Relocating overseas can be difficult, especially when it comes to applying for a visa. It can be difficult to find the right visa, and even harder to ensure that you obtain it. However, if you have moved to the UK, and have been living there for a minimum of 5 years, you can eventually apply for indefinite leave to remain.
With that in mind, here’s everything you need to know about ILR!
What is indefinite leave to remain?
Indefinite leave to remain quite simply refers to the means by which non-EEA citizens (those from outside of the European Economic Area), become settled within the UK. Numerous different kinds of visas lead to earning this status, and the holder can live in the UK free from immigration control and regulations. As a result, it is a great step towards earning full citizenship.
How do I apply for ILR?
You can apply for indefinite leave to remain online, or through a trust immigration lawyer. You can find out quickly if you are eligible on the UK gov website.
What are the requirements I need to meet?
In order to earn your ILR, you will need to provide the following documents:
- Evidence of the time you have spent in the UK. Remember, you have to have been living within the UK for at least five years.
- Your passport information, including previous passports you may have held that were valid during your time in the UK. If you have dual nationality, you will need to provide post passports.
- Information/documentation on any time you’ve spent outside of the UK during your period of residency, such as if you were a student who spent the summer months at home.
- Financial information, such as previous bank statements and wage slips.
- Proof of English language proficiency.
- 2 x Passport photographs with your name written on the back.
What is the Life in the UK test?
In order to obtain your ILR, you will also need to pass an examination known as the Life in the UK test. It is also referred to as a British Citizenship test. Although this may seem daunting, it is rather straightforward. It consists of 24 randomly generated questions about UK history, culture, and customs. However, you have plenty of time to take the test and should ensure that you do not rush.
There are plenty of resources online, including practice tests that can help you gain confidence in your ability to pass the exam.
What do I gain from ILR?
- Once granted ILR, you will no longer face any restrictions on your ability to work and or study within the UK. This means that the fees you often have to pay for studying will be lowered significantly, and you can also work longer hours than you may have previously.
- You can work within any industry or sector you choose.
- You can open your own business or register as self-employed.
- You gain full access to NHS healthcare.
- You can access benefits and financial support.