Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK

Indefinite leave to remain in the UK or ILR is a status that allows individuals to reside in the country indefinitely without restrictions. The team at Kayani Legal, a Firm of Solicitors, has extensive experience in helping clients obtain indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

Kayani Legal has the expertise and knowledge to assess your eligibility and guide you through the process. Our team of solicitors will work closely with you. We want you to know that your application for indefinite leave to remain in the UK application triggers high chances of success. 

Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) UK: Requirements

It would be best if you met and were in compliance with the requirements to be eligible for ILR, including:

  1. Length of Your Residency: It is pivotal that you must have lived in the UK for a minimum of five years. Hence, and for investor visas, this may be reduced to two years.
  2. No Criminal Record: You must not have a criminal record for five years before applying. You must not have breached any immigration laws too.
  3. English Language: You must have a good knowledge of English and prove it by passing the Life in the UK and English language tests.
  4. Financial Requirement: You must be able to support yourself without claiming public funds.
  5. Good Character: You must be of good character and not pose a threat to national security.
  6. Continuous Residency – It Matters: You must not have left the UK for over 180 days. It again must be in any given year during the qualifying period for ILR or indefinite leave to remain. 

Kayani Legal’s expertise in indefinite leave to remain in the UK applications means that we can help you meet all these requirements and provide you with the best possible chance of success.

The Process: Applying for Indefinite Leave To Remain UK

Once you have met the eligibility criteria for ILR in the UK, you can start the application process. The process to lodge an ILR application is straightforward. However, you must execute and provide all the evidence to support your application correctly. 

The foremost during the process is to gather all of the necessary documentation. It includes proof of your identity, residency in the UK and financial support. You will also need to complete the relevant application form. You will have to pay the fee unless exempted. 

It is pivotal that once you have gathered all of the necessary documentation. You can then complete the application form if you like. After that, you will need to submit your application. It may take from six months to twelve months to have the application decided. 

How to Apply for Indefinite Leave To Remain UK

1. Introduction:

Applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK can be a significant milestone in your journey towards permanent residency. To help you navigate the process, Kayani Legal has compiled this step-byPlease follow these instructions carefully to ensure you have a chance of a successful application.

2. Determine Your Eligibility for Indefinite Leave To Remain UK: 

Before you start, ensure you meet the following criteria:

    • You have lived in the UK legally for the required qualifying period, typically five years for most visa categories.
    • You have not breached any immigration rules during your stay.
    • You have sufficient knowledge of the English language and Life in the UK.
    • You can demonstrate your “good character.”

3. Choose the Correct Application Form: 

Select the appropriate application form based on your visa category:

    • SET(M): For spouses or partners of British citizens or individuals with ILR.
    • SET(O): Tier 1 or Tier 2 visa categories are used for most work.
    • SET(LR): Those applying based on long residence, usually after ten years of continuous lawful residence.

4. Complete the Application Form: 

Carefully fill in the relevant form, providing accurate and up-to-date information. Ensure that you:

    • Answer all questions fully and truthfully.
    • Provide your details, immigration history, and employment status.
    • Declare any criminal convictions or issues that might impact your character assessment.

4. Gather Supporting Documents for Indefinite Leave To Remain UK: 

Collect all necessary documents to support your application, including:

    • A valid passport or travel document.
    • Biometric Residence Permit (if applicable).
    • Evidence of meeting the financial requirements (e.g., payslips or bank statements).
    • English language test results and Life in the UK test pass certificate.
    • Any other documents relevant to your visa category (e.g., employment or sponsorship letters).

5. Pay the Application Fee and Health Surcharge: 

Submit the required fees for your application:

    • Application fee: The current price is £2,389 (subject to change).
    • Immigration Health Surcharge: Depending on your circumstances, you may need to pay this fee for access to the NHS.

6. Attend a Biometric Appointment:

After submitting your application, you must book and attend a biometric appointment to provide your fingerprints and photograph. It will be used for your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP).

7. Submit Your Application and Documents: 

Once you have completed the form, paid the fees, and attended your biometric appointment, submit your application and supporting documents. You can do this online or via post, depending on the method specified for your application type.

8. Await the Decision: 

The processing time for ILR applications varies, but you can generally expect a decision within six months. It would help if you did not leave the UK for extended periods during this period, as this may affect your continuous residence requirement.

