What is Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)?

Indefinite Leave to Remain

A person with Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) or in other words, with permanent status in the UK, is a person who is legally in the UK without any restrictions or conditions being placed on his/her residence. ILR is the precursor to applying for naturalisation as a British citizen.

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Requirements for ILR

The requirements for ILR vary depending on the visa category of the applicant. The general requirements taken into consideration in ILR applications are:

  • Length of time spent in the UK
  • English Language test
  • Life in the UK test
  • Absence/presence of unspent criminal conviction
  • Continuous lawful residence

Qualifying period for ILR

The qualifying period for ILR can vary depending on the visa category you were in when you entered the UK and/or have been in since you entered. You and any of your dependents applying with you should apply before the end of your/their permitted stay in the UK. However, the application should not be made more than 28 days before completing the qualifying period.

The qualifying periods for ILR are as follows:

  • 2 or 3 years in the following visa categories:
  1. Tier 1 Investor (accelerated)
  • 3 years in the following visa categories:
  1. Tier 1 Entrepreneur (accelerated)
  2. Tier 1 Exceptional Talent (accelerated)
  • 5 years in the following visa categories:
  1. Tier 1 and Tier 2 point-based system (excluding Post-study work category of Tier 1)
  2. Tier 1 Entrepreneur (Start-up/Innovator
  3. Tier 1 Investor
  4. Tier 1 Global Investor
  5. Sole Representative of an overseas business
  6. UK ancestry
  7. Retired person of independent means 

How travelling affects continuous stay

 The qualifying period will be calculated by counting backward from whichever of the following is most beneficial to the applicant: the date of application, or the date of decision, any date up to 28 days after the date of application.

Previously, if you were absent from the UK for more than 180 days in any 12-month period the continuous period would be been broken. Following recent changes to rules pertaining to absences, for settlement applications made from 11th January 2018, absences from the UK are calculated on a rolling basis rather than in separate consecutive 12-month periods. However, if your qualifying period includes Leave granted before this date, any absences during that Leave will be considered under the previous rules, i.e. in separate 12-month periods.

In some circumstances, the Home Office may consider a period of absence from the UK as an allowable absence, if the absence is for a serious or compelling reason. This usually includes:

  • Serious illness of the applicant or a close relative
  • A conflict
  • A natural disaster, for example, tsunami or volcanic eruption

How NA Law Solicitors can help with your ILR application: 

Our team of immigration solicitors specialise in the provision of advice on all aspects of UK immigration law and with years of experience, we can ensure your application is up to the highest possible standard.

Get in touch for an initial case assessment to find out how we can help you stay in the UK permanently.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs):

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