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Can I Apply For ILR After 2.5 Years?

Eligible candidates will be able to apply for ILR through Business or Skilled Work visas, or UK ancestry.

There are other methods of becoming eligible for ILR residency in the UK which is detailed below.

Considering the complexities of applying and processing an ILR case, it is advisable you seek the assistance of an immigration lawyer to guide you through.

Contact out professional Immigration lawyers on 028 4379 8679 for more advice on Indefinite leave to remain, or visit our website to fill in the contact form and speak to one of our friendly team today.

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    Individuals can apply for ILR after a certain residency period in the UK if they obtain one of the following visas and remain in line with their visa obligations.

    The route to settlement can be a tricky and lengthy process, considering a candidate could be nearing the end of a 5 year residency visa with intent to apply for ILR, but then could receive a rejected application and have to start their residency all over again.

    Indefinite Leave to Remain is never guaranteed at the application stage, even if the non-UK citizen applying has been in the UK for over 10 years on a long residence basis.

    Sufficient and correct documents must be provided, and the candidate must have good reasoning to be granted citizenship in the UK.

    ILR applications are done online through the UKVI website. They come in 2 forms, one specific for applying as spouse visa holders or child dependents of someone who is already settled in the UK SET(M), and one for all other applications SET(O).

    You will also need to pass the Life in the UK Test, a 45 minute test with 18 questions. This test requires at least a 75% pass mark to proceed with the application process. If you fail this test, there are no limitations to how many times you can retake it.

    There is an English language knowledge requirement which can be proved either by an English qualification at B1, B2, C1 or C2 level, an English degree, or being a national of a majority English speaking country.

    two people carrying moving boxes

    Direct Routes to ILR

    Examples include Business visas such as:

    Work visas such as:

    Accelerated routes such as the Investor or Entrepreneur visa mean faster ILR qualifying period of 2-3 years, providing the candidate is in line with immigration rules.

    Most Business visas will require the candidate to be continually living and working in the UK for 5 years before they become eligible to apply for settlement.

    Candidates on this route are required to be exceptional in their field and be contributing sufficient funds to the UK economy to be considered for these types of visa.

    It is important to know all possible routes that suit you and your family the best.

    Indirect routes to ILR

    Other possible routes to Indefinite Leave to Remain include:

    Short term work visas such as any T5 visas do not lead to settlement directly, but can provide grounds to switch to a T2 or T1 visa if the candidate is eligible.

    a happy couple

    The requirements for an ILR application process

    • Life in the UK Test
    • English language knowledge & test
    • Continual residency in the UK for a certain amount of time (depending on your visa type)
    • Application fee
    • A valid passport or identity document
    • Relationship evidence of any spouse, civil partnership or child dependents that are also applying for ILR with you, such as a birth or marriage certificate

    two people discuss things - does a traffic offence affect ILR?

    Processing times

    Processing times vary from individual cases, as each persons route to Indefinite Leave to Remain is different and dependant on many factors that need to be taken under consideration.

    Generally, Indefinite Leave to Remain processing times can be anywhere from 8 weeks to 6 months.

    Delays in processing can include not having correct documents in the format UKVI require, insufficient evidence for dependants, insufficient funds, can all lead to longer waiting times.

    This is why it is crucial to ensure your documents and supporting documents are in order and correct before you start applying for ILR.

    Our friendly team of lawyers can assist you with compiling your documents and confirming what you need to continue.

    Priority processing is available at a fee of £800. This fast track service offers a turnaround of 24 hours for high priority cases.

    UKVI has released a list of all of their waiting times for applications on their website.

    When can ILR be revoked?

    Indefinite leave to remain in the UK can be revoked under the following circumstances:

    • The individual is at risk of deportation or administrative removal but cannot be deported
    • The individual has deceptively obtained leave
    • The individual no longer holds refugee status
    • The individual has resided outside the UK for over two years

    Individuals who do not hold leave to remain in the UK may be forcibly removed by immigration officials.

    If an individual who does not hold British citizenship is convicted of a crime in the UK, they can also be forcibly removed and deported from the UK by immigration officials, at the discretion of the Home Secretary.

    This will most likely happen after serving a criminal sentence in a UK prison.


    Appeals are not always guaranteed and can only be made on the grounds of a human rights claim being refused.

    Under the European Convention on Human Rights, you may be eligible to apply to revoke the order providing that you demonstrate you are acting under genuine human rights reasons, for instance family, private life, or seeking asylum.

    Deportation is a serious matter, and means you are legally unable to enter the country for at least 10 years depending on the severity of your case.

    Do you need help applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain? Our lawyers can assist you. Get in touch

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      How can Newcastle Immigration Lawyers help?

      Our specialist team of solicitors are ready to help you with all your immigration-related legal needs.

      If you want to speak to someone, call us on 0330 134 6208 to discuss your query with one of our knowledgeable, excellent and friendly immigration specialists.

      If you wish to naturalise in the UK, our Newcastle immigration lawyers can help.

      In order to become a British citizens, you must hold Indefinite Leave to Remain, Settled Status or permanent residence.

      Provided you’re eligible and are in line with immigration rules we will guide you every step of the way.

      Our list of assistance includes but is not limited to:

      • Provide a Letter of Representation
      • Assist you in completing your application to the best it can be, including fixing errors and proofreading
      • Conduct a thorough document check to make sure everything is included in your application
      • Walk you through eligibility for multiple visas that best suit your needs
      • Help you prepare for both the Life in the UK test and your English language examination
      • Liaise with the Home Office on your behalf throughout the entire process

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