9. Conclusion: 

Applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain is a complex process, but with careful preparation and attention to detail, you can improve your chances of success. Consider consulting with the experienced solicitors at Kayani Legal for expert assistance with your application. We are here to guide you through each step, ensuring your application is accurate, complete, and compliant with all relevant immigration rules.

Appointment Scheduling & Biometric Data Submission

To apply for ILR, you must book an appointment and submit your biometric data, including fingerprints and a digital photograph. This information is crucial for identity verification and will be stored on a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP). Kayani Legal can guide you through the appointment scheduling process and help you prepare for your biometric data submission.

Application Fees & Processing Times

The application fees for ILR vary depending on your visa type and application method. Standard ILR applications typically cost around £2,389, with additional fees for expedited processing. Processing times range from a few weeks to several months, depending on the complexity of your case.

Document Requirements

A successful ILR application requires a range of documents, including:

  • A valid passport or travel document
  • Evidence of your current visa or leave to remain
  • Proof of continuous residence in the UK
  • Evidence of English language proficiency
  • Life in the UK test pass certificate
  • Financial documentation, such as bank statements and payslips
  • Employment or self-employment evidence

Kayani Legal can assist you in gathering and organizing the necessary documents for your ILR application.

Covering Letter Template

A well-crafted cover letter can strengthen your ILR application by providing context and highlighting key aspects of your case. Kayani Legal can help you draft a compelling cover letter tailored to your circumstances.

Tips for a Successful Application or Appeal

To maximize your chances of a successful ILR application, follow these tips:

  • Provide complete and accurate information in your application.
  • Ensure all documents are up-to-date and well-organized.
  • Demonstrate compliance with UK immigration law and any conditions of your current visa.
  • Seek professional guidance from experienced solicitors like Kayani Legal.

Common Reasons for Refusals

ILR applications may be refused for various reasons, such as:

  • Incomplete or inaccurate information in the application
  • Insufficient evidence of continuous residence in the UK
  • Criminal convictions or immigration-related offences
  • Failure to meet the English language or Life in the UK test requirements

Kayani Legal can help you address these issues and avoid common pitfalls during application.

Visa Extensions and Changes

If your circumstances change or you require additional time to meet ILR eligibility requirements, Kayani Legal can assist you in extending your current visa or switching to a different visa category.

Rights and Restrictions

ILR grants numerous rights, such as unrestricted work and study in the UK, access to public services, and the ability to apply for British citizenship. However, ILR can be revoked if you commit serious crimes, threaten national security, or spend extended periods outside the UK.

Case Laws on Indefinite Leave to Remain UK

R (on the application of Alvi) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2012] UKSC 33

This case established the need for policy rules to be laid before Parliament to be enforceable.

R (on the application of Quila and Bibi) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2011] UKSC 45

The court ruled that the minimum age requirement for spouses was disproportionate and unjustified.

R (on the application of Chen) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2015] EWHC 225

This case clarified the proper approach to applying the ‘good character’ requirement for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) applications.

R (on the application of Iqbal) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2015] EWCA Civ 838

The court ruled that ILR applications could not be refused based on an applicant’s inability to provide evidence of lawful residence.

R (on the application of Rajendran) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2011] EWCA Civ 194

The court held that an applicant’s previous immigration history should be considered when determining ILR eligibility.

R (on the application of MM) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2017] UKSC 10

The court found that the minimum income requirement for ILR applications was lawful but could lead to disproportionate results in some cases.

R (on the application of Chikwamba) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2008] UKHL 40

The court ruled that applicants should not be forced to leave the UK to apply for ILR from abroad in certain circumstances.

R (on the application of Ghulam) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2013] EWCA Civ 1566

The court clarified the importance of considering the best interests of a child when deciding on an ILR application.

R (on the application of Ganesabalan) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018] EWCA Civ 364

The court held that ILR applications should be allowed based on an applicant’s lack of evidence of continuous residence.

R (on the application of ZH) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2011] UKSC 4

The court established that the child’s best interests must be a primary consideration in ILR applications involving children.

R (on the application of Ahmed) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2017] EWCA Civ 99

The court ruled that the language requirement for ILR applications was lawful and proportionate.

