Obtain Permanent Residence in the UK

Updated on Saturday 18th February 2017

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Indefinite leave to remain (ILR) or permanent residency (PR) is an immigration status settled for a person who does not possess the right of residence in the UK, but who has been admitted to the UK without any time limit on his or her stay, and who is free to take up employment or study without any boundaries. When indefinite leave is approved to persons outside the UK it is also known as indefinite leave to enter (ILE). Our immigration lawyer in London can offer suitable guidance and legal assistance if you want to obtain a permanent residence in the UK.

Important conditions for permanent residence

Owners of ILR may apply for British citizenship if they have detained ILR for 12 months or longer, are over 18 years and have been living in the country for the last 5 years. There are a few conditions for naturalization and the candidate must:

•     be at least 18 or over;
•     be of good integrity;
•     propose to continue living in the UK, or to continue in Crown service, the service of a worldwide organization of which the UK is an affiliate;
•     be capable of speaking in English, Welsh or Scottish Gaelic to an acceptable degree;
•     have enough knowledge of life in the UK;
•     meet the residential conditions.

There are some important residence requirements and the candidate must:

•    have been a tenant in the UK for at least 5 years (this is called “the residential qualifying period”);
•    have been present in the UK  5 years before the date of the application;
•    have not spent more than 450 days outside the country during the five-year period; 
•    have not spent more than 90 days outside the country in the last 12 months of the five-year period; 
•    have not broken the Immigration Rules at any stage during the five-year period.

People aged over 18, who possess another form of British nationality and employees (with husband, wife or civil partner) of the Crown, civil service or elected service outside the UK may instead apply for registration, which is an easier process than naturalization.

The benefits of permanent residence in the UK

Unlike people with Limited Leave to Remain (LTR) in the UK, PR owners do have access to public funds. The phrasing "No recourse to public funds" is not written on PR holders' visas. They have the possibility to claim job seekers grants and other remunerations which are frequently only available to British, EU and EEA citizens.

Please feel free to contact our UK immigration solicitor in London for extra information and guidance, in order to obtain permanent residence in the UK.


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