Indefinite Leave To Remain In The UK (ILR)

What is a UK Residence Card?

If your Wife or any dependants are planning to settle in the UK then she will need to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK (ILR). This can be quite complex so it is important that you understand all that is required so here is our brief guide to help you find out if you can settle in the UK  also known as ILR.


What is Indefinite Leave to Remain?


Firstly, it is important to understand exactly what ILR is. Basically, it is commonly referred to as Permanent Residence which means that your Thai wife could live and work in the UK without any time restrictions. She will be able to fully settle in the UK and naturalize herself as a British person. In addition, she will also be entitled to any state benefits that she may qualify for.

It should be stressed that she will not become a British citizen nor will she be entitled to vote in General Elections. She will be able to enter and leave the UK as she pleases but if out of the country for more than 2 years, she may lose her ILR status.


How to Qualify and Applying


If your Thai wife has lived in the UK on a UK Spouse Visa for 5 years and meets all other requirements then she will be entitled to apply. Most applications for ILR are made just prior to the expiry of their visa which can be extremely risky as if the application is rejected, she may have to start the whole 5-year process again. This why at Thai Visa Express, we recommend that you seek professional assistance with your application. They will guide you through the application and be aware of any potential pitfalls.


Levels of English Required


As you would imagine, in order for your Thai wife to apply for ILR she will need to meet English language requirements similar to when she applied for her UK Spouse Visa with the A1 English Test (IELTS). The current requirements are:

  • an English qualification at B1, B2, C1 or C2 level
  • a degree taught or researched in English


Life in the UK Test for ILR


As well as proving that your Thai wife has an excellent understanding of the English Language, she will also need to pass the Life in the UK test. This is a requirement of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 and must show that she has a very good knowledge of British life. The test comprises of 24 multiple choice questions and is taken on a computer. It covers topics such as British values, history, traditions, and everyday life in the UK The pass requirement is 75% and she will have 45 minutes to complete the test.


Decision Times

Decision times vary on a case by case basis. The UKVI publishes current processing times for ILR applications on their website.


Need Assistance?


Here at Thai Visa Express, we pride ourselves on being professional immigration consultants. We know exactly what is required when it comes to completing your application for Indefinite Leave to Remain. This will take a great deal of the stress out of your application and give you the greatest chance of having the application accepted. So, if you would like more information, call us on: +66 (0)80 102 2328, +66 (0) 38 420 313 or +44 (0) 20 8133 8059, email us on: or alternatively contact us via our website.


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