What is Indefinite Leave to Remain Expiry Rules?

Immigration Tips
ilr visa expire rules

You generally receive assistance with permanent residence status if you are a non-British citizen who has resided in the UK for at least five years under an immigration category or the EU settlement plan. You can live, work, and further your education in the nation without restriction if your application for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) is approved. 

Although “indefinite” means “indefinite,” meaning without a time restriction, you might be interested in knowing if there are any situations under which the home office could expire or withdraw your indefinite permit to remain.

Indefinite Leave to Remain Expiry:

Indefinite Leave to Remain Expiry

Thanks to the Home Office, you can apply for ILR for life. But in some circumstances, you risk losing your ILR status or revoking it. A long departure from the UK is one situation that puts you in danger of losing your ILR status. In particular, following UK immigration regulations, your indefinite permission to remain may expire or be withdrawn after a continuous 2-year absence from the country.

The UK immigration authority will withdraw its decision if you have been given leave and choose to stay abroad for two years or more. As a result, you may only be treated as a permanently established person if you attempt to return to the UK after two years away. In this situation, you will most likely be granted permission to enter to the U.K. 

However, some people are excluded from the ILR expiry regulation regarding extended stays outside the UK. 

They consist of the following:

  • Dependents of/or a soldier in the British military. For the dependents to be excused from the restriction during their prolonged stay abroad, they must accompany the member of the military forces in their foreign deployment.
  • Dependents of British nationals or permanent residents who work full-time for the British Council, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, or the Department for International Development.
  • To apply for ILR, the dependents must be with such dependent employees during their extended overseas stay to be exempt from the expiry rule.
  • UK residents who are returning home in circumstances that do not require authorization for indefinite leave to remain.

You can travel outside the UK for up to 5 years if you have ILR under the EU Settlement Scheme (settled status), and the Home Office won’t revoke your leave status. It is recommended that you return to the country as you near the 5 year mark to prevent discovering that your indefinite leave to remain has run out.

Also Read: Best Legal and Immigration Solicitors in Knightsbridge

If my indefinite leave to remain expires, can I renew it?

Apply for ILR Visa in London, UK

If your permission to remain has expired, you are no longer able to maintain your current status of being able to live, work, and study continuously in the UK.

If you still want to return to the nation as a returning resident whose ILR has expired and settle there once more, you must apply for entry clearance under the Returning Resident Visa requirements before leaving.

Without a visa, any effort to enter the nation would be categorically denied, and you could be sent back to your home country. Do not hesitate to contact My Legal Service if you need our legal team’s professional guidance on managing this procedure.

Your indefinite leave to remain will be restored if you can complete the process and enter the UK on a Returning Resident visa. The conditions for the returning resident visa change according to how long an ILR holder has exceeded their permitted number of re-entries. However, some requirements apply to everyone, such as:

  • Proof indicating you were permitted to stay for an indefinite period
  • Evidence that you didn’t use public funds to leave the UK
  • Proof that you plan to live permanently in the UK

It’s important to remember that your application for a returning resident visa is likely to be rejected; it may deny. 

You will need to submit an online application as a returning resident from overseas. The strength of your ties to the UK and the circumstances surrounding your two-year overstay will be the main determinants of whether or not your application is approved or rejected.

ILR and Deportation:


The right to an indefinite stay in the UK will be revoked if you are deported from the UK for any reason, such as having acquired ILR with false information when you first arrived or having served a personal sentence, and it is determined that continuing to reside in the UK would be out of the public interest.

Also Read: Why Do You Require Our Best Immigration Lawyers In Leytonstone


Feel free to schedule a consultation with our legal team, if your indefinite leave to remain is about to be cancelled or has already been revoked to see how you can continue in a way that is beneficial to you.

It’s important to seek counsel from reputable UK immigration professionals like ours if you have ILR in the UK and anticipate taking on lengthy overseas engagements that could need you to spend years abroad. Get in touch with My Legal Services anytime for quick, risk-free guidance and assistance in avoiding ILR expiration or ILR restoration.

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