Indefinite Leave to Remain UK 2023 Requirements & Documents

by | Apr 21, 2023 | Indefinite Leave to Remain, UK Immigration, UK Settlement

Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) is a visa that allows an individual to live in the UK permanently. It is also known as permanent residency or settlement. This visa is suitable for those living in the UK for a certain period and meeting the eligibility criteria. ILR is a prelude to British citizenship. 

Indefinite Leave to Remain requirements

To apply for ILR, one of the primary requirements is to have completed the qualifying residence period in the UK, usually five years or 10 years if applying under the long residency route. Additionally, you will need to pass a Life in the UK test and a B1 English test unless you have a degree taught in English, in which case the test may not be required. It’s important to note that you can only apply for ILR 28 days before your visa expires unless you are eligible earlier.

Applicants must also demonstrate that they have not breached any immigration laws or have any criminal convictions. They should provide evidence of their continuous residency in the UK and their intention to stay permanently, including proof of employment or financial stability.

For advice or assistance with your ILR application from an experienced adviser, contact our team at +442087575751 or use our contact form.

Indefinite leave to remain based on work 

To be eligible for ILR based on time spent working in the UK, you must have resided continuously in the UK for 5 years. This 5-year period may include time spent on any of the following immigration routes: 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).

Indefinite leave to remain based on family 

Once you have spent 5 years in the UK on a spouse visa, you may become eligible to apply for ILR. You and your spouse or civil partner must be physically present in the UK to meet the eligibility criteria. Additionally, you must demonstrate that you have resided together continuously since your last visa extension and intend to continue living together permanently after submitting the application for Spouse ILR. You must provide evidence of a genuine and ongoing relationship with your spouse or civil partner.

ILR based on long residence 

To be eligible for ILR under the 10-year-long residence category, an individual must have valid permission to stay and have continuously resided in the UK for a minimum of 10 years. Applicants must also have adhered to the terms of their visa and have no history of violating any immigration laws or criminal convictions.

Indefinite Leave to Enter

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

ILR Supporting Documents

To apply for indefinite leave to remain, you must provide supporting documents demonstrating you meet the requirements for the ILR category you are applying for. All documents must be original and should confirm the information you provided in your application. Below are the documents you’ll need to submit:

  • Documents that establish your identity, such as your current passport and biometric residence permit or BRP card.
  • Documents that demonstrate your financial situation, income, and employment status. Examples include bank statements, payslips, P60s, and your employment contract.
  • Evidence that you have continuously resided in the UK. You can provide tenancy agreements, council tax bills, utility bills, and other relevant documents.
  • Confirmation that you have passed the Life in the UK test.
  • Evidence of English language proficiency, such as the English language test certificate or a degree certificate from a UK university.

The documents required in your application will depend on your circumstances. You must have these documents ready before submitting your application for indefinite leave to remain. 

What is the expected processing time for my ILR application?

The ILR application processing time is approximately six months using the standard application process. However, the duration may vary based on the case’s complexity, and the Home Office UKVI may require additional checks and documentation. Expedited processing services are available at an additional cost, with the priority processing service costing £500 and providing a decision within five working days. The super-priority service costs £800 and guarantees a decision by the end of the next working day after the UKVCAS appointment. It is important to note that using these services does not guarantee a decision within the stated time, particularly in complex cases. Nevertheless, UKVI assures applicants that the application will be prioritised at every decision-making stage.

How can we help

At Whytecroft Ford, we understand that navigating the requirements and documentation needed for an Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) application can be daunting and overwhelming. That’s why we are here to help.

Our experienced team can guide you through every step of the ILR application process and ensure you meet all the requirements for a successful application. We can also help you prepare all the necessary documents to support your application. Contact our friendly and professional team to discuss your ILR application at +442087575751 or use our contact form.

Frequently asked questions 

How long is ILR valid?

A key benefit of Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK is no time limit. However, it’s important to remember that spending more than two years outside the UK may lead to losing your ILR status.

When can I apply for British citizenship?

You may be eligible for British citizenship by naturalisation after holding ILR status for 12 months. 

How long will it take to prepare an ILR application?

This will depend on multiple factors, including the number of applications you plan to submit and the complexity of your case. 

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