ILR & British Citizenship

There are several different routes to obtaining Indefinite Leave to Remain (“ILR”) or British Citizenship. Some routes enable immigration applicants to obtain ILR or British Citizenship via routes based on 6 years’ continuous lawful residence (5 years’ qualifying period for ILR, then an additional 1 year qualifying period for British Citizenship). Examples are the UK Spouse Visa route in Appendix FM to the Immigration Rules and the Tier 2 (General) route in the points-based system of the Rules. Other routes require 10 years’ continuous lawful residence, for example the 10 years’ Long Residence Route.

The Home Office defines continuous residence so as to allow only limited absences from the UK during the qualifying period, therefore care must be taken to ensure that all dates of entry into and exit from the UK are properly accounted for. There are also additional requirements such as the possession of certificates confirming English language abilities, knowledge of Life in the UK, good character, and references.

British Citizenship usually follows a grant of ILR, but this is not necessarily the case. Many immigration applicants, particularly children, are eligible to apply under ‘fast track’ provisions in the British Nationality Act 1981, which lead directly to British Citizenship. This area of law can be very complex to navigate through because it comprises a mixture of statutory provisions and Home Office policy (which, unfortunately, is not always applied consistently). 

Applying for ILR, or British Citizenship can be a complex and stressful experience, particularly if you are worried that you might have a problem with your application. Our Immigration barristers can help you. We are specialist Immigration Lawyers. We regularly advise clients on ILR applications and British Citizenship related matters.

Examples of the work we can do are:

  • Advise you on the documents needed to complete a successful application
  • Complete the application form for you
  • Write to the Home Office on your behalf to make representations to resolve a dispute without going to court
  • Immigration appeals to the court and tribunal
  • Immigration Judicial Review applications

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