A Guide to Applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain (Via UK Ancestry)

Indefinite Leave to Remain (Via UK Ancestry)

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After living in London for just under 5 years I finally qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). I have been preparing for this since I first arrived! Saving all my bills, contract, payslips and whatever other documentation I thought would be useful for the application. Yes, I am a little intense thinking about this before I had even lived here for a couple of years.

One of the most confusing things about applying for visas is the evidence. What on earth do they expect you to provide!? As it’s such a stressful process I have documented the information and steps I took to get my Indefinite Leave to Remain.

As the process does change regularly make sure you go to the gov.uk website before applying. This is all based on my sisters and I information and when we have applied. I have linked to all the official documents we used so you can reference these as well.

Disclaimer: This is based on my experience (I’m not a lawyer or immigration advisor) and you should seek professional legal advice if you are unsure. Go to GOV UK to check if there have been any changes to the visa rule & fees.

As things are changing (due 2020 events) with UKVCAS service please keep up to date with UKVI latest information and UKVAS.

Indefinite Leave to Remain Visa Criteria for Ancestry Route

The criteria for the IRL is:

  • you’ve been living and working in the UK for 5 years with a UK Ancestry visa
  • you’ve spent no more than 180 days outside the UK in any 12 months of the last 5 years (known as ‘continuous residence’) – if you have then you will need to apply for an extension until you qualify.

If you’re 18 to 64 years old when you apply, you must also:

Before You Start Applying

There are two steps you should complete before starting the application, they are:

  • Pass your ‘Life in the UK Test’ also known as citizenship test. There is no expiry date on the test so do this as soon as possible. Also, don’t lose the number, you will need it for your citizenship application!
  • Prove your English language ability (countries like Australia and New Zealand are exempt from this)

When Can You Start Applying?

For a Set O or UK Ancestry route to ILR, the earliest you can apply is in your final 28 days before your visa ends. For example; my visa expired on the 10th of September 2018 so the start of the 28 days would be the 13th of August. Therefore the 13th of August is the first day I was allowed to apply.

You can see this stated at the start of the Set O application: Do not apply any sooner than 28 days before you complete your qualifying period.

When I say to apply this doesn’t mean you can’t start your application in advance. You are able to start your application 70 days which allows you to prepare the application and any information you need to gather to support it.

On the first day of your 28 days submit the application so when you get to the pay screen this where you cannot go back and change your application. Once paid you will be able to go to the next steps such as booking your biometric appointment.

Indefinite Leave to Remain Visa Financial Requirements

There is no listed financial requirements for the UK Ancestry route i.e. that you need savings in your account or give proof of income (just to clarify proof of incomes means that you need to prove you earn over a certain amount).

There is a statement that you need to show that you can support yourself which I did by showing my savings accounts and various other documents (more in the documents section below).

Visa Cost

The cost for ILR in 2018 is £2,389 to apply online and £3,189 with Super Priority (i.e. 24-hour decision) and this cost is per person. For the latest fees check GOV.UK settle in the UK page. The fees generally change April each year (the end of the tax year).

Additionally, there will be £19.20 for the biometrics. There are free appointments available at the core centres but if you don’t manage to get one of these there can be additional costs.

For my sisters application she went with standard decision as super priority is suspended. The cost for ILR in Dec 2020 is £2,389 for the visa, £19.20 for the biometrics and express appointment at £75 as she couldn’t find a free appointment.

You can pay the fees by debit or credit card. I paid the fee on my credit card, one to get the air miles and second it allows me to show more savings in my bank account.

Applying Yourself or Using a Company For Your ILR?

I applied by myself this time around instead of using a company. This time around I put a lot more research into what I needed to do to evidence the visa and information I would need. I was confident that I would be successful.

When I was at the Home Office there were a lot of applicants using companies so there will be plenty of places offering this service if you wish to choose this option. If you have a complicated application it’s a less risky option to go with.

Arrival Date or Visa Start Date (which to use when applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain)

Before we start the application process less answer the question I see all the time on expat communities! Arrival Date or Visa Start Date?

Read page 8 Period between the issue of entry clearance and entering
the UK
of this document:

It basically says that as long as you arrive within 180 days after your visa starts and don’t go over the continuous period (i.e. 180 days in a rolling year) you can apply for ILR.

Application Process 

The best way to get to the right online form is to use the ‘find out if you can apply tool‘. This will direct you to the right application for your visa status.

With the new process, appointments will be available up to 28 days in advance. Gov.uk says on the initial Set(O) application page “Do not apply any sooner than 28 days before you complete your qualifying period.” A recommendation from UKVCAS is that you book your appointment within 5 days of submitting your applications. You will be reminded in 15 days if you have not done so.

As everyone needs to enrol their biometrics with their visa application you will need to book an appointment.

In this video, I run through all the questions and my answers in detailed. Please note the end form doesn’t display all the questions you are asked within the application.

Submitting Your Application

At the end of the application process you will be provided with three options to submit your application, only two are a viable option which is:

For this application, I decided to go with the premium service (this is now super-priority) instead of posting the application. When I was reading about the troubles others had with keeping jobs whilst waiting for their visa to be approved it sparked concerns. I didn’t want to go through the same troubles so I paid the extra for the ease.

Additionally not having my passport up to 6 months means that I won’t be able to travel so if something happened at home I wouldn’t be able to go. Plus not having an international holiday for 6 months!? That would be a struggle for me.

My sister has had to go with the standard process as this is all that is offered currently and won’t be allowed to leave the country until a decision is made on her application.

Booking Your Appointment

Once you complete your online form and pay you will be sent to a further actions page. On this page click the book biometric appointment and this will trigger an access code for the UKVCAS site. Once received you can set up your account with a password.

To read the full guide on biometrics appointment for UK Visas the UKVCAS process explained, here.

With the UKVCAS process you need to bring the following to the appointment:

  • Confirmation of your appointment, this can be just the document on your phone
  • Passport
  • I also brought all my documents to the appointment just in case

Evidence Required for Indefinite Leave to Remain Application

As my sister is applying in December 2020, I’ve updated the sections below to include what we both submitted and the updates for UK Ancestry. That way you can compare both our evidence provided and what we thought would meet the critera.

I find lots of threads asking whether the documents must be originals or copies can be supplied. As of the latest checklist in December 2020 it states:

  • You should use your supporting documents checklist as a guide to what documents you need to self-upload or take to your appointment.
  • You will be able to upload copies of your documents on our commercial partner’s website, or you can take your documents to your biometrics appointment to be scanned and uploaded by our commercial partner for a fee.
  • You do not need to send any physical documents to the Home Office or UK Visas & Immigration unless you are advised to do so.

The checklist also states:

If you do not provide any of these documents, we may not be able to make a decision on your application. Please note that we may occasionally ask you to provide other documents in addition to those listed.

Your application may be rejected if you do not provide all mandatory documents. If your application is rejected due to documents not being provided, it will not be considered and an administration fee for each person included in the application will be deducted from your refund.

All the titles and italics in this section of the article are the documents required by the Home Office for my application and what I have provided to meet these.

ILR documents
The stack of documents I provided to prove my ILR

The passport issued by Australia

Ok, pretty easy this one! I just included my current passport.


Evidence of UK Ancestry

Evidence that you have a grandparent who was born in the UK or Islands (including the Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Ireland (if they were born there before 31 March 1922) such as:

  • your full birth certificate
  • the full birth certificate of the parent through whom you are claiming UK ancestry
  • the birth certificate of your grandparent who was born in the UK or Islands
  • if you, your parent, or grandparent have changed name since birth, evidence of this, for example, marriage or civil partnership certificates

For my sisters application she included her birth certificate, our mum’s birth certificate (the parent we have UK Ancestry) and our granddad’s birth certificate (mum’s dad). As you can trace the hertitage via our birth certificates she didn’t include those.

There is another checkbox that says ‘Applicants’ birth certificate showing their parents’ names which is included in my sisters birth certificate.

This was not clear at the time of my application so I brought the documents just in case and then they said it was a must to include.

Evidence of immigration status in the UK

For this, we both provided this for our visa’s. Mine was a photocopy of my visa in my passport and my sisters was a copy of her UK Ancestry BRP card/ the initial vingette. Plus the above documents to prove our UK Ancestry connection.

Again like the requirement above it just requires a form to be signed.

The consent forms are included in the application documents. If you have joints accounts with your partner or anyone else then they will need to sign this. The sponsor will also be required to fill out a consent form. No joint accounts or sponsor then this isn’t required.

Employed Evidence

  • If you are employed at the date of application, please provide a letter from your current employer which confirms they will continue in their current job with that employer.
  • Documents to show you are employed, such as recent wage slips.
  • If you are self-employed, please provide one of the following: business and/or company accounts official letter from a registered accountant which confirms self-employment official tax documentation.

Unemployed Evidence (plus gaps in working history)

  •  If you are unemployed at the date of application, please provide alternate evidence to show your employment record throughout the five year period in this category of leave, and of any attempts to make and find work.
  • If you have been unemployed for long periods over the five years, you must provide reasons why you have failed to find work and evidence to show you have been looking for it.
  • You must also provide evidence of how you can support yourself without a regular income.

For my application I included every employment contract, 5 years worth of payslips and a letter stating I was employed.

For my sisters application she included current employment contract, a letter from her company stating that she was employed and 6 months worth of payslips.

Also to back this up, my sister and I provided P60’s and a letter from the HMRC which also show employment and that we have been paying taxes.

Here is an example of the letter I provided from my work place to support my application.

Example Employment Letter for ILR
Example Employment Letter for ILR

Psstt… to get an HMRC letter is really easy just 0300 200 3300, ask for 5 years’ worth of employment history to be sent to you in a letter.

HMRC letter
Example of the HMRC letter I provided for my ILR to help support my application.

Evidence of your finances. Bank statements, building society savings book(s), payslips or other formal documents

  • As evidence of your ability to maintain and accommodate yourself and any dependants without recourse to public funds. Note, we do not accept internet or cashpoint statements as evidence of finances.
  • If you claim that a relative or friend is providing you with financial support, in addition to evidence of your own finances, you must provide bank statements or other documents of the kind described above as evidence of their financial resources.
  • The documents showing the finances available to you and to any person supporting you should cover at least the last three months.

I asked my banks to provide one year of statements to support this evidence, HSBC provided this with ease and cover letter, however, Lloyds only provide 3 months (this is the minimum evidence) printed at the bank which they stamp to validate the statement.

I had four accounts I did this for plus I had a stack of old bank statements from 2013 until about 2015 which I included as additional evidence.

I actually forgot one of my bank statements, however, it was a small saving account so in the grand scheme of things I don’t think it would have added anything additional.

For my sisters application she just included 6 months worth of bank statements.

All previous passports, travel documents or national identity cards that you have used to travel to or remain in the UK

If you have received a new passport since your last leave to remain application, and your visa is in your old passport, you must include both passports.

I included my current passport and my old passport that was valid from 2008 until 2018, this had my initial visa in it to.

Old Australian Passport

Life in the UK Test pass notification (now electronic)

When I applied you were still issued a life in the UK test pass letter and this is what I added as evidence to both my ILR and citizenship application.

However, now you are issues with number that you include in your application. This will be issued after you pass the test.

Please, please, please don’t leave this to the last minute! Also, make sure your details are 100% correct. I have known people to get refused to take the test because their ID cut off their middle name or their country of birth was wrong. There is no expiry date so do this as soon as possible!

Make sure you keep your life in the UK test safe as you will also need it for Citizenship (if you plan on applying).

Reasons for absences from the UK (additional information I provided)

I included a full list of absences, tally of days outside of the UK and both passports to prove my absences. I have created a Google Docs spreadsheet as an example but you can also use the template to calculate your reason for absences. 

Here is the example of my reason for absences in the application. I also provided the spreadsheet as I had over 30 lines worth of trips to enter.

