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Indefinite Leave to Remain

Indefinite leave to remain (ILR) or permanent residency (PR) is an immigration status granted to a person who does not hold the right of abode in the United Kingdom (UK), but who has been admitted to the UK without any time limit on his or her stay and who is free to take up employment or study, without restriction. When indefinite leave is granted to persons outside the United Kingdom it is known as indefinite leave to enter (ILE).

A person who has indefinite leave to remain, the right of abode or Irish Citizenship has settled status if resident in the United Kingdom (all full British Citizens have the right of abode).

Indefinite leave is a permanent status, however it can lapse where the holder has stayed outside the United Kingdom for a continuous period of more than two years.

Settled status is central to British nationality law. The most usual route to naturalisation or registration as a British Citizen requires that the applicant be settled in the UK. Settled status is also important where a child of non-British Citizen parents is born in the UK, unless at least one parent has settled status the child will not automatically be a British Citizen.

Speak to our assessment team now to confirm your eligibility and options for free on 0203 384 4389.

Your Questions Answered

Acquisition of ILR

Acquisition of ILR

No residence

  • A child (including an adopted child) aged under 18 who holds leave to enter or remain with a view to settlement with a parent, parents or a relative who is a settled person and resident in the UK can apply for ILR.
  • A parent, grandparent or other dependant relative aged 18 or over of a person who is a settled person and resident in the UK can apply for ILR
  • were given permission to come to the UK for up to 27 months or to extend his/her stay for two years as the husband, wife, civil partner, unmarried partner or same-sex partner of a permanent resident (even if that permission is no longer valid) were still in that relationship at the time they came to the UK or extended their stay as their husband, wife, civil partner, unmarried partner or same-sex partner.
  • can produce evidence that the relationship has broken down permanently since then as a result of domestic violence.

2 years’ Residence

  • A person who has lived in the UK for 2 years with temporary permission to remain in the UK as the husband, wife, civil partner or unmarried/same-sex partner of a British citizen or a settled person and who intends to continue living together (and are still married or in a civil partnership, if applicable) can apply for ILR as long as he/she arrived in the UK or applied for permission to stay in the UK on or before 8 July 2012.
  • Note that a person living in the UK as the husband, wife, civil partner or unmarried/same-sex partner of a British citizen or a settled person who either arrives in the UK or applies for permission to stay in the UK on or after 9 July 2012 must live in the UK for 5 years (and not 2 years) to obtain ILR (see below).

4 years’ Residence

  • A person who has lived in the UK for 4 years with a visa issued before 3 April 2006 under the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP) and Employment Not Requiring Work Permit can apply for ILR.
  • A commonwealth citizen who has served in the British Armed Forces for a minimum of four years: after leaving the Army can apply for ILR.

5 years’ Residence

  • A person who has lived in the UK for 5 years with a visa issued in one of the following categories can apply for ILR:
  • Tier 1 or Tier 2 of the points-based system (excluding the Post-study work category of Tier 1)
  • work permit
  • businessperson
  • innovator
  • 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
  • minister of religion, missionary or member of a religious order
  • airport-based operational staff of an overseas-owned airline
  • self-employed lawyer
  • writer, composer or artist
  • UK ancestry
  • highly skilled migrant under the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP)

A person who has lived in the UK for 5 years with a visa issued in one of the following categories can apply for ILR:

  • retired person of independent means
  • sole representative of an overseas firm
  • A person who has been granted humanitarian protection since 30 August 2005 and whose current 5-year permission to stay is due to expire can apply for ILR (Protection Route).
  • A person who has lived in the UK for 5 years under the Gateway Protection Programme can apply for ILR..
  • A person who has lived in the UK for 5 years with temporary permission to remain in the UK as the husband, wife, civil partner or unmarried/same-sex partner of a British Citizen or a settled person and who intends to continue living together (and are still married or in a civil partnership, if applicable) can apply for ILR, as long as he/she arrived in the UK or applied for permission to stay in the UK on or after 9 July 2012. For those who arrived in the UK or applied for permission to stay in the UK on or before 8 July 2012, a 2-year period of residence (instead of 5 years) applies (see above).

6 years’ Residence

A person who has lived in the UK for 6 years with Discretionary Leave can apply for ILR

10 years’ Residence

A person who has lived in the UK for 10 years continuously can apply for ILR on the ground of ‘long residence’ as long as all time spent in the UK during the 10 years has been lawful, and he/she has not left the UK for more than 540 calendar days in total (18 months), or more than 180 calendar days (6 months) at one time In ‘compelling or compassionate circumstances’, the Home Office can exercise discretion over any excess absences over the threshold. If the person has gaps in lawful residence during the 10-year period, ILR can still be granted as long as each gap did not exceed 28 days and ended before 24 November 2016, or in ‘exceptional circumstances’ where the gap exceeded 28 days, or where there was a ‘good reason beyond the control of the applicant or their representative’ if the gap did not exceed 14 days and ended on or after 24 November 2016

7 years’ Residence

A person aged under 18 who has lived in the UK for 7 years continuously (lawfully or unlawfully, but discounting any period of imprisonment) can apply for leave to remain on the grounds of private life if it would not be reasonable to expect the applicant to leave the UK. During the 7-year period of continuous residence, the person must not have left the UK for more than 540 calendar days in total (18 months), or more than 180 calendar days (6 months) at one time. After living in the UK for 10 years continuously (holding leave to remain on the grounds of private life during this period), he/she can apply for ILR.

