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UK permanent residency and indefinite leave to remain

This is the immigration status you must get before you can naturalise as a British citizen. The rules are complex and need to be followed rigidly. The slightest mistake can land up setting you back large sums of money and, in some cases, several years.

Indefinite leave to remain in the UK

UK permanent residency, or indefinite leave to remain (ILR), allows you to remain in the UK for an indefinite period. The main condition of this status is that you can prove you intend to remain present and settled in the UK.

Live and work in the UK for an indefinite period

ILR is a form of UK permanent residency and allows you to work in the UK while also allowing you to exit and re-enter the country with no restrictions.

You may apply for indefinite leave to remain under any of the following circumstances:

  • After five continuous years on a spousal visa
  • Shortly prior to the expiry of a five-year Ancestry visa
  • After having held work permit status in the UK for five years
  • After legally staying 10 continuous years in the UK
  • After staying five continuous years in the UK as an investor
  • After spending five continuous years as a dependant (married partner, unmarried partner, child under 18 or under 18 when first applied) under the points-based system
  • After spending five continuous years in the UK as a writer, composer or artist
  • After spending five continuous years in the UK as a retired person of independent means

The criteria for applying for ILR in the UK are:

  • You must pass the “Life in the UK Test”
  • You must pass an English language testa

Applying for British citizenship

After spending 12 months on indefinite leave to remain in the UK, you may be eligible to naturalise as a British citizen and gain UK citizenship.

Losing your ILR status

If you leave the country for a period of two continuous years or more, it is usually determined that you are no longer present and settled and your indefinite leave to remain status can be revoked.

UK long residency concession

however, several caveats to this, so read through the information below and do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about the long residency concession.

Long residency concession requirements

The 20-year period excludes any period spent in the UK following service of notice of liability to removal or notice of a decision to remove.

There is no requirement to have held a valid UK visa. In other words, time spent in the UK may include illegal residency

Once you have received this concession, you can obtain a two-and-a-half-year residency visa, which you can renew three times (i.e. hold for a total of 10 years). At the end of the 10 years, you can then apply for indefinite leave to remain.

Someone who is aged over 18 but under 25 and has lived in the UK continuously for half their life can also apply under this route. As above, they will be given four sets of leave to remain for two and a half years. Once they have had leave to remain for 10 years they can apply for indefinite leave to remain.

These cases can be quite sensitive. Our experienced team will handle your application with the highest degree of professionalism and discretion.




Discretionary leave to remain in the UK

A person who resides in the UK but is not entitled to a visa may apply for Discretionary Leave to remain. Such leave is temporary and usually claimed on the basis of protection of human rights.

Let us help you remain in the UK

Recently, the scope of this status has been expanded and is now available under a variety of similar circumstances.

Every case is unique and finding a resolution requires an in-depth look at your unique set of circumstances. An application will rely on evidence that the applicant’s deportation from the UK will infringe on their human rights.

The most common situations are:

  • A child who was born in the UK
  • A child who has been resident in the UK for at least seven years
  • An adult who is married to a British citizen or a person who has UK permanent residency status in the UK*
  • An adult who has established a family life in the UK

*Such as the right of abode or indefinite leave to remain

When can you apply for indefinite leave to remain?

If granted discretionary leave after 9 July 2012, you will be required to wait until you have held discretionary leave to remain for 10 continuous years prior to applying for indefinite leave to remain.

Our experienced team specialise in these kinds of complex cases. If you have discretionary leave to remain, or need to apply for it, please do not hesitate to contact us. All communications are strictly confidential.

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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).

Please note: Sable International is a trading name of Philip Gamble and Co. Ltd. Philip Gamble and Co. Ltd is registered in the UK with the Office of the Immigration Service Commissioner (OISC) under no. F2001-00004. Our staff based outside of the UK are not regulated by the OISC and may be involved in some client casework. However, they work to the same high standards as our UK staff and clients receive the same service regardless of which office they engage with.

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