ILR or indefinite leave to remain is for people who have immigrated to the UK and don’t have the right of abode in the UK. ILR is the final hurdle before applying for British Citizenship. Holding ILR allows you to continue to stay in the UK for work, study, or to live in the UK.
You can apply for Indefinite Leave to remain ILR after 5 years/ 60 months of continuous residency in the UK in categories such as Appendix FM, Appendix EU, Sole Representative, Tier 1 or Tier 2 categories.
Eligibility For ILR
A 5-year or 60 months of continuous residency is required in most of the categories, however, for example, those on Tier 1 visa holders can apply for ILR after spending 2 or 3 years provided they meet the requirements of relevant Immigration Rules.
In most cases –
- You must not have spent more than 180 days outside the UK in each of the qualifying period of 5 consecutive years from the date of your application (this requirement is not applicable to Appendix FM route if the couple was living together outside the UK or there are compassionate and compelling circumstances);
- You are of “Good Character” and your application does not fall under the general grounds for refusal;
- You have passed the “Life in the UK” test to prove sufficient knowledge about life in the UK; and
- You meet the English language requirement at level B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages
Those applicants who are either married to or in a civil partnership with a British Citizen or a settled person and they arrived in the UK for permission to stay as a spouse or partner before 9 July 2012 on need to meet 2 years of continuous residence in the UK condition.
How to apply?
Applicants can apply online. You can use SET (M) form if you are a partner of a British Citizen or one who is settled in the UK. Others can apply using the SET (O) form.
When to apply?
You must apply before your current visa expires. You can apply not more than 28 days before the last day of your permitted staying period in the UK. Your permitted time duration in the UK is calculated from either the day you entered the UK or from the day you were granted permission to enter the UK originally, provided you entered the UK within 3 months of the granted permission. If you did not enter the UK within 3 months of receiving the visa or grant then you will need to extend your stay to complete the 60 months or 5 years.
Documents Required for ILR
Everyone’s circumstances are different and different documents apply in each case, however, general documents required when making an application for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) after 5 years are –
- Your passport or any travel document as your identity proof;
- Documents such as bank statements or salary slip to prove your current level of income as evidence that you can support yourself and dependents (if any) further;
- List of days outside the UK;
- Your “Life in the UK Test” pass notification; and
- An English language test certificate.
Applying with dependents
If a child has completed 60 months in the UK then they can apply with their parents, however, children born in the UK can apply for Registration to become a British Citizen after the parents have received ILR. Children above 18 years of age need to apply separately and also meet the requirement for English and pass Life in the UK test.
Post-Brexit changes for EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens
Things have changed after the UK decided to leave the EU in 2018. Now, the UK has decided to treat the EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens and other non-British citizens equally from the day the UK officially leaves the EU. However, those EU, EEA, and Swiss nationals already living in the UK can apply for either “Settled Status” or “Pre-settled” status under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) depending upon mainly the time spent by them in the UK.
Support from trusted names like Visa & Migration
You can seek support from us anytime during the process of making an application for Indefinite Leave to remain ILR after 5 years. We have a team of experts who provide you with all legal support towards your application process and make your ILR application a success.
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