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Indefinite Leave To Remain (ILR)

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Applying for UK’s Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) comes with its own set of rules and formalities. This guide aims to answer common questions for anyone looking to apply for ILR or settle down in the UK. We clarify what ILR means, the eligibility criteria, and the steps you need to follow.

Title:Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)

What Does Indefinite Leave to Remain Mean?

ILR, also known as UK settlement, lets you live and work in the UK without any limitations. It enables you to work, study, and even claim public benefits. You’re free to leave and re-enter the UK without needing a new visa, and your family can join you. However, it doesn’t allow you to vote or apply for a UK passport. You can lose ILR if you leave the UK for more than two years or face legal issues leading to deportation.

Is ILR Similar to Citizenship?

ILR and British citizenship are different. ILR can be revoked, especially if you leave the UK for more than two years or commit an offence. However, once you’ve had ILR for a year, you can apply for British citizenship, which is a more permanent solution and gives you the right to vote.

Is ILR the Same as Permanent Residence?

Previously, EU nationals used the term “Permanent Residence” similar to ILR. This has now been replaced with EU Settled Status.

What About Right of Abode?

Right of abode is a bit different than ILR; it applies mostly to British citizens and some Commonwealth nationals, and gives them the right to live in the UK without any immigration constraints.

How Long is ILR Valid?

ILR doesn’t have an expiry date but can be lost for various reasons, like leaving the UK for over two years or legal complications.

Further Leave to Remain Vs. Indefinite Leave to Remain:

If you can’t yet apply for ILR, you might be able to extend your stay through “Further Leave to Remain.” Overstaying without applying for an extension can lead to legal issues and possible deportation.

ILR Requirements:

Getting ILR isn’t automatic. There are specific criteria, like living in the UK for a certain time and having a clean legal record. You’ll also have to pass the Life in the UK test and show that you can speak English well enough.

Absence Rule for ILR:

The rules about how much time you can spend outside the UK changed in 2018. You can’t be away for more than 180 days in any 12-month period. If you’re a frequent traveller, you’ll need to be extra cautious about this.

Supporting Documents:

When applying, you’ll be told which documents you need to provide. Make sure to send original documents to support your application. The 180-day rule also applies to family members who are also applying for ILR, but not to children.

English Language Requirement for ILR:

At our immigration consultancy, we guide you through the English language requirements for ILR. Most applicants must pass an English test at level B1 or higher on the CEFR. A degree taught in English might exempt you. Citizens from English-speaking countries are generally exempt from this requirement.

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Life in the UK Test:

We help you prepare for the Life in the UK test, mandatory for ILR applicants aged 18-64. This computer-based test costs £50 and requires a 75% score to pass. Book the test online through the Home Office website.

ILR and Criminal Records:

Your criminal record could impact your ILR application. Consult with our immigration specialists to understand how your specific circumstances may affect your eligibility for ILR.

From Spouse Visa to ILR:

With us, transitioning from a spouse visa to ILR becomes more manageable. Meet requirements like a minimum income of £18,600, pass the Life in the UK test, and satisfy the English language requirement.

ILR for EU Citizens:

EU nationals have different routes for ILR based on their date of entry into the UK. Those arriving after January 1, 2021, apply under standard routes, while those who entered before the Brexit date should have secured status under the EU settlement scheme.

ILR After Divorce:

If you’re a spouse visa holder facing a divorce, consult us for alternative pathways to remain in the UK. Options could include parental responsibility or long-term residency routes.

ILR Application Timeline:

Submit your ILR application 28 days before the qualifying period. Standard processing takes up to six months, but fast-track options are available for additional fees.

British Citizenship Post-ILR:

Attaining ILR is a prerequisite for British citizenship. However, there are additional requirements you must meet to apply for naturalisation as a British citizen.

Proving Your ILR Status:

Although not mandatory, it’s advisable to have a document like a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) as proof of your ILR status.

Work Authorization with ILR:

Once granted ILR, you don’t need additional work authorization. You are free to work without any restrictions on job type, hours, or salary.

Child Citizenship with ILR:

Any child born in the UK while you have valid ILR will automatically be a British citizen.

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What If Your ILR Application Is Refused?

If your ILR application is denied, understanding the reasons is crucial. Our team can guide you through resubmission by addressing the issues that led to the initial refusal.

Can ILR Expire?

Although ILR is permanent, it can be lost if you’re out of the UK for more than two years. In such cases, you’ll need a Resident Return visa for reinstatement.

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