19–22.5 years’ Residence

A person aged between 18 and 25 who has lived in the UK for at least half of his/her life (lawfully or unlawfully, but discounting any period of imprisonment) can apply for leave to remain on the grounds of private life. During the period of continuous residence, the person must not have not left the UK for more than 540 calendar days in total (18 months), or more than 180 calendar days (6 months) at one time. After living in the UK for 10 years continuously (holding leave to remain on the grounds of private life during this period), he/she can apply for ILR.

30 years’ Residence

A person who has lived in the UK for 20 years continuously (lawfully or unlawfully, but discounting any period of imprisonment) can apply for leave to remain on the grounds of private life. During the 20-year period of continuous residence, the person must not have not left the UK for more than 540 calendar days in total (18 months), or more than 180 calendar days (6 months) at one time. After living in the UK for a further 10 years continuously (holding leave to remain on the grounds of private life during this period), he/she can apply for ILR.

Alternatively, a person who has lived in the UK for less than 20 years continuously (lawfully or unlawfully, but discounting any period of imprisonment), but faces very significant obstacles to integrating into the country to which he/she would have to go if required to leave the UK, can apply for leave to remain on the grounds of private life. During the period of continuous residence, the person must not have not left the UK for more than 540 calendar days in total (18 months), or more than 180 calendar days (6 months) at one time. After living in the UK for a further 10 years continuously (holding leave to remain on the grounds of private life during this period), he/she can apply for ILR.

Outside the Immigration Rules

UK Visas and Immigration has discretion to grant ILR outside the Immigration Rules either where someone qualifies under one of the immigration policy concessions or for reasons that are particularly compelling in circumstance and it is almost certain that there will be no change in circumstances within five years

How long is Indefinite Leave to Remain valid for?

There is no time limit on Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK, however it is important to note that you should not spend periods of more than two years outside the UK as this may lead to the loss of ILR.

Indefinite Leave to Remain and the pathway to British Citizenship

You may be eligible to apply for British Citizenship 1 year after being granted Indefinite Leave to Remain.

Loss of Indefinite Leave to Remain

There are a number of circumstances that may cause you to lose your Indefinite Leave To Remain status. For example, if you leave the UK and upon return are granted leave to enter the UK other than for an indefinite period. This may occur because you mistakenly seek to enter as a visitor, or the immigration officer believes that you do not intend to reside in the UK. Indefinite Leave To Remain may also be revoked if you commit an offence that could lead to you being deported from the UK, or for reasons of national security. You may also lose ILR status by leaving the UK for a period of more than two years, however in some circumstances you may be able to reapply. Please note that British Overseas citizens, British subjects and British protected persons do not lose their Indefinite Leave To Remain status no matter how long they stay outside.

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What is the benefit of using UK Immigration Solicitors?

Immigration rules are complex and subject to regular changes and revisions. This itself presents problems as it is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure they are aware of and have complied with any changes to the routes, processes and evidence requirements. 

Failure to meet strict rules is likely to result in the application being refused which, in turn, is likely have an emotional and financial strain on you and your family. 

It is our job to ensure we are fully aware of the latest immigration rules, policies and procedures. We don’t leave matters to chance. Once you become a client of ours, we explain our strategy and tell you exactly how we propose to get you the right result. We will pinpoint the positives and negatives of your circumstances and explain where issues may arise and what would need to be done to fix them. We provide step by step guidance and advice throughout the entire process professionally. Our vast experience allows us to foresee problems before they arise and pro-actively adopt a strategic action plan.

Our legal fees are always agreed and fixed with you right at the beginning of your case, so you have complete peace of mind and control over the costs to ensure there are no restrictions or unpleasant surprises.

There are many online agencies, advisors and marketing companies who claim to be immigration experts but, provide very little expertise.

Let us be very clear here, if you are paying for someone just to fill in the forms for you, you should think about how you can put that money to better use and avoid gambling with your future by using inexperienced and ineffective companies.

