Settlement – Indefinite Leave to Remain
‘Indefinite Leave to Remain’ (ILR) is a right granted to live permanently in the UK, and often referred to as ‘settlement’. This is not to be confused with Permanent Residence, which is for EEA nationals and their family members. You may apply for this leave after having lived in the country and contributed for a set amount of time while on a temporary visa. The amount of time you are required to have stayed in the country is dependent on your immigration status. This is determined by your existing visa, marriage status, ability to work or contribute, and whether your time in the UK has been lawful.
Upon being granted this leave, your travels to and from the UK will not be monitored or restricted, and you will no longer require a work permit for employment opportunities.
To apply for ILR, in most situations, you must have an acceptable degree of knowledge about both the English language and the UK itself. The application process depends on your current type of visa and further determining factors specific to your visa class. These conditions are as follows:
- As a Tier 1 General migrant, you can apply for ILR after 5 years of continuous residence in the UK, given that you have been economically active in the country over the last 5 years, and have appropriate maintenance funds.
- As a Tier 1 Entrepreneur migrant, you can apply for accelerated settlement after 3 years of leave in the UK. If the requirements for accelerated ILR are not met, you can apply for settlement after a total of 5 years in the country.
- As a Tier 1 Investor migrant, you can apply for accelerated ILR after 2 or 3 years, and apply for settlement after a full 5 years in the UK if you do not meet the appropriate requirements for either accelerated leave.
- As a Tier 1 Exceptional Talent migrant, you can apply for settlement in the UK after 5 years of continuous residence in the county.
- As a Tier 2 General migrant, you can apply for ILR after a completion of 5 years in the country as a Tier 2 migrant, with a work permit. You must be able to show that you have been working in the UK for as long as your work permit requires, or display a letter received from the employer sponsoring your stay, to prove that you have been working and are still required at the job for which your stay was sponsored.
- As a Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) migrant, you can apply for ILR after spending a continuous 5 years in the UK as an ICT migrant, holding a valid work permit or as a representative of an overseas business. You must also have evidence from your sponsor that you are still required for the job you were sponsored to stay in the UK for.
- As a Tier 2 Minister of Religion (MR), you can submit an application for ILR after 5 years of stay in the UK as an MR. You must provide evidence from your sponsoring employer that you have been working in the UK throughout your stay, and that you are still required in the UK as an MR.
- As a Tier 2 Sportsperson, you can apply for ILR in the country after 5 years of stay as a Tier 2 Sportsperson with a work permit. You must provide evidence from your sponsoring employer that you have been working in the UK throughout your stay, and that you are still required in the UK as a sportsperson.
- As a Tier 5 Temporary Worker, you can apply for ILR after 5 years continuously spent working in the UK. All unexpected absences from work must be detailed in writing by your sponsor and include all relevant documents for reference.
- As a domestic worker, you can apply for ILR in the UK after 5 years spent working in a private household, given that the household continues to require your services. You must also have met the requirements in paragraph 159A of the Immigration Rules, and continue to do so.
- As a UK Ancestry Visa holder, you can apply for ILR after 5 years working in the country, with evidence of your work.
- As a spouse/unmarried partner/civil partner/same sex partner of someone settled in the UK, you can apply for settlement in the country after 5 years of residence in the UK under the partner visa. You must provide evidence that the relationship still exists after the 5 years, as well as during, and that you live together with your partner, who acts as your sponsor.
- As a Victim of Domestic Violence, you can apply for ILR without knowledge of the English language or of the country. However, you must be in the country already with a temporary visa, and have evidence that your relationship broke down permanently, to the point of domestic violence, meeting the requirements of E-DVILR.1.2.
- As a bereaved partner, you can apply for FLR if you are in the country with temporary permission as the husband, wife, or civil partner of a person settled in the UK who has died. Section BPILR of Appendix FM details the grant of ILR to bereaved spouses, civil partners, same sex partners, and unmarried partners, given that they had intended to live in the country together indefinitely.
- As a refugee, you can apply for ILR after living in the UK for 5 years.
- As a person under Humanitarian Protection, you can apply for ILR after spending 5 years in the country as a result of your protection status.
How we can help:
We provide advice on a one to one basis and advice is always tailored to the specific needs of our client. We also work very closely with agencies that provide other support and guidance to refugees and asylum seekers, such as Migrant Help and Refugee Action, and are currently part of the duty rota system agreed with the Legal Aid Agency for providing legal support to persons dispersed to our areas.