Indefinite Leave to Remain

UK Settlement

Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) is the term for British settlement or permanent residency. ILR status allows you to live and work in the UK without restrictions on the length of stay. It is the equivalent of the United States permanent residency/ green card. ILR residents may apply for UK citizenship after a period of continuous residence.

Explained below are the various ways to obtain ILR status through a family member who is established in the UK or through EEA national status.

EEA Nationals

EEA aare eligible to settle in the UK without a permit. Family members of EEA and Swiss nationals are eligible to settle in the UK as well but require an EEA Family Permit to do so.

You need an EEA Family Permit if you are a visa national or are coming to live with the EEA national in the UK permanently or on a long-term basis.

Qualifying family members are: spouses or civil partners; children or grandchildren who are under 21 years of age or are dependent on you; and the parents or grandparents of you and your spouse or civil partner if they are dependent on you.

Non-EEA Nationals

Partners, dependent children, and adult dependents who are relatives of a British citizen, a person who is settled in the UK, or a person who has refugee leave or humanitarian status may be eligible to settle in the UK.

The application process for settlement has recently changed. If you applied as a relative before July 8, 2012, the below information may not apply to you. To learn more about applications submitted before July 8, 2012, visit the UKBA site - partners, fiancé(e) and proposed civil partners.

Indefinite Leave to Remain through Family Non-EEA & Non-Swiss Nationals
Relationship
Eligibility Requirements
Form
Partners *
  • Your partner is a British citizen in the UK or present and settled in the UK;
  • Your UK settled or citizen partner’s most recent permission to stay was under tiers 1, 2, or 5 points-based system;
  • You do not individually qualify for settlement yet;
  • You and your partner must be over the age of 18;
  • You and your partner must have met in person;
  • Any previous relationships must have been dissolved through divorce or death;
  • If you are married or in a civil partnership, your marriage or civil partnership is valid in UK law;
  • You and your partner intend to live together permanently in the UK;
  • You meet the financial requirements; and
  • You meet the English language requirement.
VAF4A
Fiancé(e) and proposed civil partners
  • Your fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner is a British citizen in the UK or present and settled in the UK;
  • You intend to get married or register your civil partnership within 6 months of your arrival in the UK, and settle here together afterwards;
  • You and your partner must be over the age of 18;
  • You and your partner must have met in person;
  • Any previous relationships must have been dissolved through divorce or death;
  • You must meet the financial requirements; and
  • You must meet the English language requirement.
VAF4
Children
  • You are under 18 years old; and
  • Both parents are settled in the UK or have been given permission to settle in the UK**.
  • You cannot apply if:
  • You are the child of a person who is settled in the UK or has British citizenship if their most recent permission to stay was under tiers 1,2, or 5 of the points-based system;
  • Your other parents does not yet qualify for settlement; and
  • Your most recent permission to stay as a dependant under the points-based system was granted on or after July 9, 2012.
VAF4
Adult dependent relatives
  • You are aged 18 or over;
  • Your parent, grandparent, sibling; son or daughter is a British citizen or settled in the UK;
  • You need long-term personal care to perform daily tasks;
  • The care you need is not available in the country where you live or is not affordable to you; and
  • Your sponsor can show that he or she is capable of caring for you physically and financially and promises to do so without relying on public funds for a period of 5 years.
VAF4
Parent of child in the UK***
  • Your child must be under the age of 18, living in the UK, and a British citizen or settled person; and
  • You have sole responsibility for the child and the child normally lives with you; or
  • If the parent or carer of the child is a British citizen or settled person, that person is not your partner, and you do not qualify for entry clearance as a partner.
SET(O)

*Partners include husband, wife, civil partner, unmarried or same-sex partner. Partners who applied before July 8, 2012 require a different process than the current one.

** Some exceptions apply: if one parent is dead; if the parent settled or settling in the UK has sole responsibility and custody of the child; or if there are serious reasons why the child needs to join the parent settling or settled in the UK.

***There are separate processes and requirements for this category depending if you are filing while in the UK or outside the UK.