Prove the level of English language required

Not stated as a requirement for my sisters application so I assume that they are no longer stating this for exempt countries, as we are Australian. However when I applied it was simply providing my passport to prove this.

Some nationalities will require to take an English test, the pass letter just needs to be included in the application. Find out more information here.

Indefinite Leave to Remain Visa Processing Time

The processing time has changed with the new UKVAS service, you should expect a decision within the following timelines:

  • Standard service – get a decision within 6 months
  • Super priority – currently suspended. Check the website for the latest information on this.

Depending on the service you choose you should get an email from Home Office on that your application was approved or denied. If approved then you will receive by post your BRP and approval letter.

Decision Time

Once a decision has been made on your application you will be sent a letter stating whether you were approved or not approved.

As it is now emailed/posted to you I am not sure whether the caseworker is meant to tell you the reasons why you are unsuccessful. You could call the UKVI Support Centre to find out more information.

Approval Letter
Example of the ILR approval letter the Home Offices gives you

Receiving Your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)

The letter advising you that your application is approved will state that a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) has been ordered and sent to your address. If you completed the application yourself then it will be sent to your home, otherwise, it will be sent to the agency you used.

The BRP card should arrive in 10 working days, there are details in the letter of what to do if your BRP doesn’t arrive. The letter will also include handy information about your BRP, what happens if it gets lost etc.

The Home Office has a courier company that they assign to deliver the BRP  from Monday to Friday between 9 am to 5 pm. I am not sure you if you can track when your BRP card arrives via the visa website I got locked out!

If the courier company fails to deliver it to you the first time, they will send a letter with an ID you can use to re-book the delivery. It’s then a simple case of showing them some ID and signing for the package.

Biometric Residency Permit
Here’s what the Biometric Residence Permit looks like. The photo is so much better than my passport photo!

Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) Has an Expiry Dates

I had no idea that BRP had expiry dates until my card arrived! Turns out every 5ish years you will need to renew your BRP. I have read that others got 10 years on theirs my mine is weird 5 years 5 months until I need to renew it. You won’t need to reapply if you decide to progress down the citizenship path.

Next Step, UK Citizenship

Want to know how to apply for your UK citizenship? Here is a step by step on the UK citizenship application requirements and process. Finding helpful information can be a hassle so this article is here to help!

Disclaimer: This is based on my experience (I’m not a lawyer or immigration advisor) and you should seek professional legal advice if you are unsure. Go to GOV UK to check if there have been any changes to the visa rule & fees.

373 thoughts on “A Guide to Applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain (Via UK Ancestry)”

  1. Hello Katherine,
    Do you know how to explain this meaning?
    Where Appendix FM-SE requires the applicant to provide specified evidence relating to
    a period which ends with the date of application, that evidence must be dated no earlier
    than 28 days before the date of application.
    So if I am going to apply on 3 of December and I need to get the letter from my employer when should it be dated, can you help please?

  2. Hi Valeria, if I have understood the requirement correctly then as long as the letter is dated between the 6th of November and the 3rd of December the letter will be in the period (as that’s 28 days).
    Cheers, Kat

  3. Hello Kat,

    Did you have your NI number on the back of the BRP card? My Tier 2 one did but the ILR one I got recently doesn’t, so I was wondering if that was a mistake.

    Best Regards,


  4. Hello! Clear and helpful. Thanks
    I have been in and out of the country and I’m struggling to reconcile my passport. You spoke of
    Google Docs spreadsheet
    to document your absences.
    Any chance you could email the template for me to see?
    I’d appreciate that.

  5. Hi Kath – can I please ask you regarding the ’45 business days’ you mention (ie. 9 weeks). My visa expires 13 February 2019, if you were me, what date would you submit my ILR application? The confusion for me lies in the 28 day rule, which means I can apply from 16th January. I will be paying for the premium service. To summarise, my key date us 13 February 2019…. but I am unsure when to send in my online application, which is complete and ready to go. Thanks, Mick

  6. Hi Michael,
    Basically fill out your form which can be drafted up to 70 days in advance. Once completed and you enter the 45 days in advance of your first eligible date so the 16th Jan you can choose one of three options for submission of the application, premium service and super premium. Once you choose premium service it’ll then go to an appointments page. By starting from your first eligible date it means you can keep trying each day until you get an appointment. Choose an appointment in the 28 days so from the 16th Jan to the 13th Feb. Pay the fees and then it’ll give you about 7 documents you’ll need for your appointment. After that it’s just waiting for the day 😊
    Hope that makes sense.

  7. Hi;

    Thanks for this very useful info. I am about to apply for an ILR but I am chasing my employer to cover this cost. Have you tried asking your employer to cover this cost. My employer has been sponsoring me for the last 5 years on tier 2 visa. So, if they not cover the cost, they may lose me. I wonder whether it is common for employers to pay the fee for ILR?

  8. Hi Jackie, no I didn’t ask my
    employer as I wanted to be here independently and I moved here on ancestry instead of tier 2. My view of asking is the worst that can happen is they say no so it’s really up too you. Cheers, Kat

  9. Hi Kat!

    Loved this – super helpful to have someone explain it in human speak rather than some of the complex jargon online. I’m from Perth too, and will be applying for this before my Ancestry visa expires in March! I wondered if I’d be able to take you out for a coffee sometime in Feb to chat over my (hopefully completed!) form and documents, just to see if I had missed anything before sending it all off? I won’t be able to afford the premium service and it’d be great to see if the application process has changed online since you did yours.

    Thanks heaps and happy holidays!


  10. thanks Kat for sharing. I’m also applying under UK Ancestry and your summary has kept me sane!

    There are 2 questions I wanted to see how you responded:
    1. “What evidence will you provide to support the reasons for all absences from the UK and Crown Dependencies?”. Under Ancestry Visa, which option did you select? I thought ‘Other’ or did you get your employer to write a letter?
    2. For the list of trips out of the UK, did you enter each manually into the on-line form, or is there a way to upload your Google Docs spreadsheet?

    Thank you again!


  11. Hi Greg,
    Please see below the answers to your questions:

    1. “What evidence will you provide to support the reasons for all absences from the UK and Crown Dependencies?”. I selected other and then added the following statement in the “provide details” section: Passport documenting stamps & visas.
    2. For the list of trips out of the UK, did you enter each manually into the on-line form, or is there a way to upload your Google Docs spreadsheet? For mine I put in 30 lines worth of trips in the applications in the order of latest to oldest. Then added the spreadsheet as additional information/ support. As the requirement is to ensure that you’ve not been out of the country each year for more than 180 days.

    Hope that helps.

  12. Hi
    Thank you a lit
    I have a question.
    I came into the UK in Feb 2014.
    My current TIER 2 leave enxpires 6 august 2019
    Am so confused on when to apply for ILR as it states that it must not be more than 28 days before the end of your current leave expires.

  13. Hi Udoka,
    It’s very unusual for UK Visas to be 5 years and 6 months, they are normally issued for Tier 2 at exactly 3 years and 5 years. When did you Tier 2 visa start? If it started the 6th August then you can only apply 28 days before the 6th of August.

  14. Hi Kat,
    I am applying for ILR the partner of a citizen route. My visa expires on the 4th of feb. I have completed my form online (setm) but unable to get a premium appointnent on d old service

    Will u advise using the new service? I’m ready to pay now but not sure of the new service esp with the 28days rule. Can I book in advance?

    Also with the new service do u need to upload ur docs

  15. Hi Jo,

    The premium same-day appointments no longer exist and has been replaced with the UKVCAS router. The three choices will be provided with are:

  16. Standard service – get a decision within 8 weeks
  17. Priority service – get a decision in 10 days
  18. Super-priority – get a decision in 24 hours – this is meant to be the replacement of the same day appointment but you get a decision within 24 hours instead of on the day – I’ve updated the article to reflect this https://katsgoneglobal.com/uk-visas-premium-service/
  19. Appointments should be available up to 28 days in advance, the UKVCAS recommends booking an appointment within 5 days of submitting your application.

    At the appointment the process will be:

  20. show your appointment confirmation (you will get this as an email containing a QR code) and ID documents to confirm your appointment
  21. enrol your biometric information (fingerprints, photograph) and digital signature
  22. submit your supporting evidence (unless you choose to self-upload this)
  23. show your passport or travel document and have your identity checked
  24. speak to a member of staff who will check that your biometric information has been successfully enrolled and your passport and supporting evidence has scanned correctly
  25. Afterwards you are supposed to get an email confirming your biometric was enrolled but there are currently issues with people not receiving this at the moment.

    Later, depending on the service you choose you should get an email from Home Office on that your application was approved or denied. If approved then you will receive by post your BRP and approval letter.

    Yes you should upload all your documents beforehand and take the originals to the appointment.
    Cheers Kat

  26. Hi Kat,

    Thanks for your reply. I am freaking out now. I have applied for the ILR on the 31st of Jan, visa expires 4th Feb but chose an apt within the 28days frame which is 14th of Jan. MY fear is I submitted the application before the 28days rule. was I right? i thought since the actual apt is within the 28days rule then it’s fine. Is this correct or should I withdraw the application.

  27. Hi Jo,
    That’s perfectly fine. Don’t withdraw the application! I submitted my application 45 days in advance before my 28 days started. When you submit the application doesn’t have an impact on the visa process. As an FYI if you withdraw the application you don’t get refunded the visa cost which is a lot of money to lose!
    Cheers, Kat

  28. Thanks Kat. You are a star
    I feel rest assured now.
    Your blog has been super helpful.
    Have a great New year.

  29. Hi Kat,
    Thanks for the detailed information. its helpful
    When I am filling my ILR application I encountered a question
    Since you first entered the UK, have you had any absences from the UK?
    Yes was my answer.
    Then the application prompted me with the following questions
    ‘Which countries did you visit or travel through when absent from the UK and Crown Dependencies?’
    ‘When did you leave the UK and Crown Dependencies? (Required)’
    ‘When did you return to the UK and Crown Dependencies? (Required)’
    ‘What was the reason for this time spent outside the UK and Crown Dependencies?’
    I visited 3-4 countries including my home country, and i got confused what dates I need to give, I went on vacataions and there are short in days though.
    Those questions are too confusing as it is absolutely natuaral for an immigrant to be in vacation outside UK in their 5 year period.
    Please help me with appropriate answer

  30. Hi Kat, this is an amazing resource thank you so much!

    May I ask if you know of anyone who has successfully applied for ILR on the long residence (10 years) route? I’m wondering what evidence I’ll be expected to provide, and whether it differs by route.

    For example, I’m not sure if I’ll need the letter from my employer showing my continued employment with them. And as you mentioned, if applying under the 5 year route, the applicant needs a letter from employer confirming the absences – but not under the UK ancestry route.

    Thanks in advance!

