Indefinite Leave To Remain

Foreign nationals residing in the UK may apply to settle here if they meet the qualifying residency and eligibility criteria.

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Foreign nationals residing in the UK may apply to settle here if they meet the qualifying residency and eligibility criteria as applicable to them under their respective immigration routes. Individuals who have continuous and lawful residence of 5 years in the UK can apply for settlement, although some accelerated provisions are available for some routes. 

Eligible visa routes to settlement

Some of the common routes that lead to settlement in the UK are:

  • EU, EEA and Swiss citizens were able to obtain a Biometric Residence Card confirming their rights of permanent residence under the EEA Regulations; however, following Brexit, they now may make an application for settlement through the EU Settlement Scheme to obtain a Digital Immigration Status
  • Foreign nationals who have made significant investments in the UK may be eligible for settlement via a shorter qualifying period of 3-years
  • Skilled Workers, UK Scale-up Visa holders and other migrant workers may be able to qualify for settlement upon completing a qualifying period of 5 years of lawful & continuous residence in the UK
  • Spouse visa holders could also be eligible for settlement upon the completion of 60 months of lawful residence in the UK or 120 months for those qualifying under exceptional circumstances
  • Foreign nationals who have resided in the UK under a series of different visa routes for an extended period between 10 years could apply for settlement under the long residence route

Suitability and Eligibility Criteria

Each immigration route has different eligibility criteria to obtain Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK. However, there are basic requirements which are common to all applications. For example, Lawful & Continuous residence is a crucial criterion to be met for all settlement application. Although an individual’s passport is often sufficient to evidence their immigration history, the UKVI may require extensive evidence to assess an applicant’s right to permanent residence.

Having not accrued excess absences from the UK is also a critical eligibility requirement for a settlement application. The general rule for work-based settlement under the 5-year route is that the absence should be less than 180 days in any 12 months period during the qualifying period. In relation to the Long Residence settlement, the total absence must be less than 540 days during the 10-year period, with no single absence of more than 180 days. It is also necessary for applicants to meet Language & Life in the UK criteria.

How can we assist?

Our Immigration lawyers at City Legal have immense experience in assisting clients on settlement under various routes and have dealt with many complicated cases of absences and those with discretionary reasons. We are a multi-award-winning law firm and pride ourselves in being approachable, innovative, and always going that extra mile to ensure our clients receive the best individual attention they deserve. Our Immigration team maintains a high reputation and is committed to providing clear, transparent, reliable advice to our clients. As an SRA-regulated firm, we act with the utmost integrity and pride ourselves in giving accurate and timely legal advice to increase your probability of success.

Contact us today and find out how our friendly team can make the journey hassle-free for you.


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