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Indefinite Leave to Remain Expiry

If you have Indefinite Leave to Remain, you may think about indefinite leave to remain expiry. You may also want to know the expiry date of indefinite leave to remain.  

You will be happy to know that indefinite leave to remain (ILR) has no expiry date. It will expire if you leave the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Isle of Man, and Guernsey for two years or more. 

What is Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)?  

ILR is an immigration status provided to non-British citizens and foreign nationals. To those who wish to remain in the United Kingdom. The ILR allows individuals outside the UK to live and work there. They are not restricted by a validity period.  

This status also enables people to access government services and benefits. ILR holders, after a certain period, can apply for British citizenshipIndefinite Leave to Remain is also known as Permanent Residence.

Why does my ILR have an Expiry Date? 

Many ILR BRPs issued in recent years have an early expiry date. It is due to European Union requirements for countries to install new BRP technology. The UK currently does not have such technology.  

Will my right to remain in the UK expire on December 31, 2024? 

No, it is not. Your leave to remain will be valid until December 31, 2024. The date restriction also does not affect your access to services/benefits or travel. Only your card will be valid until December 31, 2024. 

Overview of Indefinite Leave to Remain Expiry 

Indefinite Leave to Remain is an immigration status granted to individuals in the UK.You can get this status based on various factors. It includes the length of stay, employment history, and family ties within the country. 

However, ILR can also expire for several reasons. For example, your status may cancel if you move out of the country for more than two years.It may expire due to your employment status changes. If your ILR expires, you may force to leave the UK. Additionally, there are certain criteria that you must meet to maintain your status.

The Indefinite leave to remain expiry rule may not apply in the following limited circumstances: 

  • You are the dependent of a member of the British Armed Forces whom you have accompanied overseas. 
  • You depend on a British citizen or settled person. Worked in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The Department for International Development. The Home Office, or the British Council, have been accompanying them overseas. 
  • Section 1(5) of the Immigration Act of 1971 applies to you as a Commonwealth citizen. 
  • You return to the UK in circumstances that do not need a visa. 

What Happens when ILR Expires? 

Many British residents face Indefinite Leave to Remain expiry sooner or later. When an ILR expires, the bearer loses the right and entitlement to live and work in the UK.

Different pathways are available for those affected by ILR expiry. Depending on individual case conditions and nationality.such as reapplying for ILR or renewing one’s existing indefinite leave.

Can Someone Renew their ILR Status If It Expires?   

Yes, ILR visa holders can renew their status before it expires. ILR status is a powerful immigration status in the UK. The renewal process must start at least one month before the current ILR visa expires.

In some cases, the Home Office may grant post-expiry leave. To those who can prove exceptional circumstances.  It is wise that prospective ILR applicants contact a professional legal advisor. If they have concerns about their Indefinite Leave to Remain expiry process. 

How Do I Maintain my Indefinite Leave to Remain?  

To keep your ILR status, you should avoid leaving the UK for more than two years. Criminality and deportation are two other reasons for losing ILR.  

How Can I Prove that My ILR is Still Valid?  

You can prove your ILR status by providing documentation. That shows your continued residence in the country where you received it. It could include things like 

  • bank statements
  • utility bills
  • tax returns 
  • current employment status 

Or any other activities that show that you continue to be an active member of society in your home country. 

When Your Indefinite Leave to Remain Expire or Cancelled? 

In certain circumstances, your UK ILR may cancel. If you deport, your visa will be automatically revoked.It will also compensate if you are deportable. But cannot deport due to legal reasons. Such as the Refugee Convention or the EU Convention on Human Rights. It will also expire if you leave the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Isle of Man, Guernsey, or Jersey for two years or more. 

Demonstrating Your ILR Status  

Documentary proof of your ILR is not required but is highly recommended. You can use evidence of status to confirm your ILR status.When you are demonstrating your right to work in the UK or travel to avoid issues with re-entry into the UK. 

ILR can document in a variety of ways, including: 

  • Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) 
  • You have an NTL stamp on your passport. 
  • Official Home Office letter confirming your ILR status 

What to Do If BRP has Expired? 

All BRPs have an expiry date and can renew for up to ten years. If your BRP has expired and you have indefinite leave to remain in the UK, you must apply online for a replacement. So, if your visa is also about to expire, you should apply for a visa extension first. If approved, you will automatically issue a BRP replacement.

You must apply for a replacement permit at least three months before expiration. You should use the BRP replacement service to do this. So, you must complete an application form. Submit supporting documentation. Pay an application fee, and have your fingerprints and photograph taken. 

What to do if you lose your BRP?

If you lose your BRP rather than expired. You must report it to the UK police as soon as possible. Notify the Home Office of the official crime reference number.You must apply for a replacement within three months to avoid facing a financial penalty.

What to do if your BRP steals abroad? 

If your BRP steals while abroad. You must apply for a short-term single-entry visa to re-enter the UK before using it for a replacement BRP. 

Visa for Returning Residents  

You will need a returning resident visa if you want to return to the UK to settle after a two-year or longer absence.Suppose you have before held and lost the grant of indefinite leave to remain. Your ILR will restore if you readmit as a returning resident. 

Visa Requirements for Returning Residents

To qualify as a returning resident, you must prove that you previously held a valid ILR when you left the UK. You did not receive public funds to cover the cost of leaving the UK. You intend to make the UK your permanent home.  

UK immigration officials can restore resident status under paragraph 19 of the Immigration Rules.Taking into account several critical requirements and factors: 

Strong Connections

You can show that you have sufficiently significant connections to the United Kingdom. Evidence of family connections in the UK, work and property connections.

The extent to which you have maintained these links and contact during your absence. The stronger your bond to the UK, the more likely you will grant a return resident visa. 

Absence Duration

The length of time you have been away from the UK will be important in determining your eligibility. The longer you have been away from the country, the more difficult it can be to prove that you have strong connections. 

Duration of original UK residence

A more extended stay can use to back up a strong links claim.

Your reasons for being absent: 

You will also need to provide evidence and details about why you left the UK and your current situation.   


There you have it! Indefinite Leave to Remain does not expire as long as you don’t leave the United Kingdom for two years or more.ILR is great if you want to live and work in the UK without restrictions. After a certain period, ILR holders can even apply for British citizenship.

We hope this information is helpful and give you a better understanding of ILR. If you have any questions, you can contact KQ Solicitors.

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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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