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Before You Apply For Indefinite Leave to Remain, Know These - THE AFRICAN EXPONENT

JANUARY 22, 2022

Before you apply for this program, know these things:

An Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) is also common ly referred to as settlement or permanent residence. This type of settlement option is available to foreigners who desire to stay in the UK indefinitely.

An Indefinite leave to remain gives you the right to live, work and study in the UK for as long as you like. Foreigners with an Indefinite Leave to Remain status may also apply for benefits and may eventually apply for British Citizenship. However, before you apply for this program, know these things:

Requirements for Indefinite Leave to Remain

The specific  that applies to you depends on your particular circumstances. Perhaps the most crucial requirement is living in the UK for a certain number of years. How long this will take depend on the specific visa type, you hold.

If you’re on a Tier-1 Visa or UK work permit, for instance, you can only apply for an ILR after living in the country for five years. The same applies to applicants with a US ancestry visa as well as EU nationals and their dependents.

For someone on an Innovator or Global Talent visa, you only need three years. In contrast, those on a long residence visa can only apply after staying in the UK for ten years.

There are also some specific salary and financial requirements that must be fulfilled for each visa class before applying.

General Requirements for Eligibility

In addition to requirements that apply to specific Visa categories, there are general requirements that everyone applying for an Indefinite Leave to Remain need to fulfill. These include:

No criminal record of breach of immigration laws during their stay in the UK
The total period spent outside the UK within the qualifying period must not be more than 180 days in 12 months. This means you have to keep a record of any absences from the country over the last five years.
You are expected to have a sound knowledge of life in the UK. This means you must pass the compulsory “Life in the UK Test”.
You must prove that you meet the B1 level of English proficiency based on the Common European Framework of Languages requirements.
Can You Apply For ILR If You Have A Family In The UK?

Yes, you are qualified to apply for an ILR if you have a partner, parent, child, or any other close relative that is already settled in the UK either as someone with indefinite leave to remain or a British citizen. In this case, the application method will depend on how you entered the UK and how your relative is settled.

ILR Exemptions

Not everyone needs to apply for an Indefinite Leave to Remain to settle in the UK. These differences in requirements for certain classes of people are the reason why people need to get help with US immigration to get them through the process.

The following categories of people are exempted from getting an ILR:

Those eligible for citizenship by descent
Child or Adult Dependent of British Citizen or someone with a settled status
Refugees that are in the UK via the Gateway Protection Program
Documents Required To Apply For ILR

If you’re applying for an ILR, you’ll be required to provide some documents to support your application. ILR lawyers can assist you with a checklist of documents to provide and guide you through your application. Some of the documents you’ll be required to provide include:

Your travel documents. This includes both your current passport and any old ones you used within the period of your stay in the UK.
Your birth certificate or adoption papers
Documents that serve as proof of your time spent outside the UK
A police registration certificate
Documents that show your immigration history
Bank statement and other documents that show your financial information
A Life in the UK test pass certificate
Pass certificate to prove B1 level of English
Two passport-sized photographs
How Much Is Needed For ILR Application and How Long Will It Take

Currently, the fee to pay for your Leave to Remain application is £2,389. There’s no specific timescale to get approval, but you should get a response about the status of your application within six months. It is also possible to have your application expedited.

For an additional £500, you can have your application processed within five working days. It is also possible to have it processed within a single working day, but this will cost an additional £800.


There are several benefits to getting your Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK. Attaining this status is a significant step towards becoming a full British citizen. Applying for an ILR may be time-consuming and stressful.

You’ll find it easier to hire a professional ILR lawyer or immigration attorney to assist and guide you through the process.


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