Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR/Permanent Residence)
Indefinite Leave to Remain which is also referred to as ‘permanent residence’ is granted to a migrant when they become ‘settled’, which means there are no restrictions on the duration of their stay and their access to public funds.
Indefinite leave to remain is normally granted to the following categories of migrants:
- Spouses or unmarried partners of British citizens or persons settled in the UK on completion of a 2 or 5 year (for applications made on or after 9th July 2012) probationary period.
- EU Nationals and their family members/dependents on completion of 5 years exercising qualified rights.
- Tier 1 and Tier 2 migrants who have completed five years continuous residence in one, or a combination of, eligible categories; Investors and entrepreneurs may qualify for accelerated settlement after two or three years depending on the level of investment.
- Dependents of migrant workers in an eligible category are able to apply for settlement at the same time as the main applicant, provided they have lived together in the UK for two or 5 years (for applications made on or after 9th July 2012).
- UK Ancestry – on completion of 5 years residency
- Long residence (Lawful) - for those who do not qualify under any specific category but have lived lawfully in the UK for a continuous period of ten years;
- Long residence (Unlawful) - for those who have lived in the UK continuously for 20 years regardless of whether they are have lived here unlawfully.
All applicants for indefinite leave to remain (other than EU nationals) must pass the Knowledge of Life in the UK test or if applicable the equivalent ESOL test in order to apply for settlement, they must also ensure they have no unspent convictions this includes traffic offences.
Loss of Indefinite Leave to Remain
There are circumstances under which you may lose your Indefinite Leave to Remain;
If you spend more than 2 years outside of the UK this may lead to the loss of your Indefinite Leave to Remain.
Indefinite leave to remain may be revoked in cases of serious criminal offences or for reasons of national security.
Once you have completed 12 months on Indefinite Leave to Remain status you will usually be eligible to apply for British Citizenship.
Child born in the UK to a parent with Indefinite Leave to Remain
Children born to a parent settled in the UK are British citizens by birth. Children born before either of the parents is settled can register as a British citizen as soon as at least one of the parents acquires settled status.