International work permits OISC ILPA

UK Residency - Permanent Residence in the UK


Permanent residence [or indefinite leave to remain ] depends on the status of your stay in the UK to date and consequently how long you need to have been here to qualify.


Status ( Type of Visa currently )

Qualifying period

Ancestry 5 years
Work permit & HSMP 5 years
Investors 5 years
Writers, composers and artists 5 years
Sole representatives 5 years
To establish in business 5 years
Unmarried partners 2 years
Marriage 2 years
Illegal stay on any basis 14 years
legal stay on any basis 10 years

Indefinite Leave to Remain


Indefinite leave to remain is the granting of Permanent Residence in the UK. Once it has been granted, there are no longer any immigration related restrictions on the work or business you may do in the UK, and no time limits on your stay in the UK.

You should note that to keep your permanent residence you should not spend longer than two years outside the UK. You should maintain ties to the UK and should consider the UK as your home(Permanent Residence). If you continue to only spend short periods of time in the UK over many years it is likely that there will come a time when you will lose your indefinite leave to remain in the UK. It is therefore beneficial in most cases to apply for UK citizenship. You can normally apply for naturalisation as an UK citizen one year after being granted indefinite leave to remain as long as you meet the residence requirements.

In order to be eligible to apply for Indefinite leave to remain after 4 years and eleven months on a Work Permit or HSMP you must meet the following requirements:
  • You have been on a work permit (or more than one work permit), or a combination of HSMP and a work permit continuously for a period of 4 years and eleven months.
  • You are currently on a work permit and can obtain a letter confirming that your employer wishes to continue to employ you OR If on HSMP you can confirm that you have been working in a professional or management level job.
  • You have had lawful status throughout the 4 year and eleven month period.
  • You have spent most of your time in the UK over 4 years and eleven months or absences abroad have been for business reasons.


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