Indefinite Leave to Remain


Indefinite Leave to Remain

Last updated: 18 March 2023

What is an Indefinite Leave to Remain?

The Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) or Settled status is a permanent residence right available to immigrants. In principle, you must have been in the UK for at least five years to apply for permanent residence, but sometimes, you can apply after three or two years in the UK. Various immigrant visas can lead to your ILR, including spouse visas, innovator visas, and skilled worker visas. Settlement allows people to live and work in the UK without restrictions and is the first step towards naturalization and full British citizenship.

Indefinite Leave to Remain

ILR: requirements

The requirements depend on the applicant's specific circumstances, such as the type of visa. The most basic requirement for an ILR is to be legally resident in the UK for some time. However, you must meet other requirements.

The general requirements for applying for the ILR are:


Particular individuals do not need to apply for ILR to get the UK settled status:

Routes to Settlement - ILR

If you are legally resident in the UK on any form of UK residence visa, you can apply for an ILR once you have exceeded the minimum stay threshold for that visa. Applicants must also meet other specific requirements.

Visas/routes that may lead to settlement are:

You may qualify for the ILR in a less traditional way that does not require a visa.

When to apply for ILR?

How long you must be in the UK before you are eligible to apply for permanent residence will depend on your circumstances. In most cases, an immigrant can apply for an ILR after five years of legal residence in the UK. Holders of visas eligible for ILR after five-year residence in the UK:

You may be eligible for ILR status if you have been a resident in the UK for less than five years. It includes if you have been resident in the UK for:

The shortest period can exceed five years.

ILR: English language tests

As part of your ILR application, you must commit to a B1 English proficiency level in speaking and listening according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. Most applicants are required to get a certificate from an approved testing provider. Attach the certificate for your ILR application when submitting the results online.

However, some individuals do not have to meet this requirement. For example, citizens of Commonwealth countries or most English-speaking countries are usually exempt. It includes the citizens of the following countries:

Also, the following applicants are exempt from the English language requirement:

ILR: Life in the UK test

You should pass the Life in the UK test for ILR application. The Life in the UK test, also known as the UK Citizenship Test, is based on British culture, history and traditions.

The test lasts 45 minutes and comprises 24 randomly generated questions on the day of the test. Achieve a score of at least 75%. The test costs £50, and there are over 30 accredited centres where you can take the test. However, please note that he can only take exams at one of the five centres near you.

If he fails the test, he can resume seven days after the test date. You can repeat this test many times to pass.

People under the age of 18 or over 65 do not need to take the test. If someone has a written certificate from a doctor of a long-term physical or mental condition, they are also usually exempt.

On the exam day, you will need to bring government-issued identification such as a passport or driver's license and correspondence dated only three months with a UK address.

Include your certificate with your application.

Absence from the UK

To qualify for ILR status, he must not have been outside the UK for over 180 days in any 12 months.

However, there are exceptions to this rule. B. You have been away from the UK on business or are outside the UK because of exceptional circumstances. Home Office will usually consider this an excused absence if you have been outside the UK because:

Keep track of your time spent outside the UK since you lived in the UK.

ILR application support

Our immigration adviser can help you through your permanent residency application step. After assessing your eligibility, we will complete your application to the highest standards, including conducting a full document review to ensure an adequate evidence portfolio. You can also create a representative letter to support your application.

Call us or apply online to start your journey to permanent residency.

ILR: documents to provide

As part of your ILR application, you must include some supporting documents.

Please note that the document you submit must be the original version. If impossible to provide the original documents, you must justify this. In exceptional circumstances, the Home Office will give some tolerance.

You need to provide the following documents:

ILR: application form

You can use two primary forms for Indefinite Leave to Remain applications: Form Set (O) and Form Set (M):

The time to process an ILR application

There is no specific period, but usually, it takes six months to process an Indefinite Leave to Remain application.

ILR: fees

The current fee for permanent residency applications is £2,404 per applicant. It will also cost him £19.20 to register his biometric information, which is an essential part of the ILR application process.

Expedited services are also available if you need a quick decision on your application.

Priority Service will process your application within five working days of him and incur an additional charge of £500 and Super Priority Service within one business day with an additional £800.

ILR for spouses

People who want to join their partner in the UK use a Spouse Visa type, one of the most popular types of visas. Typically, the spouse of a UK partner can apply for permanent residence after they five years of legal residence in the UK. The initial Spouse visa is valid for her 30 months, with a possible extension for another 30 months. Once the spouse visa extension has passed, the spouse can apply for an ILR.

