Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), also known as Permanent Residence, grants the right to live and work in the UK free of immigration restrictions. Qualification criteria for ILR vary depending on the type of visa status you have held in the UK.

Minimum Period of Continuous stay in the UK
The following table provides a guide to the minimum period of stay within the UK that you must complete in order to qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain. You can combine different visa types. As an example, you could have entered the UK with a Tier 2 Work Permit and then switched to a Tier 1 General Visa. Both of these periods would count towards the qualifying period.

Status ( Type of Visa currently ) Qualifying period

  • Ancestry 5 years
  • Tier 1 / HSMP 5 years
  • Tier 2 / Work permit 5 years
  • Investors 5 years
  • Writers, composers and artists 5 years
  • Sole representatives 5 years
  • To establish in business 5 years
  • Unmarried partners 5 years
  • Marriage 5 years
  • Illegal stay on any basis 20 years (14 Years applies in some circumstances)
  • legal stay on any basis 10 years
  • Indefinite Leave to Remain removes any immigration based restrictions in the UK.


During the qualifying period you should generally aim to not be outside the UK for more than 90 days during any 12-month period. There are exceptions to this general rule and these exceptions can relate to time outside the UK that is directly related to your UK employment. Some specific situations and visa types will allow for longer periods outside the UK.

If your application is urgent and you will be applying in the UK then we can offer Same Day Visa Processing. Contact us for further information.

Economic Activity

In addition to the above requirements, there are further requirements that will depend on the visa status that you hold at the time of applying for ILR.

Those holding Tier 1 General visa status will be required to demonstrate that they meet a points threshold that is similar to the extension requirements for their visa.

Those holding Tier 2 Visa status (work permits) will be required to demonstrate that they have earned no less than the level of salary that was stated on their most recent Tier 2 Visa application.

Other Requirements

All applicants, other than those covered by the HSMP Judicial Review, will also have to pass the Knowledge of Life in the UK Test. In addition you will have to be free of any unspent convictions under the Criminality section.

After one year of Permanent Residence you can apply for British Citizenship.

Indefinite Leave to Remain Applications

Applications for ILR made by post can take up to 6 months to be decided and you will be without your passport for this time. If your case is urgent or you simply do not wish to be without your passport for this length of time then you can book an appointment


How Takeoff Immigration and Visa can help you:

We look at all of the relevant information surrounding your case, putting all the pieces together. Every case has its own merits, therefore, it is of the utmost importance that they analyse and assess your individual circumstances before they take your case forward. Only then, will they fully inform you on what they will do next and you are allocated a Senior Legal Caseworker.

The collation of documents is the back bone of your case, as it helps to strengthen and validate your UK Visa application. Our  Senior Caseworker will give you unrestricted access to a unique Case Management System, so you can raise any concerns you may have. It will also allow you to send important documents from the comfort of your home or office, 24 hours a day. No need for appointments.

Once the documents have been collated, the Senior Caseworker will then apply legal representation, applying the latest immigration rules to your application. This alone could be the difference in your application being rejected or granted. It's in these very important legal representations that our Barristers will use the expertise that they have honed, through submitting thousands of successful UK Visa applications, in presenting your case.

The Home Office makes their decisions based on the documents and legal representations that are presented to them. In most instances they don't get to meet you in person, hence the importance that the documents that our Senior Case Worker submit to them, contain relevant facts about your case that are further validated and strengthened by applying current UK Immigration Law.

It does not stop there. Once your application is submitted, our Senior Caseworker  will closely monitor the progress of your application with the deliberating body until a decision has been reached. They will then notify you of the outcome, so you are up-to-date on any information regarding your UK Visa application.


Contact a member of our Team  0203 283 8742  or via the form below.

Indefinite Leave to remain