Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) is an immigration status granted to non-British citizens enabling them to settle in the United Kingdom.

If you are granted ILR this means that there is no time limit on your ability to stay in the United Kingdom – you are free to live and work indefinitely.

Most visa holders may be eligible to apply for ILR after 5 years spent in their visa category.

Once you receive your Indefinite Leave to Remain, you may be able to apply for British citizenship after 12 months of living in the UK.

Requirements for Indefinite Leave to Remain depend on your current immigration category.

However, the below requirements for ILR are common for most of the visa categories:

  • English Language requirement*
  • Life in the UK test*
  • Full schedule of your absences from the UK over the last 5 years (your “qualifying period”). It is important to ensure that your absences do not exceed 180 days in any 12-month rolling period.

* If you are between the age of 18 and 65.


If you have a work visa in the UK, you may also need to meet the additional requirements before you can apply for ILR. 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.


You may be able to apply for ILR if you have a partner, parent or child or other relative settled in the UK 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 have resided in the UK for 10 years legally, you may be able to apply for ILR on the basis of your long residence.

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.


You can apply if you’ve been living in the UK for 5 years on a UK Ancestry visa.


You may be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain if you are returning to the UK having previously had ILR.

Once you have been granted Indefinite Leave to Remain, you will be able to:

  • Work in any business or profession, including self-employment
  • Vote
  • Access to NHS services for free
  • Study in the UK
  • Access public funds

Fairmont Lawyers can help you navigate the individual requirements for your visa category to apply to settle in the UK and provide you with professional legal assistance every step of the way to obtain your Indefinite Leave to Remain visa.


You can leave the UK as often as you like and for any period not exceeding 2 years. If you spend over 2 years outside the UK, you may be able to apply for a returning resident visa. You will need to show that you have ties with the UK and plan to return to live here permanently.

You will be able to bring some family members to join you if they meet the eligibility criteria. Please refer to Family Immigration section of our website for more information or contact us directly to discuss your circumstances.

If you child was born in the UK after you were granted Indefinite Leave to Remain, the child will be British by birth. If your child was born on or after 1 January 1983 and before you were granted Indefinite Leave to Remain, you may be able to apply to register your child as British.

No. Your Indefinite Leave to Remain may be taken away under certain circumstances:

  • If you commit a serious crime and you are deported
  • If you obtained leave by deception
  • If you were granted ILR as a refugee, and cease to be a refugee
  • If you stay outside of the UK for a continuous period of two years and you do not satisfy a returning resident visa.

2,389 The current fees for a BNO visa (from October 2021) are as follows:

  • £180 if you’re applying for 2 years and 6 months
  • £250 if you’re applying for 5 years

If you are applying in the UK, you will also need to pay £19.20 for biometric enrolment. The Immigration Healthcare Surcharge (IHS) is £624 per each year of the visa unless you are exempt. The Home Office reviews its fees and these may be subject to increase in the future.

It takes around 12 weeks to get a decision on an application for BNO visa.

However, some delays may occur depending on your individual circumstances or the Home Office/UKVI.