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Applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain After 5 Years Quick One  

applying for indefinite leave to remain after 5 years

Applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) after five years marks a significant milestone in the immigration journey. This status, also known as Permanent Residency, offers individuals the opportunity to settle in the UK indefinitely, free from immigration constraints. Achieving ILR reflects a period of stability, integration, and contribution to British society. It signifies a commitment to long-term residence, encompassing rights to work, access healthcare, and enjoy social benefits. The application process for ILR demands careful attention to eligibility criteria, documentation, and adherence to immigration regulations. Successfully obtaining ILR opens doors to greater opportunities and a sense of security for individuals and their families.

What is Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)?

Indefinite leave to remain (ILR) is a type of immigration status that allows permission holders to live and work in the UK without any restrictions and as much as they want. There are various ways to gain indefinite leave to remain. 

But here, we only discuss two immigration paths that lead you towards applying for indefinite leave to remain after 5 years, like a spouse visa and a Skilled Worker Visa

Once you have a positive decision and have ILR, you can apply for British citizenship after 12 months. However, if your partner is British, then you do not need to wait for 12 months as well.

Eligibility Criteria for Indefinite Leave to Remain After 5 Years

To be eligible for indefinite leave to remain after five years, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Your primary criteria are that the applicant must have lived in the UK continuously for five years on a valid visa. 
  • Your stay must be legal and law full in the UK Throughout your time on this 5-year ILR route.
  • You must have completed the financial requirements for the duration of your stay. In some cases, applicants are exempt from showing this financial requirement as well.
  • Life in the UK test is a mandatory requirement before applying for Indefinite Leave to remain after 5 years.
  • You must have completed the English language requirements if you are using as a spouse of a British or settled person. Still, if the applicant is coming through the tier 2 route, this English language requirement is exempt.
  • As we previously discussed, your stay in the United Kingdom must be legal and without any consequences, not even a ticket in your name.
  • Applicant must follow the 180-day rule and be present at most of this fixed period outside the UK per year.

ILR Processing Time UK

The processing time for indefinite leave to remain depends on many factors providing proper and accurate information, and the standard processing time for ILR UK is six months. However, you can pay more and get an answer in 1 or 5 working days simultaneously.

Indefinite Leave to Remain Fees

The application fee for indefinite leave to remain, according to the last fee update, jumped from £2,389 to £2885. 

IHS Fees for ILR UK

You don’t need to pay any IHS Surcharge if you are applying for indefinite leave to remain after 5 years. 

If the applicant can pay £500 extra and select priority service, you will get a decision by 5 to 6 working days.

But I recommend applicants, if they pay £800 they will get a decision by the end of the next working day.

ILR Document Checklist

When applying for indefinite leave to remain, you will need to submit the following documents:

  • Your passport and all proof of ID like British Resident permit, old and new. 
  • Choosing the right ILR visa Application Form
  • Proof of your continuous residence in the UK and no absence of more than 180 days a year in your qualifying period. 
  • Evidence that proves the applicant has fulfilled all financial requirements required for ILR.
  • Certificate or reference number that can prove that the applicant has passed the Life in UK test.
  • Employment letter if you are switching from a skilled worker visa. 
  • Certificate or online reference number of your English language requirement test B1 if you switching from a Spouse Visa route to ILR.

How to Apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain After 5 Years

To apply for indefinite leave to remain after 5 years, 

  • ILR Application Form UK: In the first step, choose the right ILR application form that suits your previous visa category. However, completing a draft of your application is the priority approach. Every date, name or place must be verified and should be true.
  • Double Check: as per my experience, the ILR application is very sensitive, and all numeric or documented information provided in the draft must be checked twice.
  • Ensure all documentation is accurate and verified, for instance, all British resident permits and passports, current and old.
  • Pay ILR Fee: Select a service, pay the ILR fee, and submit your application, standard, priority or super-priority. However, I suggest spending a little extra and choosing a super-priority service. 
  • Biometric Appointment: Make sure you attend bio metric if chosen; applicants can self-upload or take documents at the center and let them scan documents for a little extra service charge.
  • Choose the self-service option if you want to upload all of your documentation and proofs supporting your application.

How KQ Solicitors Can Help for ILR?

I recommend you give a chance to an immigration expert of KQ Solicitors who can make the process smoother and more efficient. Clients can contact us at and book free immigration advice. 

Tips for Applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain After 5 Years

  • Start your application early. The processing time for indefinite leave to remain applications can vary, so it is important to start your application early, especially if you are planning to travel outside of the UK before your application is processed.
  • Make sure your documents are complete and accurate. The UKVI will carefully review your records, so it is important to ensure everything is complete and accurate.
  • Be honest and correct on your application form. The UKVI will also carefully review your application form, so it is important to be fair and valid in your answers.


Applying for indefinite leave to remain after 5 years is technical and can be complex if you are new and trying to use it yourself. Just make sure you fill in every detail, every date, very carefully. As per my experience, Indefinite leave to remain is a life-changing spot. If you have any confusion or want someone immigration solicitors to work on your behalf, please email us at and book a free telephonic appointment slot today.

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Our Head Solicitor
Khurram Amir Qureshi

Khurram Amir Qureshi has been an advocate of Pakistan since 2004, a Solicitor of England and Wales since 2009, Solicitor of Ireland since 2015. He has extensive experience in family law, Immigration law, Personal injury cases, and Civil and Commercial litigation gaining over 13 years of continuous practice in England and Wales.

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