ILR - Indefinite Leave to Remain is how you settle in the UK. It’s also called ‘settlement’. It gives you the right to live, work and study here for as long as you like, and apply for benefits if you’re eligible. You can use it to apply for British citizenship.
There are different ways to apply for indefinite leave to remain based on your circumstances.
If you work in the UK
You may be able to apply if you have a work visa. You must usually have lived and worked in the UK for 5 years. If you have a tier 1 visa, it can be 2 or 3 years. If you have an Innovator or Global Talent visa, it can be 3 years. You may also need to meet the salary or financial requirements - this depends on your visa.
How you apply depends on whether you:
- Have a tier 2, T2, International Sportsperson or Skilled Worker visa
- Have a Global Talent, Tier 1 Entrepreneur or Investor visa
- Have an Innovator visa
- Represent an overseas business
- Have a Turkish Worker or Businessperson visa
- Are a private servant in a diplomatic household with an International Agreement visa, or a domestic worker
If you have family in the UK
You may be able to apply if you have a partner, parent or child or other relative settled in the UK - either as a British citizen or a person with indefinite leave to remain. How you apply depends on which visa you have and how your family member settled.
There are other ways to apply if:
- Your partner has died
- Your relationship ended because of domestic violence
If you’ve lived in the UK for 10 years
You may be able to apply if you’ve been living here for 10 years or more.
There’s a different way to apply if you have a visa that’s on the basis of your private life. Applications open in June 2022.
If you’re a Commonwealth citizen
You can apply if you’ve been living in the UK for 5 years on a UK Ancestry visa. Some Commonwealth citizens have ‘right of abode’ in the UK. This means you can live or work in the UK without immigration restrictions. Check if you can apply to prove you have right of abode in the UK.
You may be eligible for citizenship instead, for example by applying under the Windrush scheme.
Other ways to apply
You may be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain if you:
- Are a refugee or have humanitarian protection or Discretionary Leave
- Are returning to the UK having previously had indefinite leave to remain
- Served in the armed forces