British Context

Appendix FM – is a piece of legislation in the UK under which the family members of the British nationals apply for the leave to enter and leave to remain in the UK. At the moment, these rules are not relevant for the EEA/Swiss nationals.

Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) – is the right to remain in the UK permanently and indefinitely. This right is usually acquired after 5 years of lawful and legal residence in the UK. Applicants must be careful as not all immigration categories lead to the opportunity to acquire the right to remain permanently and indefinitely in the UK. A caution needs to be taken as this right could cancel itself out if the ILR holder leaves the UK for 2 years to live overseas.

Leave to Enter – this sounds as a contradiction in terms for the untrained eye and a non-UK immigration law specialist. Leave in legal English means a “permission”. Therefore, in the most general terms “Leave to Enter” stands for the permission granted by the UK immigration authorities to enter the UK. This route applies to all applications submitted outside the UK.

Leave to Remain – stands for the permission to remain legally and lawfully in the UK. Normally, applications from individuals who are already in the UK and wish to extend their stay in the UK in a lawful manner apply under this route. However, one needs to be aware of the particular immigration rules that apply to individual immigration categories.

Right to Abode – is the right to reside legally and lawfully in the UK and work in the UK free from immigration restrictions. The right to abode may arise to certain citizens of the UK and Colonies and some nationals of the Commonwealth.

European Context

EEA/Swiss nationals – at the moment the same immigration rules apply to this category.

EEA is European Economic Area, which is comprised of EU member states and EFTA states.

EFTA stands for European Free Trade Association and comprises of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

EU or European Union (also sometimes referred as EC or European Communities) comprises of (in alphabetical order) Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom. Please note that currently UK is about to trigger negotiations to leave the EU. It is going to be a two year process and the results will not be known of the new arrangements until the exit arrangements are negotiated and ratified. The ratification process alone may take additional two years.

Swiss is an abbreviation for Switzerland. Switzerland originally was an EFTA member and through national referendum rejected its membership to EFTA as well as never joined the EU.

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