How early can I apply for ILR?

How early can I apply for ILR?

Having an ILR is icing on the cake for those willing to settle in the UK and later wish to gain British citizenship. Indefinite Leave to remain or ILR application allows a foreign national to settle in the UK if you have resided in the UK for a continuous period of time.

What are the Time requirements for ILR application?

The amount of time required for you to  spend in the UK before you can apply for ILR is based on the visa you are holding or your living situation. The time spent living in the UK must be lawful in order to be counted as ILR requirement.

The minimum time needed is as per requirement  of 5 years. Those who have been living in the UK with spouse visas or civil partnership ,they can apply after 3 years. Those with family visas, and skilled worker visas can apply for ILR after 5 years.

Calculating time period towards application 

Fulfilling time requirements may seem simple but in actuality it is not that straightforward as other application requirements.

Any time spent in the UK must be lawfully spent in order to qualify for time requirements. You can apply for ILR as early as 28 days prior to the issue of visa.

If you spend more time in the Channel Islands, or Isle of Man then you won’t be able to qualify for the time. 

The time period to qualify is always counted backwards from one of these

  1.  the date of  ILR status issue
  2.  the date of your application 
  3.  any date which is up to 28 days after your application.

How long can you be absent from the UK?

Following conditions will cause you no harm in time requirements to qualify

  1. If there is a  delay between the date of entry clearance and entry to the UK exceeds 180 days, then it won’t be called a breach from your side.
  2. Global talent visa holders, individuals under innovators and those  with a PBS Dependent visa before 11.01. 2018 may not need to explain their periods of absence during their ILR application.

If you fall under any of the below immigration status categories, you don’t need to explain if you were absent beyond 180 days.

  • UK Ancestry visa holders
  • Retired person of independent means
  • Points-Based System dependant

For this reason, it is always best to carry your travel documents which detail the time spent outside during your time in the UK, regardless of the time period.

If a business owner stays for more than 180 days outside of the UK in a 12-month period on business, their continuous period in the UK will not be considered broken.

If you have spent more than 180 days outside of the UK because of a serious physical or mental condition, it is considered  that their continuous period will not be broken.

What documents do I need to provide?

The documents and information which you may asked to furnish in your application:

  • Current Passport and any previous passports which expired during the UK residency period
  • Two similar passport-sized photos
  • Pass certificate of the Life in the UK test 
  • Pass certificate of the English language proficiency test 
  • Birth certificates
  • Details of any time spent outside the UK during your UK residency period
  • A history of your UK immigration
  • Details of your finances, including bank statements, payslips, etc.

Take legal assistance to avoid refusal

The ILR application could take as much as 6 months to complete the processing. 

At times, the compliance could become overwhelming for you. You must consult the best immigration lawyers in London to avoid any risk of refusal. A Y & J Solicitors have been handling ILR applications with the highest success rate. They represent your case with honesty and compassion.


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