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Applying for ILR: Step-by-Step Guide to Indefinite Leave to Remain

General Visa Application Guidance: Basics You Need to Know


In reading this guide in full to the end you with have a better understanding of applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain and become a UK permanent resident.


If your ILR requirements are more complex and you need help? We can support you request help below.



Settlement Visa
If your Indefinite Leave to Remain has expired you can apply for ILR BRP Card

If you're considering applying for indefinite leave to remain after 5 years on a spouse visa or under any other category (leave to remain ilr) in the UK, it's essential to understand the basic requirements set out by UKVI (Home Office). Meeting these requirements are crucial to achieving a successful ILR application.


Once you have lived in the UK holding leave to enter or remain upon completing a qualifying period of between 2 - 10 years under certain application routes you become eligible to apply for Permanent residence also known as ILR (indefinite leave to remain) the first step towards becoming a British Citizen. The United Kingdom provides several application routes into the UK that lead on to Settlement (ILR).


Once you are within 28 days of completing your qualifying period this is known as your "continuous residence" you can lodge your ILR application to receive your indefinite leave to remain.



Length Of Residence for ILR application in the UK


To be eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain, you must have been a continuous residence in the UK for at least 60 months or the time required associated to the visa category of your current leave to remain. Continuous Residence is the term used by UKVI (Home Office) when referring to your qualifying residency period you have lived in the UK without any breaks.


You can leave the UK during your continuous residence period for short periods of time such as going on holiday or returning back to your country of origin to visit family and friends remaining outside the UK for up to 180 days within each of your initial qualifying years. However you can only remain outside the UK for 90 days on your final year of residence.


example: If you are married to a UK national then generally speaking you are allowed to remain outside the UK for a total of 540 days across the qualifying period.


Maintaining Your rights when applying for ILR


Once you receive indefinite leave to remain you can stay in the UK without any time or work restrictions. However you can loss your Permanent residence (ILR) if you move away from UK and remain overseas for more than 24 months (2 yrs) at a time. You can also lost it if you continuously only spend short periods of time in the UK to retain your Settled status clearly indicating you no longer live permanently within the UK.


Qualifying Categories to acquire ILR


You can apply for Settlement (PR) if you have spent 5 years or more in UK in any of these categories.


  • Spouse / Partner Visa

  • Dependent of family member (Spouse / Partner)

  • Bereaved partner (5 yr. Spouse / Civil partner route)

  • Victim of domestic violence (5 yr. route)

  • UK Ancestry

  • Tier 1 visa

  • Investor / innovator visa

  • Global Talent visa

  • Previous Entrepreneur visa

  • Health & care skilled worker visa

  • Skilled worker visa


To apply for Permanent residence you first need to meet the following core application requirements indicated below.


Absences from the UK under ILR


Depending on the category you apply under there are specific limits to the amount of time you are allowed to spend outside the UK. Generally speaking, you should not be absent from the UK in your first 4 years of residence for more than 180 days per consecutive calendar year. No more than 90 days in your final qualifying year.


Maintain the qualifying rights under ILR


As part of your Indefinite leave to Remain qualifying requirements you must demonstrate you have correctly maintained your qualifying rights of stay in the UK. These relate to good character, which involve adhering to the UK Immigration rules, paying taxes, and not having a criminal record or other convictions that would otherwise disqualify you from meeting the eligibility requirements.


The financial requirements


Dependent on the visa category, you must demonstrate you have continuously maintained the necessary salary requirements relating to the application route you qualify under.


You will have to pay any outstanding Health insurance charge fees if applicable.


Supporting Documentation


You need to make sure you complete the correct application form and submit accurate information demonstrating you have meet all the eligibility requirements associated to the visa category you are qualify under.


How long can you stay:


Once you receive indefinite leave to remain you can stay in the UK without any time or work restrictions.


Natural progression to Citizenship:


Once you receive your ILR and depending on your personal circumstances you may be eligible to apply for Naturalisation (British Citizenship) immediately after receiving your Permanent residence BRC card.



Applying for ILR Lets get your application started together





Disclaimer: The information provided above is for general purposes only relating to Immigration visa application procedures and these rules change regularly. I highly recommended you contact me directly for more in-depth advice and assistance. All enquiries receive a free initial application assessment to clarify how you meet the general application requirements of the above application route.

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