Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Indefinite Leave is not ‘indefinite’!

Certainly not as indefinite as most people think. This post is of vital importance to those who have secured an Indefinite Leave to Remain (permanent residency status) in the UK and who are thinking of relocating abroad or taking a job abroad. You will lose your ILR if you leave the UK for more than 2 years in a row and will have to start all over again in the future. Indefinite Leave can be lost, and many lose it, as a result of being away for more than 2 years, such as working in Australia, USA or the Middle East etc.

What’s the solution? First to apply for British Citizenship, then to go. Please note we say ‘to apply’ and not ‘to get’. In other words, assuming you meet the requirements and can provide the right documents (which we can advise on), your application for Citizenship is based on the time before the date of application, not after. So, you can apply and then take a job offer abroad because your absences will be counted up to the date of application, not the date of decision.

Once you have an approval, you could come back to the UK for a citizenship ceremony where you would be given a certificate. You become British with that certificate, not with a passport. Once you are a British citizen, you could leave the UK for as long as you wish without losing that status. Not to mention that with a British passport you will be able to work in any EU country!

PS Those applying for an ILR recently may have noticed that a biometric card (while saying Indefinite) is valid until 31.12.2024. This is not a mistake and the card will have to be renewed after 31.12.2024, meaning another application, another application, fee (but no need to qualify again like for the 1st ILR). Unless of course you become British by then.

For individual advice or to make an application please contact us: or visit: We respond emails on the same working day!

1st 4Immigration Ltd, authorised by the OISC, ref 200800152. We operate at the highest Level 3 of expertise. Office address: 68 King William Street, City of London, London, EC4M 7DZ.

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