Indefinite leave to remain

Indefinite Leave to Remain

Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) is a settlement method for non-EEA nationals, usually after coming into the UK through another visa type. Indefinite Leave to Remain will take you closer to full naturalization and citizenship. With ILR, you may live and work in the UK freely and generally be able to access free healthcare. You will not automatically become a British Citizen after 12 months of Indefinite Leave to Remain status; you must apply for British Citizenship separately.

You usually need to have spent at least five years in the United Kingdom before you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain, although in some cases you can apply for ILR after three years in the UK. You may be able to obtain ILR status through other visas such as Spouse Visa or a Work Visa.

How will ASL help you?

If you are looking to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain status, the support and guidance you need can be provided by our expert team of immigration lawyers. There are many requirements and documentation needed that may be confusing. ASL are dedicated to helping people achieve their goal of living in the United Kingdom. We will take away the hassle from you of dealing with the complex paperwork and ensure your application journey is as smooth and comfortable as possible. All your documentation will also be checked to ensure they suffice. Our expert lawyers will closely work with you and guide you through the application process to ensure that it is filled out to the highest standard, giving you the best chance of a successful application.

We will:

  • Assess your eligibility status and documents
  • Help with the completion of any necessary forms
  • Ensure your application is up to the highest standard
  • Liaise with the legal authorities on your behalf
  • Present your case for you to ensure the best chance of success
  • Help you throughout your application

It is recommended that you work with legal professionals rather than on your own when applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain. We are looking forward to supporting you in achieving ILR status.


Based on the applicant’s specific circumstances, including the type of visa they own, the requirements may vary. For ILR, the basic requirement is to have lived legally in the UK for the specified time. There are, however, other criteria that must also be fulfilled.

To qualify for Indefinite leave to remain, you must not have spent a period outside the United Kingdom that exceeds 180 days in a 12 month period unless you can prove there were exceptional circumstances or business-related activities. It is highly recommended to log your time inside and outside the UK during your living period in the UK. You must have no infringements of immigration laws and criminal records while in the UK. You must pass a Life in the UK test as well as prove you meet the B1 level of English which is designated by the Common European Framework of Languages.

In your application, you must include supporting documents for yourself and any dependents who are also applying. The documentation you may need could be, but are not limited to:

  •  Passport
  • Travel documents
  • Birth (or adoption certificates)
  • Immigration history documents
  • Bank statements
  • Pass certificate for your Life in the UK test
  • Pass certificate for B1 Level of English, if necessary
  • Two identical passport-sized photos
  • What is the Life in the UK Test?

To qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain, you must pass the Life in the UK which is a test focused on British culture, history and traditions. You may have heard it known as the British Citizenship test.

The duration of the test is 45 minutes and you will be asked to answer 24 randomly generated questions. You must score 75% or more in order to pass the test. The Life in the UK test costs £50 to take. There are many different centres one can take the Life in the UK test, however, you will only be able to take the test in one among the five nearest accredited test centres to where you live. On the day of the test, you must bring adequate identification such as your passport, driving licence or other official document or later with your UK address which must be dated in the last three months.

If you fail to pass the test, you may resit the test after 7 days of failing and you may repeat this process as many times as needed in order to get the vital pass. However, it is fully recommended you prepare well in advance and pass the test the first time. If the applicant is aged under 18 or over 65 they will not need to sit the test. You will also likely be exempt if you suffer from doctor-diagnosed long-term physical and mental conditions.

Indefinite Leave to Remain UK for a spouse or child

A Partner Visa is a potential gateway to Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) then British Citizenship. A UK Spouse Visa (or Marriage Visa) is a settlement visa qualifying as a UK Partner Visa that allows non-British nationals from outside the European Economic Area to join their UK-based partner.
Get in touch with us and one of our expert solicitors will help you with your Spouse Visa application or extension; we will walk you through all the necessary steps. it normally takes between 2 and 12 weeks for a Spouse Visa case process.

If your partner is settled in the UK, you may apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain status after legally residing in the United Kingdom for 5 years. As the Spouse Visa lasts 30 months originally if won’t meet the Indefinite Leave to Remain requirements, but you may apply for an extension for another 30 months, which means you will fully meet the requirements for the necessary period of time to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain. Children will not automatically obtain Indefinite Leave to Remain status even if they are born in the UK unless one of the parents of the child is a permanent resident being a British citizen or they have settled status.

Get in touch with us for expert advice

Immigration application can be a daunting process and it is recommended to have expert legal advice. Our immigration solicitors will happily consult you. We also have a team of people who speak fluent Urdu and Punjabi to help communicate about our legal services effectively. Call our 24-hour line on 07872504002.