Settlement / Indefinite Leave To Remain Applications

Settlement/ Indefinite Leave to Remain Applications

There are many different routes to achieving settlement in the UK, otherwise known as Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). As a result, it is fundamental that you are in the hands of our experienced team of immigration solicitors that can advise you on the quickest route. Have you lived in the UK for 5 or 10 years? Has this time in the UK been in accordance with immigration requirements? How long have you spent outside the UK? Each of these questions are vital in addressing one’s eligibility.

The benefits of obtaining indefinite leave to remain are substantial as it enables an individual to remain in the UK without requiring additional consent from the Home Office. If you think that you may be eligible, please book a consultation with our team to guide you through this process.

Indefinite Leave to Remain or Settlement considered as the ultimate end-goal for many migrants who come to the UK. Britain offers a wealth of opportunities, in terms of career, culture, and family life. And it is only natural that having invested five or more years in the UK, you and your family will want to make it your permanent home.

Unfortunately, the British government has sought to make it increasingly difficult for migrants to obtain Indefinite Leave to Remain. From arbitrarily refusing applicants due to a historical mistake on their tax form, to insisting Skilled Worker visa holders, at the date of the ILR application, obtain written confirmation from their employer that they are needed to work for the “foreseeable future” it has become increasingly challenging for those who dream of settlement in the UK to achieve it.

At Adam Bernard Solicitors, our team have an in-depth understanding of ILR requirements and achieve an incredibly high success rate for our clients. By instructing us, you can be confident that your application will be managed with high professionalism and care.

What are the eligibility requirements for Indefinite Leave to Remain?

The specific requirements differ depending on the particular circumstances of the applicant, including the type of visa they hold.
The most basic requirement for ILR is to have been lawfully living in the UK for a certain period of time. However, there are other requirements which must be fulfilled too.
The general requirements to become eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain are based on:exceed 28 days.

  • Lawful living in the UK for a certain period of time.
  • No breach of immigration laws during your stay in the UK and no criminal record
  • A period of time spent outside the UK which doesn’t exceed 180 days in a 12-month period during the qualifying period.
  • A pass in the Life in the UK test, which is a test based on British culture, history and traditions
  • Ability to prove that you meet the B1 level of English as set out by the Common European Framework of Languages.

ILR exemptions

Certain individuals will not need to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain to be granted with settled UK status, including:

  • Those eligible for British citizenship by descent (or other form of automatic citizenship)
  • Child dependents of a British citizen or person with settled status.
  • An adult dependent who is reliant on the long-term care of their family member who is a British citizen or person with settled status.
  • Refugees resettled in the UK through the Gateway Protection Program

Who can apply for Indefinite leave to remain?

The following migrants may be eligible to apply for ILR:

  • Current holders of a working visa under the former PBS system
  • Current holders of a working visa under the new PBS system
  • Current holders of a Dependent Visa or family visas
  • Long-term residents of the UK, i.e. those who have been in the country for ten years

What are the different routes to Indefinite Leave to Remain?

If you have been lawfully living in the UK under a form of settlement visa UK you will be able to apply for ILR once you have passed the minimum time threshold for that particular visa. An applicant will also need to fulfil other stipulated requirements.
Visas/routes which can lead to Indefinite Leave to Remain status include:

  • Spouse Visa
  • Unmarried Partner Visa
  • Family Visa
  • Global Talent Visa
  • Investor Visa (Tier 1)
  • Innovator Visa
  • Start-Up Visa
  • Skilled Worker Visa
  • Sportsperson Visa (T2)
  • Minister of Religion Visa (T2)Intra-Company Transfer Visa
  • UK Ancestry Visa
  • Retired Person Visa
  • Long residence
  • Returning resident

It is also possible for someone to become eligible for ILR through a less traditional route which doesn’t require holding a specific visa.

Can I apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after 5 years?

