Whether you meet the ILR eligibility requirements can depend on various factors. Most people who apply for ILR need to meet the ‘continuous lawful residence’ requirements before they can make an application for ILR. Continuous residency refers to a period where you live in the UK. The ILR requirements for continuous residency vary depending on which category you are applying from.

If you are applying from a Spouse/Unmarried Partner Visa, Work Visa or UK Ancestry Visa, you must reside in the UK for five years before you can apply. During this time, you must abide by your visa guidelines. You can also only leave the UK for 180 days maximum. If you are in the UK on another visa or entry category, you will meet the ILR requirements after spending 10 continuous years in the UK. This is called ILR through ‘long residence’.

How can IAS help?

Our immigration lawyers can advise you on whether you meet the ILR requirements, or what you need to do to meet them in the future. Contact us now on 0333 363 8577 or make an enquiry online to speak with one of our lawyers.


Is ILR the same as citizenship?

ILR is not the same as citizenship. For most people, it is a step to British citizenship. ILR can lapse if you leave the UK for a certain period, whereas citizenship is a permanent status for life.

As a British citizen, you are not under any restrictions. You can live, work, study, vote and buy assets in the UK.

Can I apply for British citizenship straight after ILR?

The earliest you can apply for British citizenship is 12 months after your ILR is granted. To apply for British citizenship, you need to have

More information on how to apply for British citizenship

Can you lose your ILR?

There are certain circumstances in which you may lose your ILR status. These include:

  • If you leave the UK for a period of two or more year; and
  • If you commit an offence or crime which could lead to you being deported from the UK

What services does IAS offer?

Our team of highly-qualified immigration lawyers can help you with your ILR eligibility queries.

If you are unsure of whether you meet the ILR requirements, your lawyer will:

  • Assess your circumstances to find out if you meet either the five or 10-year ILR route
  • Advising you on the documents you will need to make a successful application
  • Advising you on your next steps if you want to meet the ILR requirements in the future
  • Writing a written document which you can use as guidelines to make your application when you choose

If you choose to proceed with an application for ILR, they will:

  • Source, organise and compile all your documents into an evidence portfolio, making your application navigable for Home Office officials
  • Write a Letter of Representation to accompany your application. This letter pleads your case to UKVI
  • Liaise with the Home Office during your application
  • Help you prepare for the Life in the UK test
  • Complete and submit your full application

Contact us on 0333 363 8577 or make an enquiry online to arrange a meeting with one of our lawyers now.

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Case studies

We are proud to have changed lives for the better. Here are some of their stories:

Frederick: Fiance Visa

Frederick was a Nigerian National who was in the UK on a Visitor’s Visa staying with his Fiancée.
He wanted to apply for a Fiancée Visa but did not understand how… Read More

Linda: Visitor Visa for Fiance

Martin is a UK national who met Linda, his partner, in Nigeria while he was traveling.
The pair quickly hit it off and decided to get engaged.
Linda applied to enter the… Read More

Parents Visiting in the UK

Harriet is dual Canadian-British Citizen who was currently living in the UK. She needed guidance on whether her Canadian Citizen parents would need a visa to enter the UK… Read More

Helen: Long-term Visits to the UK

Helen, a Canadian National, wanted to stay in the UK for six months when visiting her friend in the UK.
She knew the maximum time she was permitted to spend… Read More

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Hector, a Mexican National, was offered employment in the UK. He contacted IAS and spoke with one of our lawyers via Skype. Hector was told that he could not stay… Read More

Samy: Tier 4 Student Visa

Samy from the Democratic Republic of Congo was accepted into a UK University. However, he had a wife and two daughters and was unsure about leaving his family behind so… Read More

Latest reviews

The help given was helpful, and the session was very well conducted. I advise people to think of all the… Read More
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All information on this page has been reviewed by an OISC accredited immigration adviser and was

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