Indefinite Leave to Remain

The Indefinite Leave to Remain is a permanent residence permit or a settlement visa for UK

///Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)
Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) 2018-11-27T16:06:22+00:00

An Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) which is also called a UK Settlement Visa is a document that proves its holder has been granted with the immigration status after he / she has lived in the United Kingdom for a specific period of time under a temporary visa, and has shown commitment to the UK. The immigration status is granted only to individuals with no right of abode in the United Kingdom.

An Indefinite Leave to Remain is also known as the UK settlement visa, since it enables its holder to settle in the UK and remain without any time limit, and to take up employment or study without restrictions, as well. One can also enter and leave the UK at any time upon holding this status.

In order for an international to be eligible to get granted with the Indefinite Leave to Remain, he or she must apply from within the UK, proving that they have lived for a specific amount of time in Britain under one of the eligible types of visa.

Who Can Apply for an Indefinite Leave to Remain?

The UK Home Office grants only specific categories of people with the Indefinite Leave to Remain. These categories must fulfill a number of criteria, including having legally lived within the UK for a certain period of time.

Based on the type of visa one has entered the UK and the period of time they have stayed, the following categories qualify to apply for an ILR:

 

Category Period of stay in the UK
Spouses under a marriage visa 5 years (if the visa has been issued after the 9th of July 2012)
Ancestry visa holders 5 years
Work permit holders 5 years
Holders of any type of UK visa 10 years
Investors Continuous 5 years
Writers, Composers or Artists Continuous 5 years
Retired persons of independent means Continuous 5 years
Refugees and people who have entered the UK under humanitarian protection

 

Individuals Ineligible for ILR

However, sometimes even if the ILR applicant belongs to one of the categories mentioned above, there are some factors that may exclude this person from being able to apply for and obtain an Indefinite Leave to Remain. Following, find the main reasons why one might become ineligible for settling in the UK:

  • The applicant has spent a long period of time outside the UK during this 5 year period
  • The applicant has failed to pay taxes (especially if the individual has been staying in the UK under a Tier 1 General Visa)
  • The applicant has submitted his application earlier than allowed (without fulfilling the required period of time for application)
  • The applicant has failed to submit the required documents by the Home Office
  • The applicant has a Negative Immigration History (illegal immigration, etc).
  • Criminal convictions can also cause delays for at least two years, depending on the severity of the crime, for one to be eligible get granted with an permanent residence permit.

When to Apply for ILR?

The qualifying candidates must apply for the ILR before the expiration of their visa / permitted stay in the UK. You should not apply more than 28 days before completing the qualifying period since if you apply earlier your application will probably be refused, your fee will not be reimbursed and you will have to pay it again when re-applying

Indefinite Leave to Remain Application Form

In order to apply for an Indefinite Leave to Remain you will have to fulfill one of the existing forms, SET(M) or SET O form  , depending on the type of visa under which you have been staying in the UK during the past years.

When completing any of the forms, you are strongly suggested to use a black pen, and write the names, addresses and other details all in capital letters. Complete all the required information, including Personal History section.

The reason why the type of application form you will use is so important, is because the required documents and a few other things depend on it.

Apply as the Partner of a Person Who is Settled in the UK

You will have to use the SET(M) form when applying for an ILR as the partner of a person who is settled in the United Kingdom. Children under 18 can be added to your application as dependents.

You must have lived in the UK under a spouse / civil partner visa for the past 5 years, in order to qualify. Aside from that, you must also fulfil some other requirements as listed below.

Financial requirements

You will have to show evidence that you meet the relevant financial requirement of £18,600. For this requirement the income you receive from the following will be calculated:

  • Income from your sponsor
  • Salary you receive in UK
  • State or private pensions of you and your sponsor
  • Cash savings over £16,000

Required documents

You will also have to submit some documents when applying for an ILR alongside the SET(M), as follows:

  • Photographs – submit two identical passport size photographs with your full name written on the back of both; a photograph of your partner with their name written on its back; two identical passport-size photographs of any children applying as a dependant, with their full name written on their backs.
  • Original documents – photocopies are not accepted.
  • Translations – of every document that is not in either English or Welsh.
  • Passport photocopies – of your first and last page with your details and also the pages that contain visas or immigration stamps.
  • Knowledge of English Language
  • Knowledge of life in UK

Apply to Settle in UK in Various Immigration Categories

You will have to use the SET(O) form when applying for an ILR, in one of the following immigration categories:

  • work permit holder or dependant of work permit holder
  • PBS dependant
  • employment not requiring a work permit
  • businessperson, innovator or investor
  • highly skilled migrant
  • self-employed lawyer
  • writer, composer or artist
  • Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrant
  • Tier 1 (Investor) migrant
  • Tier 2 migrant
  • UK ancestry
  • Bereaved partner
  • Other purposes not covered by other application forms

