Indefinite Leave To Remain

How To Apply For UK Indefinite Leave To Remain

Overseas nationals may apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), which allows them to stay in the country indefinitely. In most cases, you must have lived in the UK for at least five years before applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain, but in certain cases, you may apply after three or even two years.

ILR can be obtained via a variety of immigration visas, including Spouse Visas, Innovator Visas, and the Skilled Worker Visa. Indefinite Leave to Remain is the first stage towards  naturalisation and full citizenship and allows a person to remain in the UK without limitations.

General Overview of Indefinite Leave to Remain

Indefinite leave to remain (ILR) refers to permission to stay in the UK indefinitely. Holders of indefinite leave to remain are allowed to work in the UK and can enjoy any state benefits that they are eligible for.

It is important to note that indefinite leave to remain is not the same as British citizenship. A person with ILR keeps their original nationality, but they are not eligible to vote in general elections unless they meet additional criteria based on their nationality.

Migrants granted indefinite leave to remain are free to leave and return to the United Kingdom. They can lose their indefinite leave to remain status if they leave the UK for over two years.

Who Is Eligible For Indefinite Leave to Remain and What Are the Requirements?

The exact requirements vary based on the applicant's individual circumstances, including the visa they have. The most essential requirement for ILR is that you have lived in the UK legally for a specific amount of time. There are, however, additional criteria that must be met.

The following are the general requirements for applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain:

Lawful living in the UK for a specified amount of time
During your stay in the UK, you have broken no immigration laws and do not have a criminal record.
A period of time spent outside the UK during the qualifying period that does not exceed 180 days in a 12-month period.
A passing score on the Life in the UK test, which is based on British culture, history, and customs.
Ability to prove that you can communicate in English at the B1 level as defined by the Common European Framework of Languages

What Are the Different Routes to Indefinite Leave to Remain?

If you have been legally residing in the United Kingdom under a type of settlement visa, you will be eligible to apply for ILR after you have met the minimum time requirements for that visa. In addition, an applicant must meet all other requirements.

The following visas/routes can lead to Indefinite Leave to Remain status:

Family Visa
Spouse Visa
Global Talent Visa
Unmarried Partner Visa
UK Ancestry Visa
Investor Visa (Tier 1)
Start-Up Visa
Innovator Visa
Skilled Worker Visa
Minister of Religion Visa (T2)
Sportsperson Visa (T2)
Intra-Company Transfer Visa
Long residence
Retired Person Visa
Returning resident

There is also a less traditional route that does not require 

It is also possible to qualify for ILR through a less traditional route that does not require applicants to hold a specific visa.

Am I Eligible to Apply For Indefinite Leave to Remain After Five Years?

The period of time you must have stayed in the UK before applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain is determined by your individual circumstances. After five years of legal residence in the UK, a foreign citizen can usually apply for ILR.

The following visas require five years of residency in the United Kingdom:

Family Visa
Unmarried Partner Visa
Spouse Visa
Skilled Worker Visa
Long-term Work Visas
UK Ancestry Visa

With less than five years of residency in the UK, you may be eligible for ILR status, including individuals living in the UK under the following conditions:

Innovator Visa. After three years, based on business achievements, you may be eligible.
Entrepreneur Visa. After three years, based on business activity, you may be eligible. (Please note that this visa is no longer valid.)
Global Talent Visa. If the latest endorsement was granted under the “exceptional talent” or “exceptional promise” criteria, or under the UK Research and Innovation fast track criteria, you will be eligible after three years.
Investor Visa (Tier 1). After two or three years, based on business activity, you may be eligible.

After a four-year qualifying term in the UK, a Commonwealth national who served in the British Armed Forces may apply for ILR.

The minimum time required can be over five years in certain cases. If someone has been living in the UK under a type of Long Residence, they must have spent at least 10 years in the country before applying for ILR if they are above the age of 18, and at least 7 years if they are under the age of 18.

What Are the Documents Required for an Indefinite Leave to Remain Application?

A number of supporting documents will be required as part of your ILR application. This applies to you and any dependents who are applying with you.

It's important to remember that the documents you provide must be the originals. If you cannot provide the originals, you must explain why you are unable to submit them. The Home Office will provide some forbearance if exceptional circumstances prevent you from accessing the original documents.

In most cases, you will be required to provide the following documents and information:

Passports and travel documents, including any previous passports that were valid throughout your stay in the United Kingdom
Certificates of birth or adoption
Documents that detail any time spent outside of the United Kingdom during your residence, such as travel documents.
If you were obliged to register with the police when you arrived in the UK, a police registration certificate.
An overview of your immigration history
Bank statements and other financial data
Pass the Life in the UK test and get a certificate.
If you're not exempt, you'll need a pass certificate to show that you have a B1 level of English.
Two identical passport-sized photos

Indefinite Leave to Remain Fee

The current fee for an application for Indefinite Leave to Remain is £2,389. If you are applying with your family, all of your dependents must pay the entire £2389.

If you need a response on your application quickly, an expedited option is also available. The priority service costs an extra £500 and handles your application in five working days, while the super-priority service costs an extra £800 and reviews your application in one working day.

*These prices are subject to change in the future.

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