10-year Long Residence ILR

The Long Residence route to settlement is for foreign nationals who have been continuously and lawfully living in the UK for at least 10 years regardless of the type of visa they held.

Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), also sometimes called “settlement” or “permanent residence”, allows you to live, study and work in the UK without restrictions on the length of stay, have access to public funds (benefits) and free National Health Service (NHS). This is usually the last step to undertake for non-UK citizens before they qualify for British Citizenship.

ILR does not expire and is valid without any time restrictions. However, your settlement may lapse, if certain conditions are not met. For instance, if you spend two or more outside the UK, your ILR may be revoked as this suggests that you have established your main residence elsewhere. ILR can also be revoked for other reasons, such as committing a criminal offence, or can be invalidated following deportation from the UK.

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What are the requirements for a Long Residence ILR application?

To ensure the successful outcome of your application, you must have:  

  • valid permission to stay in the UK legally in any immigration category (or a combination of different categories)
  • a continuous residency period of 10 years, without gaps (max. of 180 days at a time and no more than 540 days in total)
  • you have passed the Life in the UK test, unless exempt
  • you have passed the English Language test, unless exempt
  • you have not previously breached any immigration rules (e.g., overstayed in the UK, removed or deported from the UK)
  • there must not be any grounds for refusing your application, (e.g., criminal conviction or direction to be detained)

How can I apply? How long does it take to get a decision?

You will be required to submit an online application, pay the fees, upload the scanned documents and other supporting evidence online, arrange an appointment to provide your biometric information, such as digital photos and fingerprints, and attend an interview if required.  If you have any dependant, they will be able to apply at the same time.

You should get a decision on your visa within 6 months once you apply online, although the actual times vary depending on the complexity of your application, and we advise you to check any updates on current visa processing times.

Priority service is currently available for ILR applications and you may be able to get your visa within 5 working days. If you are eligible for a Super-priority service, you can apply and get a decision within 24 hours.

What can I do if my ILR application has been refused?

If your application for ILR has been refused, you may have a right to appeal to the First Tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) as a long residence application is considered to be a human rights claim. If your appeal has been refused, you might be able pursue it further via Judicial Review (to challenge the lawfulness of the decision) or via Administrative Review (if a mistake was made by the decision maker when issuing your visa refusal).  

You will also have an option to make a new visa application if this is the most advisable course of action. If you decide to reapply, you shall address in the new visa application all reasons for your refusal, providing all missing information and relevant supporting evidence.