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Applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 11 Dec 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Applying For Indefinite Leave To Remain In The Uk

Some foreign nationals who have been in the UK with permission for a certain amount of time will be entitled to apply for indefinite leave to remain. If an applicant is given indefinite leave to remain they have the right of permanent residence in the UK – this is also known as settlement.

Foreign nationals will usually have to have been in the UK continuously for between two to five years before they can apply for indefinite leave to remain. Whether or not they are eligible will depend on the type of visa under which they were given permission to come to the UK.

Applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK

Applicants will usually have to show that they have an appropriate knowledge of the English language and of UK culture. Applications should not be made more than 28 days before the end of the period for which they have permission to be in the UK but must be made before that period ends. Application forms, and guidance notes on completing them, can be downloaded from the UK border Agency website.

Applications Based on UK Family Ties

Applications by married, or unmarried, partners and those in civil partnerships should be made using form SET(M). Applicants must have lived in the UK with permission for two years and still be married. A joint application for dependent children under 18 may be made on the same form. Applicants whose spouse or civil partner has died may apply for indefinite leave to remain using form SET(O) and there is no minimum qualifying period of residence.

Victims of domestic abuse can apply for indefinite leave to remain using form SET(DV). To be granted indefinite leave to remain they must have come to the UK, with permission, as the partner of a UK resident. The applicant must also have been in the UK for a period of two years during which time the relationship broke down due to domestic violence.

Other family members may apply for indefinite leave to remain using form SET(F). This form is for applications by children under 18 as well as parents, grandparents and other dependent family members of UK residents. Applicants in this category cannot include their own dependents on the form.

Applications based on UK ancestry should be made using form SET(O).

Applications by Workers

Whether or not someone in the UK on a work permit or visa is entitled to apply for indefinite leave to remain will depend on the type of visa they have. Foreign citizens on the following types of work visas may be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain after they have been in the UK continuously for five years:
  • Highly skilled workers, entrepreneurs and investors or Tier 1 under the new points-based system which is being introduced from 2008 onwards;
  • Sponsored skilled workers (Tier 2 under the new system).
Applications for indefinite leave to remain by those in the above categories should be made using form SET(O).

Applications by EU Citizens

Citizens of EU countries who have lived in the UK continuously for five years may apply for confirmation of permanent residence using form EEA3.

Applicants from Turkey

Turkish citizens who set up a business in the UK pursuant to the European Community Association Agreement (ECAA) may apply for indefinite leave to remain using form ECAA Turkey (Main) after they have been in the UK for four years. Their dependent family may apply using form ECAA Turkey (Dep).

Applicants from Bulgaria and Romania

Bulgarian and Romanian citizens who came to the UK under the terms of the ECAA to set up a business may apply for indefinite leave to remain using form ECAA(4), which is also sometimes referred to as ECAA(ILR), once they have been in the UK for five years. The ECAA ceased to apply to citizens of Bulgaria and Romania once these countries joined the EU in January 2007 but applications may still be made under this category by people who came to the UK prior to that date.

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[Add a Comment]
Said1 - Your Question:
I'm Moroccan was granted 5years visa EEA FAMILY PERMIT AFTER 18 MONTHS OUR MARRIAGE BROKE DOWN WE ARE SEPERATED FOR TWO YEARS I'M WORKING AND IM IN ANTHER RELATIONSHIP NEXT YEAR ISUPPOSE TO APPLY FOR ILR BUT IDONT KNOW IF I'M GOING TO GET IT OR NO IS THERE ANY CHANCE ANYONE CAN ADVICE ME PLZ.

