Skilled Worker Visa to ILR a Comprehensive Guide


ILR stands for Indefinite Leave to Remain. It’s a status of permanent residency available to non-EEA nationals in the UK. Here’s a breakdown:

Status: Once granted Indefinite Leave to Remain, you can live and work in the UK without any restrictions.

Benefits: Holders of ILR can access public services, including NHS healthcare. They can also access education and benefits on par with British citizens.

Path to Citizenship: After holding ILR for 12 months, you may be eligible to apply for British citizenship, provided you meet the other requirements.


Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) based on the 5-year route is one of the most common pathways to settlement in the UK. Here are the primary requirements:

1. Continuous Residence: 

Applicants should have lived in the UK for five continuous years on a visa that is part of the route to settlement.

2. Absences:

 Generally, absences from the UK should be at most 180 days in any 12 months during the five years.

3. Knowledge of English: 

Applicants need to prove they have sufficient knowledge of the English language.

4. Life in the UK Test: 

You must pass the ‘Life in the UK’ test.

5. Financial Requirements:

You might need to show a certain income or savings depending on your visa category.

Indefinite Leave to Remain Processing Time

The typical processing time for ILR can vary:

1. Standard Service: 

It may take up to 6 months if you have selected the ILR standard service. Most people decide within 26 working weeks after submitting their online form and attending biometrics.

2. Priority Service: 

Decision usually within five working days if you have selected ILR priority service. Most people got their decisions at the end of 5 working days after attending their biometric appointments.

3. Super Priority Service: 

Decision usually on the next working day. Most people get a decision at the end of the next working day after attending their biometrics.


ILR Application Fee 

The cost for ILR applications can change year by year. As of my last application, it was around £2,404 per person. Always check the official UK government website for the most up-to-date fee information.

The charges for these services can vary and are in addition to the main ILR application fee:

  • Standard Service Fee: £2404
  • Priority Service Fee: £2904
  • Super Priority Service Fee: £3204

Always refer to the official UK government website for the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding ILR applications.

Indefinite Leave To Remain Document Checklist

While specific documents might vary depending on the category of your initial visa, here are some general documents you might need:

1. Current Passport and Previous Passports: 

To verify your travel history, all previous details and passport scanned copies are required from the applicant.

2. All Old Biometric Residence Permits (BRP): 

All biometric resident permits, old and new scanned copies, are part of the document checklist if applicable.

3. Proof of Continuous Residence: 

Applicant needs to prove that he is living in the UK legally and lawfully and has not spent more than 180 days a year out of the Country. They can provide Utility bills, bank statements, or rental agreements.

4. Proof of English Language: 

A degree or a SELT test pass certificate is required to apply for ILR.

5. Life in the UK Test Pass Certificate:

Life in the UK is a mandatory document; you can also provide the certificate reference number sent to you via email.

6. Financial Documents:

 p60, latest bank statement, and latest pay slips will be required if you are a salaried person or on a tier 2 route

7. Photos: 

Typically, two passport-sized color photos will be taken when you attend your biometric appointment. 

8. Employment Letter: 

If the applicant is on the tier 2 route, then they are required to provide an employment letter that includes them 

  • Annual Gross Pay 
  • Job Starting Date
  • Employment type: Permanent or Temporary

This letter must demonstrate that the employer also needs the applicant’s service in the future.

ILR Refusal Reasons

Applications can be refused for various reasons, including:

1. Excess Absences: Over 180 days outside the UK in 12 months.

2. Criminal Convictions: Especially for serious or recent offenses.

3. False Representation: Submitting false documents or information.

4. Debt: Owing unpaid debts to the NHS of £500 or more.

5. Application Errors: Not providing all the required documents or filling the forms incorrectly.


Always consult the official UK government website or seek advice from a UK immigration lawyer like KQ Solicitors, we are providing Free Immigration Telephonic Advice for 15 Minutes, you can contact us at for the most current and accurate information.


Does a graduate visa count towards ILR?

As of my last update, the UK HO introduced the Graduate route (or the “Post-Study Work visa”) as a part of the points-based immigration system. This visa allows international students who have completed a degree in the UK to stay and work, or look for work, for two years (or three years if they have completed a doctoral degree).

However, time spent on the Graduate visa does not count towards qualifying for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). It’s designed as a bridge for students to move onto other visa categories if they wish to continue their stay in the UK, such as the Skilled Worker visa, which does lead to ILR.

B1 English test for Indefinite leave to remain?

For many routes to ILR, applicants must prove they have a B1 level of English proficiency under the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). This applies to both speaking and listening skills. Here’s a breakdown:

Test Format: 

The B1 test will typically assess your ability to read, write, speak, and listen in English at an intermediate level. You’ll need to understand and communicate on familiar topics encountered in work, school, and leisure situations.


Some individuals may be exempt from the B1 English language requirement, such as those under 18 or over 65 or those with a long-term physical or mental condition.

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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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