Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)

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Living & Working in United Kingdom

The ILR UK visa service is a British immigration option, which provides Indefinite Leave to Remain in Britain, commonly known as permanent UK residency.

An application for permanent residency in the UK can be made by people who have previously been successful in applying for a visa in Britain in a category leading to settlement.

ILR Benefits

A permanent resident visa for Great Britain has no time limit imposed upon it and whereas a work permit would depend upon a specific offer of employment, there are no immigration related restrictions upon the type of work or business a person with a permanent UK resident status may undertake on arrival.

ILR Duration

There is no time limit; however, it is important to note that holders should not spend periods of more than two years outside the United Kingdom. A long-term UK resident should consider the United Kingdom as home and spending only short periods of time in Britain may lead to the loss of ILR.

A person with ILR may be eligible to apply for British naturalisation as a UK citizen provided they meet the requirements for British citizenship.

Eligibility Criteria

For this kind of permanent UK residency application, the applicant must have settled status in Britain. This usually means that the candidate has been resident in Great Britain on the same visa class for at least four years (excluding student visas). The only exception to this is for people on Marriage visas or De Facto visas who only require two years, and for periods of
exceptionally long-term residency (10 years legal, or 14 years as a combination of illegal and legal residency).

Categories that can lead to an application for permanent residence in the UK include

  • Ancestry (after 5 years)

  • Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP) / Work Permit (after 5 years)

  • Marriage / Unmarried (after 2 years)

  • EU Nationals and their dependants (after 5 years)

  • Long Residency (after 10 years as a legal resident or after 14 years as a combination of illegal and legal residency in the United Kingdom). For more information on this route of UK visa application, please visit our section on
    applying for a Long Term Residency visa.

ILR and Marriage in Britain

If you successfully apply for permanent residency in the UK, you will be allowed to live and work in the country lawfully with no time limit or conditions on your stay. You will also be able to apply for public benefits where eligible. In order to qualify as a permanent resident in the UK you must be able to show that you were given permission to enter or remain in the country on a marriage visa, as a husband, wife or civil partner of someone settled in the country and that the period of the visa for spouse immigration has been completed. The marriage must still be in place and you must both intend to continue the marriage.

You will also need to provide a range of documentation, including passports and evidence of cohabitation as part of your permanent residence application.

Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK require applicants to demonstrate a sufficient understanding of the English language and life in Britain in order to qualify.

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