Indefinite Leave to Remain 2020 Guidance

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT INDEFINITE LEAVE TO REMAIN:

Part 1: About Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)
Part 2: Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) Requirements in 2020
Part 3: Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) Refusal Reasons

what is indefinite leave to remain

PART 1

About Indefinite Leave to Remain

 

#1 What is Indefinite Leave to Remain?

Indefinite leave to remain, otherwise known as “Permanent Residence” or “settlement”, is an immigration status granted to people who have shown a commitment to the UK on various temporary visas.

A person who has indefinite leave to remain (ILR) has no time limit on his or her stay and is free to work or study without restriction.

Contrary to popular belief, it is not a permanent status as it can be lost if the holder stays outside the UK for a continuous period of more than two years.


#2 Which Indefinite Leave to Remain form should I use?

Category

Home Office Form

Applying for Indefinite leave to remain (ILR) after 5 years as a spouse, civil partner or unmarried partner SET (M) form – link here
Applying for Indefinite leave to remain (ILR) on the basis of long residence (after 10 years) SET (LR) form – link here
Applying for Indefinite leave to remain (ILR) as a child whose parents are settled SET (F) form – link here
Applying for Indefinite leave to remain (ILR) as a refugee or someone who has been granted humanitarian protection Set (P) form – link here
Applying for Indefinite leave to remain (ILR) as a victim of domestic violence Set (DV) form – link here
Apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain following 5 years of a UK ancestry visa Set (O) form – link here
Apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain as a bereaved partner Set (O) form – link here
Applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) as someone who is approaching 5 years of continuous leave to remain in the UK” in one of the following categories – Set (O) form

·      Work permit holder or dependant

·      Employment not requiring a work permit

·      Businessperson, innovator or investor

·      Highly skilled migrant

·      Self-employed lawyer

·      Writer, composer or artist

·      Tier 1 migrant

·      Tier 2 migrant

·      PBS dependent

Set (O) form – link here

#3 Indefinite Leave to Remain fee – How much does it cost?

The Indefinite Leave to Remain fees and costs in 2020 depends on the category in which you are applying for Indefinite Leave to remain (ILR).

Category

Home Office Form

Applying for Indefinite leave to remain (ILR) after 5 years as a spouse, civil partner or unmarried partner £2389
Applying for Indefinite leave to remain (ILR) on the basis of long residence (after 10 years) £2389
Applying for Indefinite leave to remain (ILR) as a child whose parents are settled £2389
Applying for Indefinite leave to remain (ILR) as a refugee or someone who has been granted humanitarian protection £0
Applying for Indefinite leave to remain (ILR) as a victim of domestic violence £2389
Apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain following 5 years of a UK ancestry visa £2389
Apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain as a bereaved partner £2389
Applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) as someone who is approaching 5 years of continuous leave to remain in the UK” in one of the following categories – Set (O) form

·      Work permit holder or dependant

·      Employment not requiring a work permit

·      Businessperson, innovator or investor

·      Highly skilled migrant

·      Self-employed lawyer

·      Writer, composer or artist

·      Tier 1 migrant

·      Tier 2 migrant

·      PBS dependent

£2389

#4 What is the Indefinite Leave to Remain processing time in 2020?

This can vary greatly from case to case. If you decide to submit a postal application, this usually takes up to 6 months. If you decide to take advantage of the Visa premium service centre, you can often find an appointment within 3 weeks and you will usually hear the Home Office’s decision in the same day. This Visa premium service costs £610 for each person.

Indefinite Leave to Remain Requirements 2019

PART 2

Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) Requirements in 2020

The following are the general Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) requirements in 2020:

  • You must have continually been in the UK for at least 5 years;
  • You must have kept a record of the dates in which you were absent from the UK during the previous 5 years;
  • You must meet the financial requirement if one applies for the particular ILR route being applied for;
  • You must show that you meet the required knowledge of language and life in the UK requirements; and
  • You must also comply with Indefinite Leave to Remain requirements that are specific to certain routes.

#1 Life in the UK Test & Indefinite Leave to Remain – Do I need to do it?

The majority of people applying for Indefinite leave to remain will need to pass the Life in the UK Test.

This is basically a computer based test that tests you on the contents of the book, “Life in the United Kingdom: A guide for new residents (3rd edition)“.

If you are aged 65 or over, or are unable to take the test as a result of a physical or mental disability, you will not be required to take the test.

Other exemptions to the Life in the UK Test

There are also other exemptions, including:

  • Those who apply for indefinite leave to remain as a spouse who has been a victim of domestic violence
  • Those whose spouse have passed away and are applying for indefinite leave to remain
  • Adult dependant relatives indefinite leave to remain applicants
  • Spouses of a foreign and commonwealth citizen on discharge from HM forces



#2 English language requirement for Indefinite Leave to remain in 2020 – what is it?

This depends on your route to Indefinite Leave to Remain.

If you are applying for Indefinite leave to remain under the following categories, you do NOT need to meet the English language requirement:

If you do not belong in one of the above categories, you must either submit evidence that shows:

  • That you satisfy the English language requirement; or
  • That you should be exempt from the English language requirement.