Our Response:
You must tell the Home Office when you divorce or separate from your partner if your visa is based on your relationship. You must then either apply for a new visa or leave the UK, please see the link here.
AboutImmigration - 11-Dec-17 @ 3:21 PM
@Said1 - If you legally divorced your spouse or if they no longer live in the UK your application for Permanent Residency will be refused. If you did not separate legally and your spouse still lives in the UK as a qualified person then your applicationwill probably be approved if you also meet the other requirements.
TJ. - 11-Dec-17 @ 11:01 AM
I'm Moroccan was granted 5years visa EEA FAMILY PERMITAFTER18MONTHS OUR MARRIAGE BROKE DOWN WE ARE SEPERATED FORTWO YEARS I'M WORKING ANDIMINANTHER RELATIONSHIP NEXT YEAR ISUPPOSE TO APPLYFOR ILR BUT IDONT KNOW IF I'M GOING TO GET IT OR NOIS THERE ANY CHANCE ANYONE CAN ADVICEME PLZ.
Said1 - 10-Dec-17 @ 8:52 PM
I am Italian citizen I had my residence card 2011 and got a baby 2015 can I applied British passport? I have continuously lived in the UK since may 2010.
Eve - 16-Sep-17 @ 10:57 PM
My sister has been living in the UK since 1983. She is a widow and has two British children and two grandchildren. Two years ago she fell ill and is now on disability awaiting heart surgery. She has never had Private Health Insurance and was for some years a stay at home mum. Will she be denied Indefinite Leave to Remain or will she be allowed to stay? Thanks
maatkare - 13-Sep-17 @ 3:54 PM
I was told to pay for the ILR and have paid since June 2016 and they have not gotten back to me. What will I do
Debsiy - 2-Sep-17 @ 1:39 PM
My name is mariam I came to UK in 2007 as a dependent of a German he gave me 5 yrs after 5 yes he was working he refused to give me indefinite because he was abusing if I have my indefinite I will leave,when the abused was too much for me I took a decision ,I left him in 2014 ,my 5 yes expire in 2018 ,I took my pass I applied for passport from my country ,I got 5kids three of them are Germans two of them are born in German but they got the same passport .I applied for indifinit I spent lots of money we have done biometric twice they took the payment from account,I was with the hope that they will give me indifint.I received the passport with the letter refused. My world is upside ,I have applied for new passport for my kids someone is bring them for,What advice will you give,because I applied through domestic violence sent a letter from women Aid,they said they proof his work a police reference I got police referencewho refused you in definite .he leave in Scott land.what should I do now? Thanks
mum - 28-Aug-17 @ 10:26 PM
Hi I am starting to prepare my documentation ready for next year when we apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain for my wife and stepdaughter but I am not sure how to apply for my stepdaughter, from what I can see on the website she has to make a separate application from my wife as she is now 18 and will be 19 when we apply. Will I need legal help to sort her application as her income is nil because she is now going to college full time and I don't seem to be able to find a form that applies to her, Thanks in advance for any help you can give Regards
Pronsawan - 4-Jul-17 @ 7:14 PM
Does someone on the first set of 30 months ltr need to prove where they have traveled , even if it has been in the UK .
goliath - 30-Jun-17 @ 7:39 PM
Huck - Your Question:
My partner moved to the uk when she was 2 years old. She is now 25. Does she have permission to remain?

Our Response:
She may be able to apply on the basis of her private life if she is 25 or over and has been in the UK continuously for 20 years, please see link here .
AboutImmigration - 30-Jun-17 @ 4:04 PM
My partner moved to the uk when she was 2 years old. She is now 25. Does she have permission to remain?
Huck - 24-Jun-17 @ 7:09 PM
@Mat - it's intentional. They really want you to be so stressed you'll go home!
ZachX - 23-Jun-17 @ 4:13 PM
Hi I apply for indefinite visa 9 of may 2016after 5 month's home office send me a letter they told me to wait until 6 of January2017no replythen I write a letter to home officethen they reply mention on they reviewing my casenow end of June 2017 why I'm waiting for so long timeI'm havin to much stress
Mat - 23-Jun-17 @ 12:20 PM
I applied for aslyum in 2007 then denied in 2011 was granted discretionary leave to remain for 3 yrsto futher it I had used the form FLR form but the HO refused to say I didn't not claim aslyum so I use SET O form which I did but now am due for indenfinite leave to remain am confused to which form i should use any help would be appreciated thanks
Sam - 20-Jun-17 @ 9:39 PM
Hi- If My visa is set to expire in a few months and I am only able to apply 28 days before the expiry date of my current visa and I decide to not pay for the same day service does it mean that I will be illegal in the country and my application could be refused? I am just conscious as on the UKBA site says it can take up to six months.Thank you
JT - 16-Jun-17 @ 9:07 PM
Sindi - Your Question:
Hello, my visa expires on the first of june 2017, I came here as a student to learn english but now I want to extend my current visa within the UK. Could you please help me with that, what do I have to do?Thank you

