Immigration Office:
5th Floor, Maddox House, 1 Maddox Street, Mayfair, London, W1S 2PZ


Indefinite leave to remain (ILR) is the process by which migrants become free of immigration control. It is also known as ‘settlement’ and other countries can often describe the status as ‘permanent residence’. This status is especially prized as it will almost certainly lead to a valid application for UK nationality a year after the indefinite leave is granted. The methods of getting indefinite leave to remain will depend on the visa that the applicant is on immediately before applying for indefinite leave. Applicants all need to prove both that they continue to qualify for the visa that they are on, but also additional residency requirements for indefinite leave to remain. UK foreign nationals who wish to apply for indefinite leave to remain should seek expert legal consultation.

Immigration categories that allow for applications for indefinite leave to remain in the UK include but are not limited to:

  • Marriage;
  • Unmarried partners;
  • Civil partnership;
  • EEA nationals and their dependents;
  • Tier 2 general workers;
  • Ancestry;
  • Representative of an overseas business;
  • Long residency (usually 10 years in the UK).

Certain applications for UK indefinite leave to Remain can be made using the Premium Service. Westkin lawyers can give advice on this.


Once granted indefinite leave to remain, an individual has no restrictions on his work or business. He also has no time limit that he has to spend inside the UK. This status can also be held with other nationalities, even if those other nationalities do not allow for this citizenship.

It is also rare to have indefinite leave to remain in UK invoked for any reason, although this is done occasionally when there is fraud in an individuals’ immigration history. It should also be noted that the returning resident rule does allow for the immigration authorities to refuse entry to those holding ILR if they have been outside the UK for more than 2 years. It should be noted that if an individual has more than 2 years outside the UK but has kept his estate and family here, he is likely to have a strong challenge against any refusal of entry.

Westkin has a great deal of experience in applying for ILR. Where individuals may not entirely qualify to the rules, under the use of discretion, indefinite leave can still be applied for. Where the applicant can apply on the same day service, also known as the Premium Service inside the UK, Westkin can assist by booking the appointment, preparing the application and attending with the individual applicant where needed. Indefinite leave applications can be complex, please contact us directly to meet your requirements.


An individual who has been residing in the United Kingdom for more than 20 years, may be considered under the 20 year Long Residence visa if they meet the following indefinite leave to remain requirements:

  • have lived continuously in the UK for at least 20 years (excluding any period of imprisonment)
  • are under the age of 18 years and has lived continuously in the UK for at least seven years (excluding any period of imprisonment)
  • are aged 18 years or above and under 25 years and has spent at least half of their life residing continuously in the UK (excluding any period of imprisonment)
  • are aged 18 years and above, has lived continuously in the UK for less than 20 years (excluding any period of imprisonment) but has no ties (including social, cultural or family) with the country to which they would have to go if required to leave the UK.

To determine if an applicant still retains social, cultural, or familial ties with the country they would be returned to, factors such as language, cultural background, length of time spent in the country of origin, and family friends and social network are considered.

If an applicant is accepted for the 20 year Long Residence visa, the visa holder will need to spend 5 years on this visa, after which time they may be eligible to apply for permanent leave to remain in the UK.

To learn more about your eligibility for indefinite leave to remain call 0207 118 7868 or email

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