The amount of time you must have spent in the UK before you are eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain depends on your particular circumstances. In most cases, an overseas national can apply for ILR after five years of lawful residence in the UK.
Some of the visas which require five years of UK residence include:

  • Spouse Visa
  • Unmarried Partner Visa
  • Family Visa
  • Long-term Work Visas
  • Skilled Worker Visa
  • UK Ancestry Visa

Under certain circumstances you could be eligible for ILR status with less than five years of residence in the UK, including those residing in the UK under:

  • Innovator Visa. Eligible after three years, depending on business achievements
  • Entrepreneur Visa. Eligible after three years, depending on business activities. ( Please note that this visa is no longer in operation)
  • Global Talent Visa. Eligible after three years if last endorsement was given under “exceptional talent” or “exceptional promise” criteria or under UK Research and Innovation fast track criteria
  • Investor Visa (Tier 1). Eligible after two or three years depending on business activities

Also, a Commonwealth citizen who has served in the British Armed Forces can apply for ILR after a qualifying period of four years in the UK.
In some cases, the minimum time requirement will be longer than five years. If someone has been living in the UK under a form of Long Residence, they will need to have spent 10 years in the UK before applying for ILR if they are over 18, and 7 years if they are under 18.

What do I need to know about the English Language Test?

As part of the Indefinite Leave to Remain application, you must be able to prove that you meet the English language requirement of B1 in speaking and listening as specified by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.
Most applicants will need to hold a certificate from an approved test provider to include in their Indefinite Leave to Remain application or, alternatively, be able to show the results online.
However, some people will not need to fulfil this requirement. For example, citizens of Commonwealth countries or majority English-speaking countries will usually be exempt.
This includes, but is not limited to, citizens of the following countries:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • The Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Canada
  • Grenada
  • Jamaica
  • New Zealand
  • Ireland
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • USA

Also, the following applicants will be exempt from the English language requirement:

  • Those aged 65 or over
  • Holders of a degree or higher qualification at an accredited educational establishment which was taught in English
  • Those under humanitarian protection
  • Victims of domestic abuse
  • A partner or spouse of a person who has died who was a British citizen or person with settled status

What is the Life in the UK Test?

A necessary component of the Indefinite Leave to Remain application is the Life in the UK test. Otherwise known as the British Citizenship test, the Life in the UK test is based on the culture, history and traditions of Britain.

The test lasts for 45 minutes and consists of 24 questions, and those questions are randomly generated on the day of the test. You must achieve a score of at least 75% to pass the test.

It costs £50 to take the test and there are over 30 accredited centres where the test can be taken. However, bear in mind that you can only sit the test in one of the five centres nearest to where you live.

If you fail the test, you can sit it again at least seven days after the date of your test. The test can be retaken as many times as needed to achieve a pass.

Those aged 18 or under, or 65 or over will not need to sit the test. Also, if someone has written confirmation from a doctor of a long-term physical or mental condition, they will usually be exempt too.

On the day of the test, you must bring some official identification such as a passport or driving licence, as well as some correspondence dated within three months which shows your UK address.

As part of your application, you must include your Life in the UK pass certificate.

Periods of Absence

Usually, you must not have spent more than 180 days outside of the UK in a 12-month period to be eligible for ILR status.
However, there are exceptions to this rule, for example, if you have been outside of the UK on business, or your time outside of the UK was due to exceptional circumstances.
If you were outside the UK for the following reasons, it will generally be accepted as permissible absence:

  • Due to conflict
  • Serious illness of the applicant or a close family member
  • A natural disaster
  • Skilled Worker Visa holder who has been sponsored to work in a PhD level occupation
  • Work undertaken overseas by certain full-time HM armed force reserve members
  • Some absences taken by applicants with a Global Talent Visa

In general, it is a good idea to keep records of any periods of time you have spent outside of the UK since you began your UK residency.

Which documents do I need to include in my Indefinite Leave to remain application?

As part of your application for ILR, you will need to include a number of supporting documents. This applies to both yourself, and any dependants who are applying with you.

It is important to note that the documents which you provide must be the original issues. If you cannot provide the original documents, you will need to explain why. If exceptional circumstances mean you cannot access the original documents, the Home Office will give some leniency.

