Immigration Glossary

Administrative removal 

The enforced removal to their country of origin of an overstayer of an illegal entrant by the UK Border Agency


An applicant who has applied for leave to enter or remain in the UK and is appealing against the refusal of that application

Biometric Residence Permit

The biometric residence permit is a residence permit which holds a migrant’s biographic details (name, date and place of birth) and biometric information (facial image and fingerprints), and shows their immigration status and entitlements while they remain in the UK

Border Force

The part of the Home Office responsible for frontline border control operations at air, sea and rail ports in the UK


The enforced removal to their country of origin of a foreign criminal by the UK Border Agency


A family member whose leave to enter of remain is derived form and depends on the main applicant

Dual citizenship 

Holding citizenship of two countries

Entry Clearance Officers 

Those Home Office workers that decide entry clearance applications made at an entry clearance post outside the UK (i.e. embassy)

European Economic Area

Those European countries who are members of the European Union whose nationals have rights of free movement between member states: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Republic of Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, UK

NB while Switzerland is not in the EEA, Swiss nationals have the same rights as EEA nationals.

Family Member Residence Card

A vignette endorsed in a passport of an EEA national family member’s passport

Frontier workers

EU national citizens who work inside the UK as employed or self-employed, but who live primarily in another EU country outside the UK. 

Further leave to remain (FLR)

An extension of the migrant’s right to stay in the UK

Great Britain (The United Kingdom, The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland)

England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

Gross and net pay

Gross pay is pay before tax, net pay after tax

Home Office

A department of the Government of the UK, responsible for immigration, security and law and order. Divisions of the Home Office include Border Force, UK Visas and Immigration and the former UK Border Agency

Immigration category 

The particular route for leave to renter/remain provided for under the Immigration Rules

Indefinite Leave to remain (ILR)

Leave without immigration time restrictions so that a person can stay here indefinitely with no conditions attached to his/her leave.  (It lapses if someone stays outside the UK for two years or more).

Leave to enter/remain 

Leave to enter is granted to applicant applying to enter the UK from overseas.  Leave to remain is granted to an applicant applying for leave from inside the UK to stay the UK

Licensed sponsor

An institution (education or employer) who is registered with the Home Office and has a licence to employ migrant workers or, if an educational institution, to enroll foreign students on their courses

Limited leave to Enter/Remain

Leave to enter or remain for a limited, set period only

Maintenance funds

Those set amount of funds that must be held for a set number of days required under the Points-Based System to show the applicant can maintain himself financially in the UK


The process whereby adult applicants are granted British citizenship on the basis of their residence in the UK


An individual who has stayed beyond the period of their leave in the UK

PBS (Points-Based System)

Those immigration Rules which require a scoring of points according to set criteria in order to qualify for leave to enter/remain or ILR

Pre-Settled status

It is a 5 years’ limited leave to remain issued to EU nationals and their family members (including unmarried partners and extended family members) in light of the UK’s departure from the European Union under the Brexit provisions and the EU Settlement Scheme.


The process whereby those under 18 years of age can acquire British citizenship if they meet certain requirements

Residence Card

A document issued to a family member of an EEA national exercising Treaty Rights in the UK to evidence their consequent right of residence

Resident worker

A person who is either British, has ILR or is an EEA national

Right of abode

The right to live and work in the UK (defined in the Immigration Act, 1971)

Settled person

A person without immigration time restrictions

Settled status

It is an indefinite leave to remain issued to EU nationals and their family members (including unmarried partners and extended family members) on the condition of them having resided at least 5 years in the UK, and which is carried out in light of the UK’s departure from the European Union under the Brexit provisions and the EU Settlement Scheme.


Someone already in the UK with status who can help bring someone to the UK under the relevant immigration route on the basis of their immigration status

Subject to Immigration control 

When a person is in the UK on a limited basis with conditions attached to their stay


To transfer from one immigration category into another inside the UK

Travel documents 

These are documents, not passports, which enable people without citizenship to travel

UK Border Agency

The part of the Home Office that was responsible for immigration control and its enforcement. It was abolished in March 2013 and split into two new organisations; UK Visas and Immigration focusing on visa applications and an immigration enforcement organisation focusing on immigration law enforcement. 

UK Visas and Immigration

The part of the Home Office that is now responsible for the visa applications and systems

Visa nationals

Those nationals of overseas countries who require visas to enter the UK

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