R (on the application of Akhtar) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2013] EWHC 1166

The court held that the Secretary of State must consider the facts and circumstances of each ILR application on its merits.

R (on the application of Izuazu) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2013] EWCA Civ 22

The court ruled that an applicant’s private and family life must get considered when considering ILR applications.

R (on the application of Johnson) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2016] UKSC 56

The court held that the ‘good character’ requirement for ILR applications could not be applied retroactively to criminal convictions.

R (on the application of Kaur) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWCA Civ 1101

The court ruled that a genuine marriage, even if entered into for immigration advantage, can still form the basis for an ILR application, provided that the relationship is genuine and subsisting.

Case Studies and Success Stories 


Overcoming Good Character Concerns

Indefinite Leave To Remain UK, UK Indefinite Leave To Remain, Indefinite Leave To Remain In UK Visa, indefinite leave to remain spouseIn one instance, Kayani Legal represented a client seeking Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK. The client had a minor criminal conviction several years prior, which challenged their application due to the “good character” requirement. Our team devised a strategy to present evidence of rehabilitation, including character references and proof of the client’s positive contributions to their community. Kayani Legal secured ILR for the applicant despite the initial concerns surrounding their past behaviour by effectively demonstrating the client’s remorse and commitment to a law-abiding life.

Demonstrating Genuine Spousal Relationships

In another case, Kayani Legal assisted a client in applying for ILR as the spouse of a British citizen. The couple had experienced periods of separation due to work commitments, raising doubts about the genuine nature of their relationship. Our team gathered robust evidence, including shared financial documents, correspondence, and statements from friends and family, to demonstrate the couple’s genuine and enduring relationship. As a result, Kayani Legal successfully secured ILR for the applicant, highlighting the importance of a well-prepared application that addresses potential concerns.

Addressing Continuous Residence Requirements

Kayani Legal represented a client who faced difficulties proving continuous residence in the UK, a crucial criterion for ILR eligibility. The client had experienced several short periods of absence from the UK due to personal circumstances, which cumulatively exceeded the permissible limits for ILR. Our team meticulously analysed the client’s travel history and identified periods that could be exempted from the continuous residence calculation, such as compassionate or compelling reasons for their absence. By presenting a solid case and supporting documentation, Kayani Legal secured ILR for the client, demonstrating the importance of a thorough understanding of immigration rules and their application to individual circumstances.

Meeting the Minimum Income Requirement

In a complex financial case, Kayani Legal represented a client applying for ILR as the spouse of a British citizen. The applicant’s partner needed to meet the minimum income requirement, posing a significant challenge to their ILR application. Our team expertly navigated the financial requirements, utilising the couple’s savings and other permissible sources of income to satisfy the threshold. By presenting a comprehensive financial assessment and tailored evidence, Kayani Legal helped the couple overcome the income hurdle and successfully obtain ILR.

Best Interests of the Child

Kayani Legal worked with a client facing a refusal of their ILR application due to a previous immigration breach. The client had a child who was a British citizen, and our team focused on the child’s best interests as a primary consideration in the case. We presented a compelling argument detailing the potential negative impact on the child’s well-being if the applicant were forced to leave the UK. By highlighting the

importance of the child’s welfare and the applicant’s close family connections, Kayani Legal secured a successful ILR outcome for the client.


What is indefinite leave to remain?

Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) is granted to non-British immigrants. It is for those who want to reside permanently in the United Kingdom. It allows you to have private and Family Life in the UK. Once granted, there will not be any more restrictions. 

How long does Indefinite Leave to Remain last?

Indefinite Leave to Remain does not expire and is considered permanent residency in the UK.

How long does Indefinite Leave to Remain to take the UK?

The processing time for Indefinite Leave to Remain can vary greatly depending on the specifics of each application. It may take between 4 to 6 months to process an ILR application.

What are the new rules for Indefinite Leave to Remain?

The new Immigration rules and the Indefinite Leave to Remain are constantly evolving. Therefore, it’s best practice to check the Home Office website for the most up-to-date information.

Who is eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK?

Non-British citizens may apply for indefinite leave to remain. Hence, there are residency requirements to meet. You have to live and be in compliance with immigration rules for consecutively to five years. The particular criteria depend on the type of visa you currently hold.

Does Indefinite Leave to Remain to make you a citizen?

