Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) & British Citizenship

After you have lived legally in the UK for a certain length of time, you may be able to apply for permission to settle in the UK, which is also known as ‘Indefinite Leave to Remain’ (ILR).  If you are currently in the UK, your right to apply for ILR will depend on your current visa category. Once you are granted ILR, you may be eligible to ‘naturalise’ after a certain period of time and become a British citizen.

Our expert immigration lawyers are regularly instructed by migrants wishing to settle permanently in the UK or those who hold ILR and wish to apply for British citizenship. Our team are ready to meet with you to consider whether you meet the eligibility requirements and once instructed will liaise with you in preparing your application with the requisite supporting documentation.

Indefinite Leave to Remain

Under the Points-Based System, the immigration rules allow for certain visa holders to apply for ILR sooner than migrants in other categories. Our immigration solicitors are on hand to advise you on whether you are eligible to apply for ILR and if so when.

Generally, those holding a Tier 2 Work Visa, Tier 1 Investor Visa or Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa may be eligible to apply for ILR after they have reached 5 years continuous leave in the UK. Applicants will need to meet other criteria in their respective categories but generally the residency requirements for each category are similar.

The UK Home Office does offer accelerated ILR options for Tier 1 Investor  and  Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa applicants. For example, Entrepreneur migrants may be eligible to apply for ILR after a continuous period of 3 years in the UK if they have created at least 10 jobs or if they have established a business in the UK which has an income of at least £5m. On the other hand, Investors who have invested £5m can apply for ILR after 3 years and those who have invested £10m can apply after 2 years.

The rules for ILR do vary and are constantly changing, therefore if you wish to explore your options of applying for ILR, please get in touch with a member of our expert business immigration team today.


In order to make an application to naturalise as a British citizen, you must have held ILR for at least 12 months. Generally, there are a number of requirements that Applicants must satisfy in order to make a successful application for ILR.

Our immigration solicitors are regularly instructed by clients who have made the decision to make the UK their permanent home and as such wish to explore their options of obtaining a British passport. A recent study quoted by the Independent found that British passports were ranked the fourth most powerful in the world allowing its holder to visit 174 countries visa-free. This can be a great advantage to business people who frequently travel the world searching for opportunities.

Those wishing to apply for naturalisation should consult with a member of our expert immigration team so we can consider the eligibility criteria and explore whether among other requirements, they meet the good character and residency requirements.

Expert ILR and Naturalisation Solicitors

Our immigration lawyers have extensive experience in preparing ILR and naturalisation applications for applicants. Our immigration team can offer the following service:

  • An initial consultation with an immigration lawyer who can advise on the eligibility criteria of such an application;
  • Provide the applicant with a bespoke supporting documents list which will assist them in collating documents required for the application;
  • Prepare the relevant application form and detailed legal representations to accompany the application; and
  • If required (and available) accompany the applicant to the visa centre so they can submit the application in person and in most circumstances, receive a decision on the same day.

We are a UK law firm based in Middle Temple, London and our solicitors are fully authorised by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). Contact our professional business immigration team today and we can offer you a consultation in person or via telephone or Skype so we can explore your options. You can leave us a message on our Contact Form or give us a call on 02030110276.

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