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Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)


Do you need to apply for a Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)?
Speak to our experts to find out about our fast, friendly and affordable service

Indefinite Leave to Remain is also known as Permanent Residency or ILR. ILR is the last step for any non-UK national/citizen to fulfil before becoming eligible to apply for British citizenship. When applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain on your current leave/visa, you may have the option of obtaining ILR status under the same day service. To check whether you’re eligible for the same day/premium process and what is the next available date you can, contact us today.

Mandatory Requirements for ILR


The main requirement under the applicable category to apply for ILR is to have spent 5 years or 10 years lawfully (if applying under the long residency route) in the UK. You can apply for ILR only 28 days before your visa expiry, but in some cases, you may be eligible earlier - please check with one of our UK immigration team. Other mandatory requirements consist of the Life in the UK test and level B1 test. Note that you may not be required to take the level B1 test if you hold a degree taught in English, which we will need to check for you.

The applicant should not have spent 180 days out of the UK in each year of any previous 5 years. However, days out should be for the purpose for which your initial visa was granted. The days out requirements have different clauses so please check with our advisers even though you have been out of the UK for more than 180 days, as your case may fit for compassionate and compelling circumstances. 

Categories for ILR: 


ILR on the basis of Long Term Residency in the UK

The application for a Long Term Residency visa can be filed by applicants who have spent an extended period of time i.e. 10 years or 20 years in the UK.

If an applicant has been living in the UK for 10 years lawfully (legally) or 20 years unlawfully (illegally), they become eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK. The days out requirement under this category is 18 months, please check with our advisers if you have been out of the UK for more than 18 months and are applying under long residency route. The above stated mandatory requirements also need to satisfied in order to apply for ILR under this route.

ILR on the basis of being a spouse, unmarried partner or marriage visa holder

The spouse or civil partner/unmarried partners of a British citizen or partners of present and settled person will be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after living as a married couple or unmarried/civil partner after a period of 2 years if you were given a spouse/fiancé/Unmarried partner visa before 9 July 2012 and after 5 years if you were given a spouse/fiancé or Unmarried partner visa after 9 July 2012. You will also need to provide proof of cohabitation and meet the financial requirement rules if your initial leave to enter was granted after 9 July 2012. You can apply for ILR with the Level B1 citizenship test at entry level 3 and Life in the UK test.

ILR on the basis of Domestic Violence

You may be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain on the basis of domestic violence and by providing the essential evidence. However, you will not be required to meet the Life in the UK test and the Level B1 test. You cannot apply on same day basis for this category. For further advice, contact our team of experts

Indefinite Leave to Remain on the basis of Tier 1 General/HSMP

The candidate needs to meet the extension requirements and score 75 if they were first granted Tier 1 General/HSMP any time before 6 April 2010 or 80 points after 6 April 2010. Applicants, who apply under HSMP judicial review will be eligible to apply for ILR within 4 years, please check with our advisers if you do qualify now. The applicant also needs to meet the other mandatory requirements stated above on this page. You can apply for this application under Same Day Service.

NOTE: IF YOU ARE EXTENDING YOUR STAY OR APPLYING FOR SETTLEMENT UNDER THIS CATEGORY AFTER OCTOBER 2013, YOU WILL NEED TO SHOW THAT YOUR CURRENT AND PREVIOUS EARNINGS WERE/ARE GENUINE OR YOUR APPLICATION MAY BE REFUSED.

Extensions to this category close from April 2015 and Indefinite Leave to remain applications will be stopped after April 2018. Please contact our specialists at Visa and Migration for your application process.

Work Permit/Tier 2 Indefinite Leave to Remain

There have been recent changes to this category from 6 April 2012 the applicant will need to have a salary of:

(a) £35,000 if applying on or after 6 April 2016,

(b) £35,500 if applying on or after 6 April 2018,

(c) £35,800 if applying on or after 6 April 2019,

(d) £36,200 if applying on or after 6 April 2020,

If you have been granted a visa before this date then the main requirements are to provide the latest pay slips, letter from employer and also meet the current requirements under the Standard Occupation Classification (SOC) Codes. Other mandatory requirements stated above should also be met under this category. You can apply for this visa under same day service. Please note that if you are under Tier 2 (ICT) category you should have been granted entry clearance, as a Tier 2 (ICT) holder or a work permit holder before 05 April 2010 only then you will be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain, however if you believe that you have completed 5 years in the UK it may still be worth consulting a member of our team of immigration specialist.

Tier 1 Entrepreneur/Investor Indefinite Leave to Remain


To apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain under this category you have different time periods, depending upon how much money is available, please contact one of our advisers to see if you can apply under this category. The restriction of days out does apply to this category. Under these categories, you should have invested £50000, £200000, one or two million GBP.

Discretionary Indefinite Leave to Remain


In order to apply under this category, you should have been granted discretionary leave to remain in the UK in the first place and should have spent 6 or 10 years lawfully in the UK. The grounds under which discretion was exercised by the Home Office should still persist and you will need to provide proof of the same and also meet other mandatory requirements indicated above. You cannot apply for this category using same day PEO service. The 10 Year discretionary leave is granted to people who have made an application after 09 July 2012. 

HM Forces Indefinite Leave to Remain

If you have been discharged or medically discharged from the HM Forces and have served for at least 4 years you will be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain. You need not meet mandatory requirements for this category. If you have been medically discharged you may still be able to apply for ILR even if you have not completed 4 years period in the army. Please contact advisers at Visa and Migration to see if you qualify to apply under this category. You will need to complete the life in the UK test, however, it is worth checking with an adviser at Visa and Migration team member.

Family members of HM forces can apply for ILR after completing 5 years in the UK, please consult our advisers to see if you qualify for making an application under this category.

EEA Permanent Residence

If you wish to apply for Permanent Residence under the EEA category, then the EEA National should be exercising treaty rights in the United Kingdom for last 5 years.

Domestic Worker ILR

If you have been granted entry clearance as a domestic worker before 6 April 2012 only then you will be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK. You will need to meet the mandatory requirements and additional requirements for proving your employer still requires you as a domestic worker. Contact our team of specialists at Visa and Migration for advice.

Indefinite Leave to Enter

Generally, Indefinite Leave to Enter is granted to children under the age of 18 years or adult dependent relative above the age of 65 years. The can complete the mandatory requirements and apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK.

Other Routes to ILR

Generally, for all other categories, in order to apply for ILR the applicant needs to meet the extension requirements and have the life in the UK test provided they are not absent from the UK for more than 180 days in any of the years during last 5 years. Please contact one of our representatives today for further advice to see if you do qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain.

Life in the UK Test

From 28 October 2013 all applicants above 18 years and below 65 years of age, will have to meet Knowledge of Life in the UK and Life in the UK test requirements in order to apply for ILR. You can book the life in the UK test by calling 0800 015 4245. Alternatively, we can book the test for you.

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Do you need to apply for a Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)?
Speak to our experts to find out about our fast, friendly and affordable service

Get In Touch



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We specialise exclusively in UK Immigration and Nationality Law. We are regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner(OISC). We provide immigration services to clients from worldwide. Immigration law is complex and with the rules constantly changing we strongly recommend that you use specialists to support and represent you from the start. Call us now for an honest opinion of your case, possible costs and options.

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