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How do I renew my UK Indefinite Leave to Remain?

ILR does not typically expire, but there are circumstances where it can. In such cases, affected individuals must renew their Biometric Residence Cards or Visas in order to “renew” their Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK.

For more information about possible restrictions or to have any questions or concerns you might have answered by a legal professional, reach out to us today on 0333 4149244, or contact us online.



If you are an Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) holder, or are considering applying for ILR to settle after your visa expires, you should learn about the Indefinite Leave to Remain rules.

With an indefinite period of leave to remain (ILR), you have the freedom to reside in the UK and to not limit time and activity within Britain.

ILR grants indefinite permission to remain in the UK to live and work. Once you are granted ILR status, you will have the same freedoms and privileges as a UK citizen.

Although ILR grants permanent residency permission, such permission may be revoked under certain circumstances.

Indefinite Leave to Remain Expiry Rules

Firstly, it is important to understand the rules and consequences of an expired ILR.

The UK immigration rules state that Indefinite Leave to Remain can expire if an individual has had a consecutive absence from the UK of 2 years or more.

This means that if you have resided outside the UK for more than two years, you will automatically no longer be considered as a person who is settled in the UK.

The two year rule applies regardless of the expiry date on your ILR documentation, such as your Biometric Residence Permit.

Your status will be considered to be automatically invalid after two years spent outside of the UK.

Indefinite Leave to Enter (ILE) is another form of settlement or permanent residence status, meaning there is no time limit on a persons residence in the UK.

An individual who has ILE does not have to apply for ILR when in the UK.

What should you do if your Biometric Residence Permit expires?

Biometric residence permits hold a customer’s biographic details, biometric information, and shows their immigration status and entitlements while they remain in the UK.

To renew your Biometric Residence Permit, you will first be required to reapply for a visa, called a visa renewal.

Once you have renewed your visa, you will also automatically receive a new Biometric Residence Permit.

The requirements for renewing your visa will depend on the type of visa you currently have (e.g. whether that is a work visa, investor visa, spouse visa, etc).

It is important to keep passports and biometric visa holder permits current and up-to-date.

By taking the necessary steps after your visa expires you will be able to avoid being regarded as being an overstayer.

If your BRP expires, you are required to apply to extend your visa or apply for a new visa instead, ideally ahead of time. If it is granted, you will automatically get a new BRP.

It should take approximately 8 weeks for your new BRP card to arrive with you, providing there are no issues with your application.

The date on your Biometric Residence Permit does not change your entitlement to work in the UK or your other rights as an individual with valid Leave to Remain in the UK.

Those privileges and rights are valid for the duration of your Indefinite Leave to Remain status or visa.

Can I get my Indefinite Leave to Remain status back if it has expired?

UK immigration rules state that Indefinite Leave to Remain can expire if an individual has had a continual absence from the UK for 2 or more years.

This simply means if you have lived outside of the UK for two or more years then you will automatically no longer be considered as a settled resident in the UK.

If an individuals ILR was made invalid due to spending 2 or more years outside of the UK, that individual can apply for a Returning Residents Visa (RRV).

If this application is successful, ILR will be restored as a result.

You can subsequently regain the Leave to Remain status if you want to settle back to Britain.

You can do so by filing for the return visa. You have to apply for return visas prior to going back to the UK.

When you try to enter the United Kingdom with no passport for two years, you are not granted entry.

The Home Office will take various considerations in deciding whether or not you are entitled to a return residency visa application and whether or not it meets these criteria in your case.

Biometric Residence Permit expired, lost, or stolen

If your lost or stolen BRP was valid for 3 months or more, report it and apply for a replacement within 3 months of having it lost or stolen.

You can be fined up to £1,000 and made to leave the UK if you do not apply for a replacement within 3 months.

The Biometric Residence Permit expires at a maximum of 10 years.

In case your visa is also due to expire you need to apply before completing the visa extension application.

The replacement permit must apply three months in advance of the expiration. The best method of replacement is BRP Replacement Services.

You have to complete the application, submit the necessary documents and pay the fee.

Can I lose my Indefinite Leave to Remain status?

ILR is a status that does not expire like a BRP or visa does; once it is granted it cannot ‘run out.’

However, ILR status can be revoked by the Home Office in special circumstances.

This includes cases such as due to being outside of the UK for 2 or more years, if the Home Office believes you obtained your ILR status fraudulently, malicious or criminal behaviour, terrorist activity, and more.

This will also be removed when you are liable for deportation despite legal reasons, such as in terms of UN Refugee Convention or UN Convention.

Deportation is possible when it comes to criminal activity.

Whether you obtained ILR in deceit or were granted refugee status, you are considered an immigration alien and face deportation.

What if my BRP expired and I’m outside the UK?

You cannot apply for a replacement BRP if it expires while you are outside the UK.

Instead, you will need to apply for a replacement BRP visa, which lets you re-enter the UK once only.

The BRP replacement visa costs £154 at current and can only be applied for once you re-enter the UK.

If your visa is also due to expire you should apply for a visa extension first, and if the application proves successful you will automatically receive a BRP replacement.

How much does it cost to renew indefinite leave to remain UK?

The Home Office and Immigration fees changed as of the 20th of February 2020.

The new fees are as follows:

Indefinite Leave to Remain: £2,389

Leave to Remain: £1,033

Visitor Extension main applicant & all dependants: £993

Single-entry visa to replace a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP): £154

Indefinite leave to enter the UK as the dependant of a member of the armed forces under Appendix Armed Forces to the Immigration Rules: £2,389

Biometric residence card (issued under the EU Settlement Scheme) and replacement cost: £56

Naturalisation: £1330

Nationality registration as a British adult citizen: £1,206

All other fees regarding Immigration can be found on the UK governments official Immigration site.

How IAS can help

To achieve settled status, you must remain within the UK immigration rules, and UK immigration law.

Your biometric residence card and UK immigration status must remain up to date and in line with immigration rules.

If you have any questions or concerns about your absences from the UK on your visa, applying for ILR, or any other issue you might have about UK visas and immigration, IAS are here to help.

For more information about the services we offer, and what we can do for you, reach out to us today on 0333 4149244, or contact us online.

Do you need help with an immigration issue? Our lawyers can assist you.

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