Indefinite Leave to Remain, or ILR, is the expression confirming the fact that there is no limit to the period that you can stay in the UK. This is also often referred to as permanent residence. This status is granted to a person on the basis that they are settled in the UK.
It is also a stepping stone to obtaining British citizenship.
How to qualify
Indefinite Leave to Remain can be achieved in a number of ways. We list only some of these circumstances, as there are various ways by which this status can be obtained:
- On the basis of successfully completing the five-year ancestry visa.
- On the basis of successfully completing the two-year marriage visa to a UK citizen, if the application for the spouse visa was submitted before 9 July 2012. If the application was submitted on or after 9 July 2012, the qualifying period is a five-year period of marriage to a UK citizen.
- On the basis of a five year period of marriage to an EU-national.
- On the basis of successfully completing five years under Tier 1 of the Points Based System.
- On the basis of successfully completing five years under Tier 2 of the Points Based System, and fulfilling the income threshold criteria. Please see section on Tier 2 for more information on this.
Tier 1 Entrepreneurs will be able to settle more quickly if they manage to create 10 jobs (totalling 10 slots of one year each – for example three job positions during the first year, three during the second and four during the third year) or have a turnover of £5 million in three years.
Major Tier 1 investors will be allowed to settle after three years if they have invested £5 million or more in the UK, or if they have invested £10 million or more, they will be allowed to settle after two years.
Major Tier 1 Investors and Entrepreneurs will also be allowed to spend up to 180 days (currently 90 days) in any twelve month period outside the UK, without affecting their right to settle in the UK.
If a holder of indefinite leave to remain spends a continuous period of two years or more outside of the UK, at any time, it will then be deemed that the person is no longer settled in the UK and the status of indefinite leave to remain could be withdrawn from them.
After obtaining indefinite leave to remain, you can qualify to apply for British citizenship.