UK Indefinite Leave to Remain

Indefinite leave to remain grants you permanent residence status in the UK. This means you are free to live, work, and study in the UK without worrying about visa expiry. As such, it is a popular option for those looking to live in the UK long-term. Many Bangladeshi citizens choose to pursue indefinite leave to remain if they wish to settle in the UK permanently.

At Total Law, our immigration experts are adept at providing legal advice on indefinite leave to remain cases. If you have lived in the UK for a number of years and plan to apply for indefinite leave to remain, contact us today on +44 (0)333 305 9375 to learn more about how we can help.

    Request a call back from our immigration experts

    Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) In The UK: Overview

    Indefinite leave to remain is the term used for permanent residence status in the UK. It means that you are free to permanently live, work, and study in the UK, without needing to reapply every few years.

    If you have lived in the UK for a number of years, you may be eligible for ILR. However, the amount of time for which you must live in the UK in order to be eligible for ILR will generally depend on the visa type which you have.

    You may also be able to apply for settled status if you are a citizen of the EU, EEA, or Switzerland, under the EU Settlement Scheme.

    Once you have held ILR for a year, you will generally be eligible to apply for British citizenship. This will then allow you to become a British citizen. As a British citizen, you will also be able to obtain a UK passport.

    EXCELLENT
    Immigration Advice Service 4.7 rating 414 reviews
    Reviews.io Logo

    You can get UK Indefinite Leave to Remain with the assistance of our team of legal specialists. Contact Us

      Request a call back from our immigration experts

      UK Eligibility Requirements

      Before you can apply for ILR, there are a number of eligibility criteria which you must satisfy. These largely depend on your specific circumstances, for example the visa type which you hold or whether you have family in the UK.

      However, there are a number of general requirements which applicants will usually be required to satisfy. These are as follows:

      • Clean criminal record
      • Successfully pass the Life in the UK test
      • Have proficiency in the English language to at least the B1 level, as measured by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (where applicable – certain ages are exempt, for example)
      • Have been living continuously in the UK, spending no longer than 180 days outside of the UK over a 12-month period during your time living in the UK

      If you have a UK work visa, you will normally have to have lived in the UK for 5 years in order to be eligible for ILR.

      However, this can be as low as 2 or 3 years if you are in the UK on a tier 1 visa. If you have an Innovator Founder Visa or Global Talent visa, you may be eligible to apply after 3 years.

      If you have a relative settled in the UK, you may also be able to apply for ILR. You may be eligible if you:

      • have a family visa
      • are a dependent on your partner’s work visa
      • are a parent with a family visa
      • are a child with a family visa
      • are a child who is a dependent on your parent’s work visa
      • are an adult who is a dependent relative on a family visa
      • are a dependent on your parent or partner’s innovator founder visa

      There are thus a number of different routes to ILR and the exact eligibility criteria will depend on the specific route which you are using.

      If you have lived in the UK for at least 10 years, you may also be eligible to apply for ILR. This is known as ‘long residence’ in the UK.

      However, time spent in the UK on a Standard Visitor visa, a Short-term Study visa, or a Seasonal Worker visa does not count towards your 10 years.

      If you have spent time in the UK on immigration bail, temporary admission, temporary release, or in a prison, young offender institution, or secure hospital, this time will also not count.

      The Different Routes to Indefinite Leave to Remain

      There are a number of different routes which can lead to indefinite leave to remain. These include the following visa types or types of stay:

      • Family visa
      • Spouse visa
      • Global Talent visa
      • Investor visa
      • Innovator visa
      • Start-Up visa
      • Skilled Worker visa
      • Senior or Specialist Worker visa
      • UK Ancestry visa
      • Retired Person visa
      • Long residence
      • Returning resident

      The specific details will vary depending on the exact visa type which you hold. For example, the amount of time which you must have lived in the UK in order to be eligible for ILR varies according to visa type. Contact Total Law today on +44 (0)333 305 9375 to learn more about the specifics of your own situation.