  31. Hi Venu,

    I have just updated the post with a picture from my application showing my answers which should help. This needs to be done for every country you have visited, for example:

    ‘Which countries did you visit or travel through when absent from the UK and Crown Dependencies?’ Romania
    ‘When did you leave the UK and Crown Dependencies? (Required)’ 8th June 2018
    ‘When did you return to the UK and Crown Dependencies? (Required)’ 11 June 2018
    ‘What was the reason for this time spent outside the UK and Crown Dependencies?’ Holiday

    Please note that these all correspond with the stamps in my passports (I switched passport during my visa).
    Hope that helps, Kat

  32. Hi Jane,
    I have known people that have completed the EU residency but not the 10 years one. Looking at the requirements and documents you need to provide it looks very similar to the 5-year visa but 10 years worth of evidence instead. The evidence is dependant on the visa you arrived in the UK. As you may be aware Tier 2 is sponsorship via the employers so there are lots of requirements that the employer (sponsor) requires to support which ensures you’ve adhered to that visa requirements to qualify for ILR.
    Cheers, Kat

  33. Hi Kat….. stumbled across this gr8 little site of yours and hoping you may be able to answer a couple of questions. I have been living in the UK since early 2005 and have simply renewed my ancestral visa a number of times in order to continue living and working here. My residence permit is about to expire on 12 Feb. With this in mind, and that i am now married to a British citizen with a child, do you think I could go the indefinite leave to remain route…or have i left things a little late in terms of preparing for this? I gather most people don’t extend their ancestry visas again and again like i did! I also wonder whether questions in the application relate to a five year period only? Hope this makes sense and any any feedback most appreciated. Paul

  34. Hi Paul,
    If you have been living here continuously on Ancestry visa and not left the country more than 180 days in the 5-10 years then you would qualify. There is another visa called long residence https://www.gov.uk/long-residence which is the other one you could potentially apply for. I don’t know enough to say which is the right one you should apply for or whether you have to do the long resident as you’ve lived here so long. However, when I complete the questionnaire here https://www.gov.uk/settle-in-the-uk it says IRL – 5 years route so therefore I would go with what the questionnaire recommends.
    Personally, I would rather get IRL or long resident than renew my Ancestry mainly due to the cost. It’s around £1,800 to renew ancestry with the NHS fees and £2,389 to get ILR (normal service). I am not sure which country you are from but if it’s like Canada or Australia where you don’t need to take the English test then that would help. It would just be a matter of doing life in the UK test and getting all the evidence together. It’s tight but not unachievable.
    Either way, the difference in providing evidence with the visas is that you would either provide 5 years worth of evidence. As you have lived here longer I would provide all previous visas but re evidence like bank statements and payslips, it should only be for the 5 years but that is my view.
    You could also get an HRMC letter it is really easy just 0300 200 3300, ask for how many years’ you lived here worth of employment history to be sent to you in a letter. Other than that I would provide evidence inside the 5 years.
    All they are really ensuring is that you pay taxes, don’t use public funds, have been here continuously and work in the UK.
    Cheers, Kat

  35. Kat…. thankyou so much 4 your quick feedback…it’s really appreciated….if u lived near cambridge i would definately buy you a coffee or ‘high five’ you. Paul

  36. Hi Kat, just wanted to say a huge thank you for posting this. The process has changed slightly with the new system, but your explanations and tips were helpful in answering my main questions. It was far less daunting to read your article than the muddled forums… I referred to your post continuously and was granted my ILR this week. Thanks again!

  37. Hi there, do you know if I want to go with just the standard service of 8 weeks until a decision is made, does this mean I can apply for IRL earlier than if I went for the quickest option? Fees apparently go up every April, right when I would be at the earliest time I could apply before Visa expires…trying to look for a way around this!

  38. Hi Ursula,
    No, you need to be within the qualifying period to apply no matter the service. It says specifically on the website “Do not apply any sooner than 28 days before you complete your qualifying period.”
    Cheers, Kat

  39. Hi Kat,
    A small suggestion regarding ‘visit or travel through when absent from the UK and crown dependencies’.
    I first entered to UK on a dependent visa in 2011 and was on that visa for 3 years and after that I moved to Tier 2 general and now when applying for ILR, do you think I need to mention my vacation dates from 2011 to 2014. I mentioned vacation dates of my Tier 2 general tenure but is confused on dependent visa tenure

  40. Hi Venu,
    The requirement for the Set-o application to show that you have been living here continuously for 5 years. I would say that you need to prove 5 years worth of living in the country but I’ve not swapped visas during my time living in the UK so it might be best checking with UKVI. Here is the UK document that explains https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/723413/Calculating-continuous-leave-v17.0-EXT.pdf.

  41. Hi kat…ive decided to go the long settlement (10+ yrs route)… i’ve filled in most of my application now but wondered if u might b able 2 please clarify some questions i still have?
    Firstly.. right at the end of my application i get to choose from ‘the existing’ or ‘new service’… Am i right in assuming if i go ‘existing service’ i simply pay my fee and post everything off without having to book any visit to any office in person? Secondly, i have a residence permit which is sbout to expire 13/2/19. Am i right in assuming this is what they want me to send them (the ‘biometric residence permit’) or do i need to get a new one first that isn’t due to expire and then send this? Is there a problem simply posting my application as this still seems to be an option?…? i’m not too bothered by the potential time it might take for an answer! Many thanks again in advance! Paul

  42. Hi Kat, I’m still feeling a little confused on when I can actually submit my application (from first time AV to ILR)…from reading your post, it says to qualify, must have been living and working in the UK for 5 years, and Gov. website says can apply no sooner than 28 days prior to this qualifying period. Then you’ve stated…the earliest you can apply is in your final 28 days before your visa ends. I arrived in the UK about a month after my Visa was granted – are you able to clarify whether I can submit 28 days prior to Visa expiry or prior to being here 5 years? Apparently there used to be a 3-month exception – ie: if arrived within 3 months of Visa issue can apply 28 days prior to Visa expiry date, but not sure if still applies (hope all makes sense!)

  43. Hi Andy,
    Sorry it came across confusing. The Ancestry is a 5-years visa so the 28 days should be within your 5 years and before your visa expiry date. So mine was the 10 Sept 2013 to the 10th Sept 2018 however I didn’t arrive in the country until the 18th of October. You can see in my example spreadsheet how I included these days not being in the country. It just included as calculation of absences out of the UK (that’s what I did) and you are allowed 180 days in a rolling year. I’ve never heard of the 3-month exception, you either apply for an extension on your ancestry or apply for IRL before your current visa expires.

  44. Thnx again 4 this gr8 info Kat…. i just wonder why they still provide applicants with an option to click on ‘existing service’ or ‘new service’ when we only have the ‘new service’ at our disposal! I haven’t yet paid the fee nor booked my interview yet as I’ve got my life in the uk test this weekend and just want to pass this first. Could u please tell me is it easy to get an appointment…. my visa expires 13 feb so i gather i definstely need to get a date ideally well before then?! Also do you need to take with you sny passport photo/s for biometrics..do they take my fingerprints and my photo there?? Finally, which part of the online application allows us to upload docs? Sorry for these extra questions but can”t find answers and think u might know? Paul

  45. Hi Paul,
    I guess either someone has missed it off their release cycle or it’s a low priority feature to be fixed. I have been speaking to a lady currently going through the process she booked on Saturday and got an appointment on 28th Jan but her visa expires on the 21st of Jan. She called both the Sopra and UKVI, they said that as long as you pay and submit within your 28 days then having a biometric enrollment appointment after the visa end is fine. However, they would not confirm this in writing. It seems you can get an appointment within 2 weeks but on my post about appointments if you read Dean’s comment he went through a drama getting one. I guess it’s still pot luck whether you get one.
    You don’t need to take passport photos anymore, this is completed at the appointment.
    The uploading of documents didn’t exist when I was completing my application but it will be after you’ve completed the form.

  46. Hi Kat,
    Thanks for the really helpful write-up. Apologies if I’m missing something obvious – you refer in your post to a checklist of required evidenciary documents on the .gov website but I can’t see that anywhere at all, nor can I find any guidance documents. Could you possibly give me the links?

  47. Thanks so much for replying, Kat. So you’re saying there’s not actually a checklist of required evidence/supporting documents on the gov.uk website which one can consult ahead of submitting the application? You just have to make a judgement call about what you need to provide? Sorry if I’m misunderstanding!

  48. Hi Bea,
    There is no pre-checklist available on the gov.uk site, it’s only provided once you’ve completed your application. If you are applying for ILR via Ancestry then I doubt your checklist will be different to mine apart from it inserting your name in the checklist. Everything in bold is word for word what was on the checklist excluding my full name.

  49. Kat,
    Fantastic blog – super helpful!! Quick question, did you need to provide documents showing where you have lived in the UK for the Indefinite Leave application? Look forward to hearing back.

  50. Hi Kat,
    What a fantastic blog – super helpful!!
    Quick question, did you need to submit a history of where you have lived for your indefinite leave visas?
    Look forward to hearing back.

  51. Hi Nicki,
    I didn’t provide any proof of address like bills, just P60, payslips, bank statements etc that had my address on them. Funnily enough, I had saved 5 years worth of bill just in case they wanted this information.

  52. Hello! This is so helpfull!!

    Firstly – where have you seen that the application might only take 8 weeks? the website says up to 6 months.
    Secondly – how did you add trips where you went to multiple countries?


  53. Hey Kat
    Thanks so so much for this- so kind of you to give the template!!
    Maybe obvious- but I don’t have to go home to australia apply for my BRP do I? I can go from ancestry to indefinite within the uk? Thanks, Brodie

  54. Hi! This is so handy – thank you!

    For the reasons of absence, i’m not able to enter more than one country. How did you go about entering multi-country trips?


  55. Hi Michael,
    I actually got it from the website but it seems to have changed again. You can read about the different timeframes here: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/uk-visas-and-immigration/about-our-services and the changes in the services here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/ukvis-new-front-end-services-what-you-need-to-know.
    I just added the dates when I entered those countries individually so, for example, I went to Bulgaria, Macedonia, Albania etc and added the dates I entered and left the countries as separate lines. You can see some examples of this in the spreadsheet https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/16fYqBw5_TdSW-tSAKfY2vm-4RQGHcpNYYgrbgw3rYq0/edit?usp=sharing. If you look at China/South Korea or Croatia/ Serbia.

  56. Hi Mike,
    You add one then press next and it should keep asking you the same question until you have completed 30 lines worth.

  57. Hi Kat, what about when you went to multiple countries in the same trip? Which one do you enter as it only allows for the one? Or do you enter both as separate entires with the same UK exit and entry dates? Thanks!

  58. Hi Mike,
    In my applications they all have their own lines for example:
    Bulgaria, Sofia 23-Mar-18 25-Mar-18 2.00 Holiday
    Macedonia, Skopje 25-Mar-18 27-Mar-18 2.00 Holiday
    Albania, Tirana 27-Mar-18 29-Mar-18 2.00 Holiday
    Montenegro, Kotor 29-Mar-18 30-Mar-18 1.00 Holiday

    I ran out of lines after 30 so I included a spreadsheet like this https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/16fYqBw5_TdSW-tSAKfY2vm-4RQGHcpNYYgrbgw3rYq0/edit?usp=sharing to cover the remaining lines.

    The dates are based on when I entered and exited those countries, not based on my entry and exit dates in the UK.


  59. Hi Kat,

    Thanks so much for your post – it has helped a lot with the application process!!

    I just got to the point where I have more than 30 trips to add to the application and have been trying to find out what to do (and stressing a bit) – so glad I saw your last answer about running out of entries at 30 (this does seem a bit dumb to me as 6 trips/year is not a crazy amount…). So it was fine for you to put in the excel spreadsheet in the application and just note which entries you were able to put in the online form and which were not (>30)?

    Thanks again,


  60. Hi Laura,
    I just put the latest trips until I ran out of line and provided the spreadsheet repeating the information. I didn’t say anything on my application that I did this, just added the spreadsheet in my evidence but you could add that in the question that asks what evidence are you going to provide.

  61. Hi Kat. Thanks so much for sharing your experience and process. It’s very useful. I have a question that I want to get your thoughts on –
    So, I’m applying ILR from Tier 2 (General), and my first Tier 2 Leave to Remain started on early Feb 14. Before then, I was already living in the UK but under a Tier 1 (Post Study) work visa, which sadly doesn’t qualify counting towards the 5 years…
    In the application form, it asks “When did you first enter the UK? (This is the date you entered the UK when the period of stay you are basing this application on started.)” – so I’m now a bit unsure whether I should just put my Tier 2 Leave to Remain start date, or I should put my actual original entry date to the UK? Or maybe even the latest entry date around the start of my Tier 2??
    I’m leaning to first option, what is your thought?


  62. Hi Yuan,
    As I understand the date is when you first entered on your Tier 1, I can’t remember if there is a section to enter all the previous visa but if there is you would record your Tier 1 there.

