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Indefinite Leave to Remain Applications

Applicants face strict requirements to qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK. Our immigration solicitors specialise in assisting clients through the application process for ILR.

Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)

Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), sometimes known as ‘settlement’ or ‘permanent settlement’, is when permission is granted by the Home Office to live and work in the UK permanently without any immigration restrictions. It is a mandatory requirement for non-EEA nationals looking to apply for British citizenship.
If you have legally resided in the UK for a certain amount of time, you may be able to apply to settle in the UK. For a successful application, you must meet certain regulations set out by the Home Office. Our immigration solicitors are here to advise you throughout the whole process and can assist you wherever you are based.


What are the Requirements?

ILR is not automatically granted. Strict eligibility criteria must be met and evidenced as part of the Home Office application, which includes completing the appropriate forms and submitting supporting documentation.

Generally, you must have spent 5 continuous years in the UK with lawful status and without excessive absences. There are, however, accelerated routes to indefinite leave for Tier 1 Investor and Tier 1 Entrepreneur applicants.

People who have spent 10 years in the UK with continuous visa permission may also be able to apply for ILR under the Long Residence Rules even if they hold a visa in a category that would not normally qualify for settlement.

Immigration law is constantly changing and therefore, we strongly recommend you contact us today for expert legal advice about your circumstances.

Our expert team of ILR solicitors are specialists in dealing with all types of Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) applications and provide high-quality legal advice.

There are many different routes to indefinite leave to remain and each visa category has its own specific requirements with some operating on a points-based system. In general, to qualify for permanent residence you must have:

  • Completed the minimum qualifying period of residency for your visa type
  • Passed the Life in the UK Test
  • You have a long-term plan to remain and settle in the UK.
  • You have not breached any immigration rules and meet the suitability requirements.

Is ILR the same as citizenship?

There are several differences between indefinite leave to remain and British citizenship and the eligibility requirements and application process differ significantly.

ILR status can be lost, where the individual has been absent from the UK for more than 2 years, revoked for reasons of national security or if you commit a criminal offence that could lead to deportation.

With British citizenship, you can:

  • Live and work in the UK without immigration restrictions
  • Apply for a British passport
  • Achieve the right to vote
  • Be a permanent citizen

What compulsory tests are needed when applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain?

If you are aged between 18 and 65 and want to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain or British citizenship, you will need to pass both the ‘Life in the UK’ test and also have an English language qualification. (Unless you are exempt)

The ‘Life in the UK’ test is an exam to prove your knowledge of British traditions and customs and it is a requirement for you to score 75% or above.

You can take this test as many times as you need to and must pay a £50 fee every time you take it. If you have any further questions about this, our immigration solicitors will be more than happy to advise you.

You must also prove that you meet the English language test requirements. To do this you must attend an approved language test centre. A list of approved centres is available on Gov.uk.

What are the Visa requirements?

It would help if you satisfied certain specific rules to secure an entry clearance visa depending on your family circumstances. If both parents are travelling to the UK for settlement, your case will likely be straightforward.

You will have to provide evidence that your children will be financially supported without the use of public funds, and dependant children must not be married or living an independent life.

We have comprehensive experience of complex family cases and can work out the best possible route for you and your children. It is also important to note that there is no automatic right of appeal if your application is refused, so you only get one chance to get it right.

If the application is rejected, then depending on this, it might affect future applications. It is vital, therefore, that you seek early legal advice.

Visa Requirement1

How can we help?

Our specialist Visa solicitors can help you with:

Reviewing your immigration history and advising on the best way forward.

Advising you about the strength and weaknesses of your settlement application.

Advising you about the required documentary evidence and consider the content in support of your settlement application.

Carefully complete the necessary application on your behalf.

Making relevant representations to the Home Office explaining your circumstances and persuading them as to why your settlement visa should be granted.

Submitting your settlement application.

Protecting your legal interests whilst your settlement application is pending and keeping you informed of any progress.

Carrying out any following up work that is required to ensure that a decision is reached.

Advising you on the implications of the Home Office decision.

If you have been refused ILR, you may have a right of appeal. We can advise you on whether a right of appeal exists, and if so, represent you in any Tribunal.

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