Further/Indefinite Leave to Remain
An Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) grants to a resident the right to “stay” or remain indefinitely in the UK. Rather like an unlimited visa or permit, this means that the holder is entitled to stay for an unlimited amount of time, even without applying for British Citizenship. An ILR does not grant rights of citizenship such as voting or a UK passport, but it does allow the holder to obtain employment and enjoy unrestricted time in the United Kingdom.
There are several ways to receive Indefinite Leave to Remain, and the qualifications vary slightly based on the situation of the holder. Children may receive an ILR immediately when entering the country to join parents or relatives, while for other cases, the required time to apply may range from one year to five. Couples, spouses, and civil partners may apply for an ILR on basis of relationship within two years; workers may apply on basis of employment after five years. Once awarded, an ILR may still be revoked, usually upon an absence exceeding two years.
Once the time limit has been met, applicants will be required to take basic tests evaluating knowledge of both UK lifestyle and the English language. This can be validated by taking the new “Life in the UK” test, created two years ago, or by completing an accredited course in English as a second language. Once Indefinite Leave to Remain is obtained, the applicant is free to work as a citizen and essentially live without the restrictions of immigration.