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Sunday, 10 May 2009

Definition of Indefinite leave to remain - UK

Indefinite leave to remain (ILR) is an immigration status granted to a person who does not hold right of abode in the United Kingdom, but who has been admitted to the UK without any time limit on his or her stay and who is free to take up employment or study, without restriction. When indefinite leave is granted to persons outside the United Kingdom it is known as indefinite leave to enter (ILE).
A person who has indefinite leave to remain, right of abode, or is an Irish citizen, has settled status if resident in the United Kingdom (as do British citizens living in the UK).

Settled status is central to British nationality law, as the most usual route to naturalisation or registration as a British citizen requires that the applicant be settled in the UK. Settled status is also important where a child of non-British citizen parents is born in the UK, as unless at least one parent has settled status the child will not automatically be a British citizen.

Benefits of indefinite leave to remain
Holders of indefinite leave to remain may apply for naturalisation as a British citizen after at least five years' residence in the United Kingdom, provided that they have held ILR for at least one year. Those who hold another form of British nationality may instead apply for registration, which is a simpler process than naturalisation.

Because in most situations ILR is granted only after five years in the United Kingdom and a further 12 months residence with ILR is required for naturalisation, the effective waiting time for naturalisation is six years in most instances.

Immigration rule changes--HC 398
If married to or in a civil partnership with a British citizen, one's residence period for naturalisation is three years and there is no minimum period required for ILR to be held. There is no similar concession for registration, although British nationals (other than British citizens) may choose to apply for naturalisation instead.

As from 3 April 2007, a new condition has been added that "the applicant has sufficient knowledge of the English language and sufficient knowledge about life in the United Kingdom, unless he is under the age of 18 or aged 65 or over at the time he makes his application." (See [7] )

There are two ways the applicant can meet this condition:
  • By passing a test called the "Life in the UK Test". The test is taken on a computer at one of the 100 or so Life in the UK Test centres in the UK. It consists of 24 questions based on the information contained in the handbook "Life in the United Kingdom: A Journey to Citizenship" (2nd Edition) and requires a language ability the equivalent of ESOL Entry 3.
  • By attending an English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) course which includes citizenship materials, and progressing from one ESOL level to the next. It is stated that on average students require between 200 and 450 hours of tuition for each ESOL level.
Loss of indefinite leave to remain
ILR may be lost if a person leaves the United Kingdom and on return is given leave to enter other than for an indefinite period. This may be because, e.g., they mistakenly seek to enter as a visitor, or the immigration officer believes that they do not intend to reside in the United Kingdom.

ILR may also be curtailed by the Home Secretary for reasons of national security or if the holder of the ILR commits an offence that could lead to their deportation from the United Kingdom

A person may also lose ILR by leaving the United Kingdom for more than two years. However, in some circumstances, such a person may reapply for indefinite leave to enter the UK.

Extracted from Wikipedia
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