The right to remain indefinitely in the UK is called Indefinite Leave to Remain or ILR and comes with no time limit on your visa conditions. It’s also known as Permanent Residence by some. Once you have been granted this indefinite leave, you can stay in the UK without any restrictions on employment and are entitled to benefits.
This will often represent a milestone in a person’s stay in the UK when they obtain Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). This application could be made on the basis of marriage, employment, or long residence. However, it is important to understand that Indefinite Leave to Remain will not be granted unless all the qualifying UK Immigration criteria are met.
Indefinite Leave to Remain English Language Requirements
Most Indefinite Leave to Remain applications also require you to show sufficient knowledge and proficiency in English through the Life in the UK Test or ESOL English Language Test with Citizenship Material for those with low English Language ability. The Home Office call this requirement the Knowledge of Language and Life in the UK or KoLL for short. If you haven’t already met the English Language Requirement with previous qualifications or Tests then you will need to take your English Language Test at one of the Home Office approved Secure English Language Test (SELT) Providers. You will need at least a B1 level to qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain.
If you would like us to manage your Indefinite Leave to Remain application on your behalf, you should seek our professional advice at an early stage, to ensure that your Indefinite Leave to Remain application is fully prepared and any relevant timing or immigration issues addressed.
There are several ways a person can qualify for ILR. Each case will need to be fully assessed on its own specific circumstances:
Indefinite Leave to Remain – Spouses and Partners
Visa Holders Before the 9th July 2012
You can qualify as the spouse, civil partner (same sex) or unmarried partner of a British citizen or someone who is settled here, following the completion of your initial two year probationary period. If you applied for your visa or entered the UK before the 9th of July 2012 then your probationary period for ILR is 2 years providing you meet all the requirements. If you for instance don’t qualify for ILR due to not passing the English Language Test then you can extend under the old rules for another 2 years and obtain the English test requirements during that 2 year period.
Visa Holders after the 9th July 2012
If you applied for your visa on or after the 9th of July 2012 then your probationary period for ILR is 5 years. You will be granted a spouse visa for 2.5 years then you will need to qualify again and then obtain your final 2.5 years leave to remain which will bring you to 5 years to the ILR qualifying period. It is important that you and your sponsor are still earning enough to qualify for ILR as you did in previous spouse applications. If you don’t qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain after 5 years due to failing one of the test requirements then you cna extend your spouse visa for another 2.5 years until you meet the Home Office requirements.
Indefinite Leave to Remain – Five years continuous employment
For those who have been living in the UK in one of the following categories for the past five years on one of the following categories:
- Tier 1 of the points-based system (excluding Tier 1 PSW)
- Tier 2 of the points-based system
- Work permit holder
- Tier 1 Entrepreneur/Investor
- Representative of an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation
- Private servant in a diplomatic household/ Domestic worker in a private household
- Overseas government employee
- UK ancestry
- Highly skilled migrant under the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP) – but if you applied to the HSMP before 3 April 2006 and came to the UK on the basis of that application, you can apply after you have been in the UK for only four years.
- Spouse/partner Dependents of PBS migrants will get ILR after 2 years in the UK if they haven’t extended on or after 9th July 2012, otherwise all applicants who obtained entry clearance or extension after 9th July 2012 will require 5 years completed before they can apply for ILR. Contact us for further information.
What are the requirements if I’m applying for SETO based on working in the UK for the past 5 years?
The requirements for each working visa are different. If you contact WM Immigration we can discuss your visa history and current immigration status to see what the best route is for you to qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain.
Living for 10 years in the UK and Long Residence ILR
If you have been living legally in the UK for the past 10 years then you may qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain through the 10 year Long Residence route. Recently the Home Office has approved this ILR route for acceptance at their Premium Service Centres so you can expedite the application to have your ILR Approved Quickly. Preparation is the key for Indefinite Leave to Remain Long Residence applications due to the long history of documentation required. It is vital to ensure you have as much information as possible such as old passports, travel dates, address history and immigration letters.