The requirements to apply for ILR in the UK will depend on your individual circumstances and the immigration category under which you are applying.
It's important to note that the requirements for ILR can be complex and can vary depending on your individual circumstances. It's advisable to seek guidance from an immigration lawyer to ensure that you understand the requirements and have the best chance of success in your ILR application.
Table of Contents
- What are the requirements for ILR applications?
- Documents required for Indefinite Leave to Remain
- Continuous residence requirement
- Life in the UK test for ILR
- Evidence of your knowledge of the English language
- Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
- Need legal advice or help from an immigration lawyer?
What are the requirements for ILR applications?
The requirements to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK will depend on your individual circumstances and the immigration category under which you are applying. However, in general, the following requirements are necessary for most ILR applications:
- Eligibility period: You must have completed a specified period of time in the UK, which will vary depending on your immigration category. For example, most work visa holders must have lived in the UK for at least five continuous years to be eligible for ILR, while those on family visas may be eligible after two years.
- Continuous residence: You must demonstrate that you have been continuously resident in the UK for the required period of time and that you have not spent more than the allowable time outside the UK for your specific visa category.
- English language requirement: You must meet the English language requirement, which typically involves demonstrating a certain level of proficiency in English through an approved English language test or other recognized qualifications.
- Life in the UK test: You must pass the Life in the UK test, which tests your knowledge of British history, culture, and customs.
- Criminal record check: You must disclose any criminal convictions or cautions you have received, and the Home Office will conduct a criminal record check as part of the application process.
- Meeting other specific requirements: Depending on your immigration category, you may also need to meet other specific requirements, such as having a certain level of income or meeting the eligibility criteria for the specific visa category.
You must also meet all the other eligibility requirements depending on type of application and your personal circumstances. Please contact us for an initial assessment to determine your eligibility, and to discuss the options.
Documents required for Indefinite Leave to Remain
There are several supporting documents are required for the ILR application, including:
- your passport
- biometric residence permit (BRP)
- evidence of your continuous residence in the UK
- evidence of your knowledge of the English language
- proof of passing the Life in the UK test
Read the guidance for the full list of documents you'll need to provide in the support of your Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) application.
Continuous residence requirement
Continuous lawful residence in the UK is a main requirement of Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) applications. Continuous residence means the time you've spent in the UK without gaps.
ILR applicants are required not to be absent from the UK for more than 180 days in any 12 months during the ILR qualifying period. Such restriction of 180 days does not apply to ILR applications as family members of British Citizens and settled persons.
Life in the UK test for ILR
When applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK, you will generally be required to pass the Life in the UK test as part of the application process. The test is designed to assess your knowledge of British culture, customs, and history, and it is a requirement for most settlement and citizenship applications.
To take the Life in the UK test, you will need to book an appointment at a designated test centre and pay the test fee, which as of April 2023 is £50. The test is computer-based and consists of 24 multiple-choice questions, which you will have 45 minutes to answer.
The test covers a range of topics related to life in the UK, including:
- The UK's political system, including the roles of the government, Parliament, and judiciary
- British history, culture, and society, including significant events, people, and traditions
- Rights and responsibilities of UK citizens, such as voting and paying taxes
- Education, healthcare, and social welfare systems in the UK
- Immigration, asylum, and citizenship laws and policies in the UK.
To pass the test, you must answer at least 18 out of 24 questions correctly. If you fail the test, you can retake it after seven days, but you will need to pay the test fee again.
Evidence of your knowledge of the English language
When applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK, you will generally be required to meet the English language requirements as part of the application process. The specific requirements will depend on your individual circumstances and the immigration category under which you are applying.
In general, to meet the English language requirement for ILR, you must provide evidence that you:
- Have a degree taught in English that is equivalent to a UK bachelor's degree, master's degree, or PhD;
- Have passed a Home Office approved English language test at the required level (currently CEFR level B1 or above) with a recognized test provider; or
- Have obtained an academic qualification taught in English from an institution that is recognized by UK NARIC (the National Recognition Information Centre for the United Kingdom).
It's important to note that some categories of applicants, such as those aged 65 or over or those with a long residence in the UK, may be exempt from the English language requirement.
If you need to take an English language test, you can find a list of Home Office approved test providers on the UK government's website. You should ensure that you meet the required level of English language proficiency before taking the test, as failing the test can delay your ILR application.
If you have any questions or concerns about the English language requirements for your ILR application, it's advisable to seek guidance from an immigration lawyer.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Here are some commonly asked questions about Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR):
Individuals with ILR are still subject to certain restrictions, such as the requirement to notify the Home Office of any changes in their circumstances, and they can lose their ILR status if they spend 2 or more continuous years outside the UK.
Each applicant needs to pay £2,404 for their Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) application if applying for ILR using the standard service.
The length of time it takes to receive a decision on an ILR application can vary depending on a number of factors, but typically it can take up to six months. You can pay extra for a priority service to receive a decision faster.
You must apply for ILR online by completing the relevant application form and providing supporting documents to prove that you meet the eligibility requirements.
Read this comprehensive guide to learn more about how to apply for ILR, the required documents and fees.
With ILR, you can live and work in the UK permanently, and you are not subject to immigration controls or restrictions. You may also be eligible for certain benefits, such as access to the NHS and social security benefits, among others.