08.08.2018 Obtaining Indefinite Leave To Remain In The UK

08.08.2018 Obtaining Indefinite Leave To Remain In The UK

Acquisition of an Indefinite Leave to Remain (“ILR”), or settled status, in the UK generally means that a person is no longer subject to immigration control and can remain in the UK without any time restrictions. ILR permits you to work in the UK, exit and re-enter the country with no restrictions.

Some immigration categories, such as Tier 2 (General) visa, Tier 1 (Investor) visa, Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa, or a spouse visa allow for a settled status to be gained after residing in the UK for five years (or less, depending on your circumstances). Some categories will only allow settlement in the UK after the migrant has spent 10 years in the UK, and some categories (such as student visas) do not typically lead to settlement at all.

The Immigration Rules also provide that if a migrant has been living in the UK legally for 10 continuous years (known as ‘long residence’) he/she can apply to settle in the UK. 

To qualify for the 10-year residency route a person must have kept the terms of their visa at all times without violating any conditions set by the Home Office. 

The person must have legally spent 10 years of “continuous residence” in the UK, without any gaps of their residence. The person must have not left the UK for over 180 days at a time and must have not spent more than 540 days outside the UK in total over the 10 years of residence in the UK.

The 10-year qualifying period starts from either:

  • When you arrived in the UK with a visa
  • When you were given permission to stay in the UK

An applicant may have accumulated the 10-year period under any type of leave.

Conditions of Indefinite Leave 

Please note: once you have been granted ILR, it is important to try not to leave the UK for a continuous period of two years or more. If you spend 2 years or over outside of the UK, it is usually determined that you are no longer present and settled and you may have your ILR revoked.

In order to avoid this, most migrants will be able to apply for British Citizenship after 1 year as a permanent resident after qualifying.