  63. Hi Kat,
    This was very useful. I just applied (today) online for my ILR (5 year route) and I went for the existing service option, and booked the priority service (extra £610, but not the super priority). I have been given an appointment in Sheffield for next Tuesday. I’m totally confused now as i’m not sure which services are now closed and which centers are open! My application was submitted and i got the Biometric letter, checklist, confirmation of payment, etc etc. Should I go ahead to the appointment with all the supporting documents? What should I expect at the appointment? I’m so confused and anxious that I might have done the wrong thing and have just parted with £2999. I’m not even sure that I’m making sense:(

  64. Hi Shelia,
    Both priority service and super priority service cost the same amount. If you read https://www.gov.uk/guidance/ukvis-new-front-end-services-what-you-need-to-know it states that UKVI’s PSCs closed on 29 November 2018. If you are applying online for leave based on family life, including spouses and partners of settled persons, or private life, you will have the choice to use one of the following services from 29 November 2018 until further notice… which goes into what the new service provides.

    Therefore it should be with UKVCAS which will require you to upload your documents beforehand otherwise you will be charged a fee.

    With the new service, you get a decision within 24 hours and not on the day. You can always call UKVI to confirm if their timelines have been delayed.


  65. Hi Kat,

    I saw you submitted your application for ILR 45 days in advance before your 28 days started. I have a similar situation which I hope you can suggest.

    My qualifying date (5 years Tier 2) is 3rd April 2019. I booked my super priority appointment on 13th March, which is within 28 day window. However, I submitted my application form on 15th February, which is outside the 28 day window. This is because I thought the 28 day window applies on the appointment when I need to submit all my other documents other than the application form. Now I am worrying if I need to withdraw the application and resubmit again, or attend the appointment anyway with a cover letter explaining my misunderstanding.
    Many thanks.

  66. Hi Kat,

    I saw you submitted your application for ILR 45 days in advance before your 28 days started. I have a similar situation which I hope you can suggest.

    My qualifying date (5 years Tier 2) is 3rd April 2019. I booked my super priority appointment on 13th March, which is within 28 day window. However, I submitted my application form on 15th February, which is outside the 28 day window. This is because I thought the 28 day window applies on the appointment when I need to submit all my other documents other than the application form. Now I am worrying if I need to withdraw the application and resubmit again, or attend the appointment anyway with a cover letter explaining my misunderstanding.
    Many thanks.

  67. Hi, I did submit mine 45 days in advance before my 28 days back when the rules were different. Premium service appointments opened that far in advance and you could only get an appointment if you submitted and paid. However, if you were only applying via post then you could submit in the 28 days.
    The rep at the appointment isn’t who will be reviewing your application and cancelling your application they don’t give you a refund (as I understand). You would need to call UKVI on the next steps.

  68. Hi Kat,
    I did call UKVI today and they mentioned two options. (1) Attend the appointment and write a cover letter to explain, but the final decision is up to Home Office. (2) Withdraw the application online (possibly with a cover letter to explain as well) and resubmit in March, but the refund is up to Home Office again.

  69. Hi Kat,
    Thanks for your detailed process.
    Does Home office actually sends an email or a letter of approval/refusal nowadays before sending outing documents back?
    It has been 4 months and 8 days I have not received nothing from the home office apart from an automated email stating my application is still under process. very frustrating.

  70. Hi Kat,

    Happy to catch up on a coffee or wine and understand in details if you could educate me more regarding the process.
    Awaiting for your reply.
    Many thanks

  71. Hi Kat,

    Such great information – thank you for this.

    Do you happen to know of any income requirements for Ancestry Visa holders applying for ILR?
    I can see you have mentioned there are no listed financial requirements – just wondering if you have somehow heard of any instances where salaries were not sufficient?

    Thank you again

  72. Hi Hamish,
    There is nothing in the requirements stating that you need to earn a certain income or savings goal. If you are not working during your time of ILR then you will need to provide additional evidence.

  73. Hi Kat,
    I have been in the country for five years on a valid Tier 2(General) Visa sponsorship with no breaks between each Visa.First one valid from 10/06/2014,can I eligible for applying ILR by 10062019?

  74. Hi Kat,

    I’ve noticed in your post you mentioned 3 options for processing. Can I just confirm that that’s now outdated as I can only see 2 (regular and super premium 1-Day) service when i tried to fill the new beta form online?

    Also, with the regular processing option now is this the equivalent of what was the postal service (i.e. i have to submit all copies including the actual passport)? If that’s the case am I right to assume that it means i will not be able to travel for up to 6 months? It’s not very clear on the online application form as it says both proccessing options requires biometrics….do you still submit documents in person at the biometrics under both options or just for the super premium service only.

    Also I have an active Tier 2 VISA which doesn’t expire for another year (but i’ll be reaching my full 5 years in April 2019). I plan to apply now….though if let’s say I choose the super premium service I trust i’ll get the original documents back to me on the same day….does it mean I can theoretically still travel whilst they are processing the VISA (i.e. can I still exit and re-enter the UK whilst they take say 10 days to issue me a new resident card).



  75. Can you please help explain if there are two separate forms that need to be completed — 1 for consent and 1 for declaration?

    Above you state: Declaration signed by Miss Katherine to confirm consent for the Home Office to request verification checks. Again like the requirement above it just requires a form to be signed.

    I can only find the consent form and nothing for declaration.


  76. Hi Lach,
    There was a post from gov.uk that stated this information which is what I used. The information has since been removed which is why I state in the post to double check as the rules and process do change.
    The 24-hour service means 3 business days so don’t expect the decision on the day and lots of people are complaining about weeks delays. The standard service is a decision within 6 months but you don’t need to send your documents to the UKVI. It’s all uploaded to the UKVCAS service now and during you biometrics you just show the documents. You will only need to send the evidence if UKVI requests it. You are not allowed to travel during your application if you do it makes your application invalid so I would suggest that even though you have your passport not to travel.

  77. Hi Amanda,

    These were forms provided in my application, a lot of this is electronic in the application now so I wouldn’t much and just double check in the list what they ask you to provide.

  78. Thanks Kat that’s most helpful. When you say “you are not allowed to travel during your application”…..is there a link or official wording you can help guide me to. I travel quite regularly so i just want to ensure I don’t invalidate it.

    If i go for he super premium service, i.e. the 24hr turnaround….does this travel ban period mean…

    1) The travel ban period starts when I submit my application to the point that I get a decision (i.e. 3 days from submitting bio and documents). OR
    2) The travel ban period starts when I submit my biometrics and documents to the point that I receive a decision. OR
    3) The travel ban period starts when I submit my application to the point that I get that new resident card

    Also, once I submit my application – how soon can i realistically get an appointment (without having to pay all the extra fees they now offer). If i heard correctly, is it correct that there should be options or slots within 5 days of submitting and paying for the application?

    Thanks so much.

  79. Hi Lach,
    Their article I used to refer to has been removed but here are two screenshots I have of the wording previously provided:
    ILR wording
    IRL wording
    Once you press submit on the application I would advise not to travel. At the end of the day, what’s a couple of weeks not travelling so that you can get a decision to stay in the country. I applied for mine in August last year and was back to travelling in early October. There is a backlog in the applications as I have heard from other readers that their decisions are taking more like 3 weeks and being refunded the 24-hour decision service.

    It depends on the location and availability, Croydon has always been a busy centre for example. They suggest that you get a biometrics appointment within 5 days, the appointments will be available 28 days in advance of looking.


  80. Hi Kat,

    I am slightly panicking as I have completed online form and paid £2408 for the standard service for my husband on the 5 year ILR today and his current leave to remain expires in 2 days!! So now I am worried that I have left it way too late or will this be okay as still applied for other one expired; bearing in mind I have to still ake appointment to go sumbit the documents at a centre?? Also they are charging me for the service, do you know if this is right?
    Sorry so many questions, but your guide was super helpful so thought you might have some idea.


  81. Hi Lorna,
    I am not sure I understand him already having leave to remain and then applying again?
    I have known people to leave it late in the game to apply (you need it submitted before the visa ends) and have their biometrics appointment after their visa has expired. Their application was successful and got approved. Yes, the centres can charge more depending on which centre, the time etc, it’s all covered https://katsgoneglobal.com/uk-visas-premium-service/.

  82. Hi Kat,

    Found your blog and it’s really really helpful. I have a query regarding your spreadsheet. You’d stated that your visa started on 10 Sept 2013 and you had entered UK on 18 Oct 2013. However you indicated an absence of 34 days for this period. How was this calculated? Also, did you have to provide proof of your absence other than your passport such as air ticket bookings and/or boarding passes? I only have stamps on my passport for dates when I re-enter the UK from my trips. So how can I prove that I’d actually left the UK at the said dates? Hope to receive a reply soon.
    Many thanks in advance.

  83. Hi SB,
    Sorry I was playing around with the spreadsheet it should be 18th Oct minus 10th Sept to come up with the days. I provided both my passports (old and new) as absence proof. Depending on your passport I would assume that you got stamped going into that country? It doesn’t need to be a UK stamp.

  84. Hi Kat,
    My passport does show the entry and exit stamps for certain countries but when I enter and exit my own country there are no stamps since everything is biometric. So not sure if this will have any implications to my application.

    Also, I would like more advice regarding the absence proof. I know we have to indicate all the countries we’d visited when we are out of the UK, however if I were to return to my home country for a whole month and then, in between, I visited another country, how would you suggest that I write this down in the application form? Eg. 1-28 Feb (Singapore), 14-20 Feb (Thailand). Should I indicate 1-13 Feb (Singapore), 14-20 Feb (Thailand), 20-28 Feb (Singapore)?

    Hope to receive word from you soon. Many thanks.


  85. Hi SB,
    I didn’t provide proof when I went back to Australia but you can just include your flight confirmations or anything else you have in the evidence. Personally, on my application, I included the entry and exit of every country I went to. I took all my guidance from this document
    https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/791067/Calculating-continuous-leave-v18.0.pdf but it wasn’t clear as such if it was just a whole trip or you needed to document every country you visited.

  86. Hi Kat,

    I thought I’d written a post but I can’t see it now, so sorry if I have put this up twice!

    Thank you so much for all your tips and guidance, this is the most helpful information on this subject matter on the web! What a legend!

    I wondered if you would know what they are asking with regards to the question of citizenship. The SET(O) form asks “Do you currently hold, or have you ever held, any other nationality or citizenship? (Required) You must provide all the nationalities that you currently hold or have ever held.” Would this also mean your birth nationality, i.e. New Zealand. Just seems a redundant question!?

    Many thanks in advance for any assistance you can provide.


  87. Hi Alex,
    You asked the question on a different post :). I think the basis of the question in prep for citizenship as not all countries allow dual citizenship (just my assumption). I just put Australia for mine :).

  88. Hi Kat,

    Thanks for taking the time to reply. I’m doing whatever I think is right now because in the application form it does specify the need to mention “each country you spent time in during this period of absence”, so I just wrote everything in the box provided. Hope that’s correct.


  89. Hello, Kat, you are doing a good job. but I noticed some partial truthful information in “The earliest you can apply is in your final 28 days before your visa ends”

    1. This may not benefit a person who delayed more than 3.5 MONTHS before coming to the UK on the spousal visa as the may not be able to meet the 60 MONTHS – 28 days

    2. The earliest you can apply for you ILR as a spouse is

    ” A person who is eligible to apply for settlement (indefinite leave to remain) on a 5-
    year route, in an application made from 9 July 2012, should apply for indefinite leave
    to remain no more than 28 days before their extant leave expires or no more than 28
    days before they have completed at least 60 months in the UK with such leave.
    Where the application is made and decided within 28 days of completing at least 60
    months, the requirement to have spent at least 60 months with relevant leave will be
    met, provided the requirements of the Immigration Rules are also otherwise met.
    A person granted entry clearance or leave to enter or remain as a fiancé or fiancée
    or proposed civil partner can apply for further leave to remain as a partner once their
    marriage or civil partnership has taken place in the UK”

    hence the earlies should be 28 days or less the qualifying period

    This is from
    Family Migration:
    Appendix FM Section 1.0a
    Family Life (as a Partner or Parent):
    5-Year Routes and exceptional
    circumstances for 10-year routes guidance

    Page 16/125

    I stand corrected.

