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Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) is a form of settlement available to non-EEA citizens. Indefinite Leave to Remain enables a person to live in the UK without any restrictions and is the first step towards naturalisation and full citizenship.

Typically, you need to have spent at least five years in the UK before you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain, however in certain circumstances you can apply after three years of residence in the UK.


The specific requirements differ depending on the particular circumstances of the applicant, including the type of visa they hold. The most basic requirement for ILR is to have been lawfully living in the UK for a certain period of time. However, there are other requirements which must be fulfilled too.

The general requirements are:

  • Lawful living in the UK for a certain period of time
  • No breach of immigration laws during your stay in the UK and no criminal record
  • A period of time spent outside the UK which doesn’t exceed 180 days in a 12-month period during the qualifying period
  • Passing the Life in the UK test, which is a test based on British culture, history and traditions
  • Ability to prove that you meet the B1 level of English as set out by the Common European Framework of Languages

Required Documents:

You will need to provide the following documents:

  • Passport and travel documents, including any old passport which was valid during your time in the UK
  • Birth or adoption certificates
  • Documents which account for any time spent outside of the UK during your residency, for example travel documents
  • A police registration certificate
  • A history of your immigration
  • Financial information, such as bank statements
  • Pass certificate of Life in the UK test
  • Pass certificate (if not exempt) to prove B1 level of English
  • Two identical passport-sized photographs

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