Indefinite Leave to Remain

Personal Immigration

Indefinite Leave to Remain

Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), also known as ‘settlement’ allows non-British citizens to live, work and study in the UK for as long as you like (there is no time limit on your leave once you have obtained Indefinite Leave to Remain).

ILR does not automatically grant British citizenship. It is a requirement for those who want to become British citizens.

There are various types of Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the United Kingdom, each designed for specific immigration categories and circumstances.

Some individuals can apply for ILR in various immigration categories, depending on their unique circumstances:

  • If you work in the UK: If you are resident in the UK on a work visa you and your dependents may be able to apply for ILR. The specific requirements may vary based on the type of work visa.
  • If you have family in the UK: If you have a partner, parent or child or other relative settled in the UK, depending on the circumstances, you may be able to apply for ILR.
  • If you are a long-term resident of the UK: If you have lived in the UK continuously for an extended period, usually ten years, you may be able to apply for ILR. It is not tied to a specific visa category and can be made up of different visa categories.
  • If you are a Commonwealth citizen: If you are a Commonwealth citizen and have an ancestry visa, you can apply for ILR after living in the UK for 5 years.
  • If you are an EU, EEA, or Swiss Citizens: Different application routes may apply to EU, EEA, or Swiss citizens seeking ILR in the UK, especially after the end of the EU Settlement Scheme.
Indefinite Leave to Remain
Indefinite Leave to Remain

What are the general requirements?


  • Residency Requirements: For most visa categories, you must have been legally resident for 5 years before you will be eligible to apply for ILR. ILR can lapse if you spend too much time outside the UK.
  • English Language Proficiency: Most ILR applicants are required to demonstrate a certain level of English language proficiency, often at least a B1 level, especially in speaking and listening. There are exemptions for some applicants.
  • Life in the UK Test: Most individuals applying for ILR aged between 18 and 64 need to pass the "Knowledge of Life in the UK Test."
  • Genuine and Subsisting Relationship (for Spouse/Partner/Dependent ILR): If you are applying for ILR as a spouse, partner, dependent or other relative, you typically need to demonstrate that you are still in a genuine and subsisting relationship with your partner.
  • Financial Requirements: In some cases, financial requirements may apply, especially if you are relying on a financial sponsor.
  • Good Character Requirements: The Home Office will undertake checks to ensure you are of good character. Having a criminal record or significant financial problems may affect your eligibility.

Why choose us?


Applying for ILR is an exciting application to make.

However, an application that is not prepared well or that does not meet the requirements is likely to fail.

Our highly trained immigration experts have a thorough understanding of the different ILR route and requirements. We can help you with your ILR application by providing you with:

  • Advice on the best ILR route available to you
  • Advice on the ILR requirements specific to your circumstances
  • An honest opinion on the positives and negatives of your case
  • A customised evidence checklist
  • Assistance with preparing and submitting your application form and evidence
  • Challenging a ILR refusal decision
Indefinite Leave to Remain