UK Residency Routes For Canadians

Obtaining residency in the United Kingdom for Canadian citizens is often also referred to as “Indefinite Leave to Remain”(ILR). ILR is a settled immigration status for people with permitted residence status who can live and work without restriction in the UK on an indefinite basis.

If you have any questions regarding the UK residency process for Canadian Citizens, contact our expert immigration lawyers at +1 844 290 6312  or use our online live chat service.

    Request a call back from our immigration experts

    Why Are The Benefits Of Indefinite Leave To Remain? 

    Canadians with ILR are permitted to live and work in the UK without immigration or visa restrictions. They can access benefits from the UK government like other British citizens and study at various levels.

    Voting in elections or taking a job in public office in the United Kingdom, however, is only available to UK citizens, not permanent residents.

    You will also be permitted to apply for British citizenship, if you wish, after one year of permanent residence.

    Either way, once you naturalize as a British Citizen, you can apply for your first British passport.

    Immigration Advice Service 4.7 rating 414 reviews Logo

    Get in touch with our expert immigration lawyers to receive assistance with your UK Residency application today Contact Us

      Request a call back from our immigration experts

      What Are The Eligibility Criteria For UK Residency?

      There are various methods and pathways to applying for UK permanent residency, based on your individual circumstances.

      If you wish to apply for ILR after staying in the UK for a certain period of time with an eligible visa, then the specific requirements of ILR will vary based on your type of visa. For example, Spouse visa holders will need to still be in their relationship and intend to continue it after gaining ILR.

      Generally, you must also not have violated any terms of your visa or broken any laws while in the UK.

      Depending on your circumstances, you may have the right to live and work in the UK if you:

      • Hold ‘settled status’ per the EU Settlement Scheme (Canadian government permits any Canadian citizen the right to dual citizenship, for example)
      • Are an Irish citizen

      However, if none of those applies to you, there are many ways to apply for UK residency.

      It should be noted that ILR applicants cannot have been absent from the UK for more than 180 days in the five consecutive 12-month periods.

      Life In The UK Test

      Canadians are not required to demonstrate their English language proficiency, whereas other foreign nationals do.

      Canadians do, however, need to take the Life in the UK test. This test is to determine if the applicant possesses sufficient knowledge of what life in the UK is like. The test is mandatory, 45-minutes, and includes 24 questions that test your knowledge of British nationality, national traditions, and customs.

      To pass, applicants must score 75% or more. If you fail, you have to wait 7 days before taking the test again, but you can take the test as many times as you need to and you will need to book and pay again each time.

      There are more than 30 centres that can administer the test across the UK. Applicants are required to book their Life in the UK Test online, a minimum of 3 days in advance. The test costs £50.

      You are not required to take the Live in the UK if you are under the age of 18, or 65 years or older or if you have passed the Life in the UK test before, or if you have a long-term physical or mental condition.

      Work Visas In The UK That Lead To ILR

      To be eligible for ILR, you usually would need to have worked and kept continuous residence in the UK for 5 years, except for the Innovator or Global Talent visa where ILR can be sought after just 3 years or a Tier-1 visa where it can be sought after between 2-3 years.

      Most ILR applicants will also need to provide proof of your work, a valid job offer, and the UK sponsor licence from a recognized workplace.

      You must also provide bank statements proving you meet financial or salary requirements. All this will depend on the exact work visa you hold.

      Family Visas That Lead To ILR

      If you have a family member that is already settled in the UK – either as a British national or a settled person, you can use this visa to eventually gain Indefinite Leave to Remain.

      You’ll be able to rejoin your family in the UK with one of the below visas, and after either 5 – 10 years (depending on visa requirements) you can apply for IRL, 28 days before the visa expires:

      You may also be able to apply for ILR based on if your partner has died or if your relationship ends due to domestic violence.