Required documents

You will also have to submit some documents when applying for an ILR alongside the SET(O), as follows:

  • Photographs – submit two identical passport size photographs with your full name written on the back of both; and two identical passport-size photographs of any children applying as a dependant, with their full name written on their backs.
  • Passport or national ID – this is mandatory for all applicants except for PBS applicants. You will also have to include the passport or ID of any dependants applying with you.
  • Original documents – photocopies are not accepted.
  • Translations – of every document that is not in either English or Welsh.
  • Passport photocopies – of your first and last page with your details and also the pages that contain visas or immigration stamps.
  • Knowledge of English Language
  • Knowledge of life in UK
  • Some of the applicants in qualifying employment categories need to submit documentary evidence of all absences from the UK

Apply to Settle in UK Under Refugee or Humanitarian Protection

You can apply to settle in the UK also if you have been granted with residence permit as a:

  • Refuge, or
  • Person with humanitarian protection.

You are permitted to include your partner or children as dependents on your application, if they are already in the UK as dependents. There is no fee to pay when applying for the ILR as a refugee or a person with humanitarian protection.

You will qualify to apply for indefinite leave to remain after 5 years of staying in the UK . You will have to use the application form SET(Protection Route), and you will be asked to provide your biometric information as well.

Apply to Settle in UK: Long Residence

You will qualify to apply for a permanent residence card in UK after 10 years of legal residence under any type of UK visa, including student visas. The 10-year-stay in the UK is also known as ‘long residence’, and gives the right to apply for an ILR to those that fulfill the general requirements for settling in the UK.

The applicant must also prove that he has been in the UK legally for ten years, and that he or she has kept to the terms of their UK visa.

Take notice that the 10-year qualifying period starts counting from either:

  • the day you arrived in the UK with a visa, or
  • the day you were given permission to stay in the UK

When filing an application for a permanent residence card in UK after 10 years, you will need to pay a fee of £2,389, in order for your application to be processed.

Returning Resident Visa

You will need to apply for a Returning Resident visa to come back to the UK if you have previously been granted with an Indefinite Leave to remain, but you either lost your documentation, or have been away for more than 2 years.
In order to be able to obtain this type of visa you will have to submit evidence that prove you:

  • plan to return and permanently settle in the UK
  • have been settled in the UK before leaving
  • have not received any public funds to help leave the UK

Keep in mind that if you have been away for more than two years, you must provide extra evidence that will prove:

  • you have strong ties to the UK
  • you lived in the UK most of your life
  • reasons why you lived outside the UK
  • your current circumstances

The fee for this type of visa is £516. If your visa gets approved you can return to live permanently in the UK.

Required documents

When you apply to return to the UK you will have to provide the following documents:

  • Valid passport
  • A passport-sized color photograph
  • Documents that prove your ties with the UK
  • Application form completed online
  • Biometric information – fingerprints and digital photo which will be taken at the visa application center
  • Translation of any document that is not in either English or Welsh

Test of Knowledge of Life in the UK

Alongside the other requirements, most of ILR applicants will have to undergo a test called “Life in UK”. The test is mandatory and you will have to book it online at least three days in advance by paying a fee of £50. You will have to choose the closest test center to your home, to attend. If you don’t choose one of the 5 nearest centers, you will not be allowed to sit for the test, and you will not get a refund as well.

To book the test you will need:

  • an email address
  • debit or credit card
  • ID

Exempt from taking the test are the following categories:

  • people under 18
  • people over 65
  • people who have passed the exam before
  • people with long term physical or mental condition

The test has 24 questions, which the applicants have 45 minutes to reply to. All questions are regarding British traditions and customs. You should study the official handbook for the Life in the UK Test.

Knowledge of English Language Requirement

The English language requirement is a very important requirement without the fulfillment of which you cannot obtain the ILR. When you submit your application, you will have to submit some documents as an evidence of your English knowledge.

You can prove your knowledge in English by:

  • submitting a document or academic qualification that was taught or researched in English, which is recognized by UK NARIC as being equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree or higher
  • taking an approved English language test and passing it with at least a CEFR level B1 in speaking and listening.

The residents of English speaking countries are exempt from English knowledge requirement, as listed below:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • the Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Canada
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Jamaica
  • New Zealand
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • USA

Exempted from the English language requirement are also the individuals that belong to one of the categories listed below:

  • Children (applicants under 16)
  • Elders (applicants over 65)
  • Applicants with a physical or medical condition that prevents them from meeting the requirement

Employment Rights of ILR Holders

Every individual with an Indefinite Leave to Remain has the right to work in the UK without restrictions with the same right as all British citizens. An employer living in the UK under ILR has the right of Maternity Leave, Maternity Allowance, Paternity Leave, right to health and safety protection at work, etc.