Indefinite leave to remain

Indefinite leave to remain is the final step before naturalising as a British citizen and getting your UK passport. This permanent residency status allows you live and work in the UK indefinitely and leave and enter the country without restrictions.

Indefinite leave to remain

United kingdom big ben and bus

Live and work in the UK for an indefinite period

Indefinite leave to remain (ILR) status allows you to stay in the UK for an indefinite period. To be eligible, you must show that you intend to stay and settle in the UK.

You may apply for ILR if one of the following circumstances apply to you:

In addition, you must also:

Tier 2 visa holders must earn at least £35,800 per year when they apply for the ILR.

The continuous residence requirement

In the last five years, you must not have spent more than 180 days outside the UK in any 12-month period.

British citizenship

Once you’ve held ILR for 12 months, you may be eligible for British citizenship through naturalisation. If you are married to a British citizen you do not have to wait for 1 year to apply. 

You can read more about the difference between citizenship and indefinite leave to remain. 

Can you lose your ILR status?

Your ILR status can be revoked if you leave the UK for a period of two continuous years or more. You will then have to apply for a returning resident visa and will need to prove that you are planning on moving to the UK on a permanent basis.