  90. Hi Konzo,

    Thank you for the great information and it will be helpful to anyone applying for a spouse visa. As stated in the title and throughout my article, it is about ILR via UK Ancestry which is the Set o application.

    The Set o application specifically states “Do not apply any sooner than 28 days before you complete your qualifying period.” You can see more using this link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/application-to-settle-in-the-uk-form-seto/apply-online-form-seto

    Hopefully that makes it clear to other readers. All the information in this post is specific to my visa route to ILR which was UK Ancestry. Other applications will request similar information but it will be tailored to the individual and the application.

    Thank you once again :).

  91. HI Kat,
    My visa (Tier2) General valid from 10/06/2014,technically if I calculate myself will be eligible for applying ILR by 10062019. By how much soon can I eligible to ( 28 days) submit my application and take priority appointment ?

    Below is my understanding – can you correct ?

    Online application submission by : 13th of May and take appointment by 14th May 2019 ?

  92. Hi Kat, it’s me again Nelly. I have another query please. If my husband(sponsor) met the income requirements of 18,600 under (Set M), do I still need to add my income or not? Thanks a lot.

  93. Hi Kat, I asked this question last night but I didn’t know what happened coz I couldn’t see it here in your blog. If my husband (sponsor) met the income requirement of £18,600 under Set M, will it be alright if I’m not going to add my income from my employment? Thanks

  94. Hi Nelly,
    I would say that you would still need to enter your financial details and provide evidence of this. Or as the checklist stated evidence of why you’re not working if this is the case. I don’t have a ton of knowledge in Set M applications but every application I have ever done has required me to provide my financials.

  95. Dear Kat,
    I submitted an ILR application / Set(O) form on 28 March 2019. I used the special fast track (24 hours) premium service. I paid the super premium service of £3,018.20 and was promised to receive a decision within 24 hours (namely: by 10am on Friday, 29 March).It is now nearly a month (!) since I made the submission. I am still waiting for a decision and do not know what the status of my application is. Telephone calls to UK Visa and Immigration contact centre and emails did not help.
    May I ask your advice?

    With thanks,


  96. Thank you so much Kat for your time in answering all my queries and clearing all my doubts. I’m going to submit my online application on the 1st of May as my visa will expire on the 28th of May. I’m hoping everything goes well.

  97. Hi Ivy,
    There isn’t much you can do, you should get a refund on the priority service depending on the reason why your application took so long. Not that it matters now but the 24 hours is 3 working days and not in the next 24 hours.

  98. HI Kat, sorry for the repost ..
    My visa (Tier2) General valid from 10/06/2014,technically if I calculate myself will be eligible for applying ILR by 10062019. By how much soon can I eligible to ( 28 days) submit my application and take priority appointment ?

    Below is my understanding – can you correct ?

    Online application submission by : 15th of May or can I submit and pay today and take appointment available after 15th of May 2019 ?

  99. Hi V,
    For the 28 day option, you submit and pay within your 28 days and not before. As per the statement on Set-o, it says “Do not apply any sooner than 28 days before you complete your qualifying period.”

    As Tier 2 has different visa options when originally obtaining it, depends if you got the 3+3 or the 5 years.


  100. Hi Kat

    Your blog is savior for many, sincere thanks ” knowledge shared always multiples”

    Humbly requesting your feedback on 2 queries
    – 180 days leave period is not for full 5 years, duration is counted for one continuous year… correct ?
    – Can I be outside UK for more than 30 days in a continuous year ?

    Many thanks // AK

  101. Hi Ak,
    It’s 180 days per rolling year so if your visa started on 30th April 2015 then that year would go to the 29th April 2016. So on… It’s fine to have 30 days out of the country as long as you don’t go over your 180 days in that year.

  102. This has been so much clearer and more useful than any of the material I have been able to find from the UK Gov online!

  103. hi..kat
    i submitted ilr application form 5 nov2018.now they send decision(your application has not been considered by the secretary of state personally) they saying..” we are satisfied that you would fall to be granted limited leave to remain of 30 month” the detail reasons my self employment in tax year 6 apr2017 to 5apr 2018 was £8316 my wife earning £7200 so total £15516.but i start my self employment 25 aug 2017. i submitted audit and unaudit account with accountant stamps.this year april i have total tax return and total earning £20000.what we do? plz tell me..

  104. Hi Kandy,
    Your best option would be to get an immigration advisor to help you out. It’s not something I’ve had experience with.

  105. Hi Kat

    Thanks for all the info, so much better than anything available on the gov.uk website. Couple of quick questions:

    For ancestry visa, is there any kind of minimum income requirements?

    Also, the checklist at the end of the application it states the following:
    If you have added a spouse or civil partner to this application form who is applying at the same time as you, please provide documentary evidence of cohabitation since you were last granted leave (up to a maximum of two years). Evidence provided should cover the whole period and be in the form of official letters or documents, addressed to yourself and your spouse.

    Is that the last two years or since we got the Ancestry Visa back in 2014?

    Much appreciated.

  106. Hi Sam,
    No minimum income requirements for Ancestry. As I understand there would be for the dependant ILR so the £18k whatever it is the threshold.
    It’s slightly confusing as it says 2 years but then the whole period. I would provide the two years and then if you have the approval email from the original application and some statements from people who have known you both in the UK for 5 years. Not sure if you bank together but you could get the bank manager to write you a letter saying that you’ve had a joint bank account for x amount of time.

  107. Thanks for that. It Is odd though, as never asked anything about dependent finances or anything in the application. Doesn’t even ask for the travel history either. I’ll see what I can dig up regarding co-habitation – we dont have shared accounts but might be able to provide council tax bills etc. I mean we are married and need to provide marriage certificate anyway, surely that’s enough proof…. But better to be overkill than under though.

  108. The other thing you could look at is a rental contract – they are pretty easy if you have one or mortgages. I don’t know enough about your situation so you would need to tailor it. So normally with dependant visas, it has these income/financial requirements https://www.gov.uk/uk-family-visa/proof-income. Others I have spoken to provide this info during their application but I don’t know enough about dependant UK Ancestry visa via ILR to say this is 100% needed.

  109. Yeah, its frustrating because there is nothing in the documents checklist or indeed in the application at all that indicates a minimum income is required for the dependent. I think in the first year, I personally wouldn’t have hit the 18K mark but combined we definitely would have – but its overseas income for my wife so apparently that can’t be used according to the link you provided. Anyway, I’ll do what I can to provide everything and just hope that it all comes back ok…

  110. You could pose a question on Kiwi’s in London to see others experiences. They are pretty good with getting answers and helping people out.

  111. Dear Kat,
    Could you please answer my questions below:
    1-Do Home Office consider SET(O) as PBS application or not?
    2-Can Tier 1-Entrepreneur Dependant vary an extension application to ILR when qualifies?
    3-Can an immigrant apply 28 days prior to 5 years anniversary even if he does not have complete 5 years leave? for example, if his visa issue date 1/1/2014 and expiry date is 5/12/2018, in this case, he does not have leave from 5/12/2018 to 1/1/2019.
    4-You know that super priority service fees £9000 is for taking biometric and they come to the asked place to do so, do you expect that Home Office open a new route for fast track applications for Tier 1 Entrepreneur?


  112. Hi Jafer,
    1. Generally, partners apply under a Set m https://visas-immigration.service.gov.uk/product/set-m.
    2. You should be able to get an extension – you would need to check though
    3. No – you must meet living in the UK for 5 years so if you have not entered the in time you need to extend.
    4. I have no idea where the £9,000 has come from, the current fee for super priority is £800 – see section 4 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/visa-regulations-revised-table/home-office-immigration-and-nationality-fees-29-march-2019. No I don’t expect there to be a different process to be opened up for Tier 1 applications.

  113. Hi Kat,

    Thank you so much for the amazing article and all your help! I have a question that I hope you can help with:
    – I arrived in the UK in 2014 on an Ancestry visa. I never got a BRP card (I’ve exited and returned to the UK using the visa in my passport) and now I’m applying for my ILR. Do I need a BRP in order to apply or will my visa be OK as is? I know that technically you need to have a BRP to work in the UK but I have freelanced successfully for the 5 years, so hoping it won’t be an issue.
    Thanks again!

  114. Hi Stacey,
    I didn’t have a BRP card when I applied for mine. Just provided my passport that my visa was in and that was it. You also don’t need a BRP to work in the UK, it needs to be a valid visa and that’s it. Although as all new visas are BRPs these are slowly disappearing. Some companies will ask you to get a BRP card if the visa you have is in an expired passport.

  115. Thank you so much Kat! Phew- sounds like it should be OK. The passport that contains my visa is expired, but the visa itself is still valid so I’m hoping it will be fine. Thanks again for your help 🙂 Stacey

  116. Hi Stacey,
    As I mentioned in my post that’s what I exactly did. Provided my old passport and my new passport so you will be totally fine :).

  117. Hey, thanks so much for the blog posts. I actually utilised your blog post regarding UK Ancestry Visa application and it was soooooo helpful (as you mention in your post, the lack of information is frustrating). I was successful on my application, following your steps, and now have been in the UK from Canada since 30 April, 2019. So don’t take THIS post down because I’ll need it in 5 years (minus 59 day 😉).

    PS – have you thought of doing a “Once you arrive in the UK” post. I’ve nearly fought my way through the system now, but things like getting a NINo, NHS Number, or even a bank account – all as equally frustrating to navigate. Thanks much again.

  118. Hi Kat,

    Thank you so much for such a helpful post. I applied for ILR (via the family route) on 26th April using the super priority service and haven’t heard back of the decision yet from the UKV&I. I have called up the support desks a number of times and escalated the issue as well but unfortunately haven’t received a satisfactory response. Is there anything else that I can do to expedite this process also how will I hear back from them, would it be an email or a post?

  119. Thanks for the prompt response. Do you know how does one receive the decision, is it via post or an email?

  120. Dear Kat,
    I am currently on Tier 2 General visa and my wife and my daughter is on a dependant visa. I will be completing my 5 years on the May 2019 and will be applying for my ILR during early June.
    I have few questions regarding my wife’s ILR application after reading the following document (Indefinite leave to remain: calculating continuous period in UK, Version 18.0) issued by the Home Office.
    Under “Absences which will not break continuity in the continuous period” section it says:
    “The period between entry clearance being issued and the applicant entering the UK may be counted toward the qualifying period. Any absences between the date of issue and entry to the UK are considered an allowable absence. This period will count towards the 180 days allowable absence in the continuous 12-month period….”
    “Calculating the specified continuous period”:
    Applicants can submit a settlement application up to 28 days before they would reach the end of the specified period.
    You must calculate the relevant qualifying period by counting backward from whichever of the following is most beneficial to the applicant:
    • the date of application
    • the date of decision
    • any date up to 28 days after the date of application
    Here is my wife’s case:
    Her visa was first issued outside the U.K. on the 23/07/2014.She entered the UK on the 23/08/2014. Later visa extended and issued outside the U.K. on the 28/12/2016.
    Her current Dependant visa expires on the 07/07/2019.(It says we could apply for the ILR from 28days before the 5 year completion.)
    My questions are:
    1. Could we start counting the 5 years from the 23/07/2014?
    2. If yes, she will be completing her 5 years on the 23/07/2019 but she her current visa expires on the 07/07/2019 but according to the 28 days rule, will it be safe to apply on the 26/06/2016 for her ILR?
    3. When did you first enter the UK? {This is the date you entered the UK when the period of stay you are basing this application on started} What should I want to complete in this section of ILR online visa application (23/07/2014 or 23/08/2014)?
    4. Any problem on extending Tier 2 general dependent visa outside UK. Is this extension of visa which will or will not break continuity in the continuous period of 5 year, please advise?

