How to settle in the UK

Settlement in the United Kingdom is called ILR (Indefinite Leave to Remain) or (Permanent Residence for EEA nationals). This type of document is granted to those individuals who have already shown a commitment to the UK on a temporary visa or visas.

After an individual has lived in the UK for a specific period of time they can apply for ILR which grants them the right to stay in the UK for as long as they wish, and apply for naturalisation.

We can help you make a successful application.

What are you getting?

ILR after 2, 3 or 5 years of residence in the UK (conditions apply)


  • By obtaining naturalisation you are no longer subject to immigration rules

  • Your family can apply with you

  • No restrictions on travel, residence, work and studies

  • Can apply with multiple visa types

Settlement (Indefinite Leave to Remain)

Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) is an immigration status granted to an individual after a relevant time period has passed (depending on the circumstances it can be anywhere from 2, 3, 4, 5 or even 10 years)

A person who receives this documents will be free to reside, take up employment or study without any restrictions.

While applicants can spend up to 180 days outside the UK per year, it would be advisable to not spend more than 90 days as it may affect the chances of obtaining a British passport.

Settlement by Investment

Investors need to invest at least £2 million in the UK to apply for settlement after 5 years. Moreover, it is possible to qualify for accelerated settlement after 2 years if you maintain an investment of £10 million or after 4 years if you maintain an investment of £5 million.

In order to qualify for indefinite leave to remain in the UK on the basis of an investment in the UK, you will need to show that:

  • You have investment not less than £2 million of your capital in the UK by way of UK Government bonds, share capital or loan capital in an active and trading UK company
  • You have maintained at least £2 million of your own funds, under your own control, in the UK
  • Pass the Life in the UK test and an English language test
  • Spend a maximum of 180 days outside the UK per year
  • Have not spend more than 180 days per year outside the UK.

Settlement by Entrepreneurship

If you have invested in a new or existing UK business and your investment has created at least 2 full-time jobs, you may apply for settlement in the UK after 5 years. Furthermore, you may be able to qualify for accelerated settlement after 3 years if you create 10 new jobs or your business receives at least £5 million in income from its activity.

In order to qualify on the basis of an investment in a new or existing business in the UK, you will need to show that you are:

  • Registered as a business director or as self-employed within 6 months of either entering the UK as a Tier 1 Entrepreneur or being granted leave to remain as a Tier 1 Entrepreneur
  • Invested at least £200 000 or £50 000 in a business or businesses in the UK
  • Created at least two full time jobs that have existed for at least 12 months
  • Successfully passed your “Life in the UK” test and an English language test

Settlement for Workers

In order to qualify for leave to remain as a Tier 2 General migrant, you will need to show that you have:

  • Spent a continuous period of 5 years lawfully in the UK as a Tier 2 General migrant or in any combination of the relevant categories as set out in the Immigration rules
  • NOT spent more than 180 days outside the UK per one year
  • NOT in beach of UK immigration laws except that any period of overstaying for a period of 28 days or less will be disregarded
  • Still required for your current job
  • Paid the appropriate salary to qualify (£35 000 per year)
  • Demonstrated your knowledge in regards to the English language and life in the UK.

Differences in similar type visas:

  • Sole representatives must still be working for the same company
  • Your status as a sole Representative has not been terminated
  • Your employer’s parent company is still based outside the UK

Settlement for spouses

After spending 5 years in the UK as the spouse, civil partner, unmarried partner, dependant or child of a British or European citizen, you may be eligible for settlement in the UK.

In order to qualify you will need to show that you have:

  • Lived together with your partner in the UK or there is a good reason why you could not have done so
  • Met the necessary English language requirement and passed the Life in the UK test

You will be adequately maintained, accommodated and cared for in the UK by your family member, without recourse to public funds

For adult dependants:

  • You are the parent aged 18 or over, grandparent, brother or sister aged over 18 or over or son or daughter aged 18 years or over of a person who is in the UK
  • Still require your long-term personal care
  • You cannot receive the necessary care in your own country

Regarding children:

  • Both parents have obtained settlement (or applying for) (if two parents live in UK)
  • One parent has settlement, the other is applying (if two parents live in UK)
  • One parent has ILR (if one parent lives in UK)
  • The legal guardian, relative has ILR (if no parents live in the UK, will require strong evidence)
  • Relationship to the parent or other relative
  • They are under 18
  • They are not married, in civil partnership or leading an independent life
  • There is adequate accommodation and maintenance for the child, without relying on public funds

Settlement under Long Residency

In order to qualify for settlement under the 10 year rule, you will have to show that:

  • You have spent a period of at least 10 years residing in the UK continuously and lawfully
  • There no public interest reason why it would be undesirable to grant you indefinite leave to remain
  • There are no grounds for refusing your application
  • You have demonstrated sufficient knowledge of the English language and about life in the UK
  • You have not breached any UK immigration laws

Your residence must be unbroken. Although, the residence will be broken if you were:

  • Absent from the UK for more than 18 months in total
  • Removed or deported from the UK
  • Left after being refused leave to enter or remain
  • Showed clear intention not to return to the UK
  • Sentenced to imprisonment
  • Absent from the UK for more than 6 months at any one time
  • Absent from the UK with no leave

If you are able to establish 10 years continuous lawful residence UKVI will consider if there are any public interest against your settlement. They will take into account:

  • Age
  • Strength of connections in the UK
  • Personal history
  • Domestic circumstances
  • Compassionate circumstances
  • Any representations submitted on your behalf

After obtaining Settlement (ILR) apply for British Citizenship 12 months later.

FAQ – Settlement

How do I know when to apply for settlement

It will depend on your circumstances and the type of visa you have. However, the basic time you can apply for settlement is after 5 years.

Can my family apply for settlement

Yes, your family can apply for settlement with you.

Can I apply for settlement faster

Yes, but it will depend on the type of visa you have. If you have a Investor, Entrepreneur, or Turkish businessperson visa it may be possible to apply faster.

I am a student can I settle

As a student you must either switch to a different visa (like Tier 1 or 2) or apply under long residency rules after 10 years.

I am a European how should I apply

European nationals should apply under permanent residence not ILR.

Will I be able to apply for a British passport after settlement

If you successfully receive your settlement documentation you can apply for Naturalisation (British Passport) after you have lived here in total 6 years (conditions apply).

Are there any restrictions to workers

Workers (Tier 2) who wish to apply for settlement must earn £35 000 before the date of application.

Why do I need to settle

After your extension you must settle, switch your visa or leave the UK.