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How long does Indefinite Leave to Remain last?

Although Indefinite Leave to Remain does not expire on its own, there may be instances where you can put your immigration status in the UK at risk.

For more information on Indefinite Leave to Remain, call our friendly team of advisors on 0333 305 9375 for immediate assistance.

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Indefinite Leave to Remain expiry

Indefinite Leave to Remain status allows overseas nationals to live in the UK free of the UK immigration rules set out by the government.

Although ILR status means you can remain in the UK for an unlimited period of time, it is essential to be aware of instances where your Indefinite Leave to Remain can expire or be revoked completely.

To ensure that you are not breaching ILR terms and putting your remain status at risk, you must understand the terms of your stay fully. Even though there is no official expiry date to Indefinite Leave, there are instances where you can put your settled status at risk.

For more information on Indefinite Leave to Remain, call our friendly team of advisors on  0333 305 9375  for immediate assistance.

When ILR status may expire: The two-year rule

As an Indefinite Leave to Remain holder, you should be aware that with long periods of absence from the UK, your Indefinite Leave status will expire. Your ILR status will expire if you have spent more than a continuous two-year period outside of the UK at any one time.

This lengthy period of absence will mean that you will no longer be considered to have settled status.

If you do leave the UK for a long period of time, returning to the UK, even if it is for a short time, will automatically reset your time limit for leave. However, this is something that border officials may question you about. Therefore, it is best to avoid being absent for long periods altogether if possible to refrain from risking your immigration status.

Returning to the UK after a more than two years

If you still wish to return to the UK after your Indefinite Leave to Remain status has expired due to extended absence, you will be required to get a Returning Resident visa. The Returning Resident visa will allow a previous Indefinite Leave to Remain holder to return to the UK where their former immigration status will be reinstated.

In order to acquire a Returning Resident visa, you must be able to demonstrate strong ties to the United Kingdom, and you must also be able to prove that you previously held Indefinite Leave to Remain and did not breach any immigration rules.

Officials may wish to know the reasons for your initial extended absence, so you should be prepared to share these reasons and present proof if you have it.

Only then will you be considered to return to the UK and have the chance of being granted Indefinite Leave to Remain once more.

Do you need help applying for indefinite leave to remain? Our lawyers can assist you.

Can my Indefinite Leave to Remain status be lost altogether?

It can be possible to lose your Indefinite Leave to Remain status in certain circumstances. For example, if you were to be deported from the UK for breaches of immigration rules, your Indefinite Leave to Remain immigration status would be automatically voided and revoked.

In some situations, refugees who were granted Indefinite Leave to Remain with legal reasons due to safety reasons can have their ILR status revoked from them if the Home Office deem they no longer need to be in the UK to stay safe.

Revocation of Indefinite Leave to Remain can also take place if the Home Office has grounds to believe you acquired your Indefinite Leave through deception, or if they have any other evidence of criminality.

Can my Indefinite Leave to Remain be exempt from expiry?

There are a series of extenuating circumstances that excuse a person from losing their Indefinite Leave to Remain. These include:

  • You are a dependant of a British citizen or a person granted settled status
  • You are the dependant of a HM Armed Forces member that you have accompanied overseas
  • You are a Commonwealth citizen
  • You return to the UK under circumstances that do not require you to have leave to enter

These are the only personal circumstances where you will be exempt from any Indefinite Leave to Remain expiry rules.

My Biometric Residence Permit has an expiry date

If you have been issued a Biometric Residence Permit with your Indefinite Leave to Remain, it should have an expiry date 10 years from the date it was issued to you.

You should apply for a new Biometric Residence Permit if yours has expired. You can submit an application for a replacement up to three months before your current one is due to expire. As part of the process, you will have to pay the BRP application fee and attend an appointment at a visa application centre to have your fingerprints and photograph taken.

If you ever lose your Biometric Residence Permit, you must inform the police immediately and report it as lost or stolen.

How can I prove and check my Indefinite Leave to Remain status?

You may need to have your Indefinite Leave to Remain status checked if you are beginning a new job or perhaps looking to rent or buy property within the United Kingdom.

The best way to prove your Indefinite Leave to Remain is by providing original copies of documentation that shows your valid Indefinite Leave status.

You can use the following documentary evidence:

  • Your Biometric Residence Permit
  • A ‘No Time Limit’ stamp on your passport
  • An official letter or document from the Home Office confirming details of your Indefinite Leave to Remain.

How can Immigration Advice Service help?

Immigration Advice Service has a team of lawyers ready and waiting to offer you expert advice on your immigration matter.

If you need help understanding your ILR status or you wish to apply for British Citizenship after ILR, get in touch with our team today. We are a team of professional and friendly immigration advisers who have the knowledge and expertise to help your case, regardless of your immigration situation.

Whether you need help with re-obtaining ILR status or biometric residence permits, need help obtaining entry clearance into the UK, or simply need peace of mind for a small immigration matter, we can help.

Call 0333 305 9375 for a chat with one of our friendly advisors about the services we offer and what we could do for you. Alternatively, reach out to us on our online contact form.

We can help you if you need assistance with your indefinite leave to remain immigration case.

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