INDEFINITE LEAVE TO REMAIN (ILR)

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What is Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)?

If you have Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK, also known as settlement, there is no time limit on your ability to stay in the UK.  It gives you the right to live, work and study in the UK for as long as you like
and you can also use it to apply for British citizenship.

Is there a length of time you must have been in the UK to qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)?

The continuous period you must have been in the UK to qualify for ILR can be either 3 or 5 years depending on the UK visa category you are applying under.

The UK visa routes which require you to have spent a 5-year continuous period in the UK to qualify are:

  • UK Ancestry
  • Skilled Worker
  • Scale-Up Worker
  • International Sportsperson
  • Hong Kong British National (Overseas) BN(O) Status Holder
  • Global Talent (if you were endorsed under the exceptional promise criteria by Arts Council England or Tech Nation)
  • Those seeking to settle in the UK on the basis of their family life with a person who is a British Citizen or who is settled in the UK

The UK visa routes which require you to have spent a 3-year continuous period in the UK to qualify are:

  • Innovator Founder
  • Global Talent (if you were endorsed by the Royal Society, British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering or UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), under the exceptional talent criteria by Arts Council England or Tech Nation or if you were granted your initial application using a prize listed in Appendix Global Talent: Prestigious Prizes)

    Further Information and FAQs

    • Are there absence requirements for applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)?

      For most of the UK visa routes above, the 3 or 5-year continuous residence requirement is met only if you have spent the qualifying continuous residence period required by your route lawfully in the UK and you must not have been outside of the UK for more than 180 days in any 12-month period.

      However, any periods spent outside of the UK for any of the below reasons will not count towards the 180-day limit:

      • Travel disruption due to natural disaster, military conflict or pandemic
      • Compelling and compassionate personal circumstances, such as the life-threatening illness of you or life-threatening illness or death of a close family member
      • Research activity undertaken by a Skilled Worker which was approved by your sponsor and where you were sponsored for a job in certain science, research or education occupation codes
      • Research activity undertaken by a person on the Global Talent route who was endorsed by The Royal Society, The British Academy, The Royal Academy of Engineering or UKRI
      • Research activity undertaken by a person on the Global Talent route who qualified on the basis of a prize as listed in Appendix Global Talent: Prestigious Prizes
      • You were assisting with a national or international humanitarian or environmental crisis overseas, providing if on a sponsored route, your sponsor agreed to the absence for this purpose

      If you are applying for ILR on the basis of your family life with a person who is a British Citizen or who is settled in the UK, the 180-day rule doesn’t apply. However, where there have been periods of time spent outside the UK, this must be for good reasons and the reasons must be consistent with the intention to live together permanently in the UK.

    • Are there any exceptions to meeting the English language and Life in the UK requirements?

      You will not be required to demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the English language and about life in the UK where:

      • You are under 18 years of age at the date of your application
      • You are at least 65 years of age at the date of your application
      • The decision maker considers that, because of your mental or physical condition, it would be unreasonable to expect you to fulfil either or both parts of the requirement

    • How long is Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) status valid for?

      Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) is by its very definition, valid indefinitely.

      However, you lose your ILR if you’ve been outside the UK for 2 or more continuous years. In this instance, you may be able to re-enter the UK and get ILR by applying for a Returning Resident visa if you can evidence strong ties to the UK and provide robust reasoning why you have lived outside of the UK.

    • What are the benefits of having Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) for the UK?

      It gives you the right to live, work and study in the UK for as long as you like without any further immigration control being required. You can also access public funds and free healthcare and it acts as a route to British citizenship as well as allowing you to bring family members to the UK.

Why Viaje

Why use VIAJE for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) matters?

Extensive experience in making successful ILR applications across all UK visa categories

It’s all taken care of: we provide expert legal advice specific to your matter

Excellent technical knowledge of all aspects of ILR applications

Cost effective service with upfront fixed fees so that you know what to expect

Being able to contact your lawyer out of traditional office hours, assisting clients globally

Unwavering commitment to delivering excellent client care

Meticulous preparation of all supporting documentation to expedite the approval process

If you’re seeking ILR to
remain in the UK permanently,
we’re here to help

Send us an enquiry and we will be in contact with you shortly

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