Indefinite Leave to Remain UK Guidance

Indefinite Leave to Remain or Settlement considered as ultimate end-goal for many migrants who come to the UK. Britain offers a wealth of opportunities, in terms of career, culture, and family life. And it is only natural that having invested five or more years in the UK, you and your family will want to make it your permanent home.

Unfortunately, the British government has sought to make it increasingly difficult for migrants to obtain Indefinite Leave to Remain. From arbitrarily refusing applicants due to a historical mistake on their tax form, to insisting Tier 2 visa holders earn a minimum of £35,000 before they can apply, it has become increasingly challenging for those who dream of settlement in the UK to achieve it.

At A Y & J Solicitors, our team have an in-depth understanding of ILR requirements and achieve an incredibly high success rate for our clients. By instructing us, you can be confident that your application will be managed with high professionalism and care.

Do you need help with Indefinite Leave to Remain

Who Can Apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain?

The following migrants may be eligible to apply for ILR:

  • Current holders of a working visa under the PBS system
  • Current holders of a Dependent Visa or Partner Visa
  • Long-term residents of the UK, i.e. those who have been in the country for ten years

What Are the Requirements for Obtaining Indefinite Leave to Remain?

To apply for ILR, you must meet the following criteria:

Have held your visa continuously for five years (or have lawfully resided in the UK for continuous ten years)

  • Show proof of your English language proficiency:
    • Nationality from an English-speaking country
    • OR An accepted English language degree
    • OR Successfully passing an accredited English language test
  • Pass the ‘Life in the UK’ test
  • Meet the ‘continuous residency’ requirements
  • Meet any minimum income requirements (if applicable)

It is important to note that ILR status can be revoked if you live outside the UK for more than two years. 

How Do I Apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain?

Applications for ILR are paper based and you must ensure that the correct application form is chosen, depending in each immigration category you are applying. It is important to have all information in your application accurate, and applicable to your case. You must pay a fee to apply, and you do not get a refund if you are refused. Common reasons for refusal include:

  • Incorrect or insufficient documentation; or
  • Incorrect or incomplete application;
  • Failure to provide additional documents or information within a certain period of time, if you are requested by the UK Visas and Immigration to do so.

We, at A Y & J Solicitors will assist you with your ILR application, advising you from beginning to end. Should we identify any weaknesses in your case, for example, you have spent many months outside of the UK, we will ensure that this is addressed in our legal representations. This will greatly enhance your chance of having your ILR approved.

What Documents Do I Need to Provide When Applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain?

You will need to provide the following documents when applying for ILR (Note: This is not an exhaustive list).

  • Your passport;
  • Evidence of your current leave to remain (i.e. your visa);
  • Proof of any absences from the UK;
  • Payslips from your employer to prove you meet the minimum income requirement of £35,000 or more, for those holding Tier 2 visas;
  • Proof you meet the English language requirement and have passed the Life in the UK test.

What Are the Benefits of an Indefinite Leave to Remain Visa?

The Indefinite Leave to Remain provides you and your family the opportunity to advance your secure status in the UK. Those with ILR can live and work in the UK, free from visa restrictions. You can also leave the UK without the fear of not being allowed to return. Please ensure that you will not stay outside the UK for a continuous period of 2 years or more once ILR is granted, it will result in losing your settlement status.

Our experienced team can assist you and your family with the application process for this route, we have successfully helped many grateful clients navigate through the process. From the initial consultation until you receive the decision on indefinite leave to remain application, we are ready to help and make the process positive and hassle-free. We are unique that we also deliver the highest services to our clients and their family members.

What Can I Do if My Application for Indefinite Leave to Remain is Refused?

ILR refusals can be devastating for you, your family. On many occasions, your life is put on hold due to such a negative decision. Our expert team can move swiftly to advise you on your options to challenge to the refusal. Depending on the immigration category you choose to settle, following options are possible solutions:

We will advise you on the best steps to take based on your circumstances.


To be eligible for ILR, you must meet the continuous residency requirements. This means that you cannot have been outside the UK for more than 180 days in a 12-month period. The 180 days is roughly six months, so the allowance is quite generous. However, those on a Tier 2 General Visa and Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa are often caught out because they have to travel extensively for work. If you consider this an issue, it is in your best interest to discuss your absences with our lawyers prior to making your application.

