+44 7853 844688


Transitioning from Tier 2 to ILR: The Complete Guide

Tier 2 to ILR

The change from Tier 2 to ILR (Indefinite Leave to Remain) is among the most remarkable transitions in the realm of UK immigration. Moving from a work permit to a more permanent status in the UK is a turning point for many professionals through this procedure, notwithstanding its complexity.

ILR Requirements for Tier 2:

Here’s a general checklist of documents you might need when applying from Tier 2 to ILR:

1. Application Form:

 Complete the relevant application form for ILR, available on the UK Visas and Immigration section of the UK government website.

2. Current Passport: 

Any old passports you had in the UK.

3. Biometric Residence Permit (BRP):

 Your Tier 2 visa will likely be in this form.

4. Proof of Continuous Residence:

 This generally entails:

  •    Travel history over the qualifying period, including dates of departures and returns.
  •    Airline tickets, email confirmations, or stampings in the passport can help verify these dates.
5. Employment Proof:
  •   Payslips for the entire qualifying period.
  •    Bank statements showing the corresponding salary credits.
  •    Letter(s) from employer(s) confirming employment, job title, salary, and length of work.
6. English Language Requirement: 

Proof of meeting the English language requirement might be passing a recognized test or possessing a relevant degree.

7. Life in the UK Test:

 Proof you’ve passed the “Life in the UK” test.

8. Absence Record: 

A record of all absences from the UK during the qualifying period. The total number of days spent outside the UK usually has a threshold.

9. Criminal Record Certificate:

 If you’ve been in a country (or countries) for 12 months or more (consecutively) in the last 10 years, you might be required to produce a criminal record certificate.

10. Financial Requirement:

 Depending on your circumstances, you may need to show evidence of your ability to support yourself without recourse to public funds.

11. Other Documents: 

These could include any documentation explicitly requested based on individual circumstances, like divorce certificates, custody papers, etc.

12. Payment for Application Fee:

 Ensure you’ve arranged payment for the application fee.

13. Biometric Information: 

You’ll likely be required to provide biometric information for your application. This means having your photograph and fingerprints taken.

Please remember this is a generalized list and not exhaustive. Every case is unique, and applicants may need to provide different or additional documentation based on their circumstances. Always consult the latest guidelines or seek professional advice from KQ Solicitors please email us at, and book a consultation regarding your ILR requirements for Tier 2.

Tier 2 to ILR Fee:

Moving from a Tier 2 visa to ILR isn’t without its costs. The application fee can be substantial, so it’s pivotal to check the current fees on the official UKVI website to budget accordingly.

Indefinite Leave to Remain Tier 2 Processing Time:

Processing times can vary. However, a majority of applications are processed within 6 months. Faster services, such as the priority or super-priority services, are available for those looking to expedite the process, but these come at a higher cost.

  • if a candidate chooses the regular service option, 6 months.
  • If the applicant chooses Priority Service and pays an additional £500, it will take 5 working days.
  • If the applicant chooses Super Priority Service and pays £800 more, it will take 1 working day.

Tier 2 Visa to ILR Eligibility Criteria:

The eligibility to move from a Tier 2 visa to ILR is based on:

Tier 2 Visa Category:

Not all Tier 2 categories seamlessly lead to ILR. The most common route is via the Tier 2 (General) visa.


Absences from the UK should not exceed 180 days in any 12-month period during the 5 years.

Criminal Convictions:

A clean record is paramount. The presence of any criminal convictions can jeopardize your application.

As we navigate these waters, it becomes clear that understanding the details is crucial. Transitioning from Tier 2, though a significant step, is riddled with intricacies that demand attention.

Read also: What are the Benefits and Challenges of the UK Tier 2 Dependent Visa?


Making the move from Tier to ILR is more than just an immigration status shift. It signifies a commitment to building a life in the UK. With the right guidance, a firm grasp of the requirements, and a bit of patience, this journey can lead to the dream of permanent residency in the UK.


How long do I have to be on a Tier 2 visa before applying for ILR?

Generally, after a continuous 5-year period on a Tier 2 (General) visa

Are there any salary requirements for the Tier 2 to ILR transition?

Yes, there’s a minimum salary threshold defined by the UKVI.

What happens if I have gaps in my employment while on a Tier 2 visa?

Any unemployment gap shouldn’t exceed 60 days. Extended gaps could affect your ILR application.

How proficient in English should I be to apply for ILR from Tier 2?

You must prove your English proficiency and also clear the ‘Life in the UK’ test.

Share This Post:

1 thought on “Transitioning from Tier 2 to ILR: The Complete Guide”

  1. Hi Kurram,

    Its a good post but as per the changes in regulation there seem to no clause on unemployment gap.

    But based on your statement below I noticed you are mentioning extended gaps, so what is considered as extended gaps.. and from when this 60 days actually count.
    “Any unemployment gap shouldn’t exceed 60 days. Extended gaps could affect your ILR application”


Leave a Comment

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.

Recent posts
Follow us on
Get Expert Advice From Our Legal Team