Indefinite leave to remain (settlement)

The information on this page is necessarily general. For further information please consult the Visa and Immigration web pages of


To be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain you must complete a continuous period of five years (please see below) or two years if you are in the UK on a spousal visa in the UK in an eligible immigration category before you can apply for settlement. You must meet all the requirements of the Immigration Rules that are in place at the time when you apply for settlement, as these are subject to change we recommend that you check the Home Office website for updates.

Continuous period of five years

Please note that the Home Office have stated that within this period only time actually spent within the UK will be counted. You are allowed a limited amount of time to spend outside the UK for holiday or research over the five year period. However, 'in assessing whether or not an applicant has fulfilled the requirement to have spent 5 years in continuous residence in the same capacity, short absences abroad, for example for holidays (consistent with annual paid leave) or business trips (consistent with maintaining employment or self-employment in the United Kingdom), may be disregarded, provided he has clearly continued to be based here.'

Please ensure that you have read and understood the eligibility criteria before you apply.

If you are likely to spend any extended amount of time outside the UK, please contact the HR Immigration Team as soon as possible for guidance.

Biometric information

You must also now enrol biometric information and obtain a biometric residence permit. For more information please see the biometric information on the website.

How to apply

Please ensure you are applying using the correct form and have read the correct Policy Guidance on the website.

You must have enough English language skills and enough knowledge about life in the UK when you apply.

The University must certify in writing that we continue to require you for employment. A letter to this effect can be obtained from the HR Administration Team

When to apply

Do not apply more than 28 days before you are eligible, but you must make an application before your current leave to remain in the UK expires.


Some dependents are eligible to apply for settlement at the same time as you, provided they have lived with you in the UK for a minimum of two years before applying for settlement.

Children (up to the age of 18) are eligible to apply for settlement at the same time as you, provided the child meets the requirements of the immigration rules.

For more information, visit the visa and immigration pages of the website.

Knowledge of life and language in the UK

You may need to undertake a life in the UK test, see the Home Office website for more details. You may also be required to show you have a knowledge of language in the UK. Please see the website for more information.