      Our immigration team has helped hundreds of cases secure ILR in the UK. Let us help you too. Contact Us

        Request a call back from our immigration experts

        UK Indefinite Leave To Remain Application Process

        There are numerous steps to applying for indefinite leave to remain in the UK. Whilst the exact steps will depend on the route which you are taking, the process will generally be as follows.

        The first step will generally be applying online for ILR. You can also apply on behalf of your child if they are a minor. Note that you can apply up to 28 days before you first become eligible.

        Next, you will need to book an appointment to have your biometric information collected. This will be your photograph and your fingerprints.

        You can book this appointment at a visa application centre if you are currently outside of the UK. In Bangladesh, you can find these in Dhaka and Sylhet. However, note that you will generally need to submit your ILR application from within the UK.

        You will also need to submit the required documents online.

        Once you have completed the application, your case will then be considered and you will receive a decision on your application. The Home Office will often contact you via email, so make sure to monitor your email account during this time.

        If your application is successful, you may receive a Biometric Residence Permit, which acts as proof of your ILR status. You may also receive a stamp in your passport and a letter from the Home Office which confirms that you have the indefinite right to remain in the UK.

        What Documents Will I Require?

        The documents required to apply for indefinite leave to remain will depend on your specific circumstances. However, generally speaking, the following documents will be required:

        • Passport (and any previous passports which you’ve held whilst residing in the UK)
        • Any other national identity documents
        • Application form
        • 2 passport photos, to the UK specifications
        • Life in the UK test certificate
        • Evidence of sufficient proficiency in the English language
        • Birth certificate
        • Marriage certificate (if applicable)
        • Birth certificate(s) of your child(ren) (if applicable)
        • Financial records, e.g. bank statements

        Note that documents which are not in English or Welsh will need to be translated by a certified translator.

        What Is The ‘Life In The UK’ Test?

        The Life in the UK test covers a number of topics, including British history, society, and culture. It is designed to test your knowledge of the UK.

        The test takes 45 minutes and contains 24 multiple-choice questions. You will need to score at least 18 in order to pass the test. You will be tested on the contents of the official handbook for the Life in the UK test, which can be purchased online.

        The UK has over 30 test centres at which you can take the test. You will need to book the test at least 3 days in advance. In order to book the test, you will require an email address, method of payment, and personal ID.

        There are certain circumstances in which you will be exempt from taking the test, however, for example:

        • If you are under 18
        • If you are 65 or older
        • If you have passed the test before, for example if you are applying for citizenship after already passing the test in order to obtain ILR
        • If you have a medical condition which prevents you from taking the test. In this case, you must provide evidence from your doctor that you are unable to take the test

        Note that you can retake the test if you fail. Each attempt will cost you £50.

        What Rights Will I Have With Indefinite Leave to Remain?

        Once you have successfully obtained indefinite leave to remain, you will be granted a number of rights within the UK. These are as follows:

        • You will be able to work in the UK, without needing to obtain a visa specific to that field of work
        • You will be able to start and run a business within the UK
        • You will be able to study at a UK educational institution. You will also be eligible to pay home fees if attending a UK university
        • You will be able to access UK public services, such as healthcare and schools
        • You will be able to receive welfare benefits and a pension

        Once you have had indefinite leave to remain for at least a year, you will generally also be eligible to apply for UK citizenship. This will allow you to become a British citizen.

        Note that, if you spend more than 2 years at a time outside of the UK whilst you have ILR status you will leave your indefinite leave to remain.

        If this happens, you will need to apply for a Returning Resident visa upon returning to the UK. Once you obtain UK citizenship, however, this restriction will no longer apply.

        What If My Application is Unsuccessful?

        There are a number of reasons why your application for indefinite leave to remain might be unsuccessful.

        These include if you were unable to provide sufficient evidence of your eligibility for ILR, if there are errors on your application form, if you did not pass the language proficiency or Life in the UK test requirements, or if you have not yet lived in the UK for long enough according to your particular visa type.

        If your application for indefinite leave to remain is unsuccessful, you should receive a letter from the Home Office explaining why. If the reason given is something easily remedied, you might choose to resubmit your application after addressing the reason that your original application was unsuccessful.

        Another option is to appeal the decision. If you are eligible for appeal, this will generally be stated on the Home Office’s decision letter.

