Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) is also commonly referred to as 'Permanent Residence'. Visa categories that can lead to Indefinite Leave to Remain include:

  • Spouse visa / Unmarried partner visa (after 2 years for visas issued prior to 9 July 2012)
  • Tier 1 visa / UK work permit (after 5 years)
  • UK ancestry visa (after 5 years)
  • EU nationals and dependants (after 5 years)
  • Long residence (after 10 years legal residency in the UK).

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Duration of Indefinite Leave to Remain

There is no time limit on Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK, however it is important to note that you should not spend periods of more than two years outside the UK as this may lead to the loss of ILR.

Once you have been granted Indefinite Leave to Remain you may also be eligible to apply for British Naturalisation as a UK citizen.

Loss of Indefinite Leave to Remain

There are a number of circumstances that may cause you to lose your Indefinite Leave To Remain status. For example, if you leave the UK and upon return are granted leave to enter the UK other than for an indefinite period. This may occur because you mistakenly seek to enter as a visitor, or the immigration officer believes that you do not intend to reside in the UK.

Indefinite Leave To Remain may also be revoked if you commit an offence that could lead to you being deported from the UK, or for reasons of national security.

You may also lose ILR status by leaving the UK for a period of more than two years, however in some circumstances you may be able to reapply.

Please note that British Overseas citizens, British subjects and British protected persons do not lose their Indefinite Leave To Remain status no matter how long they stay outside the UK.

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