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Working towards Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)

  • March 01, 2022

What is indefinite leave to remain?

If you hold indefinite leave to remain (ILR), 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.

Does the MTI Scheme count towards ILR

One of the most common questions we get asked is about Indefinite leave to remain. It is so important to so many of our Doctors to be working towards this as their long-term goal is for them and their families to stay in the UK to work indefinitely.

With this in mind, it is a common misconception that Doctors on the MTI scheme are able to use the time in the UK on the scheme towards their ILR. As the MTI scheme is a learn and return scheme for Doctors its purpose is for International Doctors to take the knowledge they have gained within the NHS and use it to strengthen their home countries healthcare system. Thus, the time spent here on the MTI scheme DOES NOT count towards your ILR.

In order to build up five years in the UK to use to apply for ILR you will need to find another role after your MTI.

How to apply

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 Skilled worker visa.

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 Skilled worker visa extension, further leave or indefinite leave to remain.

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 applying for ILR and Citizenship 

The cost of applying for your ILR is £2,389.

It costs £1,330 to apply for your citizenship. You can apply for citizenship if you have indefinite leave to remain or 'settled status' for 12 months. This will grant you full rights to live, work, and travel as a UK citizen.

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

Please click here to apply.

How can we help?

If you would like to speak to our team about NHS opportunities do send your CV to [email protected].

Are you a member of our Facebook group? When you join IMG Advisor, you join a community of doctors all looking to relocate to the UK and join the NHS. We post a series of blogs and vlogs to the group each day. We will also be on hand to answer all of your relocation queries.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel! We have over 60 videos covering everything you need to know about relocating to the UK and joining the NHS.

Listen to BDI Resourcing on the go with IMG Advisor the Podcast! You can listen to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and Buzzsprout. We have a number of episodes with tips and advice on relocating to the UK and the routes you can take to achieve this.

Finally, we also have Instagram, so if you are a member, feel free to follow us to view our posts and IGTV: @bdiresourcing


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