How to Apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the United Kingdom
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In order to permanently live, work and study in the UK without any restrictions, you need to apply for the indefinite leave to remain in the UK, a status that grants you permanent residence without any kind of time restriction.
Applying to receive ILR in the UK is a long process that requires a lot of time, motivation, discipline and effort from the applicant(s). It is a serious process that requires several steps to be first considered for indefinite leave to remain based on your current legal status within the UK with a valid visa. The first step to the process is to obtain any of the following visas in order to travel to the UK:
- Ancestry visa.
- Partner visa (also known as a fiancée visa)
- Tier 1 – General Visa
- Tier 1 – Entrepreneur Visa
- Tier 1 – Investor Visa
- Tier 2 – General Visa
- Tier 2 – Intra-company Worker Transfer Visa
- Tier 2 – Minister of Religion Visa
- Tier 2 – Sportsperson Visa
All applicants seeking to obtain ILR in the UK are required to have lived in the UK for at least 5 years before submitting their application; however the exceptions are for the following applicants:
- Applicants who hold a partner visa and are entitled to receive ILR immediately, or after have lived at least 2 years with their partner within the UK.
- Business visa holders and entrepreneurs who may be eligible to indefinite leave to remain after two, three or five years, taking into consideration their business venture, assets, revenue and overall business activities within the UK.
It is important for you as an applicant have met all the requirements presented above in order to be eligible for an application for ILR. While you can be assisted during this process, it is imperative that you consider your current immigration status so that you do now waste your time and money.
Once you have the requirements met, have made your decision to continue living in the UK, you can continue with the process by completing the application form specifically for ILR depending on your current immigration status. Follow this guide to thoroughly understand the guidelines of which application form to use and which one corresponds to yours:
Use this application form by family members (except British citizens) or people who are already settled in the UK. You can apply through this form if you are:
- A child under the age of 18 of a parent, parents, or a relative who is a permanent resident of the UK and currently living in the UK.
- An adopted child under the age 18 of a parent or parents who are permanent residents of the UK and currently living in the UK.
- The parent, grandparent or any other dependent relative over the age of 18 of a person who is a permanent resident of the UK and currently living in the UK.
This form is used for all other applications that are not based on family petitioning. You can apply for indefinite leave to remain if you currently are in one of the following immigration categories and have been living in the UK for at least 5 years:
- Tier 1 or Tier 2 of the points based system (excluding the Post-study work category of Tier 1).
- Work permit holder
- Domestic worker in a private household
- Representative on behalf of a company
- Private servant in a diplomatic household
- Missionary or religious workers
- UK Ancestry
- Highly Skilled Immigrants
There are some other forms that are used for other purposes and specific groups of people, but by far these two forms are the main two application forms that need to be completed and sent to the UK Immigration Service. If you are not listed in these two types, please follow the following link to choose the appropriate form dependent upon your case.
Once the application process is completed and the form has been submitted, you must wait for the specific wait time periods for the application to be reviewed and receive a decision on your case. About 95% of mailed applications are decided within 6 months and 90% of all applications received in person at a public enquiry office are made in 24 hours.
When you submit your application either through regular mail or in person, you are required to pay the processing fees which are non-refundable. The main application fee is about UK£972 as of 2012, and UK£486 if applying with a partner visa, this reduced fee will be applicable when the dependent applies at the same time with the same main applicant.
If your application is approved you will receive further notices about where to take your picture and undergo the process to receive your indefinite leave to remain status and other appropriate documentation. Please contact us via phone number: +44 1733 552183 or use our contact form or email for a consultation.