Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) is the last step for any non-UK national/citizen to fulfil before becoming eligible to apply for a British Passport. When applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain on your current leave/visa, you may have the option of obtaining ILR status under a premium service. To check whether you’re eligible for the same day premium process and to find out the next available date, contact our immigration lawyers today on 020 3627 4777.

Indefinite leave to remain

Mandatory Requirements for ILR

The main requirement under any category to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain is to have spent either 5 years or 10 years lawfully in the UK (if applying for long residency). You can apply for ILR no earlier than 28 days before you reach 5 or 10 years’ continuous residence in the UK. Other mandatory requirements include the Life in the UK test and an English language proficiency requirement – either a Level B1 English test or a certificate for a degree taught in English.


The applicant should not have spent more than 180 days out of the UK, and these days must have been spent outside the UK for the purpose of the applicant’s visa. The days outside the UK requirement has multiple different clauses so please check with our visa advisers even if you have been outside the UK for more than 180 days at any one time – we still may be able to help you!

Different Categories for ILR:

UK Indefinite Leave to Remain Visa

The application for ILR Long Residency can be filed by candidates who have spent an extended period of time – either 10 years or 20 years in the UK.

If an applicant has been living in the UK for 10 years lawfully (legally) or 20 years unlawfully (illegally), they become eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain. The days outside the UK requirement in this category is 540 days; however if you have exceeded this limit then please contact us – we can still assist you. The previously mentioned mandatory requirements must also be fulfilled in order to apply for ILR under this route.

Please contact one of our legal representatives today for a free assessment of your circumstances on 020 3627 4777.

Indefinite Leave to Remain (Spouse/Marriage)

The spouse or civil partner of a British citizen or permanent resident of the UK is able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after living as a married couple for a period of 5 years (if you were given a spouse/fiancé visa after 9 July 2012). You will also need to provide proof of cohabitation and meet the financial requirement rules. Applicants also need to complete level a B1 English Test as well as pass the Life in the UK test.

Domestic Violence ILR

You may be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain based on domestic violence and by providing the essential evidence. However, you will not be required to meet the Life in the UK test or English language requirement. You cannot apply on a same-day basis for this category. For further advice, you can contact our team of experts for a free consultation on 020 3627 4777.

Same-Day Appointments Available

Work Permit/Tier 2 ILR

An applicant with a current Tier 2 (General) work visa must have a salary of £35,000.00 per annum to be eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain. The other mandatory requirements stated above should also be met under this category. You can apply for this visa under same day service. Be advised that the salary requirements are due to increase for applications from 2018 onwards.

Tier 1 Entrepreneur/Investor ILR

To apply for ILR under this category there are different eligibility periods depending upon how much money you have available and has been invested into the UK economy. Please contact one of our immigration solicitors to see if you are eligible to apply under this category. The restriction of days outside the UK does not apply to this category in some of the cases, therefore we strongly recommend to check with a visa adviser before proceeding with this route for ILR.

Discretionary ILR

In order to apply under this category you should have been granted discretionary leave to remain in the UK and should have spent 6 years lawfully in the UK. The grounds under which discretion was exercised by the Home Office should still persist and you will need to provide proof for the same, as well as meeting the other mandatory requirements stated above. You cannot apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in this category using the same-day service.

HM Forces ILR

If you have been discharged from the HM Forces and have served for at least 4 years, you will be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain. You need not meet mandatory requirements for this category. If you have been medically discharged you may still be able to apply for ILR. If your medical reason of discharge was above a certain level, please contact our expert immigration team to see if you qualify to apply under this category.

Family members of HM forces can apply for ILR after completing 5 years’ continuous residence in the UK.

EEA Permanent Residence/ILR

If you wish to apply for Permanent Residence under an EEA national or EEA Family member, please refer to the EEA Family Permit Tab on the left hand menu.

Domestic Worker ILR

You will need to meet the mandatory requirements as well as additional requirements for proving your employment as a domestic worker.

Other Routes to Indefinite Leave to Remain

Generally for all other categories in order to apply for ILR, the applicant needs to meet the respective extension requirements and pass the Life in the UK test – provided they have not absent from the UK for more than 180 days. Please contact one of our legal representative today for further queries.

Life in the UK Test

The Life in the UK test is a mandatory requirement of the vast majority of Indefinite Leave to Remain applications. It tests your knowledge of the UK and how well you have adapted to life in the UK. You’ll be asked a series of multiple choice questions ranging from British history to popular culture, UK geography and other general knowledge which you would have likely picked up during your residence in the UK.

If you have concerns about this test and your success, please do not hesitate to contact our visa experts.