Ordinarily, you will need to provide the following documents and information:

  • Passport and travel documents, including any old passport which was valid during your time in the UK
  • Birth or adoption certificates
  • Documents which account for any time spent outside of the UK during your residency, for example travel documents
  • A police registration certificate if you were required to register with the police when you arrived in the UK
  • A history of your immigration
  • Financial information, such as bank statements
  • Pass certificate of Life in the UK test
  • Pass certificate (if not exempt) to prove B1 level of English
  • Two identical passport-sized photographs

For indefinite Leave to remain what application for do I need to use?

 

SET(M)

Applicants eligible on this form to apply for indefinite leave to remain are the spouse, civil partner or unmarried partner of a person present and settled in the United Kingdom. You can apply under this route where:

  • You have spent 5 continuous years residency in the UK with valid leave to remain on a 5-year route to settlement
  • You have spent 10 continuous years residency in the UK with valid leave to remain on a 10-year route to settlement

SET(F)

Applications on this form are applicable to:

  • Children under 18 of a parent/parents or a relative present and settled in the UK. Adopted children also fall within this category
  • Child aged over 18 of persons present and settled in the UK

SET(O)

The most far reaching of the application forms for settlement, many varying grants of leave that are approaching 5 continuous residency in the UK will fall under this category. They include:

  • Under the PBS system
  • PBS dependent
  • UK ancestry
  • Bereaved partner
  • Artistic visa

SET(DV)

This form can only be used specifically by victims of domestic abuse whose relationships have broken down during the probationary period.

The two main forms which are used for Indefinite Leave to Remain applications are Form Set (O) and Form Set (M).

Form Set (M) is the form that needs to be completed when someone applies for ILR as a partner of someone, or parent of a child who is already settled in the UK
For all other ILR applications, Form Set (O) is the form to use. This includes those who have been living under the Investor and Global Talent visas, Long-term Worker visas, Skilled Worker Visas PBS dependants and those on UK Ancestry visas.

What are the fees for Indefinite Leave to Remain?

The current fee for an Indefinite Leave to Remain application is £2,389. If you are applying with your family, your dependents will need to pay the full fee of £2389.
An expedited service is also available if you need a quick decision on your application. The priority service processes your application within five working days and costs a further £500, and the super-priority will process your application within one working day, costing an additional £800.

What is the processing time for an Indefinite Leave to Remain Application?

There is no specific timescale, but a standard Indefinite Leave to Remain application will be processed within six months.

Indefinite Leave to Remain UK as a spouse

The Spouse Visa is designed for those who wish to join their partners in the UK, and is one of the most popular types of visa.

Ordinarily, a spouse of a settled partner can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain status after five years of being a lawful resident in the UK.

The initial Spouse Visa lasts for 30 months and at the end of this period, it can be extended for a further 30 months. Once the Spouse Visa Extension period expires, a spouse will be able to apply for ILR, provided they can meet the full requirements.

Biometric Residence Permit with ILR

A Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) is a form of identification which includes your name, date of birth, fingerprints and a photo of your face. It will also detail your immigration status, any conditions of your stay and information on benefits and services which can be accessed.

If you don’t already have a BRP, you will need to get one when you apply for ILR. Details on how to get your BRP will be explained to you once your application has been submitted

What are my rights with Indefinite Leave to Remain?

Indefinite Leave to Remain is a form of permanent residence, which means that holders of it will be able to remain in the UK without any restrictions imposed.
You will be free to work in the UK and study and study, and you will be eligible for free NHS healthcare.

Can ILR Status be Revoked?

It is important to note that ILR status can be revoked in certain circumstances.
ILR status could be revoked if:

  • You were granted ILR as a refugee and you are no longer classed as a refugee
  • You are liable to deportation but cannot be deported for legal reasons
  • You were found to have been granted ILR by deception
  • You leave the UK for a period of longer than 2 years

What can I do if my Indefinite Leave to Remain application is refused?

A refused application can be very distressing news. Firstly, it is important to understand why your application was rejected. The reasons for the refusal will be explained in the rejection letter.

If there was an obvious mistake made on the application, the best option is to resubmit the application with the mistakes rectified.

