Indefinite leave to remain, often abbreviated to “ILR” (and sometimes also known as “permanent residence”), is a leave to live in the UK on a permanent basis. It entitles the migrant to work or study without restriction and entitles them to receive state benefits for which they qualify.

ILR may be acquired in different ways. In many cases, migrants who hold family or working visas may be able to apply for ILR after five years of holding their visa. In other cases, it takes longer to acquire ILR: for example where the migrant has held any combination of immigration leave for a continuous period of ten years they may be eligible to apply.

Migrants who are living in the UK without any immigration leave may be able to acquire ILR, after the completion of 20 years of residence in the UK.

In a few cases, such as in the case of adult dependent relatives, it may be possible to acquire ILR immediately.

In most cases but not all cases, there is an English language requirement and a Life in the UK test requirement for ILR applicants.

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