You can generally meet the English language requirement in 5 ways:

1) By passing an English language test in speaking and listening at B1 level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)

The test provider must be one listed as being approved by the Home Office. This list can be found in Appendix O of the Immigration Rules.

To book your test, contact one of the approved test centres, which can be found on this list here.

More information on the Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) English language test in 2020 can be found here.


2) By already having met the B1 English language requirement in a previous UK visa category that has provided you with continuous permission to reside in the UK.


3) By being a national of a Majority English Speaking Country. This list can currently be found in Paragraph 2.2(a)(i) of Appendix KOLL

This lists the following countries as being majority English speaking countries:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • The Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Canada
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Jamaica
  • New Zealand
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago USA.

If you a national from one of the above passports, you do not need to sit the test and simply showing your passport is good enough for the Home Office!


4) By having an academic qualification equivalent to a Bachelor’s degree or higher (not including professional and vocational qualifications) that have been taught in English.


5) By having an academic qualification equivalent to a Bachelor’s degree or higher (not including professional and vocational qualifications) from one of the following countries, which have been listed in paragraph 2.2(a)(iii) of Appendix KOLL:

  • Antigua and Barbuda;
  • Australia;
  • The Bahamas;
  • Barbados;
  • Belize;
  • Dominica; Grenada;
  • Guyana;
  • Ireland;
  • Jamaica;
  • New Zealand;
  • St Kitts and Nevis;
  • St Lucia;
  • St Vincent and
  • The Grenadines;
  • Trinidad and Tobago;
  • the UK;
  • the USA

Who are exempt from the English language requirement?

You are exempt from the English language requirement if you fall into one of the following exemptions:

  • You are under the age of 18 (at the time you make the application); or
  • You are over 65 (at the time you make the application); or
  • You have a physical or mental condition that makes it unreasonable for you to fulfil the standard English language requirements



#2 What is the Indefinite Leave to Remain financial requirement in 2020?

This depends on the particular Indefinite Leave to Remain application you are applying for.

For instance, Indefinite leave to remain as a partner under the 5 year route usually requires you to earn £18,600 (depending on whether there are any dependant children also applying), whilst applying for Indefinite leave to remain as a victim of domestic violence will not have to meet a financial requirement.


#3 What are the Indefinite Leave to Remain documents that I need to submit in 2020?

The different Indefinite Leave to Remain routes will require you to submit different documents.

For more information on this, check out our required documents for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in 2020 (Document checklist) article.

Let’s now look into the more specific requirements that apply to different Indefinite Leave to Remain routes:

5 year partner route

#1 The 5 year partner route

For the most part, the requirements are similar to the FLR M applications you may be familiar with already.

This is discussed in more detail in our settlement after 5 years as a spouse – SET M 2020 Guidance article.

Section R-ILRP of Appendix FM-SE lists the summary of the requirements as:

  • You and your partner must be in the UK;
  • You and your partner must have made a valid application for indefinite leave to remain as a partner;
  • You must not fall for refusal under any of these refusal reasons;
  • You must meet the SET M relationship requirements in 2020
  • You. must meet the SET M financial requirements in 2020; and
  • You must meet the SET M English language requirements in 2020.

In addition to this, you will be required to pay the SET M fees and costs in 2020.


Relationship requirements

In summary:

  • You and your partner must have met in person;
  • The sponsor (UK partner) must be British or alternatively someone who is ‘present & settled‘ in the UK
  • You and your partner cannot be in a relationship that is ‘prohibited
  • You and your partner must be aged 18 or over when you make the Indefinite Leave to Remain application
  • You have to provide evidence to show that your relationship is ‘genuine‘ and ‘subsisting
  • Both you and your partner must have the intention to stay in the UK permanently.

Financial requirements

The SET M financial requirements in 2020 is discussed in more detail here.

If you previously met the financial requirements in your FLR M application and there has been no significant change in circumstances, this should be fairly straightforward for you.

This is because the same financial requirements that you had to meet in the previous FLR M application applies.

In summary:

You must earn higher than the financial threshold that applies to you

In most cases, the required amount will be £18,600.

This figure will be higher if other children are applying at the same time as the main applicant.

Example

Ayesha is applying for Indefinite Leave to remain as a partner. Ayesha and her 14 year old daughter are from Pakistan. Since Ayesha also needs a UK visa, Ayesha will be applying at the same time as the main applicant and therefore the required financial threshold will be higher.

The required financial threshold will be increased by:

  • £3,800 for the first child; and
  • An additional £2,400 for each additional child after this.

In other cases, the required amount of annual income can be lower.

The adequate maintenance requirement

The required amount will be lower if the adequate maintenance test applies

This is the case if the UK partner receives a permitted benefit (commonly Personal Independence Payments, Disability Living Allowance (DLA) & Carer’s allowance), in which case the ‘adequate maintenance’ requirement will apply.


Cash savings

Cash savings can also be used to lower the required amount of gross annual income.

