Private Life ILR

If you have a visa based on your private life or you were born in the UK and lived in the UK continuously up until 7 years old minimum, this may be relevant to you. 

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You can apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) if you either: have a visa on the basis of your private life, or you were born in the UK and have lived in the UK continuously until the age of 7 (at a minimum). 

How we can help 

Herrington Carmichael’s Immigration team can provide in-depth understanding of ILR requirements and achieve an incredibly high success rate for our clients.

You can be assured that your application process will be managed in a professional and organised manner.

Applying for Private Life ILR

Indefinite leave to remain (ILR) is also known as settlement in the UK. It gives you the right to study, work,  and live for as long as you would like. If you are eligible, you can apply for benefits. 

Private Life ILR FAQs

What is the eligibility criteria for Private Life ILR?

Eligibility depends on whether you are applying as an adult or a child. 

Child Eligibility:

If you were born in the UK and have already lived in the UK for 7 continuous years since your birth, you can immediately apply for Private Life ILR. 

If the above is not applicable, you can apply for Private Life ILR on the basis of:

  • You received a visa on the basis of your private life between the ages of 18 and 24
  • You arrived in the UK as a child
  • You lived in the UK as a child for 5 continuous years with a visa

You can include time spent on any qualifying visa that leads to ILR on your application. You will need to have had a visa on the basis of your private life for at least one year on the day that you apply.

Adults

To be eligible, you need to:

  • Be over 18 years old
  • Have been given a visa on the basis of your private life in the UK
  • Have lived continuously in the UK for a minimum of 10 years with a qualifying visa

You can include time spent on any qualifying visa that leads to ILR on your application. You will need to have had a visa on the basis of your private life for at least one year on the day that you apply.

How soon can I apply?

You can apply as soon as you meet all of the eligibility requirements, you do not need to wait for your visa to expire. However, you must do it before your visa expires otherwise you will need to apply to extend your visa before you can apply for ILR. 

How much will it cost?

The fees charged by Home Office can be found on their official website here

How long does it take to get a decision? 

It takes an average of 6 months to get a decision using the standard service. 

What documents will I need to provide?

You will need to provide:

  • Your current passport or another valid form of travel identification
  • Previous passports
  • A recent passport-sized colour photograph
  • Supporting evidence and documents that prove you have ties to the UK. For example: income earned in the UK, rented or owned property, close family.

Situation dependent, you may need to provide other documents. 

Can I pay to get a faster decision?

You can pay an extra £1,000 for super priority service. You will get your decision: 

  • If your biometric information appointment is on a week day, you will get your answer at the end of the next working day.
  • If your biometric information appointment is over the weekend, you will get your answer 2 working days after your appointment. 
Do I need to redo my biometric information?

Yes. You will need to make an appointment to give your fingerprints and have a new photograph taken. This will be stipulated during your application process. There is no fee for this. 

Your appointment will be made at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) service point. 

Do I need to pass the Life in the UK Test?

Yes. If you are aged 18 to 64 years old, you will need to pass the Life in the UK Test. If you do not pass, you will need to apply to extend your visa instead. You can reapply for ILR. 

Do I need to pass a the English Language Requirement?

You do not need to prove that you meet the English Language requirements if you apply to settle as an adult on the basis of your private life.

Will I need to pay the IHS surcharge?

No. You will no longer need to pay the healthcare surcharge once you have settled status (ILR).

What can I do once I have ILR?

You will be able to: 

  • Work
  • Run your own business
  • Study
  • Use public services without paying a surcharge, such healthcare and schools
  • Apply for the use of public funds (benefits) and pensions
  • Apply for British citizenships, after a minimum of 12 months

If you leave the UK for more than 2 continuous years once you have ILR, you will lose it and will need to apply for a Returning Resident Visa.

Can I work in the UK once I have ILR?

Yes, an individual who has ILR can live and work in the UK for an unlimited period of time, without needing to apply to extend their visa. 

How long can I stay in the UK with ILR?

There is no time limit on the amount of time you can spend in the UK with ILR. You should, however, be cautious that your indefinite leave will lapse if you spend more than 2 years outside the UK (or 5 years if settled under the EUSS). 

Does this visa lead to British citizenship?

Yes. Once you have had ILR for (usually) a minimum of 12 months, you will be able to apply for British citizenship. 

Legal Insight

  • Early ILR for young people
    The private life route is a category of the UK’s immigration scheme and applications are made based on Article 8…

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