Who is eligible for UK Indefinite Leave to Remain?


You are residing in the UK or want to apply for a visa but are worried or thinking about the validity of your visa and extending it. What if there was a way that you wouldn’t be world over the length of your stay in the country? The way is Indefinite Leave to Remain which provides the unlimited duration of stay in the UK with the right to work and study. You will become almost like a UK citizen.

The article explains who is eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain, requirements, the application process, the required forms, FAQs, and more to know.


What is a UK Indefinite Leave to Remain?

An Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), also known as a UK settlement visa, is a document that proves that its holder has obtained immigration status after living in the UK for a while and demonstrated a commitment to the UK. Immigration status is only granted to people who have no right of abode in the UK. The Indefinite Leave to Remain is also called the UK settlement visa because it allows the holder to settle in the UK without a time limit and work or study without restrictions. If you maintain this status, you can also enter and leave the UK at any time.

For an international person eligible for an Indefinite Leave to Remain, they must apply from the inside of the UK to prove that they have stayed and lived in England for a specified period under one of the eligible UK visa types.


Who is eligible to apply for an ILR?

The UK Home Office only grants Indefinite Leave to Remain to specific categories of people. These categories must meet many criteria, including legal residence in the UK for a while.

According to the type of visa entering the UK and the length of stay, the following categories are eligible to apply for ILR:

Category Duration of stay in the UK


The spouse holds a marriage visa for five years (if the visa is issued after July 9, 2012)


Ancestry visa Holder Five years


Work permit holder Five years


Any UK visa holder Ten years


Investor Five years- Continuous


Writer, composer, or artists Five years- Continuous


Retirees Independent media Five years- Continuous


Refugees and persons entering England under humanitarian protection


The Continuous period of Stay in England

Continuous stay in the UK refers to when you have not traveled abroad in the UK in the past year, starting from the day you arrive in the UK or the date your visa is issued. This is called the qualification period and is calculated to measure whether you are eligible to stay in the UK indefinitely or not. The UK has an allowed period of absence during the qualifying period, which is generally 180 days per year.

In particular circumstances, you can settle in the UK regardless of the number of consecutive years of residence before that date.


Compelling or Serious Reason of Absence During the Qualifying Period

There is no clear distinction between what is not seen as a compelling or serious reason to leave the UK for visa holders applying for a residence permit.

The most common recognized cases of such causes are:

  1. Severe illness (including close family members).
  2. Birth/death of a close relative.
  3. Conflict.
  4. Natural disasters.

Required documents to prove such cases:

  • a) Medical certificate.
  • b) Birth/death certificate.
  • c) Proof of postponement of travel ticket arrangements due to natural disasters.


Who is not eligible for ILR?

If an ILR applicant falls into one of the above lengths of stay categories, some factors may prevent the person from applying for and obtaining an Indefinite Leave to Remain.

Please find below the main reasons why a person may not be eligible to settle in the UK. The applicant has:

  • Spent a long time outside the UK during the five years
  • Not paid taxes (especially if the person has been holding a Tier 1 general visa in the UK)
  • Submitted the application in advance (the time required for the application has not been met)
  • Not being able to submit all the required documents by the Department of Home Affairs
  • An adverse history of immigration (for example, illegal immigration, etc.).
  • A criminal record may also lead to a delay of at least two years, depending on the seriousness of the crime, which makes a person eligible for a permanent residence permit.


When can you apply for an ILR?

Eligible candidates must apply for ILR before their UK visa/allowed stay period expires. The application time ought not to surpass 28 days after the lapse of the capability time frame since, in such a case that you apply ahead of time, you will most likely be dismissed, and the charge won’t be discounted. When you apply again, you need to pay the fee again to the authorities.


The application form you need for Indefinite Leave to Remain

To request an Indefinite Leave to Remain, you need to fill out one of the available forms, SET (M) or SET O Form, depending on the last few years of your visa type in the UK. The application process is from the UK visa and Immigration Website links provided.

When filling out any form, you strongly recommend using a black pen and filling your name and surname, address, and other details in capital letters. Fill in all needed information, including the “Your Personal History” part.

The kind of application form you will use is essential because the required documents and other things depend on it.


What is the validity period of the Indefinite Leave to Remain?

There is no time limit to stay in the UK indefinitely, but it is important to note that you should not stay outside the UK for more than two years, as this may result in the loss of ILR.


Let’s sum up…

When you live in the Uk for a period of time, you might become eligible for Indefinite Leave to remain. It permits you to stay, study, and working the country without any limitations. You almost become a citizen with lots of benefits.

The article explained who is eligible for ILR and who is not requirements, the application and requested forms, FAQs and so more you need to know.

If you need to know about other types of UK visas, look at the left sidebar.

In case you need to find out about other country’s visa, go through the menu of the website.

Do you have knowledge or experience with visas? Please write it down. Let other applicants avoid mistakes and save time.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 5 / 5. Vote count: 1

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *