Detailed information on Apply for indefinite leave to remain


ILR, or indefinite leave to remain, is for immigrants to the UK without the legal right to live there. ILR is the last need before requesting British citizenship. If you have ILR, you can stay in the UK indefinitely to work, study, or to live there. After five years or sixty consecutive months of residence in the UK under a category such as Appendix FM, Appendix EU, Sole Representative, Tier 1 or Tier 2 you may apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain ILR.


Qualifications For ILR


Most categories require 5 years or 60 months of continuous residency; however, persons with Tier 1 visas can apply for ILR after 2 or 3 years if they meet the conditions of the applicable Immigration Rules.


  • You must have spent more than 180 days outside the UK in any one of the five qualifying years following the date of your application (the Appendix FM route is exempt from this criterion if the couple lived together outside the UK or if there are compassionate and compelling circumstances);


  • You have “Good Character,” and your application does not meet the criteria for a general rejection;


  • You have demonstrated adequate familiarity with UK living by passing the “Life in the UK” test; and


  • You have a level B1 proficiency in English according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.


Those who Apply for indefinite leave to remain as a spouse or partner before July 9, 2012 and who are either married to, in a civil partnership with, or a resident of the UK must satisfy the requirement of two years of continuous residence in the UK.


How can I apply?


Applying is possible online. If you are a partner of a British citizen or someone who has established residency in the UK, you may use the SET (M) form. The SET (O) form can be used by others to apply.


When do I Apply for indefinite leave to remain?


Before your existing visa expires, you must apply. The application deadline is 28 days before the last day of your allowed stay in the UK. If you arrived in the UK within three months after receiving permission to enter, your allotted stay in the country is measured from the day you arrived rather than the day you first received it. You will need to extend your stay to finish the 60 months or 5 years if you did not enter the UK within three months of acquiring the visa or grant.


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