What is an Indefinite Leave to Remain?
First and foremost, Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) allows the holder to settle i.e. live and work, in the UK without any time restrictions.
Before applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain, prospective applicants must first pass the Life in the UK Test; and second, prove that they have sufficient English language skills. Once applicants have passed both tests, they can start the process of applying and thereafter completing their application for Indefinite Leave to Remain.
Essentially, applicants are required to fill in the necessary forms appropriate and relevant to them, and post it to the address on the form, or apply at a premium service centre.
What is the process for applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain?
Documents to be provided
The application process for Indefinite Leave to Remain is straightforward. First, applicants need to provide the following supporting documents (along with a certified translation of any documents that are not in English or Welsh):
- A current passport or other valid travel ID;
- A biometric residence permit (if any);
- All the passports the applicant has held during his/her time in the UK;
- A police registration certificate (if any);
- 2 passport-size colour photographs; and
- Other relevant or supporting documents.
Further, applicants may need to have their fingerprints, along with a photograph, taken at the Post Office that takes biometric information.
Alternatively, biometric enrolment may be completed at a premium service centre.
Next, in order for a Indefinite Leave to Remain to be granted, applicants must meet all the eligibility requirements, the most important qualification being that applicants must have been in the UK legally for 5 continuous years and kept to the terms of their UK visa (prior to the submission of their ILR application). A 5-year qualifying period starts from either when applicants arrived in the UK with a visa, or when they were given permission to stay in the UK. Further, such continuous residence is the time applicants have spent in the UK without gaps – although they can leave the UK during the continuous residence for up to a certain period.
Postal applications for Indefinite Leave to Remain can take up to 6 months to be processed and completed, during which time applicants will need to surrender their passport. Therefore, the applicants will be told whether their application has been successful within 6 months.
On the other hand, personal appointments (bookable in advance) are available for a same-day decision.
All in all, it ought to be highlighted that the processing times and eligibility requirements for Indefinite Leave to Remain vary greatly depending on the temporary visa class that an applicant is currently in.
What if an application is unsuccessful?
In the event that the applicant does not meet all the eligibility requirements mentioned above, he or she may then apply to extend his or her stay in the UK for another 2 years.
For more information and legal advice visit Talk2Solicitors.co.uk to get expert advice from Immigration Solicitors Online.