Indefinite Leave to Remain

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Indefinite Leave to Remain

Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) refers to settling in the UK. It’s sometimes called ‘settlement’. It gives you the right to live, work and study in the UK on a permanent basis, if you are eligible. You can use it to apply for British citizenship after a qualifying period.


Benefits of obtaining Indefinite Leave to Remain

ILR provides you and your family with the opportunity to advance your status in the UK. Those with ILR can live and work in the UK, free from visa restrictions. They also have access to healthcare, benefits and may qualify to sponsor certain family members to join them in the UK from overseas.


Indefinite Leave to Remain can be revoked

ILR status can indeed be revoked. This could happen if a person was found to have acquired ILR status through deception or becomes liable for deportation.


You could also lose your ILR status if you stay outside the UK for a continuous period of 2 years or more once ILR is granted. If this happens, please contact us for assistance as there are some circumstances in which ILR can be reinstated.


Routes to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain

There are different ways to apply for ILR.


These include applications based on:


  • Long Residence in the UK (SET(LR))

  • Family and Private Life in the UK(SET(M))

  • Work in the UK (SET(O))

  • EU Settlement Scheme

  • Ancestry route


Indefinite Leave to Remain eligibility criterias

Eligibility for ILR depends on the category or route under which the person is applying. For example, one may qualify for ILR on the basis of 10 years’ lawful residence in the UK. Other applications for ILR may be based on time spent working or residing with family in the UK. Most routes require a minimum residency requirement; for example, to apply for ILR on the basis of a spousal visa, the applicant must have resided for 5 years on their spousal visa, as well as meeting the other requirements.


Please note that there are some circumstances in which an applicant can apply for immediate settlement. We can advise thoroughly on this.


Requirements for obtaining Indefinite Leave to Remain

To apply for ILR, you must meet the following criteria:


Have held your visa continuously for five years or have lawfully resided in the UK for continuous 10 years).


  • Show proof of your English language proficiency. There are a number of ways to do this. We can help you decide on the best avenue.

  • Meet the ‘continuous residency’ requirements (if applicable)

  • Meet any minimum income requirements


How to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain

Applications for ILR are online and you must ensure that the correct application form is chosen, depending on each immigration category you are applying. It is important to have all information in your application accurate, and applicable to your case. You must pay a fee to apply, and you do not get a refund if you are refused. Common reasons for refusal include:


  • Incorrect or insufficient documentation; or

  • Incorrect or incomplete application;

  • Failure to provide additional documents or information within a certain period of time, if you are requested by the UK Visas and Immigration to do so.


Documents that you need to provide when applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain

Generally speaking, you will need to provide the following documents when applying for ILR (Note: This is not an exhaustive list and it could be different depending on different visa type).


  • Your passport;

  • Evidence of your current leave to remain (i.e. your visa);

  • Proof of any absences from the UK;

  • Payslips from your employer to prove you meet the minimum income requirements, for Skilled Workers;

  • Proof you meet the English language requirement and have passed the Life in the UK test.


Life in the UK Test

We provide help for those wishing to apply for British Citizenship. We can complete the application on your behalf but also help you to prepare for the ‘Life in the UK Test.’ We run a 2-weeks and 4- weeks course to help you prepare for the exam. If you fail the exam, you can complete the course as many times as necessary (free of charge). We also offer one-to-one tutoring for an additional cost. Please click this link to view our Life in the UK Course.


For more information – visit out ‘Life in the UK Test’ page. Link her to page.



The fees for indefinite leave to remain is £2389.


This does not include the mandatory £19.20 biometric enrolment fees.



The standard service for ILR applications is up to 6 months.


It cost an additional £800 for super priority processing (24 hour) and £500 for priority processing (5-day processing), where eligible.


Working days are Monday to Friday, not including bank holidays.


Usually, there is a limit on the number of SET(LR) applications that will be accepted for the super priority service daily. If the maximum number of applicants has been reached when you are ready to submit and pay, the option for super priority will not be available on your application form.


Refused applications

ILR refusals can be devastating for you and your family. On many occasions, your life is put on hold due to such a negative decision. Our expert team can move swiftly to advise you on your options to challenge the refusal. Depending on the immigration category you choose. The following options are possible solutions:


  • Resubmitting your ILR application;

  • Appeal against the decision;

  • Lodge an Administrative Review

  • Issue Judicial Review proceedings


We will advise you on the best steps to take based on your circumstances.


Applying for British passport after indefinite leave to remain

Once you have gained ILR status, after 12 months you may be eligible to apply for British Citizenship. If you are married to a British Citizen, you may even be eligible to apply straight away for naturalisation as a British Citizen.


You should check that you meet the requirements, before applying for Naturalisation.


Once Naturalised as a British Citizen, you can then apply for your first British passport.