Introduction to ILR

There are certain different ways through which immigrants may be allowed to attain citizenship of the concerned state and get benefited from every elemental right and opportunities granted to every citizen of the country. One of the most legitimate way for getting settled in a foreign country refers to the acquiring of ILR (Indefinite leave to remain) status. Getting settled in the UK has been the ideal prospect for a considerable majority of the people for the sake of enhancing the quality of their life style. Having achieved the indefinite leave to remain status in the UK, one can move across the UK boundaries without any restrictions implied on the UK immigrants by the immigration policies. ILR status is mainly crucial for the non-EU immigrants who tend to get settled in the UK via applying for the UK citizenship.

The differentiating factor between “ILR” and “Permanent Residence”:

Although both the terms of ‘Indefinite leave to remain’ and ‘Permanent residence’ serve the same purpose on the legal level as both the statuses permit a UK immigrant to freely live and move across the UK while being facilitated from the rudimentary protocol conferred to every UK citizen. However, the key distinguishing factor states that the EU nationals are needed to apply for the UK citizenship via ‘permanent residence’ whereas the indefinite leave to remain is intended for mainly the non-EU nationals.

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    Benefits that come along with ILR:

    There are certain beneficial factors that are imparted to the UK immigrants after getting settled in the UK including the following:

    • There is no need to extend one’s immigration status by paying after acquiring indefinite leave to remain.
    • The non-EU nationals apply for the UK citizenship primarily via the ILR status.
    • The attainment of the status of indefinite leave to remain vanishes off all the restrictions for the UK immigrants regarding the employability majorly including the kind of employability, hours defined for job, reporting to the UK government department in case of switching the jobs.
    • They are free to continue working on the legal terms either via employability or even self-employability and business development in any field having the ILR status.
    • However, working or residing in the Channel Islands or Isle of Man demands the consultation with their relevant immigration agencies. If you are thinking of going to live or work on the Isle of Man or Channel Islands, you should consult the immigration authorities of those islands first.
    • Expenses of educational institutes will be abated when the student’s status converts from being international to a “home student”, thereby, allows them to become certainly eligible for attaining higher education in the UK by paying home tuition fees or through applying for student financial aid. However, the eligibility requires for the student to be a habitual resident of the UK with only temporary absences (ordinarily resident) for 3 years minimally prior to joining the academic course.
    • The status of ILR also allows the UK immigrants retaining it to be able to vote in local as well as national elections. In case of an eligible Commonwealth citizen, he may also make his vote count in the UK referenda.
    • The ordinarily UK residents possessing the status of indefinite leave to remain are also easily accessible to the healthcare facilities that are freely available to the UK citizens.
    • Once a person has achieved the ILR status, he becomes eligible to get benefited from the public funds as well as the allowances provided to those who are still in process of job finding in order to support them for provision of basic needs in addition to having achieved permanent residency in the UK just like any other native UK citizen.
    • The UK immigrants are bound to be accountable before the police for any amendments in their condition or way of living in the UK. Whereas after attaining the status of the indefinite leave to remain, there is no such liability remaining having their certificate of police registration being stamped in order to testify the ILR status.
    • After the status of indefinite leave to remain has been conferred to a UK immigrant, even his family members are eligible to join him in the UK varyingly depending on which category of the family members they belong to, thereby, may proceed accordingly via the family visa category intended for the UK immigrants.


    Eligibility for ILR status:

    Depending on the residency period in the UK with different categories of the visa, the UK immigrant may be eligible to apply for attaining the ILR status. Different means of becoming qualified for the indefinite leave to remain status include 2-years, 5-years and 10-years packages under certainly varying but legitimate circumstances of the applicant. However, in case of having experienced both legal and illegal permanent residency in the UK, the applicant might need 20-30 years of residency in the UK in order to qualify for the ‘Indefinite leave to remain’ status.