We are a fully regulated nationwide, multi award winning law firm that specialises in immigration. Having more than 60 years of combined expertise and having handled more than 8,000 cases we have unrivalled experience and expertise to ensure you get the right result first time around – Don’t take our word for it though, check out our reviews to see why our clients trust us with their futures. We are rated 5* across the board and 98% of our clients have confirmed that they would recommend us to others. *

We have illustrated our typical scope of service below so you can understand what we do for you as paid of our service:

 

  • Our immigration specialists carry out a free detailed assessment with you to understand your circumstances and needs.
  • The collated information is then reviewed by a senior immigration solicitor who will have no less than 8 years’ immigration experience.
  • Based on the information collected, the senior solicitor will then confirm what your options are and will also confirm if we are able to help you.
  • We will offer you an Agreed Fixed Fee quotation for us to handle your entire case until initial conclusion without obligation. 
  • If we have officially taken your instructions, we will create a client file for you and collect detailed initial information.
  • We will then ensure you receive a personalised one-to-one legal consultation with a senior immigration solicitor who will take your full instructions by exploring your circumstances in detail and advise you on the best way to meet your objectives. The solicitor will explain the relevant legislations and provide you with advice on the steps that we would need to take to get a successful result.
  • The senior solicitor who carried out your legal consultation will then send you detailed written legal advice explaining everything that needs to be done and which documents will be required as part of the process. We will tell you about any problem areas and formulate a strategy to overcome/mitigate these. 
  • We will carefully review any documents that you have provided in support of the application. These documents are then validated and formatted to ensure that they meet the UKVI specified evidence requirements. Where they do not, we will explain what needs to be done to address the issues.
  • Where required, we will prepare any necessary written legal arguments or representations that are required to support your application and gain an approval. Often, we may be required to make discretionary submissions.
  • We will complete a draft application and share this with you to ensure that all parties are happy with the representations that will be submitted to the Home Office.
  • We advise you on what application processing routes are available. In some cases, there are fast track or premium processing routes available. We may be required to book a Home Office appointment on your behalf.  Will also be able to confirm typical processing times for any processing centre in the world. We explain all options, routes and fees comprehensively allowing you to make the best choice.
  • We lodge the application on your behalf using our secure authenticated processes. Whilst your application is pending, we continue to ensure you receive maximum legal protection and ensure that your rights and allowances are upheld throughout the processing stage. We ensure that you are aware of and remain compliant with the immigration rules and regulations during this period. We will also keep you updated on the progress of your matter.
  • If any follow up work is required in response to any queries raised by the UKVI, we will also deal with these as part of the comprehensive service.
  • We secure a decision on your matter and further advise you on the relevant implications of that decision. If required, we will also confirm if any secondary applications are required and brief you on the necessary process and procedure for those also.

Why should I use UK immigration solicitors to help me?

Here are just some of the reasons to choose us:

 * We are the UK’s #1 Immigration Specialist Law Firm

* We are a fully SRA regulated law firm so you are working directly with our in house legal team

* No agencies, middlemen or outsourcing

* We have achieved 99% success rate across all application types

* We have a 24 hour helpline that operates 7 days a week – 365 days a year

* We have multiple offices across the UK but 90% of our clients are not required to visit in person

* We have more than 60 years combined immigration expertise

* Our team have handled more than 8,000 cases

* We offer a free initial assessment which will explain your options and check your eligibility for your chosen route

* We operate a 100% Agreed Fixed Fee model with all fees fixed and agreed before work is started

* 98% of our clients would recommend us to family & friends

* Our average rating is 4.6/5 across major review platforms (based on over 300 reviews).

What is a free needs assessment?

If you have an immigration related problem or question, you can have a free assessment with a member of our assessments team.

The assessor will establish why you are calling and what you are looking for assistance with. The assessor will ask you a series of questions to determine your circumstances in relation to your objectives.

The assessment is 100% private and confidential. As we are a private law firm, we work with our clients to overturn Government decisions daily. We do not share any information with any third party.

Although the assessor will be a trained immigration specialist, they are not solicitors and therefore will not give you detailed legal advice or guidance.

If you want to establish what your options are and the best way forward for you, your assessor will collate the necessary information and then speak with one of the resident senior solicitors at the firm to determine what your options are, if and how we could assist and confirm whether we would be prepared to take your case. If we can assist, you will be provided with an Agreed Fixed Fee quotation which is a single legal fee to cover the firms cost of representation agreed from the outset and binding for all parties.

The free assessment is no obligation and you are merely given clarity on your position and options to move forward.

If you have a complex matter or require legal advice regarding a specific issue, you will most likely require a legal consultation.

This is a separate service and is chargeable at the prevailing rates.

Please note, UK Immigration Solicitors are a private law firm and are not part of the Government. We do not accept legal aid instructions. Although we are happy to assist genuine callers, we are not a directory service and sadly are unable to provide you with Government telephone numbers.

To get started you can either call us on 0203 384 4389 or complete the assessment form and one of the team will call you

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