Settlement or Indefinite leave to remain (ILR) is an immigration status allowing you to stay in the UK without any time limit and work or be self-employed in the UK, study and claim benefits.
People usually get ILR after 5 years of living in the UK, however, in some work routes it’s possible to get Settlement in 3 years and in some cases people are eligible for ILR only after 10 years in the UK and more.
Unfortunately, not all visa categories lead to Settlement, however, it is possible to live in the UK on those routes not leading to Settlement and after 10 years of continuous lawful residence in the UK to apply for ILR based on Long Residence.
There are many different routes to Settlement and requirements for each route are different. Very often requirements for ILR resemble initial or extension requirements of a specific visa.
Generally, for a successful application you must not have excessive absences from the UK during the qualifying period and are required to demonstrate your knowledge of language and life in the UK (the KoLL requirement).
Once you are granted ILR and wish to travel outside the UK you need to make sure that you do not receive assistance from public funds towards the cost of leaving the United Kingdom and you don’t leave the UK for more than 2 years or 5 years if you are EUSS applicant (4 years for Swiss EUSS applicants). If absence happens your ILR will be lapsed and you will need to apply for entry clearance as a returning resident before coming back to the UK.
Children born after you are granted Settlement are usually automatically British at birth.
Once you’ve got Settled status you can apply for British citizenship provided that country of your existing citizenship allows double or multiple citizenship. Unless you are married to a British national, you will need to wait 12 months before applying for a British citizenship.
This is just an overview of rules for Indefinite leave to remain. UK immigration law is complicated and often confusing to those unfamiliar with the rules, regulations and procedures. Alrose Legal Immigration Services is on hand to translate technical issues into plain English and to provide you with superior solutions, whatever your immigration needs. Please feel free to contact our London Immigration lawyer in Chelsea for professional advice.