Your sources of income must be a source of income that is allowed by the Home Office

The following are income sources that the Home Office allow when calculating whether you meet the financial requirement:

  • Income from employment (this can be either salaried & non-salaried and can both inside the UK and from employment overseas)
  • Income from self-employment (both inside the UK and from employment overseas)
  • Cash savings of the applicant and/or sponsor
  • Income from a pension
  • Property rental
  • Dividends, stocks and shares
  • Interest from savings
  • Ongoing royalty & insurance payments
  • Ongoing payments from a structured legal settlement
  • Maintenance payments from a former partner

 

Your income must be evidenced in a specific manner 

This is the area that you should pay attention to most, as it is the area where people trip most.

For more information on this, check out our SET M Financial requirements guide for 2020.


English language requirement

B1 Test

If you met the B1 standard in your last partner visa application, then this will be an easy requirement to meet, as you will be able to submit the case English language certificate, as long as the qualification is still approved by the Home Office.

To check whether this is the case, check the official Home Office list here.

More information on the Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) English language test in 2020 can be found here.

Majority English Speaking Country

If you met the English language requirement by being from a Majority English speaking country, as defined by the Home Office, again you just need to submit your passport again to show that you are from that country.

To remind you, here is the current list of the majority English speaking countries:

Antigua and Barbuda Australia The Bahamas Barbados Belize Canada Dominica Grenada Guyana Jamaica New Zealand St Kitts and Nevis St Lucia St Vincent and the Grenadines Trinidad and Tobago USA.

Bachelor’s, Master’s or Phd Degree in the UK

If you met the English language requirement by having a Bachelor’s, Master’s or PhD degree in the UK in the previous partner visa applications, then it would suffice to include the same documentation as before.

UK NARIC

If you met the English language requirement by having an equivalent of a Bachelor’s, Master’s or PhD degree outside the UK in the previous partner visa applications, then it would suffice to submit your decree certificate as well as certification from UK NARIC that the qualification was taught or researched in English and that it is an equivalent.


The Life in the UK Test requirement

Unlike much of the other documents that you will have to prepare, the Life in the UK test one is something that was probably not a requirement for you in a previous application.

The Life in the UK Test is essentially a test about the contents of a book, Life in the United Kingdom: a guide for new residents.

It is generally required in SET M applications, unfortunately.

The good thing, though, is that the test itself is not too difficult as long as you read the book a few times.

ilr-refusal-grant

PART 3

Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) Refusal Reasons

 

There are some situations that WILL result in your ILR application being refused:

#1 You have been told that you are subject of a deportation order.

Although unlikely, this is found at S-ILR 1.2 of the Immigration Rules Appendix FM Family Members.


#2 You have been convicted of an offence and sentenced to imprisonment.

This is discussed in S-ILR.1.3. – S-ILR1.5. of the Immigration Rules Appendix FM Family Members.


#3 You have been convicted of an offence and have received a non-custodial sentence or other out of court disposal.

This is discussed in S-ILR.1.6. of the Immigration Rules Appendix FM Family Members.


#4 Your behaviour has made you undesirable to allow you to remain in the UK.

This is discussed in S-ILR.1.7. & S-ILR.1.8. of the Immigration Rules Appendix FM Family Members.


#5 Your have failed without reasonable excuse to comply with a requirement to attend an interview, provide information, provide physical data, undergo a medical examination or provide a medical report.

This is discussed in S-ILR.1.9. of the Immigration Rules Appendix FM Family Members.


There are also some specified situations that WILL PROBABLY result in your ILR application being refused:

#6 You have provided false information, representation or documents or failed to disclose important facts in relation to an application.

This is the case whether or not you intentionally provided false information, representations or documents.

This is discussed in S-ILR.2.2. of the Immigration Rules Appendix FM Family Members.


#7 You were specifically asked to provide a maintenance and accommodation undertaking and you do not do this.

Are you wondering if this applies to you? You will usually know if this is the case.


If any of the following apply, your ILR application MAY be refused:

#8 You owe the Home Office litigation costs and have failed to pay this. 

This is discussed in S-ILR.4.4. of the Immigration Rules Appendix FM Family Members.


#9 You owe the UK National Health Service (NHS) more than £500.

This is discussed in S-ILR.4.5. of the Immigration Rules Appendix FM Family Members.


Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I find the correct Indefinite Leave to Remain application form in 2020?

The correct Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) application form will depend on the ILR route that you are applying under. You can find this application form link at the top of this article, which will send you to the official Home Office website.

When is the earliest that I can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain?

This will depend on your immigration history and how long you have been in the UK on your current visa for. Whilst the majority of Indefinite Leave to Remain applicants have to wait 5 years (after having been on certain visas), some will require 2, 3 or even 10 years.

Where can I find the requirements relating to Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)?

The requirements are found in the Immigration Rules, which are unfortunately tens of thousands of words long! However, this website will help you identify which requirements apply depending on the ILR route that you are applying under.

How much will it cost to get Indefinite Leave to Remain?

The cost depends on the particular route that you are applying under. This can vary quite considerably. In this article, we identify the most-up-to-date Indefinite Leave to Remain Home Office fees (which is the amount that you have to pay the Home Office in order for them to process the application).

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