If you qualify for ILR prior to your spouse/partner and/or dependant children, they will need to continue on a points-based visa until they meet the continuous residency requirements. You will need to ensure the maintenance requirements for your dependants are met.

Contact Us Today For Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)

Brochure of Indefinite Leave to Remain

Indefinite Leave to Remain UK

How Can I Qualify for Settlement (ILR) In the UK?
Some of the facts:

Settlement is also known as Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR); Once you hold settlement status you may live and work anywhere in the UK without restriction; Under general circumstances, you should live in the UK for a minimum of 5 years before you can apply for settlement; Those who are on Tier 1 Investor and Tier 1 Entrepreneur may qualify for settlement in 2-3 years, subject to relevant UKVI requirements; A non-exhaustive list of requirements is to satisfy the English language proficiency, pass a Life in the UK test, not have been absent from the UK for more than 180 days within any 12-month period of 5 years qualifying residency unless applying under Long Residency where the absences allowance is 540 days in 10 years;

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An Overview of Indefinite Leave to Remain ILR Requirements

We are a specialised UK immigration law firm.

Please note, the information provided herewith is correct as of the date of the publication of this video and You must contact a lawyer to seek specific, precise guidance in relation to the ILR application.

This video is about a general overview of the ILR Requirements.

ILR stands for Indefinite Leave to Remain. It is also referred to as ‘settlement’ or ‘permanent residency’. Once you hold the ILR status, you can live and normally work anywhere in the UK without restriction.

One of the requirement for ILR status is the length of time you have lived in the UK. This time varies, depending on your visa category.

For most Visa categories, you could apply for ILR after living in the UK for 5 years. This includes but not limited to Tier 1, Tier 2 and ancestry visa.

Refugees, spouses and legal partners of those settled in the UK, and those with legal access rights to a child in the UK can also apply for ILR after 5 years of residency.

If you are a Tier 1 Investor with a 5 Million pounds investment, you could qualify for ILR in just need 3 years, and for a 10 m pounds investment you could qualify for ILR in just 2 years. That’s quite quick and useful.

If you are a Tier 1 Entrepreneur and have created at least 10 new full-time jobs for at least 12 months, you could apply for ILR after 3 years in the UK.

In addition to the residence requirements there are some further criteria to qualify for ILR status.

You must show proficiency in the English language and pass a Life in the UK test.

You should also have maintained continuous lawful residence.

You should not have any criminal conviction.

For most people within the Tier 2 category, the minimum annual income to claim ILR is now 35,000 pounds or more.

A very important aspect to avoid is Tax Deception. You must ensure that the income you relied or noted in your application matches the income reported to HMRC. Failure to do this may result in a claim of Tax Deception against you, and a possible visa application refusal.

The requirements for ILR are varied based on the category of Visa you hold.

You must ensure you meet all requirements before you apply for ILR.

We have dealt with great number of ILR application and we can certainly help you if you require any assistance or information.

Please feel free to get in touch with us. Our contact details are at the bottom of this video.

Thank you for watching.

A Y & J Solicitors’ Review

5 Out of 5 Star
NithinKumar Thota and Ajitha Thota gave AY&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.

5 Out of 5 Star
farooq Shaik gave AY&J Solicitors 5 stars via @Trustpilot

I went to AY&J when my ILR application was refused with 322(5) and 245AAA due to tax amendment and number of absences. During my initial consultation, Diana picked up all the important points from my refusal letter and she gathered all the relevant documents that might be helpful for AR. Unfortunately my AR was refused and we lodged Judicial review. Just today I found out my oral permission has been granted. Hoping the case will be resolved soon. AY&J have been keeping up to date about my application and their service is exceptional. They always answered my queries. I would recommend anyone with Visa issues(including 322(5)) to go see Diana and youÕll come out relieved.

5 Out of 5 Star
Savidu Gunasekara gave AY&J Solicitors 5 stars via @Trustpilot

Me and my wife would like to take this opportunity in thanking A Y & J Solicitors for the very efficient and professional way they handled our case. From the very beginning, they guided us in the correct direction. Finally, I received my settlement visa and I am much confident Diana will do everything to sort out my wife’s visa as my wife’s case is complex than my one. Things I like about A Y & J Solicitors are top end professional service, approachability, reliability, and honesty. I would definitely recommend to anyone who has complex immigration situation without any hesitation.

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