All you need to know about Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK

A migrant worker or family member who has lived legally in the UK for a period of five or ten years can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (also known as settlement). The time period depends on your visa route. Migrants who wish to gain British citizenship must first hold Indefinite Leave to Remain before naturalising under the British Nationality Act 1981. Our Immigration Solicitors in London specialise in Indefinite Leave to Remain applications (both five year route and long residence applications) and can assist with even the most complex of cases; such as if an Applicant has excessive absences from the UK.

What does Indefinite Leave to Remain mean?

Indefinite Leave to Remain is considered in accordance with the Immigration Rules. Indefinite Leave to Remain is also referred to as settlement. This means that individuals are free from immigration restrictions such as recourse to public funds or having to apply for a visa extension towards the end of the visa period.

What is the difference between Permanent Residence and Indefinite Leave to Remain?

Permanent Residence and Indefinite Leave to Remain are essentially the same in respect to the rights of those who hold it; as mentioned above. The difference is that Permanent Residence is granted under the EEA Regulations and Indefinite Leave to Remain is under the Immigration Rules. The requirements for Permanent Residence are less stringent than those for Indefinite Leave to Remain due to free movement and the UK being a part of the EU. However, since Brexit and the UK’s decision to leave the EU, Applicants can now apply for EU Settled Status rather than Permanent Residence.

Does Indefinite Leave to Remain expire UK?

Indefinite Leave to Remain does not expire although holders Biometric Residence Permits will need to be replaced every five years.

Indefinite Leave to Remain can also lapse if a holder is outside the UK for a continuous period of 2 years. If the Applicant then wishes to return to the UK after a period of longer than 2 years then they can apply for a Returning Resident visa or apply for another visa in order to re-enter the UK.

Can you lose Indefinite Leave to Remain?

Yes, it is possible for an individual to lose their Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK. Indefinite Leave to Remain can be revoked in the following circumstances:

  • If the individual is liable for deportation;
  • If Indefinite Leave was gained by deception; and
  • If an individual ceases to be a refugee because of their own actions.

Indefinite Leave to Remain will be invalidated if an individual is deported from the UK.

How long does it take to get Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK?

There are different routes to Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK. Most Applicants are eligible for settlement after 5 years lawful leave in the UK under the same visa route (i.e. spouse visa or Tier 2 visa). It is not possible to combine leave on various routes to count towards 5 years settlement. For Applicants who wish to combine leave (i.e. Tier 4 student visa then Tier 2 General visa then spouse visa) will have to spend 10 years in the UK before qualifying to settle in the UK. Applicants with discretionary leave to remain (i.e. if not all of the requirements for a visa can be met but the Secretary of State still grants a visa) will also be put on the 10 year settlement route.

In some circumstances it may be possible for for Applicants to apply for accelerated settlement if they can meet additional requirements (i.e. Tier 1 Investor Visa).

Using our Immigration Solicitors in London to submit an Indefinite Leave to Remain application

Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration status. It is possible to instruct an immigration and visa legal representative to submit an indefinite leave to remain application.

Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your indefinite leave to remain application succeeds, all necessary documents must be provided. Our immigration solicitors in London are able to assist you throughout the entire visa process.

This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative; our immigration solicitors in London can help ensure that your spouse extension application meets the Immigration Rules.

Successful Indefinite Leave to Remain applications with our Immigration Solicitors in London

Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. Our immigration solicitors in London offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your immigration status and the merit of your application before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. Our immigration solicitors in London can assist you with the preparation and submission of your settlement application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.

We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients. LEXVISA is just minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.

Preparation is the key to a successful indefinite leave to remain application. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation.

Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.

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