Saracens Blog

What is IRL and how can I settle in the UK if I am not a British citizen?

Immigration Solicitor in London

Every year, an increasing number of people are settling in the UK in order to live and work. The British job market offers ample opportunities to immigrants who wish to stay on a permanent basis. However, depending on each person’s circumstances, different conditions may apply in regard to their remain in the UK.

For now, EU citizens do not require a visa to settle and work in the UK and can apply for an Indefinite Leave To Remain (ILR) under specific criteria. The same applies for most visa holders, though the qualification criteria may differ. British citizenship, on the other hand, grants the right to remain and work in the country indefinitely. No matter what your circumstances, if you wish to settle in the UK, Saracens Solicitors immigration solicitor in London will help.

IRL qualification criteria

People who can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK, include:

  • EU nationals and their immediate family (after five years);
  • Tier 1 visa holders (after five years);
  • Spouse and unmarried visa holders (after five years);
  • Ancestry visa holders (after five years);
  • People who have been living legally in the UK for more than 10 years.

Your immigration solicitor in London will guide you through the application process and ensure that all your documents are gathered and updated. For all those in the above categories to be eligible for an IRL application, five years of continuous stay in the UK are necessary.

If you intend to apply, it is very helpful to have a detailed record of your absences over the last five years, since you are allowed to leave the country for a specific period of time throughout these years in order to be eligible to apply.

Last but not least, IRL applicants must demonstrate a very good knowledge of the English language and British history and culture. Your immigration solicitor in London will provide all the information required for your preparation.

Once your IRL is granted you can stay in the UK indefinitely. However, you must be careful not to leave the country for more than two years in a row as this may lead to the loss of your permit.



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