Tips for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) Visa

Indefinite Leave to Remain Application – Top Three Tips from A Y & J Solicitors

On May 23, 2018 | In British Citizenship | By A Y & J Solicitors Last Updated : January 04, 2024

Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) is also referred as Permanent Residence or Settlement. It can be considered as a very important immigration application for the migrant. Moving to a new country can feel like a tremendous risk and those who choose to take it generally give their all to creating a good life in their new home. For those who come to Britain, obtaining Indefinite Leave to Remain provides a sense of certainty that all the time and money invested in coming to the UK has paid off and they are now part of the community.

Obtaining a settlement is also a requirement for applying for British Citizenship, the goal of many migrants.

Acquiring settlement provides a host of advantages. Alongside the feeling of fully belonging in the UK, having Indefinite Leave to Remain means you are free from any visa restrictions (for example, to earn a minimum salary) and can travel freely in and out of the country.

However, with UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) can refuse visa applications, the slightest mistake can result in your Indefinite Leave to Remain being rejected.

The newspapers are full of horror stories of people being refused Indefinite Leave to Remain for seemingly trivial reasons. In 2017, Dr Kevin Parsons, University of Glasgow biodiversity lecturer was threatened with deportation after his Indefinite Leave To Remain application was refused. Dr Parsons told reporters the UKVI advised him to apply for ILR before his wife because he was in the UK as a ‘dependent’ under her ancestry visa. This advice turned out to be incorrect. Instead, immigration officers should have told Dr Parsons and his wife to file jointly for Indefinite Leave To Remain, and she could apply for British Citizenship later on.

“I immediately thought that this was a mistake that they made that could be corrected by them without much issue,” Dr Parsons said.

“It then seemed to me that the immigration system was designed to create failures. So while the government doesn’t outright refuse you, they install barriers with timelines that can’t be met if anything goes wrong”.

Thanks to the intense public support and the advice of an experienced immigration lawyer, Dr Parsons was granted settlement.

The above scenario illustrates how precarious the process of applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain can be. If your leave expires during the process, you may be forced to leave the country. Another example of the ridiculous situation some people find themselves in is illustrated by the case of a Zimbabwean couple who were refused Indefinite Leave to Remain because they did not take the English language test, despite English being their first language.

The couple told the Derby Telegraph – “We have supported ourselves since arriving in the UK. We both passed the Life in the UK test and were told that we would be informed if we needed to take the English language test, which is no more than sitting in a room conversing to someone for five minutes.”

“By the time we were told that we had to take the test, the Home Office had retained our passports, and you need your passport before you can sit the test. It is a misunderstanding but one that has cost us dearly”.

To assist you with applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain, here are our three top tips for increasing your chances of a successful application:

One – Instruct an Experienced Immigration Lawyer to Advise and Represent Your Indefinite Leave to Remain Application

There are several pitfalls in the Indefinite Leave To Remain process that can quickly turn into disastrous consequences for the applicant. It is therefore imperative that you invest inaccurate legal advice before submitting your application so that any problems are detected well in advance.

Our team is well known for assisting clients all over the world with their settlement applications. At A Y & J Solicitors, we have a five-star rating on Trustpilot and a well-established reputation for successfully obtaining a settlement for clients, especially those whose cases are not completely straightforward.

Client says, “The experience and the professionalism displayed by the staffs and the case handler of our ILR application was highly commendable and indeed an excellent service.

I would always recommend this company for any and all your immigration needs.

Right from the first contact until the end of the job, they were approachable and keen to respond politely with facts. My doubts and all questions were answered promptly with high level of accuracy and sincerity. I would always recommend this company for any and all your immigration needs. This company knows there job very well.

Two – Make Sure You Understand the Continuous Residency Requirements for Your Indefinite Leave to Remain Application

To be eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain you need to meet the continuous residency requirements. As a general rule, an applicant must not have been absent from the UK for more than 180 days over a 12-month period.

There are some absences which, if they result in you being outside the country for more than 180 days, are allowable. Allowable absences must be for a reason consistent with the original purpose of entry to the UK, or for a serious or compelling reason. They are permitted in the following categories:

  • work permit holder
  • a representative of an overseas business
  • an employee of overseas governments (except those exempt from control) or the United Nations (UN) or another international organisation of which the UK is a member
  • the airport-based operational staff of overseas-owned airlines
  • domestic workers in private households

Even a few days extra absence could result in your application for settlement being denied. Make sure you monitor the time you spend outside the UK and keep within the continuous residency requirements.

Three – For Those Applicants on a Tier 2 Visa, Check you are Being Paid Enough

From April 2016, NON-EU migrants in the UK on a Tier 2 visa will need to earn at least £35,000 to qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain. At A Y & J Solicitors, we have assisted Applicants with complex issues while on a Tier 2 General to obtain the settlement.

Some jobs, such as nursing, are exempt from the rule.

Both employers and employees lose out if a skilled worker leaves the country simply because they do not meet the minimum salary requirements. If you are not being paid enough to apply for settlement, you need to have a frank conversation with your employer well before your current leave expires. Alternatively, you may need to find a better-paid position with another UK Sponsor Licence holder.

For assistance with all matters relating to Indefinite Leave to remain, talk to one of our team for friendly, practical, accurate advice.

A Y & J Solicitors are specialists in immigration law based in central London. If you would like to have more information, please contact us at [email protected] or call +44 20 7404 7933.

Disclaimer: No material/information provided on this website should be construed as legal advice. Readers should seek an appropriate professional advice for their immigration matters.


A Y & J Solicitors is a multi-award winning, 14+ years experienced, recommended by Legal 500, boutique UK immigration law firm based in Central London. Having assisted 5000+ clients, we are well equipped to help you with our ‘In It To Win It’ approach. For your assurance and confidence, we are pleased to share our trust rating of 4.9/5 based on 1000+ reviews on Trustpilot & Google.

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NithinKumar Thota and Ajitha Thota gave A Y & J Solicitors 5 stars via @Trustpilot

Hello. If you are struggling with any immigration issues, I can strongly recommend A Y & J Solicitors. One phone call we made to them on Jan 2018 has changed our lives. We thought of going back to India when we got a refusal for ILR, it was due to a tax amendment, but after speaking to Yash, they provided with a best option in making a fresh application. Took over our case in the last week of January and with in 5 months we got the result. We will never forget the mental stress we have gone through ,as the first application we made was in September 2016 and after waiting for 1.5 years got a refusal. That is when we found A Y & J Solicitors. We can’t thank enough AY & J for the support, assurance, value and respect they give to the clients. We dealt with Yash, Waleed, Zareen and Sok Wei regarding our case. All the team of A Y & J Solicitors are very good at the communication and I have seen the clear difference of this after we moved to them from our previous solicitors. I would like to request all the readers: please guys if you are struggling with any immigration issues, please give them a call. They will give you a straight answer on analysing the case. I know how hard it is to cope up with the stress in immigration issues. Would definitely recommend them. I hope they succeed in all the future cases and see much more success.

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