One of the most frequently heard questions by our UK visa consultants in Mumbai about British citizenship is “how long does it take before I take the next step in the process”? The eagerness is understandable and we are here to solve all your British settlement queries. The first step towards settling in the UK is obviously moving to the UK on a valid visa like the work visa or a Spouse Visa. For more details on the various UK Visas, have a look at the various requirements for each visa category.
The next step, which we are going to address here, is obtaining a document known as an Indefinite Leave to Remain, or ILR. The ILR allows you to stay back in the UK legally for an unspecified duration of time; in other words, it is the document permitting your settlement in Britain.
So how long does it take to qualify for an ILR? In order to be eligible to apply for an ILR, you must have stayed in the UK under a valid Visa for a total of 5 years. The timescale plan that UK Visa consultants recommend for each category of visas are listed below.

The duration required for qualifying for an ILR:

Depending on the category of Visa on which you are living in the UK, the process for an ILR might differ in the timescales required. Here are the brief timescales for ILR applications for all the visa categories for which the applicant is eligible for settlement. If you feel unsure about which category of Visa you must choose, then please do not hesitate to contact our UK Visa consultants in Mumbai who would clear any and all doubts you might have regarding your UK migration procedures.

Spouse visa:

There are two stages to the settlement process with a
Spouse Visa. The first stage of the spouse visa is valid for a total of 33 months, after which you will be required to submit an application for an extension should you choose to stay back in the UK. Once your spouse visa extension application has been accepted, you have extended your spouse visa for an additional 30 months, which will take your total time of stay in the UK to 5 years, hence making you eligible to apply for the ILR.

Ancestry visa:

Since the Ancestry visa is almost always issued for a period of 5 years, you may have fulfilled the ILR residency requirement of 5 years without any visa extensions.

Tier 2 (General) visa:

The The UK Tier 2 (General) visa allows the applicant to remain in the UK for a total of five years and 14 days. Hence, the applicant can apply for the ILR without any extensions.

If you’re on a Tier 1 visa

The maximum amount of time you can stay in the UK on a Tier 1 visa is 3 years and 4 months. You may then extend your visa for a further two years on meeting certain requirements. This will get you over the 5-year mark for ILR qualification.

If you’re on a student visa

Although it is not possible to apply for an ILR while on a student Visa, immigration law firms recommend Tier 4 students switch to a different visa after you have completed your course of study.
If you switch to a Tier 2 visa, or a Partner visa, then you will have to stay in the UK on either one of those visas for 5 more years and then subsequently apply for an ILR.
If you have any queries or doubts about obtaining the ILR, never hesitate to get in touch with our UK Visa consultants in Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi, and Chandigarh.
Think UK settlement, Think The SmartMove2UK.

If you have any comment or want to know anything about time required for UK ILR then you can connect with us on

The SmartMove2UK – Mumbai
(UK ILR Visa Consultants)

905, B-Wing,
Sagar Tech Plaza,
Near Saki Naka Junction,Andheri (East),
Mumbai 400 072.
Tel : +91 22 2850 9883
(if you are viewing from mobile, click on the nos to call directly)

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