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26 January 2024

10 years’ Indefinite Leave to Remain: a guide

The 10 years’ Indefinite Leave to Remain route is one of the ways you can try to live in the UK forever. Learn all about it in our informative blog.
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
A house with a door painted like to Union Jack to represent settlement through 10 years' Indefinite Leave to Remain

What is Indefinite Leave to Remain?

Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) is the main way for immigrants in the UK to be able to naturalise and gain British citizenship. It comes in two forms, 5 years’ Indefinite Leave to Remain, and 10 years’ Indefinite Leave to Remain. 

Time spent in a British prison, or in any Crown Dependency of the UK such as the Isle of Mann, does not count towards ILR.

The 5 year route is often discussed more than the 10 year route. Essentially, people must have remained in the UK on one or more visas for either 5 or 10 years. 

In this blog, we aim to tell you the requirements of the 10 year Indefinite Leave to Remain route, and how it differs from the 5 year route.

10 years' Indefinite Leave to Remain

To get 10 years’ ILR, you will need to have been in the UK for 10 years on the basis of long residence. 

There are no specific types of visas you need to have had to qualify for 10 years’ Indefinite Leave to Remain. You just need to have been in the UK on any type of visa for 10 years; it does not even have to be the same type of visa for the whole 10 years. 

Please note that the Standard Visitor Visa, Short-term Study Visa, and Seasonal Worker Visa do not count towards ILR. 

Also, there are some other requirements that you have to meet:


Finally, to qualify as having 10 years’ continuous residence in the UK, you must:

  • Not leave the UK for more than 184 days at a time
  • Not leave the UK for 548 days overall
  • Not have overstayed on a past visa
  • Not have any past criminal convictions or have any other grounds for refusal


There are situations where your continuous residence may have been broken for valid reasons, which the Home Office will take into consideration. 

How 5 years' Indefinite Leave to Remain is different

Unlike 10 years’ Indefinite Leave to Remain, 5 years does not let you settle after holding nearly any visa. You must have reached 5 years of residence on certain visas, which are:


If you have held a few different visas, then you can combine the time you spent on certain ones to reach the 5 years of residence for ILR. 

It should be noted that time spent in the UK on Family Visas cannot be combined with any other visa. The same applies to the Ancestry Visa.

Those who have held a Skilled Worker Visa can combine the time spent on it with:


Also, unlike 10 years’ Indefinite Leave to Remain, you cannot leave the UK for any more than 180 days. 

Finally, you will need to continue to meet the financial requirements of whatever visa you are currently on.

How we can help

Our team of immigration experts can help you with your application for 10 years’ Indefinite Leave to Remain, as well as applying for anything else related to UK immigration, such as a visa. 

A member of our team will guide you from start to finish, and will act as your dedicated point of contact. They will do everything possible to ensure that your application is successful.

Get in touch with us today for a free 10-minute consultation with a member of our team.

Ready for assistance?

If you have any questions about the changes or want legal advice, contact
Woodcock Law & Notary Public today. Contact us by phone on 0330 133 6490 or
by email at info@woodcocklaw.co.uk.

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