    For 5-years route plan, the possible categories include qualifying tier-1 and tier-2 categories as well as UK ancestry. Whereas, tier-1 entrepreneurship and investor visas require 2-3 years of permanent residency in the UK and highly skilled visa category needs 5-years of habitually permanent residency in the UK. Moreover, 10-years span of time requirement falls into the category of long residence ILR. Usually, processing period for the ILR application may exceed up to 6 months variably. While it may take less time in accordance with the priority services provided.

    Documentation of the Indefinite Leave to Remain:

    Biometric Residence Permit (BRP):

    In order to prove the attainment of the ILR status or the status of being settled in the UK, one’s ‘Biometric Residence Permit’ will present with one of the following:

    • Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)
    • Indefinite Leave to Enter (ILE)
    • No Time Limit (NTL)

    One has to apply for the BRP again after it gets expired after a time period of 10 years usually via the BRP replacement service. In case of losing the BRP, one has to immediately report to the Home office and follow the required process. It is the most clearly certifying document for the sake of getting facilitated from all the beneficial protocols given to the UK citizens including free movement across the UK boundary being encrypted with more improved security rather than other documentary proofs like stamped passports. It also corroborates one’s privilege to work freely in the UK since it is crucial under the Immigration Act 2016 (section 25) for the employers to verify the right of their employees to work.

    Other verifying documents also include one’s passport with the stamp of the ILR, ILE or NTL.  The ILR endorsement may also validate the permit of staying of the concerned person in the UK for the indefinite period of time. Moreover, a letter from the Home office indicating the consent for the stay of the concerned person in the UK with no time limit may also justify one’s status of indefinite leave to remain in the UK for a UK immigrant to have permanent residency in the UK.

    ILR on the basis of ‘Long Residence’:

    The 10-years period of residency in the UK in utterly legitimate way makes a UK immigrant eligible for applying for the indefinite leave to remain on the basis of ‘Long Residence’. However, within that particular time period, the absence of more than 540 days in total or of 6 months at once becomes a major hurdle in the consent required to be given by the Home Office unless quite crucial logistics behind the absences have been provided. Moreover, ‘Life in the UK’ test along with ‘English knowledge’ test is extremely fundamental for the sake of attaining the indefinite leave to remain status, hence, making the UK immigrant successful in attaining permanent residency in the UK.

    Dismissal of ILR status:

    One’s ILR status would be subjected to dismissal or get declined if the concerned person stays outside the UK, Crown dependencies (Jersey, Isle of Man and Guernsey) and Ireland for more than 2 years. Subsequently, if one still wishes to return to the UK with the purpose of settlement, he may apply for the UK returning residents visa for the sake of entry clearance. In addition, the ILR status is cancelled in case of deporting on certain basis or if one has achieved the ILR status with deceit. Another case of invalidation of the ILR status is that in case of the indefinite leave to remain was given on the grounds of the refugee status of a person, but he does not belong to the category of a refugee any more.


    What is meant by ILR status?

    It is abbreviated as ‘Indefinite Leave to Remain’ implying the meaning of having permission for a UK immigrant to permanently reside in the UK after being eligible for it by fulfilling certainly specified time period as well as other basic requirements.

    Is there any difference between permanent residence and ILR?

    Yes, there is a certain difference between ILR and permanent residence for ILR is the status intended for the non-EEA nationals who want to be permanently settled in the UK whereas the EEA nationals need to apply for the permanent residence in order to get settled in the UK.

    What are the criteria specified for ILR?

    For having achieved an ILR status, the applicant must fulfil specified time period of ordinarily permanent residency in the UK depending on the various categories of visa routes. Along with other basic documentary requirements, the ‘Life in the UK’ test and ‘English knowledge’ test are also mandatory.

    Can my ILR status become invalidated?

    Yes, your ILR status may become invalidated if you stay outside the UK, Ireland and other Crown dependencies for more than 2 years without any critically significant reasons. ILR status also becomes dismissed in case you have been deported, refugee status has changed if on which basis you had achieved ILR status, or had acquired the ILR on the grounds of illegal ways.