Gaining Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK is the ultimate aim for many who travel to the country to live, work or to join family members. The process allows you to solidify your position in the UK and means that you are no longer subject to the conditions of a visa. So how, might you ask, do you gain Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK? And what benefits does gaining Indefinite Leave to Remain give you in the long term? Well, in this article we look to give you a guide on the most popular methods of gaining Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK, the benefits of doing so and some other information that you may find useful in your path to gaining the ability to live in the UK while no longer being subject to immigration control.
While the benefits of gaining Indefinite Leave to Remain are universal, the routes to eligibility are not. There are various visa routes that give the option to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK after a set period of time spent in the country. There are though some rules that apply across the board for those that are applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain. These requirements are laid out below:
In the vast majority of cases you will need to wait until you have been in the UK for 5 years on a visa that allows you to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (Spouse Visa, Tier 1 Visas, Tier 2 General Visa etc.). There are exceptions to these; so below we have laid out the criteria per visa to make it easier to see which time period will apply to your situation.
The Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa entitles holders to set up and run a business in the UK. The visa route gives the holder an initial right to stay for 3 years and 4 months. Before their initial period ends, the visa holder will need to apply to extend their visa for a further 2 years (or 3 years if you are switching to it from an alternative category). This extension will then allow the holder (as long as they match the eligibility criteria to do so) to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain. If they are granted Indefinite Leave to Remain, they will become free of their visa conditions.
The Tier 1 Investor Visa is a fantastic option for individuals with a high net worth to move to Britain in order to invest. The criteria for those on a Tier 1 Investor Visa, where it is relevant to gaining Indefinite Leave to Remain, will depend upon their level of investable assets. While you will require a minimum of £2m in order to gain the visa in the first place, this will only entitle you to an initial period of 3 years and 4 months. If you have a higher level of investable assets, you will be able to reduce the time needed to wait for Indefinite Leave to Remain from the usual 5 years (initial 3 years 4 months plus an extension). Below there are the two alternative shorter options for gaining Indefinite Leave to Remain. If you have the level of funding required by either, then you can shorten your time from 5 years to the time specified.
For those who cannot hit the shorter options, you will need to extend your visa in order to hit your 5 year stay in the UK to gain Indefinite Leave to Remain.
The Tier 2 General Visa is by far the UK’s most popular visa route. This is likely due to the easier nature of the eligibility criteria. Like the vast majority of the visas on this list, the time needed in the UK to gain Indefinite Leave to Remain from a Tier 2 General Visa is 5 years. Your initial period will depend largely upon your work circumstances (your period is defined by your work), but you can receive an initial visa period of upto 5 years and 14 days. You can extend the Tier 2 General Visa, but only upto a maximum stay of 6 years in the UK. The extension can be used to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain.
The Spouse Visa offers spouses or partners of British citizens and those with Indefinite Leave to Remain the opportunity to move to the UK to live and work. You will be given an initial period of 2.5 years which can be extended to get you to the 5 year mark required. There is also the option to settle at short notice on a Spouse Visa if you have the visa and one of the following happens:
If you are in this situation, you will need the help of immigration solicitors such as ourselves to help present your case in order to give you a swift and favourable conclusion.
The main benefit of gaining Indefinite Leave to Remain is the option to stay in the UK free from visa restrictions. Another major benefit is that Indefinite Leave to Remain is a step on the way to British citizenship for those who desire it as a long term goal. Whatever your goal, our team of immigration specialists can help you to realise it. So for more information on Indefinite Leave to Remain or indeed any other immigration subject, please call today and our team will be more than happy to help get you started.