Indefinite Leave to Remain

A person can qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK in a variety of ways. Applying for Indefinite leave to remain can be confusing if you do not know which route to use.


You first need to identify how you qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain and then you can look at the criteria to determine if you qualify for it or not. The application for Indefinite Leave to Remain is expensive, so we always advise that you should only apply when you are sure you qualify and have all the correct documents to do so.


We understand how worrying it can be for people applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain. If you provide incorrect information your application for Indefinite Leave to Remain can be rejected and moreover, you can be accused of providing false information, even if it is by mistake. This can have serious repercussions, which is it is important for you to always make sure you have the correct information and documents to provide for your application for Indefinite Leave to Remain.


We provide our clients with peace of mind when they apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain. You will receive an exceptional service and your case will be handled by an experienced consultant. Our lead lawyer has his own Immigration law show that features on a Sky channel. He has also been invited on several radio and other TV shows to provide advice live on air.


Live TV show on Immigration Law

It's a lawyers job to elicit all the relevant information from you before applying on your behalf for Indefinite Leave to Remain. Here at Atwal Law we make sure your application is filled in correctly and has all the relevant documents included. We will only apply for your Indefinite Leave to Remain, once we are sure that we have everything that is needed. If you require help with your Indefinite Leave to Remain application then please contact us. We have offices in Birmingham, Coventry, West London and Central London. We are a leading Immigration firm and have successfully applied for many Indefinite Leave to Remain applications on behalf of our clients. Please call 0121 448 3996 for further information.

A Guide For Our Clients 

Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK: A Guide


The Indefinite leave to remain application can cause confusion for many. Depending on how you qualify, the rules can be different. Indefinite leave to remain does as it says and allows you to remain in the U.K indefinitely. However, there are certain limits and rules to this.

After obtaining Indefinite leave you are able to apply British Citizenship, usually after one year. There are some key differences between the two and we will explore some of those differences later.

The Indefinite leave to remain application confuses clients in different aspects, including the qualification criteria, maintenance, financial requirement etc. We will be tackling some of those issues here. We will also offer some suggestions and a guide on how to apply for Indefinite leave to remain.

The Difference Between British Citizenship and Indefinite Leave to Remain:

Although Indefinite leave to remain is just a step away from British citizenship, most people tend to think that it is British Citizenship itself. However, there are some major differences between the two they must not be overlooked. Unlike British Citizenship, Indefinite leave to remain does not grant you the full rights of a United Kingdom citizen, or entitle you to a British passport. Moreover, Indefinite leave to remain actually comes as a prerequisite to British citizenship because, in order to acquire British Citizenship, in most cases you must have held your Indefinite leave to remain status for a year at least.

Another significant difference between British citizenship and Indefinite leave to remain is that British Citizenship has lifelong longevity whereas your
Indefinite leave to remain  can be revoked if you failed to meet any of the conditions such as staying away from UK for more than the limited time period.

Acquiring the British citizenship confers all the benefits of EU citizenship, enabling you to live, work, retire or travel anywhere within Europe. However, obviously this is likely to change due to Brexit and we will update you when this happens.

The Process

The first step to obtaining a British nationality is to apply for naturalisation. This can usually be done after having Indefinite leave to remain for one year. The process of a citizenship application takes around 6 months. Usually, within 3 months of the application getting approval, you must have attended a citizenship ceremony. Further, the standard UK passport takes around 6 weeks to be issued. So, after the naturalisation application process is over, you will need to attend a British citizenship ceremony, then you must allow approximately 6 weeks for your passport to be issued. (You may also be required to sit through an interview)

The requirement and time of the process is mainly determined by the visa class the applicant currently holds. Typically, the visa holders who have resided in the UK for a certain amount of time are entitled to apply for Indefinite leave to remain, and that can enable them to apply for naturalisation and continue their residence for as long as they wish.

Naturalisation will grant you the right to obtain a passport and full EU citizenship (for now). The Indefinite leave to remain will hence play the role of a residence permit - allowing the non British citizens to work and reside freely and without any immigration constraints. With the naturalisation process complete and after you receive your passport, you will not be subjected to the immigration controls in your your native country when flying back to he U.K as you will have a British passport. (We often get asked this question)

Note: Some people elect to keep a member of the their family a citizen of their native country, this could be due to land rights, business reasons etc. For these reasons they do not wish to apply for naturalisation.

The fee for a British passport is £85 for a first passport (fees can vary), whereas the government fee for UK citizenship application is £1163 (other fees may also apply).

Visa Class
The Visa Class requirements for applicants are strict and are based on which visa the applicant acquired first, and how long that was for. All applicants are advised to be fully aware of the time requirements they have to fulfill before applying for the Indefinite leave to remain.

Years of residence required:

Years can vary and may be different from the years presented below:

  • Illegal stay on any basis: 20 years

  • Legal stay on any basis: 10 years

  • Writers, composers, artists: 5 years

  • Investors: 5 years

  • People establishing business: 5 years

  • HSMP: 5 years

  • Work Permit: 5 years

  • Ancestry: 5 years

  • EEA Family Permit: 5 years

  • Unmarried Partner: 5 years

  • Marriage: 5 years


The Atwal Law Firm

London & Birmingham (UK) Offices


Call for appointments:


Tel: 0121 448 3996



(This is now our only email)

Or use our contact form.

Legal Advice With a Difference

Immigration Law News

Print | Sitemap
© Lawta Law