Indefinite Leave to Remain: Family Route
There are a number of family visas that lead to Settlement in the UK, including the Spouse Visa, Unmarried Partner Visa and the Adult Dependant Relative Visa, along with Dependants of those who hold qualifying visas.
Commonly referred to as ILR, Indefinite Leave to remain removes you from immigration restrictions and represents the final visa required before you can apply for British Citizenship.
Indefinite Leave to Remain Requirements
The basic requirements that you must meet in order to qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain are that you must:
- have spent a continuous period of five years in the UK with a qualifying visa status.
- not have spent more than 180 days outside the UK during any 12-month period during the 5-year qualifying period.
- have passed the Life in the UK Test.
- have a sufficient knowledge of English language (unless exempt).
The relationship upon which your family visa was granted should be genuine and subsisting, meaning that you are still living with that person in a genuine relationship.
As a general rule, conditions that would exist for an extension of your visa will also exist for your ILR application. As an example, when submitting an Indefinite Leave to Remain application as a Spouse of a British Citizen then the Financial Requirement that applies to an extension will also apply to your ILR application.
ILR for non-UK Children
A child will generally qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain without needing to meet the residence requirement if both parents are Settled in the UK, meaning that they hold ILR or British Citizenship.
Children under the age of 18 do not need to meet the English language requirement and they also do not need to pass the Life in the UK Test.
Indefinite Leave to Remain Conditions
ILR means Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK and the word ‘remain’ is of particular importance. If you are outside the UK for 2 or more continuous years then you can lose your ILR status.
If you have particularly compelling reasons for your absence then you might be able to apply to come back to the UK as a Returning Resident.
Once you have Indefinite Leave to Remain you are entitled to public funds as you are considered to be Settled in the UK.