No – Certainly NOT. Indefinite Leave to Remain does not make one a British citizen. Hence, you may be entitled to apply for naturalisation. Provided you comply with the immigration rules. However, it does make you qualified to live and work in the UK permanently without any restrictions. Further, after holding ILR for 12 months, you may be eligible to apply for British citizenship.

What is the difference between Leave to Remain and Indefinite?

Leave to Remain means permission to live in the UK. Indefinite Leave to Remain is a type of visa that means an unlimited permit without time restrictions. 

What is Indefinite Leave to Remain 2023?

It needs to be determined what changes may occur to Indefinite Leave to Remain in 2023, as this depends on the evolving policies of the UK Home Office.

What is the seven-year rule of UK immigration?

The seven-year rule refers to the requirement that a non-British child born and brought up to 7 may be able to apply for British citizenship. The parents of such a child may be granted leave to remain. Please book a consultation with Kayani Legal. 

Can I travel outside the UK with Indefinite Leave to Remain?

Yes, why not. All individuals with Indefinite Leave to Remain can travel outside the UK. Hence, you must have returned to the UK within two years. There are other restrictions. For example, the UK is still your main home. 

Can you be deported with Indefinite Leave to Remain?

You may be deported if convicted for more than 12 against the custodial sentence. 

Can I travel to Europe with indefinite leave to remain?

Yes, But you’ll need to ensure with the relevant High Commission of the country you intend to travel to. 

Does UK permanent residence expire?

UK permanent residence does not expire. Hence, you ensure you return to the UK within two years, mainly if the UK is no longer your main home. 

What is 180 days rule for ILR?

The 180 days rule details that you must be present in the UK for over 180 days in any given year. It becomes essential if you want to apply for settlement. 

Do I need a visa if I have indefinite leave to remain?

However, you must comply with the immigration rules, precisely the residency requirements. 

Can you get ILR after two years?

No, you cannot obtain indefinite leave to remain after just two years in the UK. The eligibility criteria require a continuous period of 5 years with a valid UK visa unless in the investor category.

Ask a quesiton.

Why Choose Kayani Legal

Expertise in Immigration Law

Kayani Legal boasts a wealth of experience and knowledge in the complex field of UK immigration law, particularly in matters concerning Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). Our legal professionals have a deep understanding of the intricacies of ILR applications and the UK immigration system, ensuring that clients receive the highest level of support and guidance throughout the process. With a proven track record of success in handling ILR cases, including those involving spouses and other family members, Kayani Legal is the ideal choice for individuals seeking UK Indefinite Leave to Remain.

Personalised Approach

At Kayani Legal, we recognise that each client’s circumstances are unique, and we pride ourselves on providing tailored legal solutions to suit individual needs. Our team takes the time to understand your personal situation, goals, and concerns, enabling us to develop a bespoke strategy to achieve the best possible outcome for your ILR application. By prioritising a personalised approach, we ensure that each case receives the attention and care it deserves, resulting in a smoother, more successful application process.

Comprehensive Case Preparation 


Thorough case preparation is critical to the success of any ILR application, and Kayani Legal is committed to leaving no stone unturned. Our team meticulously analyses each aspect of your case, identifying potential challenges and gathering robust evidence to support your application. From addressing continuous residence requirements to providing evidence of genuine relationships, we ensure that your ILR application is presented in the strongest possible light, maximising your chances of a successful outcome.

Skilled Advocacy and Representation

Securing Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK often requires skilled advocacy and representation, particularly in complex or contentious cases. Kayani Legal’s experienced legal professionals excel in presenting persuasive arguments and effectively navigating the UK immigration system. Our team is dedicated to protecting your interests, ensuring that your voice is heard, and your rights are respected throughout the ILR application process. By choosing Kayani Legal, you can trust that your case is in capable hands.

Client-Focused Service

At Kayani Legal, we believe that exceptional client service is the cornerstone of our practice. Our team is committed to providing clear, honest, and timely communication, ensuring that you are always informed and supported throughout the ILR application process. We understand that applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain can be a stressful and emotional experience, and we strive to alleviate these pressures by offering compassionate and empathetic guidance. By prioritising client satisfaction and fostering strong relationships, Kayani Legal has become a trusted partner for individuals seeking Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK.

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