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Documents Required for ILR (2023 Checklist)

If you are a South African hoping to settle permanently in the UK, you may be wondering which documents are required for your Indefinite Leave to Remain application.

In order to demonstrate that you are eligible for ILR, you must provide these key documents within your application. Here, we provide an up-to-date list of the required ILR documents.

Our expert immigration lawyers frequently assist with ILR applications, providing our clients with the best chance of success. To find out how we can help you, call us on 0333 305 9375.

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    What is Indefinite Leave to Remain?

    Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) is a form of permanent settlement which allows non-British nationals to reside in the UK on a permanent, long-term basis.

    Usually, you are required to have been living in the UK lawfully for at least 5 years before being eligible to apply for ILR. In certain circumstances, you may be eligible to apply sooner.

    There are a number of advantages of holding Indefinite Leave to Remain status in the UK. You are able to access services such as the NHS, public funds, housing, and other social benefits, as well as being able to work without restrictions.

    If you believe you are eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain, our expert immigration lawyers can provide tailored legal advice and assistance with your application. Call us today on 0333 305 9375.

    Immigrating to South Africa

    Documents Required for ILR

    When making an application for Indefinite Leave to Remain, you must ensure that you provide the necessary documents before submitting this to the Home Office.

    UK immigration rules have faced a number of changes in recent years following the 2016 EU referendum. It is important to make sure that you have checked the most up-to-date checklists when considering the requirements for any UK visa, settlement or citizenship applications.

    When it comes to ILR specifically, the documents you must provide within your application ultimately depends on your personal circumstances.

    However, generally, the ILR required documents include:

    • A copy of your passport (this must be valid)
    • Proof that you meet the English language requirement (e.g. evidence that you have passed the English language test if this was necessary)
    • Proof that you have passed the Life in the UK test
    • Information which discloses any periods of absence from the UK
    • A copy of your biometric residence permit (if applicable)
    • Information regarding your accommodation in the UK
    • Birth certificates of any dependents (if applicable)
    • A letter from a clinician if you have a long-term health condition
    • Evidence of cohabitation if you are applying for ILR through the partner route
    • Financial information

    Since there are a range of routes you can take to acquiring ILR, you may be required to provide additional documents depending on your circumstances. An experienced, qualified immigration lawyer can provide legal guidance on this, ensuring that you do not submit your application without the necessary documents.

    A Valid Passport/Travel Document

    Within your Indefinite Leave to Remain application, you must provide your valid passport or travel document. To be considered ‘valid’, they must not have expired yet.

    Additionally, if you used a different passport to arrive in the UK, you must provide this. Or, if you do not currently have a passport, you must provide your valid travel document – this is a form of identification which allows individuals to move across government-regulated boundaries.

    Information Detailing Periods of Absence from the UK 

    A key requirement for ILR is that the applicant has not been absent from the UK for a certain amount of time during their qualifying period. The qualifying period is typically the 5 years (or 3 years depending on your eligibility) that you have been residing lawfully in the UK.

    If you have spent more than 180 days outside of the UK in any 12-month period during your qualifying residency in the UK, you likely will not qualify for ILR unless there were exceptional circumstances.

    Any time spent outside the UK during your qualifying period must be explained through documentation. For example, if you visited abroad during your annual leave entitlement, you and/or your employer can provide documentation to prove this.

    Or if you were absent from the UK for compassionate reasons, you must write a letter outlining the circumstances for this and providing any evidence where possible.

    Biometric Residence Permit

    Biometric residence permits are typically given to those who are staying in the UK for a period of more than six months. You will need to provide this within your ILR application if you have one.

    Do you need help applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain? Our lawyers can assist you. Get in touch

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      English Language Requirement

      To qualify for ILR, you must prove that you meet the English language requirement. This means your English language skill must be at the level of B1 as outlined by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. Unless you are from a majority English-speaking country, you will likely have to take a Home Office-authorised English language test.

      To prove that you have passed the test, you may be given either a certificate or a unique reference number which you can quote within your ILR application. This will serve as sufficient evidence of your English language ability.

      Proof of suitable accommodation

      The Home Office will require evidence of your living arrangements. This can typically be provided in the form of a letter from your landlord/letting agency (if you are renting), title deeds or a letter from your mortgage provider (if you or your partner own the property wherein you are living), or a letter from family/friends if you are living with them.

      Evidence that you have passed the Life in the UK Test

      Another key condition of being granted ILR is that the applicant must pass the Life in the UK test. This test consists of a number of multiple choice questions based on the history, traditions and culture of the United Kingdom. To pass the test, you must score at least 75% or above.

      Once you have passed the test, you should be provided with a pass certificate or unique reference number which will serve as evidence within your ILR application.

      Additional documents

      If you are including any dependents within your ILR application, you must provide key documents such as their birth certificates.

      Similarly, if you are applying for ILR via one of the UK’s partner routes, you must demonstrate that you and your partner are living together permanently.

      You may also be required to provide details of any changes in your circumstances, such as changes to your marital status, any changes to your name, and the details of any children that you may have had during your time in the UK.

      ILR application assistance

      To discuss your personal case with a dedicated immigration lawyer, contact the Immigration Advice Service on 0333 305 9375.

      We offer bespoke legal services which provide our clients with the best chance of success, no matter what their immigration query may be.

      We can provide advice and practical assistance with your application and will ensure that you include the required documents for ILR.

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