Indefinite Leave To Remain

Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) confirms your right to live in the UK permanently, without any time limit and free from immigration control. Indefinite Leave to Remain is also sometimes understood as Settlement or Permanent Residence. In most cases, obtaining Indefinite Leave to Remain is necessary to be eligible for British Citizenship.

In what ways can you obtain Indefinite Leave To Remain?

To be eligible for Indefinite Leave To Remain, you must first be in the UK on a category that leads to settlement for a period stipulated under one of the qualifying categories. The potential routes to ILR include:

2 years’ route towards obtaining ILR:

  • Tier 1 Investor (Accelerated route)

3 years’ route towards obtaining ILR:

  • Tier 1 Investor (Accelerated route)
  • Tier 1 Entrepreneur (Accelerated route)

 5 years’ route towards obtaining ILR / PR:

  • Tier 1 Investor
  • Tier 1 Entrepreneur
  • Tier 1 General / Highly-Skilled Migrant
  • Tier 2 General (Work)
  • Partner (Spouse, Unmarried Partner, Civil Partner, Same-sex Partner)
  • EEA Residence Card
  • Parent
  • Ancestry
  • Asylum

6 years’ route towards obtaining ILR:

  • Discretionary Leave to Remain

10 years’ route towards obtaining ILR:

  • Long Residence
  • Partner (Spouse, Unmarried Partner, Civil Partner, Same-sex Partner)
  • Parent
  • Private Life

How do I Qualify for ILR?

Once you complete your continuous period of lawful residence in the UK, you do not automatically qualify for ILR. You must submit an application along with your evidence of eligibility. Evidence of eligibility for Indefinite Leave To Remain includes:

  • Continue fulfilling the relevant requirements of your current visa route
  • Continuous lawful residence in the UK for the required qualify period
  • Demonstrate knowledge of language and life in the UK (unless exempt)
    • Pass the Life in the UK test
    • Meet the English language test or qualification requirements

When can I apply for ILR?

The general rule of thumb is that you can usually apply for ILR upon completion of your residential period before your visa expires or within 28 days before the completion of your residential period, whichever is sooner.

Life in the UK test

You will need to show that you Knowledge of Language and Life in the UK (KOLL) by taking the Life in the UK Test (LUK) and producing an English test certificate or qualification above the CEFR Level B1. Once you have passed the test, you do not need to retake it to qualify for British Citizenship.

If you are under the age of 18 or over the age of 65 you are exempt from this requirement.

How can QC-Immigration help with your ILR application?

  • Determine the earliest date you can apply
  • If you fail to meeting specific eligibility criteria for your settlement route
  • If your circumstances have changed since being granted the visa
  • If you have excessive number of days out of the UK within the recognized period of time
  • If you have criminal convictions
  • If you have gaps in your work, relationship etc.
  • If you have failed to pay taxes and keep HMRC updated 

Indefinite Leave to Remain is lost through absence from the United Kingdom for a period exceeding two years continuously.

If you lost your Indefinite Leave to Remain, you must apply for a Returning Resident visa before attempting to enter the UK.

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