Also called Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), Permanent Residency is an immigration status which allows a foreign individual to live and work in the UK on a permanent basis. The individual will not be subject to any immigration restrictions, and there are no time limits to how long they can stay in the UK.
Having Permanent Residency can lead to British citizenship.
How do you apply for Permanent Residency?
All applications for Permanent Residency are processed by the Home Office.
To apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), you should make an application online, by filling in form SET (O).
You will usually hear back with a decision within 6 months.
Before you apply, you should check whether you are eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).
Who is eligible for Permanent Residency?
You can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) if you:
For example, if you are in the UK on a Skilled Worker Visa, a Global Talent Visa, an Innovator Visa, A Scale-up Worker Visa, or an Investor Visa. Or, you may have a Turkish Worker or Businessperson Visa, or you may represent an overseas business.
You can also apply if you are a private servant in a diplomatic household with an International Agreement visa, or if you are a domestic worker.
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.
You can also apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) if:
You may be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) if you have been living in the UK for 10 years or more.
There’s a different way to apply if you have a visa that is on the basis of your private life.
Applications opened in June 2022.
you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) if you’ve been living in the UK for 5 years on a UK Ancestry visa.
Some Commonwealth citizens have a ‘right of abode’ in the UK. This means you can live or work in the UK without immigration restrictions.
Click here to 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 for Permanent Residency
You may be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) 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
Otherwise, you can get advice about staying in the UK on the Citizens Advice website.
What are the requirements for Permanent Residency?
To apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), you will have to meet the criteria set out by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and submit the relevant paperwork.
To gain Permanent Residency in the UK, you must meet conditions such as:
- Be of ‘good character’.
- Be married to, or in a civil partnership with a British partner (if you have a spouse visa). This relationship must be genuine an subsisting.
- Have lived in the UK for a certain amount of time- your application criteria will state this.
- If you have a family member of a British citizen, then this person must be a lawful resident of the UK who qualifies for the eligibility criteria.
- If you have been living in the UK on a family visa as a partner, you must have been living together with the partner for at least 2 continuous years, or 5 continuous years, depending on which route.
- Meet any English language requirements.
- Meet any financial requirements, to support yourselves and any dependents while you are in the UK.
- Not intend to use public funds (benefits).
- Have passed the Life in the UK test.
- Not fail to disclose any criminal convictions.
- Not have broken any immigration laws.
- Provide proof that you have not spent over 90 days outside of the UK, during the 12 month qualifying period.
What supporting documents do I need to apply for Permanent Residency?
You will be told what supporting documents you need when you fill out the application form.
You will need to submit the following paperwork alongside your application for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR):
- Valid current passport and photographic ID, confirming your identity and nationality.
- Travel ID.
- Biometric information (fingerprints and photos).
- All of the passports you have held during your time in the UK.
- Proof that you can meet any financial requirements (e.g. bank statements).
- Proof of relationship to British partner (e.g. marriage certificate, joint bank statements, photos).
- Proof that you have passed the Life in the UK test.
- Proof of your knowledge of English.
- Certified translation of your supporting documents, if they are not in English or Welsh; these must be signed by a translator, confirming they are genuine, and including the date of translation.
- Proof of your relationship to your children, if applicable (e.g. the child’s birth certificate.)
- Any other documents which UKVI requests.
How much does it cost to apply for Permanent Residency?
To apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), the application fee is £2,404 for each person applying (correct as of December 2022).
You may be able to pay to get a faster decision on your application.
What are the benefits of Permanent Residency in the UK?
Here are the advantages of securing Permanent Residency in the UK through the Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) scheme:
- You can live in the UK permanently.
- It is a stepping stone to gaining British citizenship.
- You can work in the UK, without having to apply for a work permit.
- Your family can join you in the UK- these could be a spouse, children, adult dependents or the parent of a child.
- You and your children can benefit from the world-class education systems in the UK.
- You can access social security benefits such as sick pay, tax benefits for families, basic pension and more.
- If you have Permanent Residency status in the UK, then this will help you if your child applies for British citizenship.
- You can access healthcare in the UK- for example, you can register with a GP.
- Once you are a permanent resident in the UK, you can apply for council housing.
Can my application for Permanent Residency be rejected?
The Home Office can reject your application for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).
Your rejection letter will outline the reason(s) for rejection.
Your application may be unsuccessful if:
- Your application contains errors, or is insufficient, inconsistent, misleading or fraudulent.
- You have spent longer than 6 months outside of the UK during your qualifying period.
- Your supporting documents are insufficient, inconsistent, in the wrong format, or fraudulent.
- You have not passed the Life in the UK Test.
- You have failed to meet the English language requirements.
- You have failed to disclose any criminal convictions.
- You are in breach of any immigration rules.
- There are grounds of ‘public interest’ to refuse your application.
- There are reasons to believe that you or your dependents being in the UK pose a threat to national security.
- There are reasons to believe that you or your dependents being in the UK are non-conducive to public good.
- The Home Office has made a mistake when assessing your application.
Where can I get help on my Permanent Residency application?
The immigration professionals at Synergy Immigration Solutions understand the complexity of the UK’s immigration laws and the issues that can arise during the application process.
That is why we house all the support services you need for immigration applications, under one roof. This means one cost only, for complete support on your visa application.
We enjoy working with individuals who need assistance with their visa applications.
- We will liaise with the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) on your behalf- saving you time, effort, workload, and stress.
- We will answer your questions and address any concerns. We are proud to offer a bespoke personalised service, tailoring our advice to suit your needs and ensure that your application has the best chance of success.
- We process all applications in an efficient and timely manner and keep our clients well-informed throughout the process.
It is vital that the correct supporting documents are in place, to ensure the application is approved.
We would always recommend that you appoint a specialist such as Synergy Immigration Solutions to manage this process for you.
Click here to contact Synergy Immigration Solutions and submit your query.
Alternatively, email email@example.com or call 020 4538 5124.
We will get back to you within 24 hours and we are more than happy to help.
Can you apply for British citizenship after gaining Permanent Residency?
Yes, but you usually have to wait 1 year before you can apply for British citizenship.
You can apply for British citizenship as soon as you get your status if you're married to, or in a civil partnership with, a British citizen.