Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) will give you the right to live and work in the UK as well as access to healthcare and certain benefits, if you are eligible. If you want this type of settled status, you may be wondering how long it takes to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain. We take a look at the evidence you will need to put together for your application as well as how long UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) will take to process this. How long does an Indefinite Leave to Remain application take?
At Halliday Reeves, we specialise solely in immigration. This means we have an exceptional understanding of both the complex and ever-changing law in this area and the way in which UKVI deals with applications.
It is essential to provide a full range of evidence with your application showing that you are eligible for ILR and that you satisfy all of the legal requirements. We can go through your paperwork with you and make sure that the documents you include will show that you meet the eligibility criteria. Sending a comprehensive application can avoid delays and help UKVI process your case promptly.
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How Long Does It Take To Apply For Indefinite Leave To Remain?
Putting together all of the information you will need for an application for Indefinite Leave to Remain can be time-consuming. You will need documentary evidence for a wide range of points, including evidence that:
- You have been present in the UK throughout the qualifying period, usually two years, five years or ten years, without absences of more than 180 days in any twelve-month period
- If you are applying from a UK skilled worker visa or other work visa, you need formal written confirmation from your employer that your job is still necessary
- You meet the necessary income requirement, which is different depending on your immigration route. For example, as a skilled worker, you need to show that you earn £25,600 per year or £10.10 per hour or the going rate for your job, while if you hold a spouse visa, you and your spouse need a combined income of £18,600 per year, plus £3,800 for a child and £2,400 each for any further children
- Your immigration history is lawful
- You satisfy the English language requirements, which could be by taking a Secure English Language Test
- You have passed the ‘Life in the UK’ test
- You have provided your biometric information
Documents you may need to prove the above include:
- Your passport or other valid travel or identity document
- Your expired passport, if it ended during your qualifying period in the UK
- Travel documents for periods when you entered and left the UK during the qualifying period
- Bank statements for each year of the qualifying period
- P60s for each year of the qualifying period
- Pension statements showing your employer’s contributions on your behalf
- A formal letter from your employer stating how long you have worked for them and that your position is still needed
- A council tax bill
You may need to provide more information than this, depending on your situation and your immigration route. We can advise you which documents will be needed to satisfy each point.
If you have had absences of more than 180 days in any twelve-month period, you may still be eligible for ILRL if you can satisfy UKVI that these were unavoidable because of issues such as natural disaster, conflict, travel disruption or medical issues. Evidence would need to be provided to support your claim, such as medical certificates or information issued by travel organisations.
In our experience, it can often take several weeks to compile all of the necessary information.
You can apply for ILR no sooner than 28 days before the end of your qualifying period. Your visa must still be valid when you apply, or you will have to renew your visa before your ILR application is sent.
Once your application has been sent, you should not leave the UK until you have a decision. If you do, then your application will be withdrawn.
How Long Does It Take For An Indefinite Leave To Remain Application Decision?
Once UKVI has your ILR application, they will aim to deal with it within six months. In practice, they are usually able to respond more quickly. If they do not have all of the information they need, your application could be rejected. They may also want to interview you, which could mean that the application takes longer.
In some cases, you may be able to pay extra for a faster decision. UKVI have a priority service which costs an extra £500 on top of the ILR application fee of £2,404. If they have the capacity to provide this service, they will return your application within five working days.
They also offer a super priority service which costs an extra £800, if available. This will give you a decision by the end of the next working day after receipt of your full application.
Contact Our Indefinite Leave To Remain Solicitors
If you would like help and advice in putting together the strongest possible application for Indefinite Leave to Remain, we will be happy to hear from you.
We have offices in Gateshead, Middlesbrough, Wakefield and Nottingham. To speak to one of our expert indefinite leave to remain lawyers, ring us on 0330 133 7777, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in our Contact Form.
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