Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) means Permanent Residence in the UK.

To Apply For ILR status in the UK, You Must Have Lived In The UK For At Least 5 Years.

Our goal at Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors is to help you or your loved one identify the most logical path to citizenship. While Indefinite Leave to Remain (permanent residence) is the goal, you can not apply if you have not lived in the country on a valid visa for at least 5 years, in some cases for 10 or 20 years. Valid visas include spouse visa (5 years or 10 years), Family Members, Tier 1 Investors, Business Owners, partners who have lived together for at least 2 years and anyone with a work permit.

If you have lived in the UK for the required timeframe we can move forward with gathering the documents, you will need to complete your Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) application. You drastically increase your odds for approval if we are part of your application process.

UK immigration terminology can be quite confusing sometimes and a classic example of this is when discussing indefinite leave to remain, permanent residence, indefinite leave to enter and also settlement which all essentially mean the same thing, i.e. when an individual has an unlimited time limit to stay in the UK. Learn more from one of our articles in our blog, click here.

We can help you with All of the following Indefinite Leave to Remain Services:

  • ILR – 10 Years Residence (See Below)
  • ILR – 20 Years Residence (See Below)
  • ILR – 7 Years Residence (Children, see below)
  • ILR – Tier 1 Investor Visa 
  • ILR – Tier 1 Entrepreneur 
  • ILR – Work Permit Holder
  • ILR – Spouse Visa 
  • ILR – Same-Sex Partner 
  • ILR – Civil Partner 
  • ILR – Unmarried Partner Visa 
  • ILR – As a Victim Of Domestic Violence
  • ILR – Bereaved Partner
  • ILR Adult Dependant Relative
  • ILR – Tier 5 International Agreement
  • ILR – As A Refugee – SET Protection Route
  • Permanent residence as Family Member of an EEA National 
  • Permanent residence as an EEA National

ILR Is Not Naturalisation

ILR entitles you to live in the UK for as long as you wish and also allows you to leave the UK for standard holidays and business trips. However, if you leave the country for over 48 consecutive months—your ILR may be revoked. While ILR is not naturalisation, it can be one step on your path to naturalisation. You must have your ILR for at least 1 year before you can apply for naturalisation. We can also assist with this process.

You Must Prove Your Dedication To Be A Permanent Resident

To qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain, you must not only have a desire to remain in the UK, but you must prove your dedication to the UK. You must prove that it is your genuine home, that you have sufficient knowledge about life and culture, and sufficient knowledge of the UK. You must also pass an appropriate English Language Test. We will work with you or your family member to fill in any gaps in knowledge that may be missing. There are a few exceptions to the knowledge and language proficiency tests. For example, children under the age of 18 or adults over the age of 65. There are also exceptions for qualified dependents with health and medical conditions.

ILR For European Citizens – Brexit

As of March 2019, you can qualify for Permanent Residence (Indefinite Leave to Remain) in the UK as an EU citizen or as a dependent of an EU Citizen. For this, you will have to apply through the EU Settlement Scheme.

Learn more about the EU Settlement Scheme here 

Applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK based on Residence

10 Years Continuous Lawful Residence

If someone has been in this country with lawful permission to stay, for example as a student, and has had an unbroken chain of grants from the Home Office for at least 10 years, that individual may be in a position to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK. The residence must be continuous, that is to say without periods of overstaying, but there are rules as regards what the Home Office will ignore in terms of those who have overstayed their permission to remain, and furthermore during the period of at least 10 years lawful residence, the individual concerned should not have been out of the UK in total for more than 18 months, that is to say 540 days. There again, there are certain exceptions depending upon the facts of each case and whether these will be considered by the Home Office as so exceptional that any periods over and above the permitted leave of absence, could be ignored.

20 Years Residence in the UK

There will also be those persons who have been in the UK illegally for at least 20 years or those who have been here partly lawfully and partly as overstayers, who will not be a position to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain based on 10 years lawful continuous residence. Those individuals must show by way of documentary evidence for each year that they claim to have resided in the UK, that they have written evidence of physical presence here for at least 20 years. This may be difficult to prove for those who have come here illegally,  because undocumented individuals or those who cannot show valid immigration leave to remain in the UK, may find it difficult to open a bank account, obtain lawful employment and or register with various government agencies, and indeed obtain free medical healthcare.

In any event, to apply under this category of the immigration rules it will be necessary to convince the Home Office, or the tribunal, (if an application under this category has been refused and permission to appeal has been granted), that the individual has amassed documentation for every single year of claimed residence, for example, utility bills, junk mail so on and so forth.

Permission under this category is not permanent, to begin with, but limited, granted at tranches of 30 months until the person concerned has completed 10 years of such limited leave to remain, after which an application can be made for Indefinite Leave to Remain.

Birth in the UK and 10 Years Residence

The immigration rules also provide for situations whereby an applicant was born in the UK, but other than that can show no lawful presence here. Therefore, a child of asylum seeking parents may be born here and lived here for at least the first 10 years of life. If this can be shown, for example by the birth certificate, correspondence from primary school(s), and letters from the child’s doctor to include the child’s Redbook for example, then irrespective as to the child’s immigration status or those of his/her parent(s), that child can apply for registration as a British citizen.

This provision also applies to adults who can show that they were born here and have lived here continuously here for the first 10 years of their life.

7 Years Residence in the UK

Those children who have lived in this country for at least seven years, even though they may not have been here lawfully, can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK if it can be shown that it would be unreasonable in the particular circumstances of their case to ask them to leave.

In such cases, the law regards those who have been in this country for at least seven years, as having developed roots, and seven years is taken as a guideline to establishing whether a child can appropriately be said to have become more interested in his/her peers than bonded solely with the family. Has the child reached an age in the particular circumstances of the case concerned whereby it can be said he/she is more interested in friends rather than parents? Will the child find it difficult to live abroad, in the country of his/her nationality with his/her parent(s)? Will the child be able to have the same level of education there as in the UK? Is the child able to speak the language of his//her nationality? These are some of the matters that will have to be dealt with in any application for leave to remain under this category, or if leave is refused, then if permission to appeal has been granted, on appeal to the immigration tribunal.

ILR For Refugees And Humanitarian Protection

If you are in the UK as a refugee or person with humanitarian protection from any country, you must be in the UK for at least 5 years before you can apply for your ILR. If your spouse or children are already in the country with you as qualified dependants, they can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain as well. If your family was formed before you left the country (spouse, civil partner, and children) you can apply to be reunited with you under the family reunion scheme. Qualified extended family and family formed after your asylum was approved can apply for a family visa. If you wish, you can each explore the most logical path to naturalisation afterwards.

For more information on other immigration services we specialise in, click here.

Ask our team of Top Immigration Solicitors

For any questions or queries, you may have, about applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK, call us during our working hours on +44 (0) 207 269 9590 for a FREE 10-minute consultation with one of our immigration solicitors London. You can also fill out the form below and a member of our team will reply to you within 24 hours.

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