        Your appeal will then be considered by the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal. Note that you will generally have no right of appeal if you applied for ILR after the point at which your right to be in the UK had expired, or if you were granted the right to remain in the UK even though your ILR application was refused.

        If you do not have the right to appeal, you may instead choose to apply for an administrative review. This must be submitted within 14 days of the original decision and will generally cost £80. You should receive a decision on the review within 28 days.

        However, you cannot request a further review if the original review is unsuccessful, and you cannot submit a new visa application whilst you are waiting for the administrative review to give its result.

        In some circumstances, it may also be possible to request a judicial review. This process is more complex and requires approval from the UK courts.

        If you choose to pursue this route, it is very important to seek legal assistance. Contact Total Law on +44 (0)333 305 9375 to learn more about whether or not this might be an option for you and how we can help.

        Can I Lose Indefinite Leave To Remain?

        It is indeed possible to lose ILR status. This can happen in a number of circumstances, such as:

        • If you commit a serious crime whilst in the UK and are deported, this will lead to the invalidation of your ILR
        • If you have been deemed liable for deportation but are not able to be removed legally, for example because of the UK’s international legal obligations, such as under the Refugee Convention
        • You obtained ILR in the first place through deception
        • Your ILR was granted on the basis of your refugee status, and you no longer have refugee status
        • You have spent more than 2 years at a time outside of the UK. In this case, you will need to obtain a Returning Resident visa when re-entering the UK

        ILR Application Costs

        Applying for indefinite leave to remain is often an expensive process. Applying for ILR via the standard route has a fee of £2,885 and an extension fee of £1,048.

        However, you can also choose to pay an extra £1,000 in order to access the ‘super priority service’ and to receive a decision sooner.

        You may also have to pay for the Life in the UK test and a language test to demonstrate your language proficiency.

        The Life in the UK test currently costs £50. If you need to have any of your official documents translated into English or Welsh, there will also be costs associated with this, although the exact amount will depend on the specific translator which you use. Note that you must use an authorised translator to perform this service.

        In some cases, applicants also choose to pay for legal assistance in order to make their application as smooth as possible. Contact Total Law on +44 (0)333 305 9375 to learn more about how we can help with this.

        Application Processing Time

        If you apply for ILR through the standard, cheaper route, you should expect to receive a decision on your application within 6 months.

        However, if you pay for the super priority service, you should hear back after either 1 or 2 working days, depending on whether or not you provide your biometric information at the weekend or on a weekday.

        You can minimise the length of your application by ensuring that you submit all documents correctly and on time and that you satisfy all of the eligibility criteria when starting your application.

        Our immigration team can help you with the applications processes of ILR and advise you. Contact Us

          Request a call back from our immigration experts

          EU Settlement Scheme: Receiving Settled Status

          The EU Settlement Scheme is another route through which you may be able to settle in the UK.

          It was introduced after Brexit in order to help EU citizens who were already living in the UK continue to do so. This scheme may be relevant to you if you are a citizen of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, or Liechtenstein.

          There are numerous grounds on which you may be eligible for this scheme, including:

          • You are a citizen of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, or Liechtenstein, and have lived in the UK since at least 31st December 2020
          • You are the family member of a citizen of one of these countries and your family member has settled or pre-settled status
          • You are currently in education in the UK and have a parent who is from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, or Liechtenstein who previously lived and worked in the UK

          The main deadline for the scheme was 30th June 2021. However, if you have pre-settled status, you can still apply for settled status. You can do so after 5 years of living continuously in the UK.

          You may also still be able to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme if you have ‘reasonable grounds’ for not applying before the deadline. There are a number of circumstances which may be considered ‘reasonable grounds’, including the following:

          • Your parent or guardian did not apply on your behalf when you were a child and you were not previously aware that you needed to apply
          • You have significant care needs, which are ongoing
          • You were prevented from applying by serious illness or disability
          • You were unable to apply due to being in an abusive or controlling relationship
          • You originally came to the UK for either work or study and have become eligible since your arrival

          Other reasons may also be considered if they are deemed to be compelling. Note that you will need to provide evidence to support the reason you are giving for your late application.