However, if you believe that your application was unfairly rejected, you can choose to challenge the decision of the Home Office.

If you think a genuine mistake was made on your application, such as a key piece of evidence not being taken into account, the best option is to choose an administrative review. With this option, your application will be reconsidered by a different immigration official.

In certain cases, you might be able to lodge an official legal appeal against the Home Office’s decision. Your refusal letter will indicate whether this is an option for you.

If you decide to challenge the Home Office’s decision, the IAS can support you through the entire process with our appeal package. Call us now on 0333 305 9375 to find out more.

Will I automatically receive British citizenship after ILR ?

Indefinite Leave to Remain is a major step towards becoming a British citizen. However, you will not automatically become a British citizen after you have spent a certain period of time living under ILR status.
After you have lived in the UK for twelve months under ILR, you will be able to apply for British citizenship, provided your circumstances haven’t changed significantly. If you want to become a full British citizen, you must complete an application for British citizenship by naturalisation and submit it to the Home Office.
As a British citizen, you will be able to apply for a British passport and enjoy the full benefits of citizenship.

What is the EEA Citizens Settlement Scheme?

EU, EEA and Swiss citizens can apply for the EU Settlement Scheme instead of Indefinite Leave to Remain.

The EU Settlement Scheme enables successful applicants to live and work in the UK after 30 June 2021 without any restrictions.

In most cases, you must have been living in the UK before 31st December 2020 to be eligible.

If you are eligible for the scheme, your immediate family members will be able to join the scheme too on the basis of their relationship to you, enjoying the same freedoms as yourself.

Contact us at one of our offices in London, for advice relating to Indefinite Leave to Remain.

Cotinuous Residence

A requirement that an applicant has continuously resided in the United Kingdom is a requirement that will be found across all the settlement application. It means the following:

 

  • That there are no breaks between the applicants grants of limited leave to remain that exceed 28 days.
  • Has not left the United Kingdom for a period of over 6 months in any 12-month period (this will break the period of residence)
  • Has not been absent from the United Kingdom for a combined period of 18 months

Applications that fall under this category are:

SET(M)

Applicants eligible on this form to apply for indefinite leave to remain are the spouse, civil partner or unmarried partner of a person present and settled in the United Kingdom. You can apply under this route where:

  • You have spent 5 continuous years residency in the UK with valid leave to remain on a 5-year route to settlement
  • You have spent 10 continuous years residency in the UK with valid leave to remain on a 10-year route to settlement

SET(F)

Applications on this form are applicable to:

  • Children under 18 of a parent/parents or a relative present and settled in the UK. Adopted children also fall within this category
  • Child aged over 18 of persons present and settled in the UK

SET(O)

The most far reaching of the application forms for settlement, many varying grants of leave that are approaching 5 continuous residency in the UK will fall under this category. They include:

  • Under the PBS system
  • PBS dependent
  • UK ancestry
  • Bereaved partner
  • Artistic visa

SET(DV)

This form can only be used specifically by victims of domestic abuse whose relationships have broken down during the probationary period.

Our Immigration Solicitors are widely regarded as some of the best in London when dealing with applications that fall within this category. We have achieved successes for numerous clients under this route. The experience of our immigration solicitors across each of our London offices ensures that your applications stand the best chance success.

Why Adam Bernard Solicitors?

  • We understand the importance of making these applications and the impact they have on our clients’ lives. We balance sensitivity with professionalism to ensure that our clients’ meet their goals.
  • Our team of immigration solicitors in London have years of experience in navigating the requirements under this route and will ensure that your application is comprehensively covered.
  • We have achieved numerous clients settlement over the years as evidenced through our clients testamonies
  • Our highly experienced team of immigration lawyers can provide you with the expert help and seamlessly guide you through the process to help you achieve Indefinite Leave to remain status

    Contact Us
    Please call 020 7100 2525 or fill in the form below.

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      Contact Us
      Please call 020 7100 2525 or fill in the form below.

      Full Name*
      Email*
      Phone*
      Your Inquiry
      0207 100 2525