Immigration Sector

Settlement & Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)

After you have lived in the UK for a certain period of time, you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK. The time in which you can qualify to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) depends on the type of visa you were initially assigned.

You must meet with the eligibility requirements listed below in order to qualify for this visa, please contact us for an initial assessment to determine your eligibility, and to discuss the options available to you.

The following are examples of how many years you must have spent in the UK on the different types of visas before you can apply for settlement or Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK:

  • Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa from 3-5 years depending on the level of investment made in the UK;
  • Tier 1 Investor visa from 2-5 years depending on the level of investment made in the UK;
  • Tier 1 General after 5 years;
  • Work permit, HSMP, Tier 2 General after 5 years;
  • Artists, composers, Writers, Sole Representative of an Overseas Company, Business Person, Retired person of independent means- 5 years;
  • UK Spouse visa or unmarried partner of a UK national or a person settled in the UK, Marriage to a UK national or a person settled in the UK- 2 -5 years depending on when the visa was issued;
  • EEA Family permits, 5 years; or
  • Any combination of lawful residency – 10 years.

Qualifying For Settlement

In order to qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain the applicant will have to meet with the following criteria;

  • The applicant must continue to meet with the legal requirements of his or her existing visa;
  • The applicant must not fall for refusal under the general grounds for refusal, and must not be an illegal entrant;
  • The applicant must have spent the majority of his or her time in the UK;
  • The applicant must pass the Life in the UK test; and
  • The applicant must not have overstayed in the UK by more than 28 days on his or her existing visa.


Key Requirements to Settle in the UK

Applicant must have continuous residence in the UK. This means residence for an unbroken period of time, this generally means the applicant was not absent for more than a 6 months period at one time. A broken period occurs in the following circumstances;

  • has been deported or removed, or has left the UK having leave to enter or remain refused
  • has left the UK with the purpose of not returning to the UK
  • has been convicted of an offence and was sentenced to a period of detention
  • has spent more than 18 months away from the UK

Main Contacts

Martha Mpangile


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