Secure Your Future in the UK with Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)

Terraced houses are seen in Primrose Hill, London, Britain

Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) is a valuable visa that offers individuals the opportunity to establish permanent residency in the United Kingdom. Also known as permanent residency or settlement, ILR serves as a crucial steppingstone towards obtaining British citizenship.

1. Indefinite Leave to Remain Requirements

To qualify for ILR, fulfilling the primary requirement of completing the qualifying residence period in the UK is essential. Typically, this period spans five years, although for the long residency route, it extends to ten years. Additionally, applicants must successfully pass both the Life in the UK test and the B1 English test, unless they hold a degree taught in English. It’s worth noting that the application for ILR can only be made within 28 days before the visa’s expiration date, unless you are eligible for an earlier submission.

It is imperative that applicants demonstrate adherence to immigration laws and possess a clean criminal record. They must provide evidence of continuous residency in the UK, along with a genuine intention to permanently settle, supported by documentation showcasing employment history or financial stability.

2. Indefinite Leave to Remain Based on Work

For individuals seeking ILR based on their work history in the UK, continuous residence for a minimum of five years is a prerequisite. This five-year period encompasses time spent on various immigration routes, including Skilled Worker (including Tier 2 (General)), Global Talent (previously Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent)), Innovator, T2 Minister of Religion (previously Tier 2 (Minister of Religion)), T2 Sportsperson (previously Tier 2 (Sportsperson)), Representative of an Overseas Business, Tier 1 (Entrepreneur), Tier 1 (General), or Tier 1 (Investor).

3. Indefinite Leave to Remain Based on Family

Once an individual has spent five years in the UK on a spouse visa, they become eligible to apply for ILR. Both the applicant and their spouse or civil partner must be physically present in the UK to meet the eligibility criteria. Continuous cohabitation since the last visa extension and a genuine intention to live together permanently must be demonstrated. Sufficient evidence of an ongoing and authentic relationship with the spouse or civil partner should also be provided.

4. ILR Based on Long Residence

Eligibility for ILR under the 10-year long residence category requires valid permission to stay and continuous residency in the UK for a minimum of ten years. Applicants must have adhered to the terms of their visa and possess an untarnished record in terms of immigration law violations and criminal convictions.

5. Indefinite Leave to Enter

Indefinite Leave to Enter is typically granted to individuals under 18 years of age or adult dependent relatives over 65 years of age, in most cases.

6. ILR Supporting Documents

When applying for indefinite leave to remain, it is crucial to provide supporting documents that validate your eligibility for the chosen ILR category. These documents should be original and must substantiate the information provided in your application. The following documents are typically required:

  • Current passport, along with a biometric residence permit (BRP) or BRP card to establish your identity.
  • Documents showcasing your financial situation, income, and employment status. These can include bank statements, payslips, P60s, and employment contracts.
  • Evidence of continuous residency in the UK, such as tenancy agreements, council tax bills, utility bills, and other relevant documents.
  • Proof of passing the Life in the UK test.
  • Documentation proving English language proficiency, such as an English language test certificate or a degree certificate from a UK university.

It is important to note that the specific documents required may vary depending on individual circumstances. Ensure that you have all the necessary documents ready before submitting your ILR application.

7. Expected Processing Time for ILR Application

The standard processing time for an ILR application is approximately six months. However, this duration can vary based on the complexity of the case, and the Home Office UKVI might request additional checks and documentation. Expedited processing services are available for an additional cost. The priority processing service, costing £500, guarantees a decision within five working days. Alternatively, the super-priority service, priced at £800, ensures a decision by the end of the next working day after the UKVCAS appointment. It’s important to bear in mind that the use of these services does not guarantee a decision within the specified timeframe, especially for complex cases. Nevertheless, UKVI assures applicants that their applications will receive priority at every stage of the decision-making process.


Securing Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK opens up a multitude of opportunities for individuals seeking permanent residency and eventual British citizenship. By fulfilling the necessary requirements and submitting a well-documented application, you can pave the way for a future filled with stability and prosperity. Remember to adhere to the guidelines outlined in this guide and consult with immigration professionals for personalised advice and assistance throughout the ILR application process. Your journey towards a secure future in the UK starts here.

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