The UK Border Agency has announced that refugees and migrants with humanitarian protection in the UK will be allowed to apply for settlement and British citizenship under the current rules if their initial five-year permission to stay here will end between August 2010 and the date when the new system of ‘earned citizenship’ comes into force (scheduled for July 2011).
If you were granted refugee status or humanitarian protection between August 2005 and July 2006, and your initial five-year permission to stay will expire before earned citizenship comes into force, you will still be able to apply for settlement (also known as ‘indefinite leave to remain’). You will be expected to apply no more than 28 days before your initial permission to stay expires.
If your application for indefinite leave to remain is successful, you will then be able to apply for British citizenship under the current legislation, provided that:
■you make your British citizenship application before July 2013; and
■you meet the relevant requirements, which include being free of immigration time restrictions for a period of 12 months before you apply.
If you have refugee status or humanitarian protection and your initial permission to stay will expire after the earned citizenship system comes into force (scheduled for July 2011), you will need to apply for ‘probationary citizenship’ and not indefinite leave to remain. The Earned citizenship page of this website contains more information about probationary citizenship.