Indefinite Leave To Remain

Indefinite Leave To Remain

1. What is Indefinite Leave To Remain (ILR) In The UK?

Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), also known as Permanent Residency (PR) is granted to those who are not entitled with the right of abode in UK but are admitted to UK with no time limit for their stay in UK. They are allowed to take up studies or jobs in UK. Those who have lived in UK for a specific period of time under temporary visa can apply for ILR which will make them eligible to live in UK as long as they want and in future they can apply for naturalisation (Citizenship) also.

2. How does one qualify for Indefinite Leave To Remain In The UK?

Those who want to apply for ILR in UK are required to evidence in their application that they haven’t spent 180 days or more outside UK during the 12 months prior to their application for ILR. The applicant should prove that they have sufficient knowledge of English language as well as life in UK and should also meet the Good Character requirements. The applicant must have completed 5 years of continuous stay in UK, should adhere to certain requirements pertaining to his/her income and should have detailed record of absence from UK if any, over the last 5 years.

3. What are the different routes to ILR In The UK?

Those who have lived in UK for 2 years can get indefinite leave to remain in the UK through the Accelerated Settlement route in the Tier 1 Investor category. For this, the applicant should have invested £10 million in UK and must have maintained the investment. This is the fastest route to obtain ILR in UK.

Those who have lived in UK for 3 years can make use of either of the following three routes to obtain ILR in UK.

Investors can opt for accelerated settlement after investing £5 million in UK and maintaining the same.

Entrepreneurs also can opt for accelerated settlement after proving that not less than 10 jobs were created in UK because of their experience and investment. Alternatively they may prove that their business worth £5 million in UK has a turnover.

Those who are in the Exceptional Talent category can go for endorsement.


The following categories can take the 5 year route to obtain ILR in UK.

1. Tier 1 Investor (£2 million)

2. Tier 1 Entrepreneur

3. Tier 1 Exceptional Promise

4. Tier 2 General

5. Sole Representatives of Overseas Businesses

6. Spouse or unmarried partner


Those who are already in UK

In the case of those who are already in UK combining of different categories of leave together will make the route quicker. For Entrepreneur and Investor accelerated settlement categories under Tier 1, the required period of time need not be just the time spent in UK.

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4. Applying for Indefinite Leave To Remain In The UK after 5 years?

Those who apply for ILR in UK are required to evidence the minimum period of continuous living in UK under a valid visa. Those who apply for ILR in UK after 5 years need to ensure that they have correctly calculated the duration of their continuous living in UK and it must be strictly in accordance with the stipulations of the Home Office with particular reference to absence from UK. For calculation of absence only the whole days for which the applicant was out of UK will be considered. Absence for serious or compelling reasons such as serious ailment of applicant or a close relative, a conflict or a serious natural disaster will be regarded as allowable absence. In such cases supporting documents like medical certificates, birth or death certificates or evidence of disruption to travel arrangements are to be produced.

5. English Language Test for ILR In The UK.

Those who apply for ILR in UK are required to clear the English Language Test which must be of B1 standard of the CEFR or higher, in speaking and listening English. The test must be approved by the Home Office as a SELT (Secure English Language Test).

Those who are aged 65 or above and also those who are unable to take the test because of a long-term mental or physical condition can get exempted from taking the English Language test by producing the completed exemption form from a doctor.

Citizens from the selected 17 countries such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, USA and others are not required to prove their knowledge of English language.

6. Life in the UK Test for Indefinite Leave To Remain

Passing the Life in the UK Test is mandatory for those who apply for ILR in UK. One has to take the test as part of his/her application for ILR in UK. The applicant has to book for this online test minimum 3 days in advance and this test will cost £50. All over UK there are 30 centers for the test and the applicant can choose the center while booking for the test. The applicant will be required to answer 24 questions in 45 minutes. The questions will be about the customs and traditions of Britain. Those who want to prepare for this test may study the book “Official hand book for the Life in the UK Test”.

Email address, debit or credit card and an accepted ID are required for booking the test.

Those who are under 18 or above 65, those who have passed the test before and those who have long-term mental or physical condition are exempted from taking the Life in the UK Test.

7. Document Checklist

The following documents are generally required for obtaining ILR in UK in 2020.

  1. Current and valid Passport
  2. Travel document (if passport is not included)
  3. Birth Certificates of dependents
  4. Biometric Residence Permits (BRPs)
  5. Letter from doctor (if required)
  6. Evidence of co-habitation
  7. Police registration certificate (if required)
  8. Proof of adequate accommodation
  9. Evidence of obtaining permitted benefits, if any
  10. Documents pertaining to absence from UK (if relevant)
  11. English language test documentation
  12. Life in the UK Test documentation
  13. Evidence of continuous residence in UK
  14. Evidence of change in circumstances

8. Period of Absence For ILR In The UK.

If it is found that the applicant had spent 180 days or more outside UK in the 12 months period ending on the date on which the application is made, his/her application for ILR in UK is likely to be refused.

The maximum 180 day – limit will be applicable to any rolling 12-month period during the ILR qualifying period. Though this will be normally 5 years, it will be less for the routes that have accelerated provisions. The popular routes of Tier 1 (Investor), Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) and Tier 2 (General) come under this rule.

9. Applying for British Citizenship after ILR In The UK.

Those who have held ILR in UK for minimum 12 months can apply for British Citizenship. Those who are married to a British citizen can apply for British Citizenship immediately after obtaining ILR in UK.


Residency requirements

Those who apply for British Citizenship should not have spent more than 90 days outside UK in any 12 months. One should not have spent more than 450 days outside UK during his/her 5 years of UK residency.


Good Character requirement

During the time of living in UK the applicant should have followed the laws and respected its rights and freedoms. He/she should have promptly paid income tax, national insurance contributions, etc. It may take up to 6 months to process the application for British Citizenship and within three months of approval of the application the applicant has to attend the citizenship ceremony.

10. Will I lose my ILR In The UK.

One may lose his ILR in UK if he/she stays out of UK for more than 2 consecutive years. The ILR in UK will be valid for either 5 years or for 10 years. Those who have lost their ILR in UK are allowed to reapply under exceptional circumstances. Those who have ILR in UK can travel freely to Spain without visa.

11. ILR application form 2020?

The exact ILR in the UK application form depends on the particular ILR route that one is applying under. The application form can be found on the official website of the Home Office. In order to access the Home Office official website one may click the link here


12. ILR Fee

Those who apply for ILR in UK are required to pay £2,389 as ILR in UK fees. There is no increase in the ILR in UK fees for those who apply for ILR in UK in the year 2020. The processing time of ILR in UK application 2020 may vary considerably from case to case.

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13. Processing time for ILR

In general, processing time for ILR in UK application is up to 6 weeks and it may go up to 8 weeks. Most of the ILR in UK applications are processed within 8 weeks. The applications of those who pay the additional costs of £800 will be expedited. After submission of biometrics at the local centre the decision will be received in 6 – 8 weeks. The letter asking the applicant to submit the biometrics will be issued within 5 – 10 working days.


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