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ILR Requirements - Indefinite Leave to Remain

Indefinite Leave to Remain Requirements & Qualifying Periods

To qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), also referred as “settled status”, will need you to have completed a period of residency in the UK and you must be here for a specified periods of residency. 

Indefinite leave to remain (ILR) or permanent residency (PR) is an immigration status granted to a person who does not hold the right of abode in the United Kingdom (UK), but who has been admitted to the UK without any time limit on his or her stay and who is free to take up employment or study, without restriction. When indefinite leave is granted to persons outside the United Kingdom it is known as indefinite leave to enter (ILE).

What is the term settled status used in the context of British Nationality Law

Once you have gained indefinite leave to remain, this status is central to British nationality law, as the most usual route to naturalisation or registration as a British citizen requires that you must settled in the UK. 

Settled status is also important where a child of non-British citizen parents is born in the UK, as unless at least one parent has settled status the child will not automatically be a British citizen.

The requirements of Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)

Here you will find summary details of the requirements for those who can apply for indefinite leave to remain. 

  1. A child (including an adopted child) aged under 18 who holds leave to enter or remain with a view to settlement with a parent, parents or a relative who is a settled person and resident in the UK can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).

  2.  A parent, grandparent or other dependant relative aged 18 or over of a person who is a settled person and resident in the UK can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).

  3. A person satisfying all of the below criteria can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), where they was given permission to come to the UK for up to 27 months or to extend his/her stay for two years as the husband, wife, civil partner, unmarried partner or same-sex partner of a permanent resident (even if that permission is no longer valid), was still in that relationship at the time he/she came to the UK or extended your stay as their husband, wife, civil partner, unmarried partner or same-sex partner and can produce evidence that the relationship has broken down permanently since then as a result of domestic violence.

  4. A person who has lived in the UK for 2 or 5 years with temporary permission to remain in the UK as the husband, wife, civil partner or unmarried/same-sex partner of a British citizen or a settled person and who intends to continue living together (and are still married or in a civil partnership, if applicable) can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).

  5. A person who has lived in the UK for 4 years with a visa issued under the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP) and Employment Not Requiring Work Permit before 3 April 2006 can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). The last date to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) will be the 5th of April 2018. 

  6. A person who has lived in the UK for 5 years with a visa issued in one of the following categories can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR): Tier 1 or Tier 2 of the points-based system (excluding the Post-study work category of Tier work permit, businessperson, innovator, investor, representative of an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation, private servant in a diplomatic household, domestic worker in a private household, overseas government employee, minister of religion, missionary or member of a religious order, airport-based operational staff of an overseas-owned airline, self-employed lawyer, writer, composer or artist, UK ancestry and highly skilled migrant under the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP).

  7. A person who has lived in the UK for 5 years with a visa issued in one of the following categories can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR): retired person of independent means and sole representative of an overseas firm.

  8. A person who has been granted humanitarian protection since 30 August 2005 and whose current 5-year permission to stay is due to expire can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).

  9. A person who has lived in the UK for 5 years under the Gateway Protection Programme can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).

  10. A person who has lived in the UK for 6 years with Discretionary Leave can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). 

  11. 10 years' residence. A person who has lived in the UK for 10 years continuously can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) as long as all time spent in the UK during the 10 years has been lawful (although discretion can be exercised to disregard one single gap in lawful residence of no more than 28 calendar days, or of more than 28 calendar days in exceptional circumstances).

  12. A person aged under 18 who has lived in the UK for 17 years continuously (lawfully or unlawfully) can apply for leave to remain on the grounds of private life. After living in the UK for a further 10 years (holding leave to remain on the grounds of private life during this period), he/she can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).

  13. A person aged between 18 and 25 who has lived in the UK for at least half of his/her life (lawfully or unlawfully) can apply for leave to remain on the grounds of private life. After living in the UK for a further 10 years (holding leave to remain on the grounds of private life during this period), he/she can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).

  14. A person who has lived in the UK for 20 years continuously (lawfully or unlawfully) can apply for leave to remain on the grounds of private life. After living in the UK for a further 10 years (holding leave to remain on the grounds of private life during this period), he/she can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).

  15. Alternatively, a person who has lived in the UK for less than 20 years continuously (lawfully or unlawfully) but has no ties (including social, cultural or family) with his/her country of origin can apply for leave to remain on the grounds of private life. After living in the UK for a further 10 years (holding leave to remain on the grounds of private life during this period), he/she can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).

  16. UK Visas and Immigration has discretion to grant Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) outside the Immigration Rules either where someone qualifies under one of the immigration policy concessions or for reasons that are particularly compelling in circumstance and it is almost certain that there will be no change in circumstances within five years.

Further requirements to be met on indefinite leave to remain application

When you apply for indefinite leave to remain, there are further requirements which are considered as part of your immigration application:

Economic Activity

In addition to the above requirements, there are further requirements that will depend on the visa status that you hold at the time of applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). 

Those holding Tier 1 visa status will be required to demonstrate that they meet a points threshold that is similar to the extension requirements for their visa.

Those holding Tier 2 Visa status (work permits) will be required to demonstrate that they have earned no less than the level of salary that was stated on their most recent Tier 2 Visa application.

Other Requirements

You will also have to pass the Knowledge of Life in the UK Test AND a recognised English language test (except for certain English-speaking nationalities and those who have a degree taught in English). In addition you will have to be free of any unspent convictions and meet the good character requirements. 

Conditions of Stay for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)

It is important to realise that this visa grants Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). This means that your visa can be revoked if you are outside the UK for a lengthy period where it might appear that the UK is no longer your primary residence. 

It is therefore strongly recommended that you do not stay outside the UK for more than 2 years and you should ideally apply for naturalisation as a British Citizen as soon as you are able to do so.

Taking legal advice on the indefinite leave to remain application

We at ICS Legal will provide guidance and correct advice on the route to settlement. 

You can speak to one of our UK Immigration Lawyers on 0207 237 3388 or you can email us at info@icslegal.com if you are considering to apply for indefinite leave to remain.  

 

ICS Legal : UK Immigration Advice | UK Visas | Partners & Marriage Visas | Tier 1 Start-up, Tier 1 Innovator & Tier 1 Investor Visas | British Citizenship. ICS Legal is part of ICS Legal Immigration Specialists Ltd. The content and the source codes contained in this page and subsequent pages of www.icslegal.com are the property of ICS Legal Immigration Specialists Ltd. Company Reg Company No. 08703375. Company Registered in England & Wales. By logging into the site, you have accepted our terms and conditions and must abide accordingly. Unauthorised reproduction and copying is strictly prohibited. Selective contents of the website have been re-produced in accordance to Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI). ICS Legal Immigration Specialists Ltd holds PSI Licence and licence number is C2009002244. Parliamentary Licence number is P2009000241. 


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