UK Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) is a type of immigration status that allows individuals to live and work in the UK without any time restrictions. It is also commonly known as settlement or permanent residency.
ILR is available to individuals who have been living in the UK on a visa for a certain period of time and who meet the eligibility criteria. Once granted, ILR allows individuals to stay in the UK indefinitely and provides a pathway to British citizenship.
To be eligible for ILR, applicants must meet the following criteria:
- They must have been living in the UK continuously and legally for a certain period of time, depending on the type of visa they hold. For example, most Tier 2 visa holders can apply for ILR after five years in the UK, while those on a spouse or partner visa can apply after five years if they have been living together in the UK during this time.
- They must not have spent more than 180 days outside the UK in any 12-month period during the qualifying period.
- They must not have any unspent criminal convictions.
- They must pass the Life in the UK test and meet the English language requirements.
- They must meet the financial requirements, which vary depending on the visa category.
How to apply for ILR
To apply for ILR, applicants must complete the appropriate application form, provide supporting documents, pay the application fee and attend a biometric appointment.
The application form and supporting documents will vary depending on the type of visa the applicant holds, but typically include proof of identity, residence, employment or income, and English language proficiency.
ILR Processing time
The processing time for ILR applications can vary depending on a number of factors, including the complexity of the application and the volume of applications being processed. However, most applications are decided within six months of submission.
Benefits of ILR
Once granted ILR, individuals have the right to live and work in the UK without any restrictions. They are also eligible for public funds, such as social housing and certain benefits, and can apply for British citizenship after a further year.
ILR holders also have greater flexibility in terms of their employment and travel, as they are not tied to a specific employer or visa type.
Renewal of ILR
ILR is granted on a permanent basis, but it can be revoked in certain circumstances, such as if the individual spends too much time outside the UK or commits a serious crime.
To avoid losing ILR status, individuals must ensure that they continue to meet the eligibility criteria, including the residency requirements. They may also need to renew their ILR after a certain period of time, depending on the visa category.
ILR is a valuable immigration status that provides individuals with the freedom to live and work in the UK without any restrictions. However, it is important to carefully review the eligibility criteria and ensure that all application requirements are met before submitting an application.