Indefinite Leave to Remain in UK


Indefinite Leave to Remain status (ILR) also known as settlement is an immigration status granted to a person who has been given the right to stay in the UK indefinitely without any restrictions. A person who has legally resided in the UK can apply for settlement once they complete the relevant qualifying period. ILR can lapse if the holder spends a continuous period of 2 years outside the UK.



A person who has resided in the UK for a specific period of time, usually 5 years, may apply for ILR which will entitle them to live in the UK for as long as they wish and eventually naturalize as a British Citizen. The processing time and requirements for ILR vary depending on the visa that an applicant has immediately prior to the submission of an ILR application.


Visa Class

Below is a table for the visa status/class with the corresponding required length of stay in the United Kingdom as one of the requirements to qualify for an ILR application.


Current Visa Status/ Class Required Years of Stay
Marriage 5
Unmarried Partner 5
EEA Family Permit 5
Ancestry 5
Work Permit 5
People establishing business 5
Investors 5
Writers, Composers, Artists 5
Legal stay on any basis 10
Illegal stay on any basis 20


Language and Awareness Requirements


Aside from the visa class, in order to be eligible ILR applicants require proficiency in the English language as well as have knowledge of living in the United Kingdom. Applicants who are under 18 years of age or above 65 are exempted from this requirement.




Advantages of having an Indefinite Leave to Remain status


Being an ILR status holder, an individual enjoys the following advantages:


  • Acquisition of British Citizenship not only for themselves but also for their children, if applicable under certain conditions and requirements.


  • The holder will also have the right to access public funds. Unlike those of the Limited to Remain (LTR) visa in the United Kingdom, the wording” no recourse to public funds” is not written in an ILR holders’ visa. As a result they are able to claim job seekers allowances and other benefits which are usually available only to British, EU and EEA citizens.


  • Have the advantage of paying the same tuition fees as those of British, EU and EEA citizens (also known as Home Student Status) whilst studying at institutions of higher education in the UK, as opposed to paying substantially higher tuition fees like International Students with a LTR.


  • ILR citizens are UK residents and enjoy the right to vote and stand for election to a public office.


Conditions of Indefinite Leave to Remain


An important reminder: Once an individual has been granted an ILR, ensure that you do not spend 2 years or more outside the United Kingdom, as this can lead to the ILR being revoked. In order to surmount this challenge, migrants are eligible to apply for British Citizenship after 1 year as a permanent resident or after 1 year of being granted an ILR status.


Vira International provides end to end immigration services for ILR application. Our service starts from the initial phone or email enquiry right until your visa approval. For further information please email or

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