      Additional Ways To Get Permanent Residence In The UK

      Refugees, humanitarian protection, or people who hold Discretionary Leave can get permanent resident status. In addition, people returning to the United Kingdom after already holding Indefinite Leave to Remain status and people who have served in the armed forces can also obtain permanent residence.

      Furthermore, if you have lived in the UK for the qualifying period of 10 years, of continuous and legal stay, you can apply for ILR.

      Note that the time spent in the United Kingdom on visas such as the Youth Mobility Visa through the Youth Mobility Scheme, and Student Visa time does not normally count towards the time needed for becoming a permanent resident. Reach out to Tota Law for more advice on other visa options.

      What Is The Application Process For ILR For Canadians?

      For the most part, applications for ILR are done online, from inside of the United Kingdom. The correct application form will depend on which immigration category you are applying to, based on your visa.

      The most common form of online application are:

      • Apply to Settle in the UK including work-based categories, known as SET O application
      • Apply for ILR based on Long Residence in the UK, known as SET LR
      • Apply to settle as the partner or parent of a settled person, known as SET M.

      Applications for ILR normally need to be completed online via the website. You will also have to upload your supporting documents and pay the relevant fees through the website.

      What Documents Are Required For UK Permanent Residency?

      Canadian applicants need to provide a significant amount of documents, which vary depending on the visa type. You may be asked to provide documents including:

      • A valid passport
      • Birth certificate
      • Provide proof of any absences including holidays that you left the UK
      • Payslips from your employer to prove you meet the minimum income requirements
      • Certificate from the Life in the UK test
      • Biometric details
      • Work permit


      What Are Some Reasons Applicants Get Refused ILR Status?

      Some of the reasons applicants are denied for Indefinite Leave to Remain may include:

      • Wrong or insufficient documentation
      • Wrong or incomplete application forms
      • Failure to provide additional documents or information within a specified period

      If the ILR application is refused, you can resubmit your ILR application, appeal the decision, or lodge an administrative review and/or judicial review. Reach out to Total Law for the next steps if you have had your visa application rejected.

      Need help with the UK residency? Our immigration team can help you. Contact Us

        Request a call back from our immigration experts

        What Is The Permanent Residence Fee?

        The fee for indefinite leave to remain when applying in the UK is £2,885, but please note that this fee is not inclusive of the mandatory £19.20 biometric fees.

        You can opt for super-priority processing for an additional £800 ( takes 24 hours) and priority processing (takes 5-day processing) for £500 (only when eligible). Note this only speeds up the processing of your application; it does not mean the visa will be approved.

        How Long Does Getting ILR Normally Take? 

        The typical time for ILR applications is around 6 months without opting for the additional priority processing times.

        However, note that this may take longer depending on how busy the service is, and if the Home Office contact you regarding any additional potential issues with your application.

        How Can Total Law Help?

        Indefinite leave to remain is one of the most sought-after and desirable UK immigration statuses for those who wish to settle in the UK permanently. However, it can also be very difficult to attain.

        If you would like any additional assistance with your UK residency application from Canada, Total Law are here to help.

        We offer comprehensive and bespoke legal services for those looking to permanently move to the UK or anywhere else in the world.

        Whether you need assistance with the ILR application itself, advice on alternative routes to UK long-term residency, or just want to talk to a professional to better understand the potential options available to you, we can help.

        For more information about the services we provide, call us today on +1 844 290 6312 or contact us through our online form.

        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 offices, or via the phone. Learn more

                  Request a call back from our immigration experts

                  Related pages for your continued reading.

                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  The requirements are dependent specifically on the category of visa that you hold and that you entered into the UK with.  In most cases, you will need to pass a ‘Life in the UK Test’ but most Canadians don’t need to pass the English language test.

                  You can apply to naturalize as a British Citizen once you have Permanent Residence for a minimum of a year.

                  However, if you are the wife/husband of a British Citizen, you may be able to apply for Naturalization as soon as you have obtained Permanent Residence.

                  All correspondence will come for the Home Office and they will update you regularly when necessary.