Indefinite Leave to remain

Settling in the UK

Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), Permanent Residency (PR) and Settlement are one and the same thing. It provides no more restrictions on your stay in the UK.  This category of UK immigration status will allow you to leave and return to the UK as many times as you want, and engage in any type of employment or business. You will no longer have any immigration restrictions.

If you had a Biometric Residence Card, you will no longer have the need of it as a stamp or vignette will instead be placed in your current passport.

Once you have been in this category for 1 year, you may then apply for British Nationality.

The rules for settlement in the UK changed on 6 April 2011 to include:

criminality threshold You must now be clear of any unspent convictions
income requirement Tier 1 (General), Tier 2 (General), Tier 2 (ICT) and work permit applicants need to meet their income requirements as per your current stay
English language requirement If you were a; Tier 1, Tier 2 or their precursor migrant, you must now pass the Life in the UK test rather than an ESOL with citizenship course
accelerated route to settlement Early route to settlement; as quick as two years, if you are a Tier 1 (Investor) or Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrant who meets the enhanced criteria. See below for other migrants

Most applicants for settlement must show that they have a knowledge of language and life in the UK.

If you have lived legally in the UK for a certain length of time, as below, you may be able to apply for permission to permanently settle in the UK.

Current UK immigration Status:

Time to Settlement:
Entering the UK as the partner or child of a British citizen or a person who is settled in the UK Immediately or 2 years
Married or Unmarried partner of a UK national or a person settled in the UK 2 years
Tier 1 Investor under enhanced criteria 2 or 3 years
Tier 1 Entrepreneur under the enhanced criteria 3 years
Divorce after marriage to an EEA national 3 years
Tier 1 General, Work permit, HSMP, Tier 1 Investor, Investors, Tier 1 Entrepreneur, Artists, composers, Writers, Tier 1 Entrepreneur, Tier 1 Exceptional Talent, 5 years
UK Ancestry 5 years
Tier 2 General, tier 2 minister of religion, tier 2 sportsperson, tier 2 intra company transfer, Sole representatives, Business Person, 5 years
Retired person of independent means 5 years
Marriage to an EEA national, EEA national and family members 5 years
Any combination of lawful immigration stay in the UK 10 years
Any combination of lawful and unlawful immigration stay in the UK 14 years

If you don’t meet the above timelines, we would need to extend your current UK immigration visa first. We can submit this application, up to 28 days before these timescales for you through the Fast Track Same Day Service or via post.

Settlement can be lost in certain circumstances and we advise you not to be outside the UK for longer than two years at a time as there is a risk it can be withdrawn.

Apply for Settlement in the UK