Indefinite leave to remain - permanent residence

Indefinite leave to remain is permission for permanent residency within the United Kingdom. If you have indefinite leave to remain, there are no restrictions on the conditions of your stay in the UK.

Once you have indefinite leave to remain, you will become eligible to apply for British citizenship after a period of one year.

You become eligible for indefinite leave to remain after living in the UK for a specified period of time, depending on the visa you hold. You also need to have a good knowledge of the English language, and pass the 'Life in the UK' test to show that you have a knowledge and understanding of British culture.

If you are over 65, or under 18, and applying for indefinite leave to remain, you are not required to show your knowledge of the English language or take the 'Life in the UK test'.

The 'Life in the UK' test is designed to test your knowledge of life in the UK. It is a computer based test of 24 questions, and lasts approximately 45 minutes. Most questions are based on the book 'Life in the United Kingdom: A Journey to Citizenship'.

Once you have passed the Life in the UK test, you will not be required to re-take it if you decide to apply for British citizenship.

To ensure your English language skills are sufficient, you will need to have English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) at level three standard.

You can take combined courses for ESOL and citizenship at most further education and community colleges.

More Information

To be eligible for indefinite leave to remain, you must have been living in the UK on a visa. The length of time you must have lived
in the UK to become eligible depends on the type of visa that you hold.

  • Work Permit - 5 years.
  • HSMP - 5 years.
  • Marriage visa - 2 years.
  • Unmarried partner visa - 2 years.

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