You may have heard of Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) before – if you are not sure about what it means, read on as our team details the meaning of ILR.

Indefinite Leave to Remain meaning

Indefinite Leave to Remain is an immigration status granted to individuals, enabling them to stay, study and/or work in the UK without limitations and restrictions. It is also known as Permanent Residence or Settled Status.

Individuals who obtain this status are able to go in and out of the country as they please and can remain in the UK without restrictions. Various benefits include full access to public healthcare, state education for students below 18 years old, public funds and more.

Although the term includes the word ‘indefinite’, it is important to note that this status is not permanent and can be lost if the individual is absent from the country for an extended period of time of over 2 or 5 years. However, there is the possibility to apply to reinstate or renew ILR, provided you meet the eligibility requirements.

ILR and Settled Status

Under the EU Settlement Scheme, qualifying EU citizens either have Pre-Settled or Settled Status. Having the Settled Status means that you have been residing in the UK for at least five years, thus granting Indefinite Leave to Remain.

EU citizens who entered the UK before 31 December 2020 but failed to apply to the scheme, or EEA nationals who entered after this date, may now need to either submit a late application or apply for a visa before they can be eligible for ILR.

ILR & British citizenship

While British and Irish citizens have Indefinite Leave to Remain by default, obtaining Indefinite Leave to Remain does not grant you citizenship. In most cases especially to Naturalise, ILR is required to apply for British Citizenship, and many individuals go on to obtain citizenship once they have been granted ILR.

Contact immigration experts

If you are looking for more information on Indefinite Leave to Remain, we have covered key topics including:

If you would like to speak to experienced immigration lawyers to discuss your ILR application or visa case, please get in touch.

You may also want to read the following information:

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My family and I were very emotional receiving the good news today. Thank you for all your help and we will definitely recommend you to our European friends who are planning ahead after Brexit!

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My family and I were very emotional receiving the good news today. Thank you for all your help and we will definitely recommend you to our European friends who are planning ahead after Brexit!

Naturalisation (British Citizenship) client – Dutch