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What to Know About Indefinite Leave To Remain Visas

– Contributed content –

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(Sergey Zolkin, Unsplash)

17 Nov. 2020. If you’ve been living or studying in the UK for a minimum of five years, you are eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain. This gives you more freedom and is the next step towards earning UK citizenship. There are many reasons as to why you may wish to obtain indefinite leave to remain. For example, living in the UK means you have plenty of opportunities for career progression in your chosen field, be that within software and development or the medical industry. Similarly, you may wish to settle in the UK in order to live with a partner who is a UK national.

With that in mind, here are five things you need to know about IDL.

1: The process can be lengthy 

As with any application, it can take time to get the desired outcome. For example, in order to obtain indefinite leave to remain, you need to provide plenty of evidence and documentation, alongside passing an exam known as the life in the UK test. You need to prove that you have lived/worked within the UK for a certain amount of time, and that you have suitable finances to support yourself. After this, it can also take several weeks or even months for indefinite leave to remain application to be processed. Although this can be frustrating, be patient – it will work out in the end.

2: You can apply online

You can begin the process of obtaining your indefinite leave to remain online, through the UK gov website. However, if you are feeling particularly stressed or overwhelmed, you may wish to hire an immigration lawyer, who can help guide you through the process and help you put your best foot forward. This means you won’t make any mistakes.

3: It can be expensive 

Unfortunately, the cost of obtaining an IRL can become somewhat expensive. The typical cost is £2,389 per person. Although this does not include the cost of your British Life test. Furthermore, the cost rises when you include dependents in your application.

4: IRL provides you with new opportunities 

Once you have been granted an IRL, you will find a lot more opportunities at your feet. Including:

  • It is easier to obtain employment, as the rules pertaining to your employment are the same as any other British citizen. This might mean that you may be able to increase your working hours – as visas often limit the number of hours you can work.
  • Studying may be cheaper and more accessible for the same reason. You will no longer have to pay expensive international fees, meaning you can finally enroll in the course of your dreams.
  • If you are struggling financially, you can apply for any benefits or government support you may need to help you get back on your feet. This may be particularly useful moving forward after the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • You can run your own business or register as self-employed.
  • You can work within any field or industry you desire.
  • You gain full access to any NHS services you need.

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