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Indefinite Leave to Remain



Cartwright King’s dedicated UK Immigration Lawyers can help you secure indefinite leave to remain (ILR) with an accurate application that has the best possible chance of being approved by the Home Office. 

Our specialist lawyers stay up to date with the latest UK immigration rules and have decades of experience dealing with immigration authorities. You benefit from our legal know-how to help you navigate the complex ILR process.

For help with your UK indefinite leave to remain application, get in touch with our UK Immigration Team today.

Important UK immigration information for 2021

Following the completion of the Brexit transitional period on 1 January 2021, there will be no changes to the rights and immigration status of EU, EEA and Swiss citizens currently lawfully living in the UK on or before 31 December 2020. 

If you were living in the UK on or before 31 December 2020, you can apply for the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021. It’s free to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme. 

If you have lived in the UK for less than five years, it’s recommended that you apply for the EU Settlement Scheme. 

If you have lived in the UK for more than five years, you can apply for the EU Settlement Scheme, indefinite leave to remain or British citizenship.

Get in touch with a  specialist Cartwright King UK Immigration Solicitor today for advice on the latest ILR rules.

How Cartwright King Adds Value to Your ILR Application

Our dedicated UK Immigration Team dots all the I’s and crosses all the T’s to ensure that your ILR application is solid. Paperwork discrepancies and incorrect information can result in ILR refusal. You can trust our experience to ensure that your application is properly presented, giving the Home Office no reason to refuse it. 

We can:

  • Advise you of the required documentary evidence in support of your settlement application
  • Carefully consider the content of your documentary evidence to be submitted to the Home Office and advise you accordingly
  • Complete your ILR application on your behalf
  • Submit your settlement application to the Home Office (or arrange an appointment for you to submit your application at a premium processing centre in person).
  • Protect your legal interests while your settlement application is pending with the Home Office and keep you informed of any progress
  • Carry out any follow up work that is required to ensure that a decision is reached on your settlement application
  • Advise you on the implications of the Home Office decision on your settlement application

Benefit from a Free, Initial Telephone Conversation

Securing ILR status in the UK frees you from immigration time limits. It’s understandable that you might be nervous about getting your application wrong.

That’s why you can benefit from a free, initial telephone call with a specialist Cartwright King Immigration Solicitor to explain your circumstances and find out how we can help you.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic and ever-changing UK immigration rules, there is no substitute for speaking to an immigration specialist for up to date advice and guidance.

For immediate assistance, call us or email us for your free* initial discussion. 

The discussion is completely informal and confidential, and is an opportunity for us to:

  • Get to know you 
  • Understand your situation
  • Agree how you want to proceed

*Please be aware that this is a ‘get to know you’ call and no advice will be given.

Why Choose Cartwright King for Your ILR Application?

We understand that there’s a lot at stake when it comes to making a UK indefinite leave to remain application. Obtaining ILR status gives you greater security and removes the hassle and cost of constantly renewing visas.

That’s why we’re committed to helping  you secure ILR status in the UK with professional, sensible legal advice and sure guidance.  

We’re a trusted, resourceful Legal 500 top tier law firm with specialist solicitors that are calm under pressure, giving you peace of mind that we’re the right law firm to help you settle in the UK.

We're here for you.

Frequently asked questions.

The more specific criteria you must meet for UK ILR depends on the type of visa category you are applying for. However, the general requirements you must meet, include:

  • A certain number of years living in the UK specific to your current immigration status
  • Proof that you have lived in the UK for the required years for the amount of time that you have held your current UK visa
  • Evidence that you have adhered to the conditions of your current UK visa
  • Non-violation of UK immigration rules
  • An intention to remain and settle in the UK
  • Passing a Home Office approved English test and the Life in the UK test

Yes. If you are aged between 18 and 65, it is compulsory for you to take the Life in the UK test as part of your settlement application. The exam tests your knowledge of British traditions and customs and you need to score 75% or above to pass.

You can take the test as many times as you need, and must pay a £50 fee every time you take it.

There are several UK visa and immigration categories that offer a pathway to ILR. Your eligibility to apply for ILR depends on your current visa and immigration status. These include:

Immigration Route Qualifying Period
Unmarried partner of a UK national or a person settled in the UK  5 years (if your visa was granted after 9 July 2012).
Partner or Spouse visa ILR after 5 years
Tier 1 visa (Investor, Exceptional Talent & Entrepreneur) ILR after 5 years
Tier 2 (General) visa ILR after 5 years
Tier 2 (ICT) visa ILR after 5 years ONLY if granted under the rules in place before 6 April 2010
UK Ancestry visa ILR after 5 years
Retired Person visa ILR after 5 years
Discretionary Leave to Remain ILR after 6 years
Long Residence ILR after 10 years continuous legal residency in the UK

Some UK visa categories offer a fast-track route to ILR after 2 or 3 years, including the Tier 1 Investor visa, plus the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa and the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa – however, these two routes are now closed to new applicants.

If you hold an Innovator visa, you can apply for ILR after three years. However, any prior time accumulated in the UK under a Start Up visa cannot count towards the required three-year time period.

In some circumstances, it may be possible to combine time spent in the UK on different visas towards meeting the ILR qualifying period.

Once you have obtained indefinite leave to remain, you will be entitled to unrestricted entry into the UK and unrestricted access to employment.

However, it is possible to lose your indefinite leave to remain status. You will lose your ILR if you leave the UK for more than two years and will have to start all over again in the future, unless you can show that all your family are in the UK and you have maintained strong ties with the UK.

Indefinite leave can be lost, and many lose it as a result of being away for more than two years, such as working abroad or moving back home to help out with family. ILR can also be lost by committing a criminal offence.

If you are not eligible for indefinite leave to remain, you could potentially extend your visa temporarily by applying for further leave to remain.

If you arrived in the UK as a visitor, the chances are you will not be able to extend your permission to stay beyond six months, although in some instances you can switch to a different immigration category altogether. 

It is essential that you apply to extend your stay before the existing permission expires otherwise it could lead to enforced removal.