Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)
Applying for ILR in the UK
What is Indefinite Leave to Remain?
Indefinite Leave to Remain gives you permission to live and work in the UK. An Indefinite Leave to Remain visa - also known as ILR or Permanent Residence - is the last step for any non-UK national or citizen to fulfill if they want to become eligible to apply for British citizenship.
When applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain on your current leave or visa, there might be the option of obtaining ILR status under the same day service. To check whether you’re eligible for the same day, premium process and the next available date you can submit an ILR application, contact us today.
How long is Indefinite Leave to Remain valid for?
There isn’t a limit on how long Indefinite Leave to Remain is valid for. However, Indefinite Leave to Remain can be revoked if you break the conditions. For example, if you spend periods of more than two years outside of the UK, this can lead to the loss of ILR status, as it suggests that your main residence may be in another country. ILR can also become invalidated for other reasons, such as if you commit a criminal offence.
In order to apply for an ILR visa, the main requirement is to have spent five or 10 years (if applying under the long residency route) lawfully in the UK. You can only apply for ILR 28 days before your visa expires, although in some cases you may be eligible earlier. You can find this out by checking with one of our UK immigration team.
You will also be required to take a Life in the UK test and B1 English test. However, if you hold a degree taught in English, you may not be required to take the B1 test.
During the previous five years, the applicant should not have spent 180 days or more outside the UK. The days out requirements have different clauses, so please check with our advisers if you have been out of the UK for more than 180 days. Depending on the circumstances, you may still be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain on compassionate and compelling grounds.
Documents Required for Indefinite Leave to Remain
When you apply for indefinite leave to remain, you need to show that you satisfy the necessary requirements by providing supporting documents. These documents should be originals, and corroborate the information your provided in your application.
You’ll need to provide:
- Documents proving your identity, such as a current passport, Biometric Residence Permit, and two passport photos
- Documents proving your income, finances and employment, such as bank statements, payslips, P60s and your employment contract
- Proof that you have lived continuously in the UK for five years; tenancy agreements, council tax bills, utility bills, etc.
- Proof that you have passed the Life in the UK test
- Certification of English language proficiency, such as the English Language Test certificate or a degree certificate from a UK university.
ILR Visa Categories
ILR Visa 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 in the UK, i.e. 10 to 20 years. 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. If you have been out of the UK for more than 18 months and are applying for ILR under the long residency route, please speak to our advisers for further information.
ILR Visa on the basis of being a spouse, unmarried partner or marriage visa holder
The spouse, civil partner or unmarried partner of a British citizen - or partners of a present and settled person - will be able to apply for an Indefinite Leave to Remain visa after living as a married couple or as part of a civil partnership; in order words, if you have a spouse visa, fiance visa or defacto visa. The relevant period of time is 2 years if you were given such a visa before 9th July 2012, or 5 years if given the visa after this date. You will also need to provide proof of cohabitation and meet the financial requirement rules if your initial leave to enter was granted after 9th July 2012.
ILR on the basis of domestic violence
You may be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain visa on the basis of domestic violence, although you would need to provide the necessary evidence. If granted, you would not need to pass the Life in the UK test or the Level B1 test. Note, too, that you cannot apply on a same day basis for this ILR visa category.
Work Permit Tier 2 indefinite leave to remain
In order to apply for an ILR visa in this category, the applicant will need to have a salary of:
- £35,000 if applying on or after 6 April 2016
- £35,500 if applying on or after 6 April 2018
- £35,800 if applying on or after 6 April 2019
- £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 your employer and also meet the current requirements under the Standard Occupation Classification (SOC) codes. You can apply for this visa under the same day service.
Tier 1 Entrepreneur or Investor indefinite leave to remain
To apply for indefinite leave to remain as an investor or entrepreneur visa holder, you have different time periods depending upon how much money you have available. The restriction of days out does apply to this category. Under these categories, you should have invested £50,000, £200,000, 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 initially 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 meet the mandatory requirements indicated above. You cannot apply for this category using the same day PEO service. The 10-year discretionary leave is granted to people who have made an application after 9th July 2012.
HM Forces ILR visa
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 don’t need to meet any 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. You will need to complete the life in the UK test. Family members of HM forces can also apply for ILR after completing 5 years in the UK.
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 the last 5 years.
This is now replaced by the EU Settled Status Scheme and you can apply for Indefinite leave to remain as an EEA National.
Domestic Worker ILR
If you have been granted entry clearance as a domestic worker before 6th April 2012, 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, which involves proving that your employer still requires you as a domestic worker.
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.
Other Routes to ILR
Generally, for all other categories of ILR, the applicant needs to meet the extension requirements and pass the life in the UK test. In addition, they will need to show that they have not been absent from the UK for more than 180 days during any of the last 5 years.