If you are an asylum seeker or a refugee – or if someone you love is – you might have heard the term ‘Indefinite Leave to Remain’. You might be wondering what that is and how it works, or how a person manages to get it.
In these trying times, more people than ever want indefinite leave to remain in the UK and are trying to get just that.
But what is an Indefinite Leave to Remain? Who is entitled to it and how do they get it? In this article, we’ll talk you through everything you need to know.
What is Indefinite Leave to Remain?
Indefinite Leave to Remain is a form of settlement available to overseas nationals.
To qualify, you probably should have been in the UK for five years or more, unless there are certain circumstances that mean you can apply after three. Sometimes you can even apply after two.
There are several types of immigration visa that can lead on to an Indefinite Leave to Remain status including Spouse Visas, Innovator Visas and Skilled Worker Visas.
If you have an Indefinite Leave to Remain enables a person to live in the UK without any restrictions. It should be noted that it does not mean you have naturalisation or full citizenship.
What happens if I get Indefinite Leave to Remain?
If you get Indefinite Leave to Remain it might also be referred to as ‘settlement’. It gives you the right to live, work and study here for as long as you like. You can also apply for benefits if you are eligible to do so, and you can use your Indefinite Leave to Remain to apply for British citizenship.
How do I apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain?
There are several ways to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain and how you do it will depend on your circumstances.
You should note that it is extremely difficult to qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain.
Whether or not you qualify depends on what visa you have been on and how long you have been in the UK.
The process is further complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which means lots of people are seeing delays in their application processing time.
If you have a tier 2, T2, International Sportsperson or Skilled Worker visa, it will cost you £2,389 to apply for an Indefinite Leave to Remain, plus an additional fee for every person on your application form. If you are aged 18 – 64, you will need to pass the Life in the UK test and meet English language requirements. You’ll have to have been here five years and meet the salary requirements. You can apply here.
If you have a Global Talent, Tier 1 Investor or Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa, you need to have been living in the UK for two to five years and not been outside of the UK for more than 180 days in any twelve month period. You must meet knowledge of life and language in the UK requirements. You can find out more here.
If you have an Innovator visa, you cannot apply for this status until March 2022 at the earliest. There is more information here.
If you represent an overseas business, you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain if:
- You’ve been living and working in the UK for 5 years and spent no more than 180 days outside of the UK in any 12 months,
- You provide proof your employer still needs you to do your job,
- You provide proof that you have established a UK registered branch that is actively trading.
- You pass the Life in the UK test and meet English language requirements (if you are ages 18 to 64).
If you are here on a Turkish Worker or Businessperson visa, you can find more information on how to apply for an Indefinite Leave to Remain visa here.
If you or your family member are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, you may be able to apply for settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme instead.
You can also apply for Indefinite Leave to remain if;
- you have family in the UK,
- you have lived here for ten years,
- you’re a Commonwealth citizen,
- you are a refugee, have humanitarian protection or Discretionary Leave,
- you are returning to the UK having previously had an Indefinite Leave to Remain,
- you served in the armed forces.
If you need help and advice around applying for an Indefinite Leave to Remain, our dedicated team would love to help you.
Call 0161 491 3933 or email email@example.com.