Blogs > Life in the UK

Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)

  • May 22, 2019

What is limited leave to remain?

If you are a non-EEA national, you will be subject to UK immigration rules which means that to enter the UK for a limited period of time, you will need to apply for limited leave to remain. Typically, for doctors and nurses, this is by way of Tier 2 visa application.

Limited leave to remain requires you to depart from the UK at the end of the specified visa period or to make a further application to the Home Office via either a Tier 2 visa extension, further leave or indefinite leave to remain.

Whilst you are on a Tier 2 visa, you will have to meet the conditions of your visa and a number of restrictions will apply, such as having no access to public funds whilst in the UK.

What is indefinite leave to remain?

If you hold indefinite leave to remain, which is also known as a permanent residency or settled status – this means you have no time limit to live in the UK and usually no conditions on your right to stay. You can access the same entitlements to services as UK citizens and apply for welfare and tax credits.

Indefinite Leave to Remain Criteria

  • You must complete 5 years of continuous residence in the UK and adhere to certain income requirements
  • Keep a detailed record of any absences from the UK over the last 5 years, as any lengthy absences may negatively impact your application
  • Evidence your English language skills – You will need to either provide evidence of an academic qualification taught in English or you will need to sit an approved English test
  • You must demonstrate a good knowledge of life in the UK, by way of the “Life in the UK” test

What is The Life in the UK Test?

This is an official government test and it costs £50.

There are over 30 test centres in the UK, and you will need to choose the nearest 5 to where you live.

To prepare for the test, you should study the official handbook for the Life in the UK Test.

You will have 45 minutes to answer 24 questions about British traditions and customs.

Examples of possible Life in the UK Question?

What is New Year’s Eve called in Scotland?

A. Vaisakhi​​

B. Hannukah

C. Diwali

D. Hogmanay

Why did Henry VIII establish the Church of England?

​A. To celebrate his wedding with Anne of Cleves

B. To have control over religious people

C. To establish a unique religion in England 

D. To divorce his first wife, Catherine of Aragon

Where is Snowdonia located?

A. England 

B. Northern Ireland 

C. Scotland

D. Wales

Cost of Indefinite Leave to Remain Application

It costs £1,330 to apply.

You must also pay £19.20 to have your biometric information taken.

Please click here to apply.

Relocation to the UK

If you are an international doctor with plans to relocate to the UK and join the NHS, email your CV to [email protected] and we would love to help you on your journey to the UK.

Join our Facebook Group

Are you a member of IMG Advisor? Here, you will have access to frequent relocation blog posts, the opportunity to ask questions and receive professional advice and the chance to meet other IMGs.


GOV.UK. (2019). Life in the UK Test. ] Available at: [Accessed 20 May 2019].

Morris, A. (2019). Leave to Remain in the UK (Requirements & Applications) - - Immigration Solicitors. ] - Immigration Solicitors. Available at: [Accessed 20 May 2019].


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