What is Indefinite Leave to Remain? Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), also referred to as settlement, gives overseas citizens the right to live, work and study in the UK. It can be granted to individuals who have already spent a period of time in the UK under a range of visas.
As well as being able to stay in the UK for an unlimited period, individuals with ILR can claim benefits, if they are entitled to them, and leave and re-enter the UK without needing a visa.
If you are granted Indefinite Leave to Remain, you may ultimately be able to apply for naturalisation as a British citizen.
At Halliday Reeves, we are immigration specialists who have helped countless clients secure Indefinite Leave to Remain and build their futures in the UK.
Applying for ILR can be complex, with strict criteria, and it is crucial to include the right paperwork in support of your application. We can put together a strong application on your behalf and advise you on the best documents to include by way of evidence that you are eligible.
As well as a high level of legal expertise in ILR applications, we offer an exceptional service. We will make sure that you have the advice, guidance and support that you need. We are always happy to talk through any concerns you may have and to answer your questions.
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What Does Indefinite Leave To Remain Mean?
Indefinite Leave to Remain means that you can live, work and study in the UK with no restrictions. If you wish to travel outside of the UK, you can do this and then return to the UK without the need for a visa if you have ILR.
Once you hold ILR, members of your family may also be able to join you if they meet the eligibility criteria. This includes your partner, spouse, dependent children and other dependent relatives. They will usually need to prove that they have the minimum standard of English and that there is enough money to support them.
ILR can be lost in certain circumstances, including if you were to leave the UK for more than two years.
If you have ILR for a year or more, you may be able to apply for naturalisation as a British citizen, provided you meet the eligibility criteria.
Am I Eligible For Indefinite Leave To Remain?
The criteria for securing ILR vary depending on your background and the visa you hold. If you have a UK work visa, you will need to have been in the UK for up to five years when you apply. You will also usually need to meet the minimum salary requirement. You should still be employed and needed by your employer and they will need to provide formal confirmation of this.
If you have a partner, child or dependent relative who is settled in the UK, you may be able to apply if you have spent long enough in the UK. This could be two years, five years or ten years, depending on the immigration route you are on.
During this qualifying period, you should not spend more than 180 days in any twelve-month period outside of the UK.
You will also need to meet the financial requirements if you are on the two year or five year route. The minimum income needed will depend on your situation. If you are applying on the basis of having family in the UK, you and your spouse or partner will need a combined income of £18,600 or more per year. If you have children who are not settled or pre-settled in the UK, you will also need extra funds for them. This is the sum of £3,800 for the first child and £2,400 per year each for any further children.
If you are applying on the basis of a skilled worker visa, you will need a minimum income for yourself of £25,600.
You will also need to show that you have been living lawfully in the UK for the required period and that you have not committed any criminal offences or breached immigration rules.
You need to pass the ‘Life in the UK’ test and show that you have an acceptable knowledge of the English language. This can be proved by passing an approved secure English language test. If you have already passed a test, you will not have to take another one.
How Do I Get Indefinite Leave To Remain?
Application for ILR is made online. You can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain as you approach the date on which you will have been in the UK for the required period of time. For example, if you are applying after five years on a skilled worker visa, you can apply no more than 28 days before you have been in the UK for five years. Your visa must not have expired when you apply. If it has expired, you will need to renew it before you apply for ILR.
You will need to provide documentary evidence that you satisfy each requirement. This is not always straightforward and it is important not to leave anything out or your application will be rejected. We can advise you on the most appropriate paperwork to be provided and make sure that your application is as strong as possible.
You will need to provide your biometric information, which is a photo and your fingerprints, and pay the application fee of £2,404.
Once you have made your application, it is important not to leave the UK until you receive a decision. If you do, your application will be withdrawn.
You should receive a decision within six months. You may be able to pay extra to receive a faster decision. In some cases, you may be asked to attend an interview, in which case your application may take longer to deal with.
Contact Our Indefinite Leave to Remain Solicitors
If you would like to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain, we can advise you on your application and work with you to ensure that it is as strong as possible.
We have offices in Gateshead, Middlesbrough, Wakefield and Nottingham. To speak to one of our expert immigration lawyers, ring us on 0330 133 7777, email us at email@example.com or fill in our Contact Form.
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