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How to get Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK

You may be entitled to settle in the UK under Indefinite Leave to Remain if you meet the requirements. ILR is a form of settlement that allows foreign nationals to settle in the UK, free of immigration control, for an unlimited period of time.

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    What is Indefinite Leave to Remain?

    Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) is a form of settlement in the UK that allows a foreign national to settle in the United Kingdom with permanent residence.

    The term Indefinite Leave to Remain refers to a person of settled status in the UK who is completely free of immigration restrictions and can live and work in the United Kingdom freely for as long a they wish. Indefinite Leave to Remain does not expire, so a person can remain in the UK for an unlimited time limit.

    In order to acquire Indefinite Leave to Remain, a person must have demonstrated that they meet all of the eligibility requirements and can supply all of the correct documentation to the Home Office- only then can a suitable decision be made on an individuals status in the United Kingdom.

    For more information on how our team of expert lawyers can help with your Indefinite Leave to Remain query, call our friendly team of advisors on 0121 667 6530 for immediate assistance.

    Skilled worker visa

    Indefinite Leave to Remain eligibility requirements

    Completing a continuous period of residence in the UK does not mean a person will automatically receive British citizenship or Leave to Remain.

    To be considered for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK, an applicant must meet the following criterion:

    • Continuous lawful residence within in the UK for a specified time (typically between 5 and 10 years)
    • No extended absences from the UK for more than 180 days at any given time
    • A Life in the UK test pass certificate
    • A pass certificate to demonstrate that you meet the required level of English speaking knowledge
    • Evidence to prove that your Indefinite Leave to Remain application meets any grounds for refusal, for example a criminal record or any previous breaches of immigration rules in the UK

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      Your current immigration status

      One of the essential criteria to qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain is to ensure that you have previously had a visa that falls into the visa categories that can qualify a person to apply.

      Visa category Qualifying period
      Unmarried partner After 5 years
      EEA Family Permit After 5 years
      UK Ancestry After 5 years
      Investor After 2, 3 or 5 years depending on level of investment
      Exceptional Talent After 3 years
      Tier 2 After 5 years (limited circumstances)
      Spouse of civil partner of a person who is settled in the UK After 5 or 10 years
      Retired person After 5 years
      Long residence After 10 years
      Businessperson After 5 years

      What should I know about the English language test?

      Taking an English language test is a primary requirement for getting an Indefinite Leave to Remain. It is required for an Indefinite Leave to Remain applicant to pass the test and prove their ability in English speaking and listening.

      To pass, a candidate must score a minimum of a level B1 (with a minimum score of 4.0) to satisfy the English language requirements to acquire ILR status in the United Kingdom.

      To ensure that you take a test that meets the Home Office requirements for ILR status, you must ensure you take the test with an approved test provider. Some approved test providers are:

      • IELTS
      • Language Cert
      • Pearson
      • Trinity College

      The test costs approximately £195 to sit and is done on either a computer or on paper.

      Some people may be exempt from taking an English language test for the following reasons:

      • You are from an English-speaking country
      • You are the spouse of a British citizen who has died
      • You are a refugee living in the UK
      • You have humanitarian protection
      • You have been deemed to have exceptional personal circumstances

      Documents required to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain

      You must ensure that you supply all of the requested documents to the Home Office when you are applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain. You will need to submit the following:

      • Your current passport
      • Evidence of your current immigration status (your UK visa)
      • Proof of any absences from the United Kingdom
      • Payslips from your employer which show that you meet the minimum income requirements for Indefinite Leave to Remain
      • English language test pass certificate
      • Life in the UK test pass certificate

      How do I apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain?

      You must apply for Indefinite Leave to remain online. You must ensure that you are choosing the correct application forms prior to applying- you will be required to fill out either Form Set (O) or Form Set (M) based on your personal circumstances at the time of applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain. You will pay the application fee at the same time as submitting your application- this fee is non-refundable if you are declined Indefinite Leave to Remain.

      It is essential that you ensure you are filling in and submitting the correct application form in the first instance or your application could be refused. Some common reasons for refusal are as follows:

      • Incorrect documents submitted
      • Insufficient documents submitted
      • Application form incorrect or incomplete
      • Failure to apply additional documentation in the requested time limit

      After you have applied, you may be asked to attend an appointment at a visa application centre in order to have some biometric information taken to support your biometric residence permit once you have been granted Indefinite Leave to Remain.

      How can Birmingham Immigration Lawyers help?

      Acquiring legal assistance in an application for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK could perhaps improve your chances of being granted ILR status. Our immigration lawyers are experts in helping foreign nationals in getting Indefinite Leave to Remain and endeavour to support you fully throughout the entire application process.

      For more information on how Birmingham Immigration Lawyers can help you, call our friendly team of advisors on 0121 667 6530 for immediate assistance.

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