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How To Apply for a British Passport After Indefinite Leave to Remain

How To Apply for a British Passport After Indefinite Leave to Remain

If you have been living in the UK for a considerable time and have recently obtained Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), you may consider applying for a British passport.

A British passport can open doors for travel, employment, and other opportunities. However, applying for a British passport can seem daunting and confusing.

In this blog post, we will guide you through getting a British passport after ILR.

Eligibility for British Passport

Suppose you plan to apply after (ILR) status. In that case, there are a few eligibility requirements that you need to meet. Here are the details of the eligibility criteria for obtaining a British Passport:

Meeting the residency requirements:

  • To apply, you must be a resident of the United Kingdom
  • You need to provide evidence that you have been living in the UK for at least the past five years

Possession of Indefinite Leave to Remain status:

  • You must have obtained Indefinite Leave to Remain status, which is the immigration status that allows you to live and work in the UK without any restrictions
  • If you are unsure about your immigration status, you can check with the Home Office or an immigration lawyer

Time frame since obtaining ILR:

  • To be eligible for a British Passport, you need to have held Indefinite Leave to Remain status for at least one year
  • The one-year period starts from the date on which you received your ILR status, not the date on which it was granted or issued

By meeting the above eligibility criteria, you can obtain a British Passport. In the next section, we will discuss the documents that you will need to gather in order to apply.

Gathering Required Documents

Before applying after receiving Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), gathering all the necessary documents to support your application is essential. In this section, we will cover the key documents you need to include in your application:

Valid proof of identity and nationality:

  • Valid Passport from your home country
    • Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) if you hold one
    • Birth certificate or naturalization certificate
    • Driving license or national identity card

Proof of Indefinite Leave to Remain status:

  • Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)
    • Indefinite Leave to Remain stamp or endorsement in your passport

Evidence of residence in the UK:

  • Utility bills such as water, gas, or electricity bills
    • Bank statements or credit card statements showing your UK address
    • Tenancy agreements or mortgage statements
    • Council tax bills
    • P60 or P45 forms
    • Marriage certificate, if applicable
    • Divorce certificate, if applicable
    • Deed poll or name change certificate, if your name has been changed

Remember, submitting original or certified copies of your documents is crucial to avoid delays or issues with your application. Additionally, make sure all documents are up to date and not expired. Gathering these documents can be time-consuming, so it is essential to start preparing as soon as possible.

It is also worth noting that if your documents are not in English or Welsh, you must have them translated by a certified translator. The translator must provide a signed statement confirming their translation’s accuracy.

You can complete the British passport application form once you have gathered all the required documents. It is crucial to complete the application accurately and truthfully.

Any false or misleading information could result in your application being refused or even lead to criminal charges.

In the next section, we will discuss how to complete the British passport application form, including what information you need to provide and how to avoid common mistakes.

Completing the Application Form

Once you have gathered all the require documents, the next step is to fill out the application form. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to complete the form accurately.

Obtaining the Application Form:

You can obtain the application form for a British passport online or get a physical copy from a Post Office that provides Passport Check and Send services. Alternatively, you can contact Passport Adviceline to request a form to be post.

Filling in Personal Details Accurately:

The personal details section is straightforward and requires you to provide basic information about yourself. It’s important to ensure that all the information provide is accurate. You’ll need to provide the following details:

  • Full name, including any previous names
    • Date of birth
    • Place of birth
    • Current and previous addresses
    • Contact information, including phone number and email address
    • National Insurance Number (if applicable)

Providing Necessary Information About ILR:

Since you’re applying, you must provide details about your immigration status. Make sure to answer all the questions truthfully, as providing false information may lead to your application being rejecte.

Some of the information you’ll need to provide includes:

  • The date you were grant ILR
    • Your ILR reference number The date and place of issue of your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)
    • Whether you’ve been grant any other type of UK visa

Including Supporting Documents and Declarations:

You must include supporting documents to prove your identity and eligibility for a British passport. This includes your ILR BRP, previous passport, and other relevant documents, such as your birth or marriage certificate.

In addition to supporting documents, you must sign and date the application form and provide a declaration that you’ve read and understood the guidance notes. Finally, you must provide two identical passport photos that meet the UK Passport Office’s requirements.

Completing the application form may seem daunting, but following the instructions carefully can make the process smoother. Don’t hesitate to contact the Passport Adviceline or seek advice from a solicitor if you have any doubts about completing the form accurately.

Attending the Passport Interview (if applicable)

If your application requires an interview, you will be notified by the HM Passport Office after submitting your application. This is usually done for first-time passport applications or when renewing a passport issue more than 9 years ago. Here’s what to expect:

Sending the complete application form:

Once you have complete your application form and have gather all the necessary documents, you can send your application to the HM Passport Office via post or online submission.

