close menu

Our complete guide to indefinite leave to remain in 2018

by John Dunn | Oct 03, 2017
  • Indefinite leave to remain (ILR) allows you to live and work in the UK without any time constraints or restrictions. Once you’ve been granted ILR, you could be as little as one year away from being able to claim full British citizenship. With this guide, and some expert advice, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a permanent resident in the UK.
    uk-flag-silhouette

    What exactly is ILR?

    ILR is an immigration status granted by the UK that allows you to stay in the country indefinitely. You may not be a citizen, but you will have almost all the benefits of full citizenship. After holding ILR for a year, you could be eligible to apply for British citizenship.

    The earliest you can apply for ILR is 28 days before your current visa expires. Once you have been granted ILR, it’s important that you don’t stay out of the UK for longer than two continuous years. The UK’s immigration authorities are well within their rights to deem you no longer present and settled in the UK and may revoke your ILR status if you breach this two-year limit.

    What are the requirements?

    If you’ve been living in the UK on the same visa (excluding a student visa or working holiday visa) for five years or more, you can apply for ILR. In your application, you will need to prove that:

    • You are of good character
    • You have sufficient knowledge of life in the UK and the English language
    • You have not spent more than 900 days outside the UK in that five-year period
    • You have not spent 180 days or more outside of the UK in the 12 months prior to your application for ILR

    As of April 2015, if you’re working in the UK and you hold a Tier 2 visa, you will need to earn a minimum of £35,000 per year when submitting your application. You will not have to show how much you earn if you are on an Ancestry visa.

    There are many rules that apply to different visa classes, so it’s best to contact an expert to ensure you’re not falling foul of any of UKVI’s regulations when you’re applying for ILR.

    Find out if you are eligible for ILR

    How to apply for your family or partner

    If you qualify for ILR and you have family members that are on dependant visas connected to your visa, it is imperative that you all apply together. This holds true for both dependant children and partners.

    Applying with your children is relatively straightforward, but applying with your partner can be a little trickier. During the application process for a spousal visa, you will need to prove one of the following:

    • You have been in a relationship and living together for at least two years
    • You are a fiancé, fiancée or proposed civil partner and will be getting married or entering a civil partnership within six months of arrival in the UK
    • You’re in a recognised civil partnership or marriage in the UK

    If your wife or husband is on a spousal visa, he or she should know that the visa is only valid for two and a half years, so they will have to renew it after 30 months to reach the five-year mark necessary for applying for ILR.

    It’s much easier for partners of Ancestry visa holders

    As a partner of an Ancestry visa holder you are allowed to live and work in the UK with that partner. You are also able to apply for ILR when your partner applies for ILR, regardless of how long you have been in the UK for. This means you don’t have to spend five years living in the UK to be eligible to apply for ILR.

    For instance, you can go to the UK three years after your partner went on an Ancestry visa and apply for ILR with them two years later. Once you’ve been granted ILR, and have held it for a year, you can naturalise as a British citizen and apply for a British passport.


    Let us help you gain ILR. Our immigration team will be happy to answer any questions you have. Simply give them a call on +44 (0) 20 7759 5330 or email them on immigration@sableinternational.com.

    We are a professional services company that specialises in cross-border financial and immigration advice and solutions.

    Our teams in the UK, South Africa and Australia can ensure that when you decide to move overseas, invest offshore or expand your business internationally, you’ll do so with the backing of experienced local experts.

    • travel insurance
      The importance of purchasing travel insurance with a Tier 4 UK student visa
      May 07, 2019  |  by Guest writer
    • Passport-stamp
      25% of UK spouse visa applications are refused every year – make sure yours isn’t one
      Apr 02, 2019  |  by Sam Hopwood
    • UK flag with calculator
      How to calculate your costs before you immigrate to the UK
      Mar 29, 2019  |  by John Dunn
    • businessman multitasking
      Everything we know about the new Tier 1 Innovator visa
      Mar 29, 2019  |  by John Dunn
    • british moving van
      Shipping household goods from South Africa to the UK, what you need to know
      Mar 29, 2019  |  by Leanne Shrosbree
    • City-of-london
      Applying for a UK visa from Australia and New Zealand – what you need to know to avoid being refused
      Mar 20, 2019  |  by Sam Hopwood
    • UK Tier 1 visas set to change
      Investors out, innovators in: UK Tier 1 visas set to change
      Feb 19, 2019  |  by Gary Kockott
    • recruitment
      The UK reveals its new skills-based immigration system for EU and non-EU nationals
      Jan 22, 2019  |  by John Dunn
    • London-flag
      Why so many people moved to the UK in 2018
      Dec 12, 2018  |  by John Dunn
    • London-Eye
      Four of the most important things you need when moving to the UK
      Dec 12, 2018  |  by Leanne Shrosbree
     
     

    South Africa

    Cape Town

    Regent Square
    Doncaster Road
    Kenilworth 7708 +27 (0) 21 657 2120

    Durban

    25 Richefond Circle
    Ridgeside
    Umhlanga 4320 +27 (0) 31 536 8843

    United Kingdom

    Croydon

    One Croydon
    12-16 Addiscombe Road
    Croydon CR0 0XT +44 (0) 20 7759 7514

    Australia

    Melbourne

    9 Yarra Street
    South Yarra
    VIC 3141 +613 (0) 8651 4500

    Sable International is a trading name of 1st Contact Money Limited (company number 07070528), registered in England and Wales. We are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK (FCA no. 517570), the Financial Services Conduct Authority in South Africa (1st Contact Money [PTY] Ltd - FSP no. 41900) and hold an Australian Financial Services Licence issued by ASIC to deal in foreign exchange (1st Contact Group - AFS Licence number 335 126).

    We use cookies to provide the best website experience for you. Using this website means that you agree to this. How we use cookies.