    Appreciate your response.

  121. Hi Zam,
    What the statement means is that you can enter the country after your visa states and count that in your 28 days. It’s exactly what I did, I arrived 40ish days after my visa started and put those days in my rolling period.
    1. Yes, as per above.
    2. Not sure, re the funny visa dates alignment.
    3. The date you entered the UK should be the date you arrived.
    4. I don’t know much about enough about tier 2 to comment.

  122. Hi Kat

    Thanks so much for your work on this post, super helpful. I am hoping to apply for indefinite leave to remain but have a question I hope you may be able to answer.

    I am currently on 5 year ancestry visa which runs from Feb 2015 to Feb 2020.
    I first entered the UK in July 2015 but then traveled around Europe for a few months before actually arriving in the UK to live in August 2015.

    Will I be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain in February ’20 when my visa expires? Or will I have to wait until May ’20 when I first arrived in the UK and my visa was stamped? Or will I have to wait until August ’20, five years from when I technically started living in the UK?

    If I do have to wait until May or August, is there an option to extend my current visa for a few months or do I need to apply for another 5 year visa?

    In your article you say under the criteria section

    – you’ve spent no more than 180 days outside the UK in any 12 months of the last 5 years (known as ‘continuous residence’) – if you have then you will need to apply for an extension until you qualify.

    What do you mean by apply for an extension? Is there a short term solution or is this applying for a 5 year visa?

    Thanks so much for your help!


  123. Hi Jaimee,

    There is a section in the article about visa date or arrival date here https://katsgoneglobal.com/indefinite-leave-to-remain/#Arrival_Date_or_Visa_Start_Date_which_to_use_when_applying_for_Indefinite_Leave_to_Remain.

    It basically says that as long as you arrive within 180 days after your visa starts and don’t go over the continuous period (i.e. 180 days in a rolling year) you can apply for ILR. You will need re-check in 2020 if the rules change.

    You have 6 months every year over the five years that you are allowed to be out of the country. If you breach the 6-month timeframe in any year then you will need to apply for an extension. There is an extension for UK Ancestry https://www.gov.uk/ancestry-visa/extend-your-visa.

    Then for citizenship, you are only allowed to be out the country 90 days in one year.


  124. First and foremost your detailed experience and tips including the spreadsheet have proven to be more than helpful. I cannot thank you enough for sharing your experience with us.
    I have gone ahead and applied for super priority service but sadly there was no appointment available until 29 days from now near me and I am not able to travel to London.
    I already obtained my ILR in 2008 but never transferred it onto a biometric card because honestly until I applied for my first job I didn’t know I even needed one. To prove my continious residency I am providing my Bsc degree, Msc degree, and some professional courses I undertook. After that I got a injury and I held onto some dr letters that prove this and that is a reason why i never sought employment. I have quite a bit of documents to provide and I wanted to know how did you go about uploading the documents so they are done so in a organised way to ease the application process for the case handler. I dont want to randomly upload I wante to make it as organised as possible. thank you.

  125. Hi there,

    Thanks for putting together this great post. I’m hoping you can provide a little insight. I’ve left my application really late. I made my online application the day before my visa ran out – my appointment with UKVCAS isn’t until nearly 2 weeks after that date. Is the online application date the important one, or the one of the actual appointment? I’m quietly bricking it…


  126. Hi TG,
    Sorry for the late reply! I have had a number of people that have had their appointment after their visa date but submitted in the right window were their visa was approved. There are no formal statements from the UKVI to support this but so far I haven’t seen a problem.

  127. Hi Kat,

    Thanks for your detail posting!
    I am applying ILR with Tier 2 General and trying to upload all documents via system.
    However, the categories in upload system is a bit confused for me.
    Could you please advise the document uploading categories?

    It would be highly appreciated for your help! Thank you.

    Below is the categories and I put my opinion with ‘( )’:

    Proof of Application : (Passport, BRP) ?

    Other : (Consent form, Declaration form, proof of cohabitation)
    Residence in the UK (BRP, Previous UK tier2 Visa in previous passport)
    Finances (3 months salary slips and bank statement, P60)
    Proof of Business (Blank)
    Life Events (Birth cert, Family relation cert, Marriage cert)
    Medical Information (Blank)
    Sponsors / Employment (Employer letter of absence and employment, CoS cert, HMRC letter)
    Proof of Identity / Travel History (Passports, Previous Passport, Travel list)
    Education (Life in UK & English Language Certificate)

    Thanks in advance for your help!

  128. Hello! Have found this very useful. I went to an immigration consultant (150£) that said this would be very easy. But now that I’m able to apply, I’m really panicking and wondering if I should use their document checking service (500£) I have small gaps (2 months tops) where I’ve been between jobs and the first year and a half I held two positions as an aupair. I have letters from them stating my employment, a letter from my current employment stating my contract has been extended and payslips from the new one. I have some of the old payslips throughout the past three years but probably not all.
    Am I meant to upload all of these documents with my application? Including my tenancy agreement?

    I wish this was a bit more straightforward!

    Thanks for this webpage!

  129. Thank you, Kat, I will go ahead and look at that link. No, I am not applying for ILR. I applied back in 2008 and got it then. So it is a matter of transferring it onto a biometric card. As the law changed a few years ago in regards to this Biometric Card which I had no idea about. It was not a fun road getting my ILR so based off my previous experience I am a bit worried. Had I known, I would have ensured to keep utility bills under my name and really held onto documents. Thankfully I have held onto all my passports since obtaining my ILR which will easily prove I have been residing here. It is safe to say given these continuous laws changes that I will most definitely be applying for a British passport soon which I was elgible for years ago but I didn’t as I was happy with my Canadian passport. But I can have dual nationality so I suppose there is no harm.

  130. Hi Serena,
    I had a one month gap in my jobs and didn’t provide payslips for everything. You can provide P60s, P45s and a letter from the HRMC to cover the fact you worked and paid tax. To get an HRMC letter is really easy just 0300 200 3300, ask for 5 years’ worth of employment history to be sent to you in a letter.

    I didn’t upload any tenancy agreements and wasn’t included in the checklist provided by UKVI.

    Once you complete your application you will be sent an email with your UKVCAS logon which will allow you to book your biometric appointment and upload your documents. You can get them to scan it but it will cost you £35 to do so.


  131. Hi James,
    Mine was before you had to upload the document but I would agree with your suggestions. 🙂

  132. Thanks Kat,

    I have got my ILR on last week.
    I appreciate for all your details on the web site.
    It helped a lot to prepare the documents.
    Many thanks and have a lovely day!

  133. Hi Kat,

    Thanks for putting this post up. Its very useful.
    On your spreadsheet, how did you record the time between when your initial visa was granted and when you entered the UK? Is that marked as a holiday as well? Does it need to be covered by an employers’ letter as well?

  134. Hi Nick,
    Yes, if you look https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/16fYqBw5_TdSW-tSAKfY2vm-4RQGHcpNYYgrbgw3rYq0/edit?usp=sharing from line 2 and 10 this covered by my holiday’s during my visa start and entry to the UK. Line 11 covers when my visa starts and calculates the days out of the country until the entry date.
    The only evidence from my employer was that I employed, verifying holiday for UK ancestry by an employer isn’t needed. If you are tier 2 then you will need to do this but I don’t have any knowledge around this.

  135. hey kat,
    i am doing my application with in the next week, would you recommend spending the extra money for the priority service? do they hold on to your passport the whole time?
    also do you need to have your full employment history – payslips p60/p45, or would the HMRC document count and 6 months worth of current payslips with the employee confirmation letter?
    I am on an ancestry visa also, I have the birth certificates but they are certified copies, I have been advised that these will be ok. did you provide originals or certified copies?
    Can you provide printed bank records now? I am with lloyds and they will only print one account out for me. Also I have a mortgage which I can provide the payment summary for however the account I transfer the money to (my partners account) before it goes in to the mortgage account does not have my name on it – would you recommend I still provide statements from my partners account?
    When they check your documents, if you are missing anything they would recommend providing, do they give you time to gather the documents and resubmit?
    The letter that your partner has to sign, is that given to you during the application?
    I don’t have a printer in my house so are the documents you are required to sign downloadable to print later?
    is there anything more you would recommend?
    really appreciate your help as like you i didn’t fancy paying someone to just fill out a form and provide a letter stating they were assisting me – also you have made the process much less stressful, so THANK YOU!
    cheers! Amy

  136. Hi Amy,
    No, they don’t hold your passport but you aren’t allowed to travel as it invalidates your application. If you plan on going on holidays or just don’t want to wait up to 6 months for a decision then go priority. I did put some screenshots above to another reader who had a similar question.
    I provided all of my employment history because there was no specific date range when I applied. I did help someone recently who only provide payslips for 6 months, P45/60 and the HRMC letter and has gotten approval. I think the checklist has been updated since I did it and should state this.
    I provided extracts from the birth, deaths and marriages so official copies from them.
    Print your bank statements and Lloyds will provide an official stamp verifying the bank statements.
    I didn’t provide any evidence re my living agreement so check if it is included in the checklist then provide it.
    I wouldn’t rely on the checks for picking up anything missing. You will get a letter from UKVI stating you to provide additional evidence or originals if they don’t like the scans etc provided.
    The PDF was available when I completed my application. It was just a declaration he signed. In my, whole application I only provided one a piece of joint evidence which was a bank statement that my partner and I have. Not sure if they checked anything else.

  137. Hey Kat, (sorry me again), at what point do you get a copy of the checklist? I am just trying to put together the documents this week to make sure they are as up to date as possible.
    Thanks again!

  138. Hi Amy,
    At the end of the application (which requires you to complete a draft of the application), there should be a checklist which you need to check before you submit and pay for the application.

  139. Just a quick side note, the checklist won’t state that you need your birth certificates etc but when I went to the appointment they were requested. I also helped someone else out and they were requested to provide the ancestry links as well. It wasn’t included on the checklist so they didn’t provide this originally.

  140. Hi Kat,

    This is a great post! And it has been very helpful
    I will be going from Ancestry to ILR and I have been researching everywhere regarding the 180 day rule and the wording for it is so confusing. I have also asked a few different organisations and unfortunately they all required money to give me some advice.

    Im wondering if you could please give me your opinion on my situation below

    What exactly is the 12 month continuous period? My visa validation date and the date I entered the UK are the same, 30th Oct 2016. My ancestry is up on the 30th October 2021 so I will be applying for the ILR on the 2nd October 2021. I think all these dates are correct so far.

    Based on this would my 12 month periods then
    30th October 2016 – 29th October 2017
    30th October 2017 – 29th October 2018 and so on?

    The reason im asking is because myself and my british boyfriend (I am not on a spouse visa) are planning to go backpacking for about 5 months before coming back to the UK. The dates will be 19th December 2019 – 19th May 2020. – If my continuous year runs from October to October as mentioned above does that mean these 152ish days absent will be in one of my continuous 12 month periods?

    I work full time and we own a place in the UK so this is purely a holiday – my employer will be writing a letter stating that I still have my job on my return. I have family in Aus so will be going home for Christmas to see them and then backpack afterwards

    Could I put this down as purely a holiday? I have seen that people all have compassionate reasons as to why they left the UK for extended amounts of time (less than 180 days)
    Mine is just purely a holiday for a little while and then back to the UK
    There will be no other holidays in this 12 month period as I don’t want to go over the 180 days

    Could you please give me your opinion on the above?
    It would be greatly appreciated

  141. Hi Nadia,
    I had a friend just do a similar thing. My friend went travelling his wife for just under 6 months so that he could get his ILR this year. So this is not legal advice but as long as you stay within the 6-month and 12 month rolling period then you will be fine against the current guidelines. Yes, it would be a holiday. It’s great your employer is supporting it and will provide a continue employment letter.

  142. Hey Kat,

    Can you travel while waiting for your appointment on the premium service?

    I’ve got a holiday planned a few weeks after my visa end date.