ILR: Biometric Residence Permit

A Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) is an identification document that contains your name, date of birth, fingerprints, and a photograph. It also details your immigration status, stay requirements, and the benefits and services you can access.

If you don't already have a BRP, you'll need to get one when you apply for your ILR. After submission, the Home Office will provide details on how to get a BRP.

Indefinite Leave to Remain: rights

Revocation of the ILR status

The Home Office may revoke Indefinite Leave to Remain status under certain circumstances:

What to do if rejected for an ILR?

A rejected application can be alarming news. The Home Office provides a reason for the rejection in the rejection letter.

UK citizenship after ILR

Permanent residence is an essential step toward obtaining UK citizenship. However, living in ILR status for some time does not automatically make you a UK citizen.

EEA Settlement Scheme

Citizens of the EU, EEA and Switzerland can apply for the EU Settlement Scheme.

The EU Settlement Scheme allows successful applicants, who were residents in the UK before 31 December 2020, to live and work freely in the UK from 30 June 2021.

Indefinite Leave to Remain. FAQ

What is Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK?

ILR is a form of immigration status in the UK that allows a person to live and work in the UK without any time restrictions.

Who is eligible?

Individuals who have lived in the UK continuously for a specific period, usually 5(five) years, and meet certain criteria, such as passing the Life in the UK test, are eligible for ILR.

What are the benefits?

Benefits of ILR include the right to live and work in the UK without any restrictions, access to public services and the ability to apply for British citizenship after a certain period.

How long does it take to get Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK?

It usually takes 5(five) years of continuous residency in the UK to qualify for ILR.

Is there a fee for applying?

Yes, there is a fee for applying for ILR, which is currently £2,404.

Can Indefinite Leave to Remain be revoked in the UK?

Yes, ILR can be revoked if an individual violates the conditions of their status, such as committing a crime or providing false information in their application.

What documents are required?

Documents required for ILR include passport or travel documents, proof of residency, and evidence of meeting the eligibility criteria, such as passing the Life in the UK test.

Is it necessary to renew?

No, ILR is indefinite and does not need to be renewed.

Can I travel outside the UK?

Yes, ILR holders are allowed to travel outside the UK, but if they are absent continuously for more than 2(two) years, their ILR status may be jeopardized.

What is the difference between it and British citizenship?

ILR allows a person to live and work in the UK without restrictions, while British citizenship offers full rights and privileges, including the right to vote and hold a British passport.

Can a person with ILR to sponsor a family member to come to the UK?

Yes, a person with ILR can sponsor a family member to come to the UK, but the family member must meet the eligibility criteria for entry into the country.

How does Brexit affect it?

Brexit does not change the eligibility criteria for ILR, but it does impact the application process for EU citizens, who now need to apply for settled status.

Is it necessary to take the Life in the UK test for Indefinite Leave to Remain?

Yes, normally, taking and passing the Life in the UK test is a requirement for many individuals applying for ILR.

Can a person with Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK access public services?

Yes, a person with ILR has access to public services in the UK, including the National Health Service (NHS) and the education system.

Can a person with Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK work for the government?

Yes, a person with ILR has the right to work for the government in the UK, just like any other citizen.

How does the right to work change with Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK?

A person with ILR has the right to work without any restrictions in the UK, including the right to start a business, work for an employer, or be self-employed.

Can a person with Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK vote in general UK elections?

No, a person with ILR does not have the right to vote in general UK elections until they have obtained British citizenship.

How does the time spent outside the UK affect Indefinite Leave to Remain?

A person with ILR (settled status) must not be absent continually from the UK for more than 2 (two) years or 5 (five) years under EU Settlement Scheme; otherwise, their ILR status may be jeopardized.

Can a person with Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK apply for a mortgage?

Yes, a person with ILR can apply for a mortgage in the UK, just like any other citizen.

What happens if a person with Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK violates UK immigration laws?

If a person with ILR violates UK immigration laws, they may face penalties, including fines or removal from the UK.

Can a person with Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK apply for a UK passport?

Yes, a person with ILR has the right to apply for a UK passport, usually once they have held ILR status for 12 months. Some persons, such as spouses, can instantly apply if getting ILR.

Is Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK transferable to another country?

No, ILR status is not transferable to another country. ILR is only valid in the UK.