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Indefinite Leave to Remain

Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) is also referred to as permanent residence in the UK. An applicant can qualify having spent either five years in the UK as the partner/spouse of a British citizen or someone present and settled in the UK or someone in a working visa category in the UK.

Spouses and partners Settlement
Regarding ILR eligibility for spouses, civil or unmarried partners of UK citizens. The foreign national must complete 5 years living in the UK under the spouse visa category. In order for them to attain the Indefinitely leave to Remain it is important to meet the following immigration requirements

  • Financial requirement
  • English language
  • Life in the UK test
  • No criminal convictions
  • No criminal convictions
  • Cohabitation

Tier 1 & Tier 2 Employment visa categories
Leave under the Tier 1 (General, Entrepreneur and Investor) & Tier 2 (General) categories of the Points-Based system lead to settlement in the UK. Following five years of residence in the UK, an application can be made for Indefinite Leave to Remain.

Tier 1 General holders will need to ensure that they are in compliance with paragraph 245CD of the Rules which states a score of 75 points is needed if their last visa was granted before 19 July 2010 or 80 points of it was granted 19 July 2010. This will be using details of age, academic qualification, earnings and experience in the UK.

For the Tier 2 General in the Points-Based Scheme, applicants must have spent a continuous period of five years in the UK lawfully. With the most recent period with leave as a Tier 2 Migrant.

All Tier 2 (General) migrants applying for settlement must also provide a letter from the Sponsor certifying that:

  • The applicant is still required for the stated employed position.
  • The salary is appropriate for the job role being undertaken at the time of the application date, as per the Codes of Practice for Tier 2 sponsors.

Those who came to the UK after 6 April 2012 under the Tier 2 General category must be earning the appropriate salary for the settlement application. The minimum earnings threshold is 35,500 GBP and it might vary by the time you are applying for your settlement.

Fast Track to Settlement for Entrepreneurs and Investors
Successful entrepreneurs will qualify for settlement if during 3 years in the UK they have created 10 jobs for resident workers or have a turnover of 5 million GBP.

Those under the Tier 1 investor category who made an investment of 5 million GBP will be eligible to settle in the UK after 3 years, and an investment of 10 million GBP brings the minimum residence time down to 2 years.

The residence criteria for those sponsored under the Tier 1 and Tier 2 General categories are that migrants are allowed absences of up to 180 days per year. However, the applicant will need to meet the rules for the settlement, and they cannot be outside the UK more than 90 days in the last 12 months and 450 in the last five years. This includes absence for business trips and holidays. Those under the entrepreneur and investor categories have to spend 9 out of 12 months in the UK with maximum absences of up to 180 days per year.

British nationality
Application for naturalisation as a UK citizen can occur following completion of 12 month on ILR. This involves meeting the requirements of section 6 (1) and Schedule 1 of the British Nationality Act 1981, or section 6 (2) on the basis of your marriage/civil partnership to a British Citizen.

If you are concerned that your application may not meet the relevant requirements as outline above or you are worried you may not be able to provide the mandatory evidence in support of your application, please feel free to contact us to seek professional legal advice.


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