  143. Hi Kat,

    Another question, I just saw on your youtube video that you don’t have to hand in your passport anymore? Is that correct? So does that mean I can travel whilst this is being processed?

    Andreanna Coley

  144. Hi Andreanna,

    I wouldn’t advise travelling while waiting for a decision. See below screenshot that I previously got for the gov.uk site.

    Snippet from the UKVI website


  145. Rahimullah Rahim


    I did apply for ILR 3 months before expire of my visa, and I got a letter says ( We aim to process a all application within 6 months from the date submitted. However, in certain circumstances this target is not possible. Following our assessment of your case, unfortunately it appears your application will not be processed within the 6 months target.

    This is because your application raises exceptionally complex issue and we require further time to consider your case thoroughly and reach a decision.

    we expect to make a decision on your application by 28/09/2019. but we will write to you again if this is not going to be possible.

    Your Sincerely)))

  146. Hi Kat,
    Thank you for creating this post, it’s been extremely helpful.
    I am applying for my IDR on the 12th of August 2019 (28 days before my ancestry visa expires) and wanting to go with the next day (3 day decision :)).
    I was wondering if you have heard how long people are currently waiting for appointments in London, with the new centres opening? I am happy to travel around England for an appointment on an earlier date if needed.
    Thanks again 🙂 Clair

  147. Hi Clair,
    There is more centre but you have to pay for some of them – so in fairness, it would equal travelling somewhere in the UK. Recently I have heard of people getting an appointment in two weeks time after they submit their application. You will only find out once you submit your application through but I think it will be fine.

  148. Hi Kat,
    This has been so helpful thank you.
    I am from Australia and applying for ILR after holding an ancestry visa for 5 years. Do you think its worth sending in the past 2 years worth of payslips?
    I only have one bank account and it is Lloyds- would you recommend getting them to certify the 3 months but still sending in 3 months of printed statements prior to that?
    One last thing- I only receive bills via email- is it ok to print these out and provide them?
    Thanks heaps, Kewley

  149. Hi Kewley,
    Since I have applied and I have been advised by other applicants that the payslips have been changed to 6 months but I have not got a copy of the latest checklist. I would provide your P60, P45 and the HRMC letter to cover 5 years of working (that’s just me).
    If you want Lloyds to verify more statements you just print them out and they will stamp the statements at the bank. For my main accounts, I only provided 3 months worth, for my savings account I provide 1 year because HSBC was super cool about it.
    I didn’t include any bills in my application. Even though I saved them all thinking I needed it, the checklist didn’t have any requirement to provide this.

  150. Hi Kat,
    Thanks for this. I am self employed and contract out to the company I work for so I invoice them and get paid rather than receive pay slips so to say. Do you think that invoices are also ok?
    I have my P60s and HMRC letter to cover the few years I was not self employed and then I will have a letter from my accountant verifying my self employment and my tax information for that period. I assume this will be fine?
    Thats really helpful about LLoyds and good to know about the bills.
    You’re a lifesaver!

  151. Hi Kat,

    I understand that ILR can be applied for 28 days before 10th anniversary in the UK. Does Sopra Steria – UKVCAS allow booking of appointment 45 days before the 28 days to the 10th anniversary? Please can you also confirm that the day your appointment is booked is considered as you application date?


  152. Hi Josep,
    It sounds like you are applying for long residence, not ILR – so long residence is you’ve been in the UK legally for 10 years (known as your ‘continuous residence’). This is a different visa than what my article is about. More about the visa here: https://www.gov.uk/long-residence/eligibility. The evidence will be similar but 10 years worth of evidence.

    The new rules are that you apply in the window not in advance, so the window is depending on your type of visa you are applying for. UK ancestry visa ends after 5 years so you apply in 28 days before your visa ends. Whereas naturalisation is 12 months after IRL so I can only apply on my 12-month anniversary and not before – unless I was married to a UK citizen.

    Your application will be processed once you have had your biometrics appointment. So submit in your window, get a biometrics appointment and your application will be processed by UKVI.


  153. Hi Kewley,
    That will be fine, if your accountant can give you the information then that will support your application.

  154. Hi Kat,

    Thanks for your quick response.

    I am actually applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) on the ground of 10 years long residence. I understand that the 28 days applies in this case and I plan to get an appointment with Sopra Steria – UKVCAS within 28 days before my 10th Anniversary as per the guideline.

    My question is: Is it possible to pay online and book for this appointment 45 days prior to or in advance of the actual date I will be attending the appointment? This was usually applicable before the system change (Sopra Steria coming on board); not sure what has changed about this..



  155. Hi Josep,
    That was answered in my original comment, no you can’t apply 45 days in advance. This was the process when UKVI ran it for same-day appointments and no longer the case.

    You apply based on the eligibility and if you read long residence requirements it is you’ve been in the UK legally for 10 years (known as your ‘continuous residence’). This is when you can apply. More about the visa here: https://www.gov.uk/long-residence/eligibility. When you get to the application it says “Use this form if you have lived in the UK lawfully for 10 years continuously and now want to apply to settle in the UK.”

    Whereas on the SET O application it says (which is what my article is about) “Do not apply any sooner than 28 days before you complete your qualifying period.”


  156. Hi there,

    Just wanted to say how incredibly helpful this was to stumble across. Incredibly clear and useful. Just applying now fingers crossed!

  157. Susan Chisholm

    Hi Kat, I have a question regarding my husband (dependent) when I apply for ILR. Is it ok to ask here? Thanks! Sue

  158. Hi,is there anyone who applied ILR spouse visa I entered UK 11 October 2014 ,my visa expires on the 19/5/17 applied to renew refused twice and later given which expires on 7/2/2021 normally I should have 5yrs in October 2019 married with my British husband staying with him both of us working full-time any advice if I should apply in October this year or wait until 2021 when my biometric card expires?

  159. Hi Kat,
    I entered In UK on 11th Feb 2017 however, on my entry clearance VISA pasted on the passport date is mentioned valid from 25th January 2017 but on Tier-2 Visa BRP issue date is 19th Dec 2016, this BRP I got it after entering in the UK.
    so I need to apply for ILR on 14th Jan 2022 keep the margin 28days based on my entry in the UK or 28th Dec 2021 based on date mentioned on entry clearance visa that is 25th Jan 2017.
    or I need to consider start date mentioned on the BRP issue date that 19th Dec 2016 then apply date for the ILR would be 21th Nov 2021.
    Please let me know the to which date I need to consider for the ILR.


  160. Brayn Urquhart

    Hi Kat,

    Thank you for the time in posting your experience. Ive just successfully done my LTR via the ancestral route (yay!) and your site was a big help!
    I applied with the priority service (£800 extra), did my biometrics at 8:30 am on the Monday morning and had my confirmation email by 14:45! My new BRP arrived on Thursday morning via courier.
    I only had one query after following the whole process through the online system, my case officer wanted copies of my whole passport to show exit and entry dates to and from the UK, was scanned and emailed back to him. At the time of my biometrics I asked the agent if I needed to scan my whole passport, he said the photo page only was fine (clearly not the case!)

    Only a year to go then I can apply for my passport!

    Many thanks

  161. Hi Oli,
    In your case, I would recommend getting advice from an immigration lawyer if you have previously been refused for you other applications.

  162. Hi Shahid,

    Read page 8 Period between the issue of entry clearance and entering
    the UK of this document:

    As I understand for Tier 2 your employer will also have to provide evidence of why you didn’t start at the visa date, etc.

    If you are unsure whether you should apply then I recommend consulting with an advisor. Last thing you want is to spend all that money and not get approved :).

  163. Hello, what a great site! Thanks so much for this. My 28-day window to apply opens on 19th August, and I’m wondering about the question “When did you (the main applicant) first enter the UK? This refers to the date of your first entry to the UK at the beginning of period of stay on which this application is based.”

    Is this referring to my date of entry (22 Nov 2014), and not my visa issue date (15 sept 2014)? It’s a bit unclear as the 28 day window applies to your visa validity (so, the 15th sept) rather than entry date – is that correct?


  164. Hi Kyle,
    For the question, it’s the date you entered the UK, not your visa date. The 28-day window is based on your visa date, not entry date. As long as you don’t breach continuous leave (180 days in a rolling year). You will also need to count those days in your out of the country section.

  165. Hi Kat,

    One more question – in terms of supporting documents, I’ve got work contract and confirmation of employment letter, p60s, bank statements, payslips. You mentioned bills too – how far back did you go back? The whole 5 years/monthly? Might be a bit of a struggle to source that much beyond 12 months it seems.

    Thank you,

  166. Hi Kyle, I thought I needed my bills so I saved them for 5 years but it wasn’t needed at all when I applied! The supporting documents you mentioned will be all you need. If you have time I would recommend getting a HRMC letter as well.

  167. Hi Kat! Thanks so much for this guide – there’s so much confusion on the forums and this was really clear! This might be a stupid question but it’s a requirement to submit your passport right? So if you go the slow route (6 month wait time) you will not be able to travel at all during that period? There is no way to get your passport back for important travel, etc.? Thanks so much in advance!

  168. Hi, Brayn, congratulations on yur successfull application, we are just starting to prepare for my husbands application in early november, this post has been a great source of information, however I was hoping if you wouldnt mind sharing a list of the documents you had to supply, and the time period? so 5 years of address history, or less, same for emplyment etc, Thankyou, and congratulations again! thanks

  169. Hi , i will be thankful if some one please advise me its urgent request, this is regarding my wife’s ilr long story short she thought her visa expires next month but its actually expiring on 6th of august which is in just 2 days , i have filled the online form and have all the documentations except the employeer letter i have payslips p60 and rest all the documenting my employeer i will try to get employer letter but i think it will take couple of days . I was thinking to submit the online application as a priority service so that i have some time to take the documentation and by the time i got the appointment my wife have that letter but i am not sure its is possible like submit the online application before expiring the visa and getting the appointment and taking the documentation after expiring the visa . Please suggest me what is the best option or should i just submit the applia tion online as standard and post the next day delivery all the document without that letter ??


  170. Hi Alpha,
    You need to submit the application before the visa expires, it’s the important step. The biometric appointment is just to take your fingerprints, photo and signature, then check the documents as per the checklist. UKVCAS cannot advise anything on your application either so even if you ask them any questions they will refer you to UKVI.
    There is no posting the documents anymore, it’s all uploaded online. This can either be done before the biometric appointment or after. Standard, you will get a decision within 6 months and priority within 24 hours.
    My main concern is you mentioned nothing about life in the UK test which is mandatory for ILR. If she hasn’t done this I think you would struggle to get a test slot and she would need to be sure she can pass.

  171. Hi kat, thanks for your reply, she got live in the uk test , and also b1 test. The issues are i have today and tomorrow to submit my application i dont have original post bank statement , bank said you can download and print only( will home office accept this) second concern is i will try my level best to get the employer letter tomorow morning but i think they take 2-3 days . I want to know if i submit online application today or tomorrow . It is necessary to submit the check list before visa expire ? If so then i might be mising employer letter and original bank statements . Some one advise me use priority service so that when you go for appointment you take all the documents with me and at that point i have all the documents. Please kindly advise what should i do i am very panic at the moment. I am very thankful that you reply me on your busy time . Thanks

  172. Hi Alpha,

    UKVI super priority service will provide you with a decision within 24 hours. This is the one you pay and choose during your application and has no bearings on your biometric appointment. However, is the one worth paying for as it gives you a decision quick but this is a personal choice. Currently costs £800.

    UKVCAS is where they take your biometrics – you will be redirected after you have completed the application with detail to login. UKVCAS has no bearing on the decision process, all it does is allow you choose to pick free or premium biometric appointment. There are a few options if you want an appointment after hours, the next day etc. If you want a quick decision then you need to choose this during the application process as stated above. You will need to take the documents with you whether you have standard or priority application. Along with registering biometrics.

