', that should turn up enough verifiable results. This scenario isn't specifically stated anywhere. It's more implied by the lack of mention of these types of visas being allowed to count towards the 5 year residency requirement if there is switching between them. It would be convenient if it was explicitly explained and listed, but that's just not how they've written the rules or guidance. – ouflak Sep 13 '18 at 7:47
  • Thanks for that! Marking as accepted, but welcome any further clarity or supporting evidence. – user39430 Sep 19 '18 at 12:00

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