Requirements to obtain a UK Permanent Resident permit

What is UK's permanent resident or Indefinite Leave to Remain, eligibility and requirements to obtain permanent resident status?

Requirements to obtain a UK Permanent Resident permit

People from all over the world move to the United Kingdom every year with hopes of settling down with a dream job, exploring a promising business opportunity, or simply because they feel a connection to the place, they have been wanting to live in.

The UK is one of the most popular destinations for a better life because it offers a great way to harness your potential and enjoy a dynamic new culture simultaneously. Moreover, talents and creators from the UK are recognized globally in the fields of arts, science, business, sports and politics.

So it is only natural that you’ll decide to take up residence in the UK permanently, where you will be rewarded with bright prospects. Here, we’ll discuss what is UK's permanent resident or Indefinite Leave to Remain, eligibility and requirements to obtain permanent resident status.

What is permanent residence in the UK?

A permanent resident card in the UK – also known as Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) – grants the holder the right to live, work and study in the UK indefinitely without immigration restrictions while still holding a foreign citizenship status.

According to UK’s immigration rules, this status is granted exclusively to a person who does not have the Right of Abode naturally.

This permit can lapse if the person spends more than 2 years outside the UK continuously after being granted permanent residence in the UK or is convicted of a criminal offence.

Speaking to us at, Dele Bakare, a Nigerian and UK startup founder, shared some of the benefits and opportunities he expects the UK Indefinite Leave to Remain will unlock for him.

“As a startup founder in both Nigeria and the UK, acquiring the UK Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) provides me with the invaluable opportunity to reside and work in the UK without any time limitations or immigration constraints.”

“In today's interconnected world,” he continued, “where the global village thrives, having the freedom to travel without concerns of visa extensions or meeting specific requirements bolsters my ability to conduct business and engage in personal and professional travels seamlessly. Also, having ILR grants me access to a broader range of financial services, including enhanced options, which ultimately strengthens my long-term financial stability and planning.”

Related Article: What you need to know about the UK’s Global Talent Visa

Who can apply to get a PR in the UK?

You can apply for permanent residence in the UK after having legally resided in the country for a certain amount of years.

Generally, you must have lived and worked in the UK for at least five years. If you have a Tier 1 Visa, this can be reduced to two or three years. You can apply for permanent residency after three years if you have an Innovator or Global Talent visa.

You may also need to meet the salary or other financial requirements, depending on your visa. Below is a list showing the length of time you must spend in the UK on various visas to be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR):

  • Marriage or family member: five years
  • Lawful stay on any basis (long stay): ten years
  • UK Ancestry: five years
  • Skilled Worker, T2 or tier 2 visa: five years
  • Tier 1: two to five years, depending on the investment or number of jobs created
  • Global Talent Visa: three to five years, depending on endorsement

If your stay in the UK is within any of the categories stated above, and you have completed the stated length of time, you may be eligible to apply for a permanent residence permit.

Related Article: Canada set to launch digital nomad strategy targeting tech talents

Requirements to apply for PR in the UK

With IRL status, you can live and work in the UK permanently. If you have lived legally in the UK for at least five years, chances are you qualify for residency and a UK PR is on the cards confidently.

Typically, you must have lived in the UK for a certain number of years according to your visa type. Depending on your visa, you may also need to meet the salary or other financial requirements.

When it comes to residency, completing the application is one of the last things you will do. First, you must check your eligibility and collect all the relevant paperwork.

Then you need to ensure you have access to all details about your immigration history, especially if you have been on various visas since arriving there. The costs of the application for Indefinite Leave to Remain, or permanent residence, varies according to the various visa type.

Finally, when you put all this together, you can complete the application form confidently.

You must provide documents as proof of your legal stay in the UK as part of the application process. These may include:

  • Current pay slips
  • Bank account statements
  • Address proof (like rent or lease contract etc.)
  • Council tax letters
  • Proof supporting the calculation of an applicant’s disclosed other sources of income, if any.
  • Appointment letter from employer on company letterhead with signatory authority stamp and date in case the applicant is a job employee.
  • For entrepreneurs, relevant materials must be provided regarding registered business addresses, relevant valid permits etc.

Closing thoughts

The UK offers one of the best choices for pursuing higher education because it is student-friendly, amongst the leaders in almost all sectors and has leading universities that list amongst the top 100 universities in the world.

Securing admission to a UK University, starting a business, and getting employed with a full-time job in the UK with a stable income, good moral conduct and no criminal record will help in securing the ILR or PR visa.

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