Birmingham Immigration Lawyers
0121 667 6530 (local rate)

Mon - Sun, 8.30 am - 6 pm

Find an office

10 offices in the UK


We are the UK's leading immigration specialists
OISC Accredited UK immigration lawyers
We've had over 5000 applications approved
Get the correct advice from qualified immigration experts
4.7 rating 414 reviews

Indefinite Leave to Remain Document Checklist 2023

If you want to become a person with settled status in the UK, you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain. As part of the application process, you will need to provide a number of documents and information to prove your eligibility.

In this blog post, we set out an up-to-date Indefinite Leave to Remain document checklist for 2023.

Do you need immigration legal advice? Call us on 0121 667 6530 for immediate help & assistance with your situation. We’re here to help you in person, via the phone or online.


    Request a call back from our immigration experts

    Indefinite Leave to Remain Document Checklist 2023

    If you want to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain, you will need to provide certain information and documents to the Home Office. This is a key component of the whole application process and it is vital that you submit all relevant documentation, and in its proper form.

    In this blog post we set out the Indefinite Leave to Remain document checklist in 2023.

    documents enclosed with string

    Required Documents for Indefinite Leave to Remain

    Firstly, it is important to point out that the specific information which you need to provide ultimately depends on your individual circumstances.

    The route which you are taking towards Indefinite Leave to Remain will dictate which information you will need to provide. This helpful post outlines the difference between the five-year and ten-year route.

    For instance, those applying for ILR as an Ancestry Visa holder will need to provide birth and/or marriage certificates of their grandparents as a unique requirement.

    As another example, those applying for ILR after they have worked in the UK for five years will need to provide information relating to their employment.

    Still, there is a standard set of documents and information which are required in Indefinite Leave to Remain applications.

    Your ILR document checklist is as follows:

    • A passport or other valid travel document
    • Information which details periods of absence
    • Proof of English language ability (if applicable)
    • Life in the UK test information
    • A Biometric Residence Permit (if one has been issued to you)
    • Accommodation information

    Additional information and indefinite leave to remain documents which may be required includes:

    • Financial information
    • Birth certificates of any dependents if you are including them in your application
    • A letter from a clinician if you have a long-term medical or physical condition
    • Evidence which proves cohabitation (if the application is through the partner route)
    • Police registration certificate (if you have been asked to register with the police)
    • Documentation which details changes in circumstances

    We will now go into greater detail about some of the required information and documents for ILR.

    A Valid Passport

    You need to provide your in-date, valid passport. Also, if you arrived in the UK under a different passport you will need to prove this too. And any other passports which you have held during your time in the UK will need to be provided as well.

    Alternatively, if you do not have a passport and haven’t had one since you have been in the UK, you will need to provide a valid travel document of another kind.

    Biometric Residence Permits

    A Biometric Residence Permit is a form of identification which many people with leave to remain or further leave to remain have.

    Typically, someone will need to provide their biometric information if they are staying in the UK for longer than six months. Those who provide their biometric information will receive a Biometric Residence Permit. If you have one, you will need to provide it when you apply for ILR.

    Also, you will need to include the Biometric Residence Permits of any dependants included in your application.

    Accommodation and Financial Information

    You will need to provide details of your financial situation and information about your living arrangements.

    If you are living in a property which you own or which is owned by yourself and/or your partner, you will need to provide title deeds or a letter from your mortgage provider.

    If you are renting a property, a letter from a landlord should be included in your portfolio of documents.

    If you are residing in accommodation which is owned or rented by your family or a friend, a letter from your family or friend stating that you are permitted to live there should be included in your application.

    If you have received any benefits whilst you have been in the UK, you will usually need to include documentation showing this too.

    Let our team of lawyers make this process easier for you. We can help with your IRL documents and application. Contact Us

      Fill out the form

      Documents Relating to Periods of Absence

      The key requirement of all with an Indefinite Leave to Remain application is the minimum residency period requirement.

      You must have spent a specific amount of time living in the UK in order to be eligible, which is typically five years.

      This period of time must be within a continuous period. ILR rules state that you cannot leave the UK for more than 180 days in a 12-month period during your qualifying residency period in the UK (unless there were exceptional circumstances).

      Any time spent outside of the UK during your qualifying residency period is known as a period of absence.

      You will need to provide documentation explaining your periods of absence. For example, if your period of absence was related to your employment, such as annual leave entitlement, you will need to include a letter from your employer explaining that your absence was in accordance with annual leave entitlement.

      If your period of absence was due to compassionate reasons, you will need to provide a letter written by yourself which explains the reasons for your absence. You may need to provide additional documentation too.

      If your periods of absence were due to compelling reasons, such as significant travel disruption caused by a natural disaster or conflict, you will need to provide information such as travel documents and letters from travel companies confirming the travel disruption.

      Continuous Residency Documents

      As well as providing information about any periods of absences from the UK, you will also need to include information which proves your residency in the UK. Usually this will include providing a tenancy agreement or mortgage statement, council tax bills and utility bills.

