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How Long Does ILR Take to Process? 

A crucial step toward establishing one's permanent residence in the UK is receiving Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). ILR processing times...

How Long Does ILR Take to Process? 

Exploring Different Scenarios

A crucial step toward establishing one’s permanent residence in the UK is receiving Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). ILR processing times, however, might differ based on some variables, including unique situations like having a child living in the UK, having a spouse visa, completing a 5-year stay, or aiming for a 10-year residence. In this extensive article, we’ll look at how long ILR takes to process in these various situations, giving you helpful information to better understand the settlement process.

What is Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)?

Let’s quickly review what ILR entails before getting into the processing times. Foreign nationals having indefinite leave to remain are allowed to reside and work in the UK without facing any immigration restrictions. It represents your successful establishment of your life in the UK and your progress toward permanent residency.

Processing Time for ILR with a UK-Based Child

The length of time it takes to process your ILR application could be affected if you have a child who was born in the UK. The application process is frequently sped up when a dependent child is present in the UK.


Standard Processing Time: ILR processing typically takes 6 to 8 weeks when a child is located in the UK. The UK government places a high priority on maintaining intact families, which can speed up the processing of your application.

Processing Time for ILR with a Spouse Visa

Due to their established family links in the UK, people with spouse visas who want to switch to ILR might encounter a more expedited application process.


Standard Processing Time: The processing period for ILR with a spouse visa typically lasts 8 to 12 weeks. The UK government understands the value of maintaining family unity and works to speed up the settlement of spouses.

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Processing Time for ILR with 5-Year Long Residency

The ILR application process becomes open to people who have lived continuously in the UK for five years. People who have held a variety of visas during their stay, such as work or student visas, are generally included in this group.

Standard Processing Time: ILR processing typically takes three to six months when the residency is for five years. It entails a careful examination of your immigration background and adherence to visa rules.

Processing Time for ILR with 10-Year Long Residence

The application process for those seeking ILR under the 10-year-long residency category is frequently more difficult. Regardless of their visa situation, people who have lived in the UK continuously for ten years fall into this group.


Standard Processing Time: ILRs with a 10-year residence can take a very long time to process. It can require six months, a year, or perhaps longer. Since these cases cover a decade’s worth of immigration history, careful analysis is necessary.

Tips for a Smooth ILR Application Process

To ensure a smooth ILR application process, consider the following tips: 

Start Early: Begin your application process well in advance of your current visa expiration date.

Seek Professional Advice: Consulting with an immigration expert can help you navigate the process efficiently.

Gather complete documentation: Ensure all required documents are in order and up-to-date.

Stay informed: Keep yourself updated on immigration policy changes that may impact your application.

Be Patient: Understand that processing times can vary, and patience is key.


For those looking to settle permanently in the UK, obtaining indefinite leave to remain is a big step. While some factors can affect how quickly ILR is processed, proper planning and attention to detail can speed up the procedure. Keep in mind that because every situation is different, the timelines may vary.


Start your application right away if you’re prepared to move on to ILR and start down the road to obtaining permanent residency in the UK.


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