Indefinite Leave to Remain

Indefinite Leave to Remain

As you have legally lived in the United Kingdom for a certain length of time (usually at least 5 years), you may be able to apply to settle permanently in the UK, depending on your current immigration category. The holder of Indefinite Leave to Remain has acquired the freedom to work or run a business, and to participate in most things just like a British citizen.

You must satisfy the condition under the Immigration rules for your successful application. Your right to apply for ILR is depending on your current visa and whether you continue to meet the criteria for that category.

You can either apply your ILR by post or same day Premium Service. Postal applications for Indefinite Leave to Remain can take up to six months to be processed and completed, during which time you will need to surrender your passport.

You must aware that ILR holder must not have travelled or have resided in any place outside the UK for more than 2 years or the holder could have the residency being withdrawn and the right to return will be lost. Contact us with your details if you find that latter situation applies to you and we are able to discuss a possibility of application to reclaim the residence; or how you can avoid this problem. (There is no time limit on Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK but it is important to understand that the status can be lost. For example, you should avoid spending periods of more than two years outside the UK as this may lead to the loss of Indefinite Leave to Remain. It may also be revoked if you commit an offence that could lead to you being deported from the UK, or for reasons of national security.)

Current immigration category which entitles you to a permanent settlement as below:
  • Family categories – for partners (husbands, wives, civil partners and unmarried/same-sex partners), children (including adopted children) under 18, and other dependent relatives (such as parents and grandparents)
  • Work categories – for migrants who are currently working in the UK
  • Other categories – for migrants who are currently in the UK for other reason, such as Long Residence
Knowledge of Language and Life in the UK

Most applicants for indefinite leave to remain will need to show that they have a good knowledge of language and life in the UK when they apply. In order to demonstrate a good knowledge of language and life in the UK prior to application for settlement, most applicants will have to do this by: passing the “Life in the UK” test.

Certain applicants for settlement are exempt from this requirement, such as:

  • exemption because of your age
  • exemption because of your disability

*If you require special arrangements to be able to learn English or take a test, you are not exempt and you must meet the knowledge of language and life in the UK requirement.

Demonstrate English Language

In order to demonstrate English Language in the UK prior to application for settlement, most applicants will have to do this by: passing the B1 level Certificate, which approved by Home Office.

Why Choose Imin4U?

We keep our client’s updated with new rules and procedure and act in their best interest.
We advise you on the future applications for British Citizenship for those who will complete required number of years in the UK.
We answer your queries even after your application has been submitted and approved on what you are required to next.
We also understand the stresses involved with pursuing the process, and take great pride in playing a supportive role to make the application process as smooth as possible.
Tel : 020 337 11033,  E-Mail :


Q & A

  • 1. Am I eligible?
  • 2. Should I sit the Life in the UK Test?
  • 3. I am applying for Settlement, is my Life in the UK Test certificate enough?
  • 4. I have some unspent convictions, will this affect my Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) application?

Qualification criteria vary depending on the type of visa status you have held in the UK, with some operating on a points-based system.

When you can apply for Indefinite leave to Remain depends on the visa held:
  • Partner of a British Citizen or Person settled in the UK visa: after two years for visas issued prior to 9 July 2012, after five or ten years if applied on or after 9 July 2012
  • Tier 1 visa: after five years
  • Tier 2 visa: in limited circumstances only, after five years
  • UK ancestry visa: after 5 years
  • EU nationals and dependants: after 5 years
  • Discretionary Leave to Remain: 6 years
  • Long residence: after 10 years continuous legal residency in the UK
  • Returning resident: if settled in the UK prior to departure and returning to the UK within 2 years of departure, then may be able to apply immediately on return

Across all visa types you will need to be free of any unspent convictions.

Yes, you need to sit the Life in the UK test as part of your application for citizenship or settlement if you are between the ages of 18 and 65. The test is a standard exam that is geared to test your knowledge of British traditions and customs. To pass the test and make sure you satisfy this section of the eligibility requirements for Indefinite Leave to Remain, you must score 75% or above. There is a fee to take the test and you must pay the fee for every attempt at the test you make, although you may take it as many times as you need to. If you would like any further information on how to prepare for the Life in the UK test then contact us and we would be happy to help with your application.
No, unfortunately passing the Life in the UK test is not sufficient on its own to qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK. You must also satisfy a number of other requirements including passing a speaking and listening qualification. For full details of the requirements for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) and to ensure your application complies with all requirements speak to one of our friendly team members who would be happy to advise on all aspects of your ILR application.
It is highly likely that any unspent convictions will effect on your application for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), under the suitability requirements, although this does depend on the type of conviction and the individual circumstances. If the conviction is spent then there is still a chance that this could affect your ILR application, again, this will depend on the type of conviction. We would recommend talking to an immigration specialist about your conviction before putting together your application to ensure you have the best possible chance of success.