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What does having indefinite leave to remain mean?

Having Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) status in the UK means you are able to live and work in the country without a time limit restriction on your time or having to apply for a visa extension.

If you are looking to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain status, our highly experienced team of immigration lawyers can provide you with the help and guidance you need.

For more information on how Immigration Advice Service can help you with your Indefinite Leave to Remain application, call our friendly team of advisors today on  0333 305 9375  for further guidance.

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Having Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK

Obtaining ILR status is seen as a key step towards becoming a British citizen and having a British passport for anyone wanting to make the UK their permanent residence.

It is possible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain status after living for five years in the UK. Under UK immigration rules, once you have ILR status you do not need to apply for any visa extensions and you can live or work in the UK indefinitely.

There are also a number of other benefits to having ILR status including being able to access free healthcare or public funds. In addition, it enables you to being family members, such as a dependent child, to live in the UK with you.

Bringing family members to the UK as an ILR holder

With Indefinite Leave to Remain status one of the main advantages is that your family members are able to apply for visas to join you in the UK.

There are a number of family visas available such as the spouse visa or dependant visa that will allow your relatives to come to the UK. However, there are a number of visa restrictions in place so you will need to ensure your family member meets the requirements before making a visa application.

If you wish to bring your partner or spouse then they must meet the following criteria:

  • You must be either in civil partnership or marriage that is recognised in the UK or in a serious relationship in which you have lived together for at least two years, or be planning to get married within 6 months of your partner’s arrival in the UK.
  • You must be both be over 18 years of age
  • Your partner must meet the required English language standards
  • They must be able to support themselves financially while in the UK

If you are planning for your dependent child to live with you in the UK then they will need to demonstrate the following when applying:

  • They must be under 18 years of age
  • They must not be living an independent live and will need to show they will be financially supported during their time in the UK

It is possible for a family member to apply for the Adult Dependent Relative visa and join you in the UK. The eligibility requirements for this UK visa mean you must prove that the care that your relative requires is not available in their home country.

Qualifying for benefits with Indefinite Leave to Remain status

In most cases, overseas nationals living in the UK on most visa categories are unable to access public fund during their time in the UK, which means visa holders are unable to claim benefits.

However, once granted Indefinite Leave to Remain you are able to claim a range of benefits to help support your life in the UK including:

  • Universal Credit
  • Personal Independence Payment
  • Help with housing from the local authority
  • Attendance allowance
  • Carers allowance (previously invalid care allowance)
  • Child benefit
  • Council tax reduction
  • Domestic rate relief (in Northern Ireland)
  • Council tax benefit
  • Disability living allowance
  • Housing benefit
  • Income support
  • Income-based jobseeker’s allowance
  • Income-related employment and support allowance (ESA)
  • Severe disablement allowance
  • Social fund payments
  • Child tax credit
  • Working tax credit
  • State pension credit

Indefinite Leave to Remain status also means you are able to access free healthcare via the NHS and you will no longer be required to pay the annual immigration health surcharge that is necessary for most visa holders.

Do you need help applying for a Skilled Worker Visa? Our lawyers can assist you.

Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) as a route to British citizenship

Being granted ILR allows you to start on the route to British citizenship as it fulfils the continuous residence requirement of UK immigration restrictions.

To qualify for British citizenship you must have spent at least 5 years of continuous residence in the UK, with no longer than 450 days outside the UK, as well as having held Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK for at least 12 months.

As well as holding ILR immigration status you must also meet the following when applying for British citizenship:

  • Have passed the Life in the UK test
  • Demonstrate a knowledge of the English language
  • Not have breached of any UK immigration rules
  • Be able to meet the Good Character requirement

How do I apply for UK Indefinite Leave to Remain?

There are two main forms which are used for Indefinite Leave to Remain applications – Form Set (O) and Form Set (M).

Form Set (M) is the form that needs to be completed when someone applies for ILR as a partner of someone, or parent of a child who is already settled in the UK

For all other ILR applications, Form Set (O) is the form to use. This includes those who have been living under the Investor and Global Talent visas, Long-term Worker visas, Skilled Worker Visas PBS dependants and those on UK Ancestry visas.

With both forms you will need to also provide a range of documentation to support your application for ILR status.

For more information on how Immigration Advice Service can help you with your Indefinite Leave to Remain application, call our friendly team of advisors today on  0333 305 9375  for further guidance.

What is the time and cost of the Indefinite Leave to Remain application?

There is no specific timescale, but a standard Indefinite Leave to Remain application will usually be processed within six months. There are options to reduce this time but this means paying an additional processing cost.

The current fee for an Indefinite Leave to Remain application is £2,389 per applicant.

It also costs £19.20 to register biometric information, which is an essential part of the ILR application process.

If you are applying with your family, your dependents will need to pay the full fee of £2389.

An expedited service is also available if you wish speed up the decision on your application. The priority service processes your application within five working days and costs a further £500, and the super priority service option means your application will be processed within one working day, costing an additional £800.

How can IAS help with your ILR application?

Our team of highly-qualified immigration lawyers can help you with your ILR eligibility and requirements. If you are unsure of whether you meet the ILR requirements, your lawyer will:

  • Assess your circumstances to find out if you meet the requirements for ILR
  • Advise you on the documents you will need to make a successful application
  • Advise you on your next steps if you want to meet the ILR requirements in the future

If you choose to apply for ILR, IAS will:

  • Source, organise and compile all your documents into an evidence portfolio for Home Office officials to consider
  • Write a Letter of Representation to accompany your application
  • 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.

We can help you if you need help with your ILR application.

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