If you apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after 5 years, you will be granted many benefits when living in the UK. It is a form of ‘settled status’, allowing the applicant to live, work or study in the UK without facing strict immigration restrictions. If you are looking to gain British Citizenship in the future, applying for ILR is the first necessary step in achieving your goal.

Normally, you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain under the condition that you have lived in the UK for a minimum of five years. However, there are certain requirements you must meet in order to qualify for the five-year route. Many others will have to wait until they reach a minimum of ten years in the UK.

How can IAS help?

An immigration lawyer at IAS will be able to evaluate if you are able to apply for ILR after five years. Once you are assigned a lawyer, they will be able to assess your circumstances and help you apply appropriately. Contact us today on +1844 290 6312 or make an inquiry online to check if you are eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after 5 years.


Can I switch to an ILR visa from another visa?

If you are looking to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after 5 years, it is necessary that you have been living in the UK during this time. You must have stayed on the same visa type throughout.

The criteria that lead to ILR depends on which visa you are already on. Certain visas will only expire after five years, giving you the perfect opportunity to apply for ILR.

However, other visa types only grant permission for you to stay in the UK for two or three years. In this case, you will have to check you meet the ILR requirements or renew your original visa until you reach the five-year threshold. Normally, you will only have to renew your visa once before being suitable to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after 5 years.

If you have changed your visa type during your time in the UK, you could still be eligible for ILR. As long as you have continuous residency totaling over a five-year period on one visa category, you may still be eligible to apply for ILR visa.

The five-year path is not always the easiest route for certain applicants. If you frequently changed visa types throughout your time in the UK, you may have to wait until you have accumulated 10 years. If you can prove you have been a continuous resident in the UK for this time then you will qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain.

Will my absences from the UK affect my ILR Visa application?

Continuous residency is the most important requirement in ILR visa applications. The UK government takes absences from the UK seriously.

If you are applying for ILR, you must not have had:

  • Absences longer than 180 days at a time
  • Absences over 540 days in total

You could be exempt from these requirements if you have serious or compelling reasons why you were absent. For example, if you work overseas, had to attend a funeral or take care of an ill family member.

If you fear that you may have gone over the absence limit, you should seek expert legal advice. A lawyer will be able to help you claim an exemption with your application.

What services does IAS offer?

A fully qualified lawyer can assist you with your application for Indefinite Leave to Remain after five years. From start to finish, we strive to achieve the best results for you.

What we do:

  • Provide you with an advice session to discuss your eligibility, either in person, phone or online;
  • Assess the likelihood of whether your application for ILR after 5 years would be successful;
  • Provide you with a Letter of Representation to go with your application;
  • Communicate with the UK government and keep you updated on your visa status;
  • Complete your forms and documents to the highest standard in a concise portfolio.

For further information, contact us on +1844 290 6312 or use our online form to discuss your options and whether you’re eligible for ILR after five years.

Our Indefinite Leave to Remain Packages

Advice Package

Comprehensive immigration advice tailored to you, with written confirmation


Application Package

Full assistance throughout your entire application process


Fast Track Package

A premium service which allows your application to take priority position in your lawyer's workload


Appeal Package

Full representation through your appeal, including physical representation if your case is heard by a tribunal


A few of

our experienced

immigration lawyers

Case studies

Our team of experts can help you with any issues or queries you need to discuss. Get in touch now to find out your options.

Matthew: Working on a Student Visa

Matthew, a US national, had been studying in the UK for three years with a Tier 4 General Student Visa.
He found a potential employer in the UK but… Read More

Horatio: Study Visa with University Sponsorship

Horatio was given a scholarship to study in the UK but has never left his home country, Paraguay.
The university contacted IAS and took over the application for Horatio.  IAS… Read More

Fiance Visa for Thai partner

John (a UK national) met Vitchita (a Thai national) online and stayed in contact with her for many months.
After they met in person, they decided that there was something special… Read More

Asis: EEA Free Movement

Asis, a Spanish national, was offered employment in the UK but was unsure whether or not he would be able to bring his wife and children with him when he… Read More

Terence: Tier 1 Visa

Terence, an Australian investor, found several investment opportunities in the UK. He was unclear about his immigration options and contacted IAS. Working closely with our specialist lawyer, he was able… Read More

Melissa’s Daughter’s British Citizenship

Melissa and her child are Filipino nationals who came to the UK to join Melissa’s husband.
Complications with their initial application and insufficient information being provided resulted in her child’s… Read More

Latest reviews

Great service and Nasreen really helped guide us through the process. Our application went through smoothly and was well worth… Read More
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Imelda was very knowledgeable and was able to answer all of our questions. We have a much better picture of… Read More

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