      English Language Requirement

      The English language requirement is another key component of ILR applications. You will need to demonstrate that your English language ability is at the level of B1 as set by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

      Most ILR applicants will need to take an English language test to prove their language ability. There are four SELT test providers, which are:

      • Trinity College London
      • IELTS SELT Consortium
      • LanguageCert
      • Pearson Education Ltd

      There are centres located throughout the UK where you can take the English language test. In the past you were given a test pass certificate if you passed the test, which you would include in your portfolio of documents for your ILR application.

      Nowadays you might just be given a unique reference number to quote in your application.

      You do not need to take this test if you are from a majority English-speaking country. Also, you won’t need to take an English language test if you have graduated in a course taught in English at degree level or higher at an approved academic institution.

      Other exemptions include:

      • Those aged 65 or over
      • Anyone suffering from a long-term physical or mental condition
      • Adult dependant who is aged between 18 and 64
      • Victims of domestic violence whose partner is a British citizen or has settlement status in the UK
      • Partner or spouse of a person who has died who was a British citizen or had settlement status in the UK

      Life in the UK Test

      You need to achieve a pass in the Life in the UK test if you want to apply for ILR. The Life in the UK test is a series of multiple-choice questions based on the history, traditions and culture of the UK. You need to score at least 75% to pass the test.

      If you pass the test, you will be given a pass certificate and/or possibly a unique reference number. You will need to include this information when you apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain.

      Documentation to Show Changes in Circumstances

      If your circumstances have changed significantly since you first entered the UK, you will need to provide certain information detailing these changes.

      Changes which you need to highlight include:

      • Changes related to marriage/civil partnership
      • A divorce
      • A change of name
      • Children which have been born or you have become a legal guardian of

      Do Documents Need to Be in Their Original Form?

      In most cases, it is not strictly required that provided documentation is in its original form. You will be notified if the Home Office requires original documents. The one exception to this rule is passports, which will almost certainly need to be provided as the original.

      Still, it is important to bear in mind that you may be asked to verify a document if the Home Office have any concerns about the information which you have been provided.

      My Documents Aren’t in English. Is this a Problem?

      UK immigration laws state that all information provided in immigration applications must be in English, Welsh or Scottish Gaelic.

      You must provide translations of any information which is not in English, Welsh or Scottish Gaelic. The translations must be done by an accredited translator.

      Note that you will need to include both the translated versions and the original versions.

      Can you help with my Indefinite Leave to Remain Application?

      Here at Birmingham Immigration Lawyers, we are passionate about the work we do. We can help you to prepare all your documents required for ILR with our application package.

      One of our specialist immigration lawyers will provide the most up-to-date and accurate Indefinite Leave to Remain guidance for 2022 and support with your portfolio of evidence. They will take the time to understand your circumstances and prepare a document checklist for you, containing all the information which you will need to provide.

      They will help you to source this information, before submitting it in its proper form to the Home Office, ensuring your documents adhere to all necessary administrative standards. They will also complete your Indefinite Leave to Remain application form and submit the full application to the Home Office.

      We are confident in saying that we will maximise your chances of securing ILR status in the UK. We can also assist with British citizenship and British passport applications.

      Call our friendly team now on 0121 667 6530 to find out more about our specialist ILR application package.

      Indefinite Leave to Remain processing times are considerably longer than the average UK visa processing times. Applicants can expect a decision to be made on their Indefinite Leave to Remain request within 3-6 months- however this is only for guidance, a decision could possibly be made sooner or later, depending on the volume of applications the Home Office is dealing with. You will receive a letter of confirmation once a decision is finalized.

      The fee for Indefinite Leave to Remain was increased by £15 in April 2022. ILR applicants were previously subjected to a cost of £2,389, but to apply now, the total cost amounts to £2,404.

      You can check if you have Indefinite Leave to Remain by checking your passport for a no time limit stamp or an Indefinite Leave to Enter stamp. Alternatively, you may have obtained a Biometric Residence permit. Each of these documents are able to prove your Indefinite Leave to Remain status in the United Kingdom.

      There are two forms to consider when applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain- Form Set (O) and Form Set (M). Which Form Set you complete will depend on your personal circumstances at the time of applying.

      Form Set (O) is to be completed by those on certain types of visas or people applying under the ten year route. Some examples of visa holders that are to use this form include: Global Talent visa, Investor visa, Skilled Worker visa, or any other long-term visas.

      Form Set (M) is to be submitted by those who wish to apply for ILR as the partner or parent/child of somebody who already has settled status in the UK.

      It is important to ensure that you are submitting the correct form to avoid a delay or rejection of your application. If you need advice on which Form Set you need to fill out, you can speak to a trained immigration lawyer for expert advice and guidance.

      UK immigration rules state that a person’s Indefinite Leave to Remain can expire if they have had a consecutive absence of at least two years from the UK. If you hold ILR and you have lived outside of the UK for two years or more, you Indefinite Leave to Remain status will automatically expire and you will no longer hold settled status in the United Kingdom.