Our Response:
If you overstay your visa or leave, you'll have 90 days to leave the country from the date it expired. You might still be able to apply for a new visa within 14 days of your old one expiring. You'll need to prove you had a very good reason for not renewing your old visa - so it's best to renew in time if you still can, please see CAB link here.
AboutImmigration - 31-May-17 @ 11:32 AM
Hello I have in the uk for over 11 years and my premium application on the basis of long time residency was refused due to not having the English test. However they said i am eligible for 2 years extention if i pay the 400 gbp medical surcharge. They kepty all my documents and passport etc.. I have paid the surcharge. Today i received an email asking me to sign up for the application. Does that mean i have to apply again and pay again?
Alan - 30-May-17 @ 11:49 PM
Hello, my visa expires on the first of june 2017, i came here as a student to learn english but now i want to extend my current visa within the UK . Could you please help me with that, what do i have to do? Thank you
Sindi - 30-May-17 @ 3:56 PM
Hi, My Turkish husband is currently in UK. He had been given a business visa (Ankara agreement) for one year. He made some headway but was marred with difficulties in getting national insurance, banks etc. Anyway, his second application has been refused - the main reason seems to rely on him being unable to support 'dependants'. This is strange as on the application it was made abundantly clear he has none? I am not his dependant as I am financially able to take care of myself (and him whilst trying to get business off ground). We are planning to apply for review - but I am extremely worried by the success rate as when an IR'r went in they found the process of review incredibly flawed. Any advice would be appreciated.
M - 23-May-17 @ 2:40 PM
Hi, just a quick question. I have a permanent residence card which was issued in 2010 that I would like to renew soon. I did not take the Life in the UK test back then and would like to know if I need to take it for the renewal. Any help on this matter would be greatly appreciated.
Phil - 11-May-17 @ 5:03 PM
I am on a 5year family of an EEA resident documentation visa, its going to expire next year,April I have been in the UK for about 12years.I want to apply for indefinite stay with10years legal continuous stay.my relationship with the EEA national is not cordial anymore,do I need a divorce before applying for the indefinite stay?thanks.waiting for your response.
kabila - 1-May-17 @ 7:41 PM
I was only in the Uk for 8months when my relationship broke down,I applied for ddv concession then set dv Ilr and it was granted almost immediately without paying and I even got legal aids. You don't have to be in the country for two yrs. Even if its after a month,as long as you have evidences,please go ahead amd apply.
sar - 23-Apr-17 @ 3:18 PM
Hallo.I applied for indefinite in July 2016 but up to now they haven't complete the application.its nine months now I only received that first letter they always send after they receive the application .what could bethe problem? I am just stuck.and it's stressing.
DIDAF - 23-Apr-17 @ 8:34 AM
My wife, a Czech citizen obtained indefinite leave to remain in the UK in 2002. The Czech Republic joined the EU in 2004. Did her indefinite leave to remain status change as a result of the Czech Republic joining the EU? We are residents of the UK and have been so since 2002 and I am a British citizen by birth.
MrC - 21-Apr-17 @ 11:25 PM
Hi there, I am currently a refugee and my residency expires in December 2017. when is the latest I can travel within the EU? A friend of mine said I wouldn't be allowed to travel anywhere six months before it expires. Also, when can I apply (the earliest) for my ILR ? Thanks, Felix
Felix - 20-Apr-17 @ 3:32 AM
Hichem's wife - Your Question:
Hello ! I am enquiring about the citizenship I was born in the uk in 1986. my fateher was studying there he was an mba student and my parent's both had something called (as they remembered) green book it was a kind of residency.My question is do I have the right to apply for british citizenship?

Our Response:
You would have to check via the gov.uk link here .
AboutImmigration - 4-Apr-17 @ 11:56 AM
Hello ! I am enquiring about the citizenship I was born in the uk in 1986 . my fateher was studying there he was an mba student and my parent's both had something called (as they remembered) green book it was a kind ofresidency. My question is do I have the right to apply for british citizenship?
Hichem's wife - 3-Apr-17 @ 9:24 PM
Do i need to take life in Uk am little bit confused as i know there are some exception i do not know if am eligible to exception . i am an Eu national dependant and have spent 5 years without travelling for more than a month . am currently in university studying after obtaining a diploma in college. and i have worked for the past four to five years.
MA - 30-Mar-17 @ 2:46 PM
Hi,I'm with my partner for 2 years now. He came as a student in 2011 from nigeria. 3 years ago he applied to renew his student visa but they did not assessed his application up to now. We have a 7mo baby and we are trying to get his documents sorted. What can he do? What should he apply for ? ( I'm Romanian and I have 5 years here at the moment as a self employed) thank you
Anca - 22-Mar-17 @ 12:03 PM
DIANA - Your Question:
Hi there My husband and I , we would like to apply for ILR. We both are Romanians.When we first come in to UK in 2010 , we needed to get blue cards to allow us to work. We both have it, but then then romanians and bulgarian citizens could work without any restrictions here. We have a 4 yrs old son, which was born here. After that we managed to get also a mortgage and bought a house here. Now I am employee working almost full time and my husband is self employed.We would like to apply for British citizenship , but we don't know if we can do so , or we have to apply first for Indefinite Leave To Remain, even if we have blue cards and we are EU citizens.Thank you very much!

Our Response:
Please see gov.uk link here, which should answer your question.
AboutImmigration - 21-Mar-17 @ 2:08 PM
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