As a skilled worker, you may be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) after you have spent 5 continuous years in the UK on a Skilled Worker visa.
Once you are granted ILR as a skilled worker, you can stay in the UK indefinitely and work in any job or industry without the need for a work permit. You may also be eligible to apply for British citizenship after a certain period of time.
If you need legal advice or help with your Indefinite Leave to Remain application, our experienced immigration lawyer can provide you with the help you need.
Table of Contents
- Skilled Worker visa to ILR
- How to apply for ILR as a Skilled Worker?
- Requirements for ILR as a Skilled Worker
- Documents required to apply for ILR as a Skilled Worker
- ILR application processing time
- ILR application fees
- How can an immigration lawyer help you?
- Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
- Need legal advice or help from an immigration lawyer?
How to apply for ILR as a Skilled Worker?
If you want to apply for ILR as a Skilled Worker, you must apply online for Indefinite Leave to Remain by using the SET(O) application form.
Here are the steps you need to take to apply for ILR as a Skilled Worker:
- Check if you are eligible
- Collect the necessary documents
- Fill out the application form
- Pay the application fee
- Submit your application
- Book & attend a biometric appointment
- Wait for a decision
Read this comprehensive guide to learn more about how to apply for ILR, the required documents and fees.
Requirements for ILR as a Skilled Worker
To apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) as a Skilled Worker in the UK, you must meet the following requirements:
- Continuous residence: You must have been continuously resident in the UK for at least five years unless you are eligible for an accelerated route to settlement.
- Immigration status: You must have held a valid Skilled Worker visa throughout your stay in the UK.
- Employment: You must have been employed in the UK and must still be employed by a UK-based employer who holds a valid sponsor licence.
- Salary: You must have been paid at or above the minimum salary threshold for your job, as stated in the Skilled Worker visa requirements.
- English language proficiency: You must meet the English language proficiency requirement by passing an approved English language test or by having a degree taught in English.
- Knowledge of life in the UK: You must have passed the Life in the UK test, which assesses your knowledge of British society, culture, and history.
- Absences from the UK: You must not have spent more than 180 days outside the UK in any 12-month period during your five-year residency period, unless you have a valid reason for your absence, such as work, study, or compassionate leave.
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.
Continuous residence requirement
To apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) as a skilled worker in the UK, the applicant must meet the continuous residence requirement. This means that the applicant must have lived in the UK for a continuous period of 5 years, during which they must have had legal permission to stay in the country throughout the entire period.
The applicant must not have breached any immigration laws, such as overstaying their visa or working without permission, during the 5-year period. They must also have met other requirements, such as passing the Life in the UK Test and meeting the English language proficiency requirement.
Additionally, during the 5-year period, the applicant must have spent no more than 180 days outside the UK in any 12-month period, unless there are compelling or compassionate reasons for the absence, such as serious illness or caring responsibilities.
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.
English language requirement for ILR
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.
Documents required to apply for ILR as a Skilled Worker
To apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) as a Skilled Worker in the UK, you will need to provide the following documents:
- Current valid passport or travel document: This is required to demonstrate your identity, nationality, and right to stay in the UK.
- Biometric Residence Permit (BRP): If you have been issued a BRP, you must provide this as evidence of your right to work and stay in the UK.
- Evidence of continuous residence: You must provide evidence that you have been continuously resident in the UK for the required period of time (usually 5 years) under the Skilled Worker visa route. This may include bank statements, utility bills, council tax bills, and tenancy agreements.
- Evidence of current employment: You must provide evidence of your current employment, including a letter from your employer confirming your job title, salary, and the date you started working for them.
- Evidence of English language proficiency: You must provide evidence that you meet the English language requirement, such as an approved English language test or a degree taught in English.
- Evidence of knowledge of life in the UK: You must provide evidence that you have passed the Life in the UK test.
This is a general list of documents. Depending on type of application and your personal circumstances, you might also need to provide additional documents.
Please contact us for an initial assessment to determine your eligibility, and find out the required list of documents in support of your application.
ILR application processing time
You should get a decision within 3-6 months if you are applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) using standard service. However, you may be able to use priority service to get a faster decision.
How long does the ILR application process take?
Once you have applied online and attended your biometrics appointment, you'll usually get a decision on your visa within:
- 3-6 months, if applying using standard service
- 5 working days, if applying using priority service
- 24 hours, if applying using super priority service
Super Priority Service
You may be eligible to use the “super priority service” to get a faster decision by the end of the next working day (within 24 hours). You'll need to pay £1,000 in addition to the ILR application fee.
You may be able to choose the 'priority service' when you apply for a UK visa to get a faster decision within 5 working days. You'll need to pay £500 in addition to the ILR application fee.
When you apply, you might be eligible to choose the 'super priority service' or 'priority service' to get your visa faster depending on the type of application.
ILR application fees
Home Office (UKVI) fee for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) application is £2,404 per applicant if applying using standard service. You do not need to pay the IHS (Immigration Health Surcharge) if you are applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).
Please note that these fees are subject to change, and you should always check the most up-to-date information on the UK government's official website before applying for a visa.
How much does an ILR application cost?
The cost of an Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) application varies depending on the type of application you are applying for and the type of service you are using such as 'standard service', 'super priority service', or 'priority service'.
Here are some common costs associated with applying for an indefinite leave to remain:
- £2,404 Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) application fee
- £19.20 Biometrics fee
- £50 Life in the UK test fee (unless you are exempt)
- £150 approx. English language test fee (unless you are exempt)
- £1,000 in addition to the application fee if using the super priority service
- £500 in addition to the application fee if using the priority service
- Immigration lawyer fees (if using legal services to boost your chances of success & avoid mistakes)
Please note that the above is a general list of costs associated with UK visa applications. There may be additional costs such translation fee depending on your circumstances.
Immigration lawyer fees
Our expert UK immigration lawyer will guide you through every step of the Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) application process including advice about legal requirements and eligibility criteria.
At Rex Law Chambers, our immigration lawyer charges a fixed fee between £800-£1000 for our complete legal services in relation to your Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) application. The agreed fixed fee will depend on the complexity of the matter and the casework involved in the matter.
How can an immigration lawyer help you?
If you need legal advice or help with your Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) application, our immigration lawyer can provide legal assistance.
Immigration lawyer at Rex Law Chambers will:
- advise you about eligibility criteria and the requirement;
- provide you with a comprehensive checklist of supporting documents;
- fill in and submit your ILR application;
- check all the supporting documents;
- upload all the supporting documents online in their correct format and order;
- schedule your biometrics appointments;
- prepare a cover letter or letter of representation to support your application;
- dealing and responding to any enquiries or correspondence from the Home Office (UKVI);
- do all the follow-up work on your ILR application until a decision is received from the Home Office (UKVI).
Contact our experienced and friendly immigration lawyer on 0161 989 9370 or fill in our enquiry form to get reliable & confidential immigration advice and legal assistance with a Settlement (ILR) application or any other immigration matter.
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.