Indefinite Leave to Remain status (ILR) also known as Permanent Residency or (PR) is an immigration status granted to a person who does not hold the right to stay in the United Kingdom (UK), but who has been issued a temporary visa with a time limit to reside and have the permission to work or study with certain restrictions. Persons who have legally stayed in the UK can apply for PR, once they have completed the qualifying period. This status although termed Permanent Residency lapses if the holder has stayed outside the United Kingdom for a continuous period of more than two years.
Categories qualifying for UK PR, having stayed in the UK for a specific period of time, usually 5 years, may apply for an ILR which entitles them to live in UK as long as they wish and eventually even apply for naturalization. The processing time and requirements for the ILR vary depending on the visa class that an applicant has immiditly prior to their application.
Below is a table for the visa status/class with the corresponding required length of stay in the United Kingdom as one of the requirements to qualify for an ILR application.
|Current Visa Status/ Class||Required Years of Stay|
|EEA Family Permit||5|
|People establishing business||5|
|Writers, Composers, Artists||5|
|Legal stay on any basis||10|
|Illegal stay on any basis||14|
Language and Awareness Requirements
Aside from the visa class, in order to be eligible ILR applicants require proficiency in the English language as well as have knowledge of living in the United Kingdom. Applicants who are under 18 years of age or above 65 are exempted from this requirement.
Cost of Indefinite Leave to Remain Application
Effective the 6th of April 2016, the application fees have been raised from £1500 to £1875 per person. Dependents also pay the same fees. The premium application fee (meaning there is an in-person appointment) has been raised from £1900 to £2375.
Advantages of having an Indefinite Leave to Remain status
Being an ILR status holder, an individual enjoys the following advantages:
- Acquisition of British Citizenship not only for themselves but also for their children, if applicable under certain conditions and requirements.
- The holder will also have the right to access public funds. Unlike those of the Limited to Remain (LTR) visa in the United Kingdom, the wording” no recourse to public funds” is not written in an ILR holders’ visa. As a result they are able to claim job seekers allowances and other benefits which are usually available only to British, EU and EEA citizens.
- Have the advantage of paying the same tuition fees as those of British, EU and EEA citizens (also known as Home Student Status) whilst studying at institutions of higher education in the UK, as opposed to paying substantially higher tuition fees like International Students with a LTR.
- ILR citizens are UK residents and enjoy the right to vote and stand for election to a public office.
Conditions of Indefinite Leave to Remain
An important reminder: Once an individual has been granted an ILR, ensure that you do not spend 2 years or more outside the United Kingdom, as this can lead to the ILR being revoked. In order to surmount this challenge, migrants are eligible to apply for British Citizenship after 1 year as a permanent resident or after 1 year of being granted an ILR status.