When Can You Apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain?

Immigration law is highly complicated, and applying for indefinite leave to remain in the UK can be overwhelming. For this reason, many people seek assistance from immigration solicitors such as Caversham Solicitors to help them through the process.

Here is a brief outline of what is involved in the application process.

What is Indefinite Leave to Remain?

Indefinite leave to remain is the term used to describe settlement in the UK. You may hear the words ‘settlement’ and ‘indefinite leave to remain’ used interchangeably during your application process.

A successful application enables you to live, work, and study in the UK. If your application to remain is successful, you will be able to stay in the UK for as long as you wish.

If your application is successful, you will later be able to apply for British citizenship.

When Can You Apply?

Not everyone can apply. To be eligible to start the application process, you must have been resident in the UK for ten continuous years. This is also known as ‘long residence.’ To qualify as eligible to apply, you must also ensure that there have been no gaps in your ten years of residency in the UK.

How to Apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain

Anyone wishing to apply must provide relevant documentation and follow the detailed application process.

You will need to supply the following documentation:

  • A current passport or travel ID that is currently valid
  • Each passport that you have held during the time you have been in the UK
  • If you have a biometric residence permit, this should also be provided

You must apply online using the UK Visas and Immigration Services website.

Applicants aged six years and over must book an appointment to attend a UK Visa and Citizenship Applications Services (UKVCAS) service point. During your appointment, you will need to supply your biometric information: your fingerprints and a photo.

You must remain in the UK throughout the application process.

Does a Successful Application Expire?

Indefinite leave to remain does not usually expire. Once it has been approved, you can seek UK citizenship and begin the application process.

However, it is essential to note that your eligibility can be lost if you stay outside the UK for more than two years at a time. In this situation, you must apply for a Returning Resident Order before you can re-enter the UK.

Does This Mean Permanent Residence?

Yes, if your application for indefinite leave to remain is approved, this does mean that you are eligible to settle in the UK. Once approved, you will be free to live, study, and work in the UK.

What’s the Difference Between Indefinite Leave & Indefinite Leave to Remain?

They may sound similar, but they are two very different statuses. A successful indefinite leave application enables the eligible person to stay in the UK for an extended period of up to two years. In contrast, a successful indefinite leave to remain application allows a person to stay in the UK permanently with the ability to live, work, and study in the UK.

How Long Does Indefinite Leave Last UK?

Indefinite leave does not permit you to live permanently in the UK or to become a UK citizen. Instead, it is a way for people that are ineligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain to extend their stay in the UK temporarily.

If your application is successful, you can extend your stay in the UK by a further two years.

Immigration Solicitors at Caversham Solicitors

Due to the complicated nature of the application, many people choose to use immigration solicitors to help them through the process. The Immigration solicitors here at Caversham Solicitors have experience dealing with aspects of immigration. We know it can be complicated, but we’re here to make it easy, so get in touch with us today to discuss your requirements.

You can get in touch by completing the form on our contact us page or by emailing us at info@cavershamsolicitors.co.uk.