          This evidence must explain why you are late in applying and cover the whole period since the deadline. Evidence could include a letter from a healthcare professional or social worker.

          Our Immigration Team Can Help You Obtain ILR

          The UK is a popular choice amongst many Bangladeshi citizens looking to settle in Europe. It has much to offer, including a rich culture, easy access to the European Union, and numerous professional opportunities.

          However, recent changes to UK immigration policy mean that the process of settling in the UK is often complicated and confusing. At Total Law, our legal experts have many years of experience in helping to make the process run as smoothly as possible. Contact us today on +44 (0)333 305 9375 to learn more about our bespoke immigration services.

          Advice Package icon

          Advice Package

          Comprehensive immigration advice tailored to your circumstances and goals.

          Application Package icon

          Application Package

          Designed to make your visa application as smooth and stress-free as possible.

          Fast Track Package icon

          Fast Track Package

          Premium application service that ensures your visa application is submitted to meet your deadline.

          Appeal Package icon

          Appeal Package

          Ensure you have the greatest chance of a successful appeal. We will represent you in any case.

          Advice Package image

          The Advice Package

          During this untimed Advice Session with our professional immigration lawyers in London, you will receive our comprehensive advice, completely tailored to your needs and your situation.

            Request a call back from our immigration experts

            Request the Advice Package
            Application Package image

            The Application Package

            With our Application Package, your dedicated immigration lawyer will advise you on your application process and eligibility. Your caseworker will then complete and submit your forms to the Home Office on your behalf.

              Request a call back from our immigration experts

              Request the Application Package
              Fast Track Package image

              The Fast Track Package

              Our Fast-Track Application Package is a premium service for those who need to submit their application in time with their deadlines. Your case will become a top priority for our lawyers and you will benefit from our highest-quality services.

                Request a call back from our immigration experts

                Request the Fast Track Package
                Appeal Package image

                The Appeal Package

                By choosing our Appeal Package, you can rely on our lawyers’ legal knowledge and experience to ensure you have the highest chance of a successful appeal. We will also fully represent you in any hearings/tribunals.

                  Request a call back from our immigration experts

                  Request the Appeal Package

                  We offer immigration advice sessions as face to face appointments at all of our UK offices, or via the phone. Learn more

                    Request a call back from our immigration experts

                    Related pages for your continued reading.

                    Frequently Asked Questions

                    Indefinite leave to remain is the term used in the UK for permanent residence. Once you are granted indefinite leave to remain, you are entitled to permanently settle in the UK. You can live, work, and study in the UK. However, it is not the same thing as citizenship, and does not make you a British citizen. For British citizenship, you will need to apply separately.

                    No Time Limit ILR generally refers to holding a biometric residence permit which acts as proof of the holder’s indefinite leave to remain in the UK. It replaces the old paper-based ILR documents. Many people who have ILR choose to submit a No Time Limit application in order to replace their old ILR documents with a biometric residence permit. Submitting this application when you already have ILR reconfirms your status and will allow you to receive a biometric residence permit. You may also choose to apply for this permit if you have lost your old documents, if you need to amend the personal details on your original ILR documents, or if you were not provided with evidence of your indefinite leave to remain when ILR status was originally granted to you.

                    You can submit your No Time Limit application online on the government website.

                    Indefinite leave to remain grants the holder the right to live in the UK permanently. You can also work and study whilst living in the UK. However, ILR can be revoked, the details of which are given in this article. ILR is therefore only permanent if the holder continues to satisfy the conditions.

                    In order to prove your ILR status, there are a number of forms of evidence which you can provide. If you have a biometric residence permit, you can provide this as evidence. You can also provide a ILR stamp in your passport or a letter from the Home Office confirming that you have indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

                    You can indeed travel outside of the UK with indefinite leave to remain status. However, if you leave the UK for more than 2 years at a time then your ILR status will be revoked.

                    Note also that, if you were granted ILR on the grounds of having refugee status, returning to the country from which you fled can jeopardise your refugee status. If your refugee status is revoked and you were granted ILR on the grounds of being a refugee, your ILR is likely to also be revoked.