ILR which means Indefinite Leave to Remain is known to some other people as settled status. It is a form of immigration status or settlement that is granted to overseas nationals.
The requirement is usually that whoever wishes to obtain the Indefinite Leave to Remain must have legally been living in the UK for at least 5 years. Some applicants have an edge more than the others and can obtain for the ILR after providing proof that they have been legally living in the UK for 3 years.
With the ILR status, you can live and remain in the UK without any restrictions whatsoever. It is the first step at aiming for full citizenship and naturalization.
Who can apply?
Requirements for application of the ILR differ based on applicants, including the type of visa they possess.
The number one requirement for application of the ILR, as mentioned above, is to spend 5 years living without breaking the laws is the minimum requirement for applicants. There are many other requirements that need to be met. You can also check if you meet the Leave to Remain conditions from the Home Office website.
When does ILR status elapse?
Yes, the Indefinite Leave to Remain status expires. Contacting a professional lawyer is an advisable thing to do when this happens. Having the ILR status gives you the right to live, study, work without a time limit. There is also the freedom to travel into and outside the UK without immigration control. But this doesn’t mean this status can’t be lost on certain occasions even though ILR gives you the right to reside in the UK permanently.
Being absent in the UK for two consecutive years or more puts your Indefinite Leave to Remain at the risk of expiration. The UK interprets this as you have resided outside the country within that two years or more. Then you will no longer be regarded as a resident of the UK. There are several indefinite leave to remain conditions that must be fulfilled to prevent the cancellation.
Regardless of your Indefinite Leave to Remain documentation, this same rule also applies to people who hold the Indefinite Leave to Enter (ILE). The only exemption is for individuals that are members of the Armed Forces.
Some people that have already been granted the Settled Status under the EU settlement scheme may not lose their Indefinite Leave to Remain status even after spending up to five years outside the premises of the UK.
What to do when your ILR status expires
Good news. It is possible to renew your ILR if you still wish to live in the UK again even after your long absence from the country. If you wish to renew as a returning resident, you must apply for the entry clearance. Note that you should have done this before you return to the UK. Failure to enter the UK without a visa will be a denied entry on your return back into the country.
Eligibility for a Returning Resident Visa requires you to prove to the following to the Home Office in the UK:
- Proof that you had right to Indefinite Leave to Remain
- Proof that you did not leave the UK using public funds.
- Proof and demonstration that plan to make the UK your permanent home/residence.
You should note that several factors will be taken into consideration when deciding your Returning Resident Visa application. If you have family members in the UK, it will most likely aid the decision to grant you the Returning Resident Visa. Other factors will also be in consideration when deciding to grant you the visa. You may also be asked to state your reason why you have been absent from the country, and that can also affect the decision to grant you the visa.
A successful grant of entry to remain in the UK as a returning resident will restore your Indefinite Leave to Remain status. But note that, your family members must make a separate application for a Returning Resident Visa if they were also absent for two consecutive years or more.
You should note that not only can your Indefinite Leave to Remain status expire, it can also be revoked. If your ILR is discovered to be obtained by an illegal means, your ILR will be revoked. If you are a refugee that no longer holds refugee status, you are also at the risk of being revoked. Individuals that are deported or liable for deportation will also lose their ILR status as it will be revoked. Get in touch with our expert immigration lawyer for getting a positive result on your ILR visa application.