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2 February 2024

Apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after 3 years: a useful guide

On certain visas, you can get Indefinite Leave to Remain in just 3 years. Find out how in our informative guide.
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
Young woman at home using a laptop to apply for indefinite leave to remain after 3 years

We have had a few enquiries about how to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after 3 years. It is one of the quickest ways to gain Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK, with the other routes taking 5 years and 10 years

There is also a 2 year option, but this only applies to certain older Tier 1 Visas that are no longer issued. 

Only specific visas allow you to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after 3 years. Due to the interest people have shown in what the requirements are and trying to apply, we will tell you how it is possible to get it.

The visas that let you apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after 3 years

There are not many visas that allow you to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after 3 years.

The ones that you can get it through are:

If you are on any other visa, then you will have to look into ILR after 5 years, or after 10 years. If you are unsure which type of ILR may apply to you, then you can contact us for assistance.

There are instances where if you are on other visas such as the Spouse Visa, you can apply early if you are in certain situations. For example, if your spouse dies, or if you are a victim of domestic abuse. As a result, you may also be able to get 3 ILR after 3 years this way.

How do I apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after 3 years?

You can apply up to 28 days before you are eligible for ILR. The date you become eligible will be 3 years after you first became resident in the UK, so the date you entered the UK on your first visa. 

You should apply before your current visa expires, or you will need to apply to renew your visa first. 

Certain documentation will be needed for you to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after 3 years. 

The documents needed are:

  • A current passport or other document that proves your identity
  • Your Biometric Residence Permit, if applicable
  • All passports you have held whilst you have been in the UK
  • Proof you have passed the Life in the UK Test; for example, a letter with your test reference ID or your unique reference number

To apply, you will have to use the Government’s website, which has a section dedicated to
applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain

Visa specific requirements

Global Talent Visa holders can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after 3 years if they have been endorsed. 

Those on the Innovator Founder Visa, as well as the old Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa, will need to prove that they have sufficiently grown their business.

Entrepreneur Visa holders also need to show they had created 10 new jobs, or had a turnover of £5 million.

Holders of the old Tier 1 Investor Visa can apply depending on how much money they have invested in the UK. 

How we can help

Our expert legal team can assist you if you want to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after 3 years of being in the UK. 

You can arrange a free 10-minute consultation with a member of our team where you can discuss your issue. After this, you can arrange a longer, paid consultation that can last either 30 minutes or an hour. 

Throughout your application, the team member you talk to in your consultation will act as your main point of contact. They will aim to make your application as likely to be successful as possible.

Get in touch with us today if you need our help with ILR, visa applications, or anything else related to immigration. 

Ready for assistance?

If you have any questions, or want to book an appointment with one of our legal experts, contact Woodcock Law today. Call us on +44 (0)20 7712 1705 or email

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