Applicants granted Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), also known as Settlement, may remain in the UK to live, study and work without limitations upon their length of stay. Applicants with ILR become eligible to apply for UK citizenship within 12 months of having been granted ILR status, dependent on meeting citizenship criteria.
ILR may be granted to applicants following a continuous qualifying period of being resident in the UK, provided the applicant has also met all the eligibility criteria for their specific visa category. The typical length of stay which qualifies as continuous is 5 years, however some via categories such as the Tier 1 Investor Visa and Innovator Visa may allow for an earlier application to be made.
- Applicants must not meet any of the General Grounds for Refusal. These are grounds which may result in the rejection of an application, for example under the grounds of having a poor record of compliance with visa requirements, of having a record of criminal convictions
- Applicants must be in compliance with all immigration rulings
- Applicants must meet the applicable requirement for continuous residence as specified by their visa category. This is typically a 5-year period with no more than 180 days of that time spent outside of the UK within any rolling 12-month period s
- Applicants must have sufficient knowledge of the English language equivalent to at least level B1. Exceptions apply to applicants who are a native of a country which is majority English speaking, or possess a degree taught in English
- Applicants between the ages of 18-64 must have passed the Life in the UK test
The 10-year Route:
Applicants may apply for UK settlement after having spent 10 continuous years in the UK. This is also known as the ‘long residence route’.
Applicants may apply under the 10-year route provided they have:
- Remained in the UK for continuous period of 10 years
- Passed the Life in the UK test
- Demonstrated sufficient knowledge of the English Language
- Not met any of the General Ground for Refusal, for example having a fallen for refusal under the general grounds for refusal – the general grounds for refusal are grounds that might suggest applicants are not of good character, for example having a poor record of compliance with visa requirements, of having a record of criminal convictions