Including supporting documents:

Ensure to include all the supporting documents specifiy in the application guidelines. These may include your biometric residence permit (BRP), birth certificate, proof of address, and any other relevant documentation.

Choosing the appropriate submission method:

You can choose to submit your application via post or in person. If you opt for an in-person appointment, you must book an interview in advance and bring all the necessary documentation. Alternatively, suppose you choose to submit your application via post.

In that case, you should expect an interview invitation letter within 2-3 weeks of receiving your application.

British Citizenship Applications

During the interview, the Passport Officer will verify your identity and ask questions relate to your application. You must also provide fingerprints, a digital photograph, and a signature. The interview process usually takes around 30 minutes to an hour.

After your interview, you can expect to receive your new British Passport within 6 weeks. However, in some cases, processing times can be longer. It’s important to make sure all the necessary steps have been take to ensure a successful application.

Suppose you are concerne about attending the interview or completing the application process. In that case, you can contact the HM Passport Office for assistance. They can answer any questions you have and guide you through the process.

It’s important to note that if you have been grant indefinite leave to remain due to your relationship with a British citizen, you may need to provide additional evidence of your relationship during the passport interview.

Once you have complete the interview and submit all the require documents, you should receive your new British Passport within 6 weeks.

If there are any issues or delays, the HM Passport Office will notify you and provide updates on the status of your application.

Applying can seem daunting, but by following the steps outline above and ensuring that you have all the necessary documents and information, you can make the process as smooth and straightforward as possible. Good luck!

Safe keeping all the necessary documents

When applying for British passport after indefinite leave to remain, it is recommend to keep a copy of all documents you submit in case any issues arise during the application process. Remember, the documents you provide should clearly show your identity, nationality, ILR status, and residence in the UK.

By gathering all the require documents, you can ensure a smoother application process. In addition to the above documents, you may need to provide additional evidence of your circumstances, such as proof of a name change or a previous criminal record.

Suppose you are unsure whether you need to provide any additional evidence. In that case, you can contact the passport office or consult the guidance notes for further information.

Receiving the British Passport

Once the application has been processed and the passport approve, the applicant will receive their British Passport. However, there are instances where an interview may be required before the passport can be issue.

Instances where an interview may be required:

  • If there are any concerns about the applicant’s identity or the authenticity of their documents, an interview may be requested.
    • If the applicant has a criminal record or has been involve in any illegal activities, an interview may be required to assess the applicant’s suitability for a British Passport.

Preparing for the interview:

The applicant will be notified of the time and location if an interview is required. Being well-prepared for the interview is important to ensure a smooth process.

  • The applicant should arrive early, dress appropriately, and bring all relevant documentation.
    • The applicant should also be prepare to answer questions about their background, employment, travel history, and other relevant information.
    • It is important, to be honest and truthful during the interview, as any discrepancies could delay the application process or even cause rejection.

Providing additional information or documentation if requested:

If the interviewer requires additional information or documentation, the applicant should provide it immediately. This may include things like:

  • Proof of address or residency
    • Employment history
    • Travel history
    • Any other relevant documentation

Providing this information promptly will help speed up the application process and ensure the passport is issue promptly.


Applying can be straightforward if you have all the require documents and follow the application steps carefully.

However, suppose you are unsure about any part of the process. In that case, it is always recommended to seek the advice of a professional immigration lawyer, such as KQ Solicitors.

KQ Solicitors can guide you through the application process, ensuring you have all the necessary documents and complete the application form correctly. They can also assist in attending the passport interview if require.

Obtaining a British passport opens up a world of opportunities for travel and employment, making it a valuable asset. We encourage our readers to share this article with anyone who may benefit from the information provide and to contact KQ Solicitors if they need further assistance.


Q: Can I apply if I have indefinite leave to remain in the UK?

Yes, you can apply if you have been granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK and have lived in the UK for at least five years.

Q: What documents do I need to apply?

You must provide your original passport or travel document, your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP), two identical passport-size photographs, and any other relevant documents, such as your birth certificate or marriage certificate.

Q: Do I need to attend an interview?

Sometimes, you may be required to attend an interview at a passport office or Her Majesty’s Passport Office (HMPO) to confirm your identity. This may be necessary if there are concerns about your identity or residency status.

Q: How long does it take to receive a British passport?

The processing time for a British passport application can vary, including the completeness of your application, the volume of applications being processed, and the current COVID-19 restrictions. On average, receiving your passport can take 3-6 weeks.

Q: Can I travel while waiting for my British passport to be issued?

You should not make any travel arrangements until you have receive your British passport. If you need to travel urgently, you can apply for an Emergency Travel Document (ETD) from the British Embassy or High Commission in your current country of residence.

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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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