    As long as you submit in the right window which is now for your wife’s application.

    Re bank statements just go in to your bank to get them verified. Re work letter it will probs take you two weeks to get an appointment. Yes you need to fill in the checklist when submitting the application.

  173. Many thanks kat, really appreciate your help. I am now submitting the application.
    God bless you

  174. Hi Kat,

    Fantastic. Slight panic averted! In terms of payslips and bank statements, I don’t have the full five years either. Hopefully that should be fine? I have all P60s, work contracts, letter from my employer, tenancy agreements dating back five years.

    Good shout on the HRMC letter. Thanks so much again – a really fine forum you have here 🙂


  175. I went back 5 years but I’ve had people applying recently and only provided 6 months worth of payslips. They were still approved. I think as long as you have enough evidence support you are working like the HMRC letter, P60, contract, you can lighten of providing so many payslips. I think the checklist has been updated as well to reflect a timeframe of evidence.

  176. One more question – so sorry! For trips outside the U.K. where you visited multiple countries, how did you address that in the application form? It seems only one country per trip is allowed, but I often return to the U.K. from a country that wasn’t my initial destination. I do a lot of work travel so it seems a bit complex/like I’m not providing all the information I should.


  177. Sure, wonderful forum, and you are star kat. I was not expecting anyone reply me on sunday. I have submit the application and the appointment is got in end of aug . I am not sure weather they will upload my documents or do i have to upload it i paid 125£ for that its very near to my place. Once again thanks for your time. Bye now

  178. Hi Alpha,
    You will be charged £35 if they upload on your behalf. I always recommend uploading to save the cash and time at the appointment but it’s up to you :). Kat

  179. For my application, I added every country I went to. I know some people just added the country they spent the most time in and then in the comments you could add this trip included xyz. I had to add a spreadsheet to the application because I had more than 30 lines. You will find the example spreadsheet in the article.

  180. Indeed, I’ve got 38 lines! Just wondering if it might seem confusing if on “date returned to the UK” was listed incorrectly from that particular country. I’ll definitely clean up my spreadsheet and include it in my documents – thanks for the template!

  181. Hi Kat, many thanks for your super-helpful blog. I have a question about the letter from the employer: who should the employer address the letter to?

  182. Hi Ellen,

    Mine just says (on company letter head):

    Dear Sir/Madam,

    Re: Katherine xxxxx

    We write to confirm the following information regarding the above employee:-
    Start Date: dd month yyyy
    Job Title:
    Total Fixed Reward: (basically pay)
    Employment Status: Permanent

    It is (xxx company) policy only to provide factual information.

    In accordance with (xxx company) normal practice this reference is given in good faith and in confidence, without legal liability on behalf of the author or (xxx company).

    If you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact us.

    That’s it.

  183. Thank you Kat, that’s much appreciated! This post has been great guidance for my Ancestry > ILR application.

  184. Thanks Kat,

    As I understood I need to apply for the ILR based on VISA entry clearance issue date that is 25th Jan 2017.
    so I will be going to apply for the ILR on 28th Dec 2021 keeping margin of 28day for the completing 5years.
    is that right ??
    I was completing the notice period with ex- employer so I joined late in the UK .

  185. One more! On the English language requirement, I do see that Canada (among others) are exempt. However the online application form does not mention exemptions, and simply asks for a degree or qualification to prove English language proficiency. I don’t have ready access to my two uni degree documents in Canada – is the passport enough?


  186. Hi Kyle,
    I can’t remember what I filled out for the answer and I would just add that you have a degree. At the end form just said:
    Information you do not have to provide
    You do not need to provide further evidence of your level of English because you are a national of Australia.

    In the checklist it said:
    The Australia passport, identity card or official
    letter for Miss Katherine xxx to
    prove the level of English language required


  187. Hi Shahid,
    As long as you meet the continuous leave requirement then VISA entry clearance issue date is correct. If you don’t mean continuous leave then you need to wait for the year you pass the continuous leave.
    For example, I entered 45 days after my visa started, as I wasn’t outside of the country for more than 180 days in a rolling year I met the continuous leave requirement.

  188. Hey Kat, this has been soooo helpful you have no idea!

    I’m applying for the 10 year long residence ILR which is slightly different to your post, but when it comes to submitting dates out of the country I have lost some records of flights exiting the UK (as i was a minor and now no longer in touch with those who were looking after it back then) but i have a general idea of the month/week that i was travelling in. The country i went into didn’t stamp my passport as it was all done biometrically. So my question is how accurate do I need to be in giving my exiting date? Would they be able to trace 100% ?

    Thanks a bunch!

  189. Hi Kat, your blog has been so helpful, thank you so much.

    I was wondering you you knew what i should do in my case. My husband is a dependent on my Ancestral Visa and we both need to apply of ILR, do we need to do 2 separate applications or can we just add his details onto my applications i’m not sure which route to take with him. another thing we are having a baby in October, do you think we would need to apply for him as well or would he get permanent residence because he was born here? We would only need to apply next year 2020 as we arrived May/June 2016.
    Sorry for all the questions i hope you can help clear this up through your experience.

  190. Hi Chloe,
    With 10 years of travel, you are going to run out of the 30 lines anyway (at least I would) so you will need to do a spreadsheet. Be as accurate as you can but their main goal is to confirm you have been living here and met the continuous leave requirement. This is just my opinion.

  191. Hi Kat,

    Regarding the 10 years route, are you sure you cant apply within 28 days of your qualifying period or I have misunderstood you? because according to the guidelines that is publish you can.
    Can you please let me know

  192. Hi Ali,
    The article is about ILR Set-O application, unfortunately, there are so many visa types and different routes. The requirements for Long Residence is slightly different. They don’t mention the ability to apply 28 days in advance before your 10 year anniversary. It just says both on the form and eligibility that you have lived in the UK lawfully for 10 years.

  193. Hi Irene,
    I am currently just filling out an application so I can’t double-check for IRL but it says on my latest application:
    Additional applicant
    To add another applicant, select their relationship to you. If you do not wish to add another applicant, complete the application for the main applicant and select ‘Continue’.
    Create an application and see if this option comes up. If yes, just add him that way.
    For the baby I would have to do some research and see what you need to do.

  194. Hi Kat,

    Many thanks for getting back to me, please see the link for the guidance and read page 13 the last paragraph. I appreciate that applications are different, but can you please check and let me know if my understanding is correct?

    the last paragraph is ” Applications being considered 28 days or less before the required qualifying period is completed You can grant an application if it is considered 28 days or less before the applicant completes the required qualifying period, provided they meet all the other rules for long residence.


  195. Hi Irene,
    While I was searching for some docs for my recent application, this was the information provided in my ILR letter once I was approved.
    Having a child in the UK with ILR Status

  196. Jennifer Seligman

    Hi Kat,

    Great blog! Very helpful 🙂
    Was just wondering what you think. My UK Ancestry Visa expires 8 Sept 2019. I have already started my online application. I am currently out of the country (in Canada for a month) until 28 August 2019. Should I submit my application 28 days in advance (aka this week in Canada and then book my appointment) or wait until I physically get back to the UK on the 28th before I submit my application online/upload my documents?

  197. Hi Jennifer,
    ou would need to enter the dates of your Canada trip to align with your leave. The application process would allow you to submit but my comment is only based on what the system will let you do. Not sure if they would or wouldn’t be ok with it.

  198. Thanks so much 4 this its fantastic
    Please tell me did u have to submit flight details as well for ILR ?

  199. Hi Ursula,
    I didn’t provide any of my flight details, just my passport with the stamps and excel spreadsheet I mentioned in the article.

  200. FYI to any fellow IRL applicants – on my ILR application document checklist they are now requesting the following:
    – ‘The degree certificate to prove the level of English language required’
    – ‘NARIC letter that confirms the qualification meets or exceeds the recognised standard of a Bachelor’s or
    Masters degree or PhD in the UK’

    a NARIC Statement of Comparability is currently £49.50 + £2.50 first class post and takes 10-15 working days to be delivered.

  201. Thanks, Ellen for the tip :). This has always been the case if you’re from a country that’s not on the list you’ll need to prove your knowledge of English, even if English is an official language. Here are the countries exempted: https://www.gov.uk/english-language/exemptions. I’ve just filled in another application I still don’t have to prove the english requirement.

  202. Hi Kat, I am a kiwi and started my online application about a month ago. This requirement was not included on the online application when I began, but when I resumed it last week I was notified that a new question/criteria had been added, and I now have to supply copies of my degree/transcript and a NARIC letter of comparability. Just wanted to add it here, as I was previously unaware that this criteria applied to kiwis – in particular the requirement to supply the NARIC letter has comes as a surprise.

  203. Hi Ellen, I actually think this is a bug in the system. As a New Zealand passport holder, you are exempt from the language requirement as you can see here https://www.gov.uk/english-language/exemptions. I think because you have answered that you have a degree it’s prompted you to prove that is taught in English. Which has then put this in the documents you need to supply degree and proof the degree was taught in English (i.e. the bug).
    If you selected No and then no to the next questions (pass language test etc) it will then turn it into NZ passport as proof of English which of course is incorrect as you have a degree. I would raise the bug with UKVI.

  204. HI Kat, thanks heaps for the advice. I’ll raise it with them and will share their response back here.

  205. Hello Kat, I have a very peculiar question and I am wondering if you can help! My Salary was revised as a part of the yearly appraisal and it now is at £36, 500 (since April 2019) (annual) which is above the required £ 35,800 for applying for the ILR in 2019.

    My employer has agreed to provide a letter for me and I am due to apply in about 10days time. Now, should the employer have updated the above information in the Sponsorship Management System from their end ?

    Should I check with my HR ?

    Please advise.

  206. Hi Aj,
    I would get your employer to provide a letter and see if they will update the system. It’s not really my area of expertise.

  207. Hi Ellen,

    Have you gotten a response from them (I just emailed the e-support the same issue)? Canadian so exempt like you but it is still asking for a NARIC because I have a degree (it disappears if I remove my degree). The home office call in center couldn’t provide an answer and just gave me the tech support email… I would really apperciate some insight 🙂

  208. Update for other exempt country nationals in the same situation. I spoke to the Home office advice line just now (0300 123 2241). Explained the exempt country with a degree taught in English still resulting in the NARIC certificate on the documents list. The lady I spoke to said she had come across this recently for other people and the advice was to click ‘NO’ to the degree to get around the NARIC prompt on the document list and then write a covering letter with the application to explain why this had been selected (glitch). I was uneasy about this as I do not want a ‘lie’ on my application. This prompted her to check with her manager to ensure this was the correct guidance. They were unable to provide me with any written confirmation of this advice. I did ask if this issue would be fixed in the near future and they were unable to comment other than the Home Office had been made aware of the issue.

  209. Hi Julie, I had exactly the same advice from the Home Office advice line. I also contacted the online application tech support to suggest it was a bug and am yet to have confirmation of this from them. I have ordered the NARIC anyway but it might not arrive before my biometric appointment so I’ll be doing the covering letter as well.

  210. Hi Kat, wow you have helped so many people by just setting up this blog. do you know anyone who is applying or have applied ILR through 5 years Refugee status please ? I am working in a multinational company as an accountant and one of the requirement of my job is travelling away (USA and China).I need to apply my ILR in November, do you know about the requirements of ILR as a refugee or do you think I can go super priority service ? thanks

  211. Hello Kat
    Great info thank you.
    I’m just wondering if you can help me with a question regarding when my ancestry Visa it is about to end And I intend on applying for ILR however for two out of the five years on my ancestry Visa I have been a full-time student for the remainder of the three years I would have worked is this exceptable To qualify to apply for ILR.
    I have called and looked every were for this information but can’t find any answers.
    To add to that I have also worked part time during the second year of being a student however the first year I did very little work only due to the demanding study times.
    Hope you can shed any light on this?
    Kind regards

  212. Hi Lynda,
    Just to confirm you called UKVI and they weren’t able to answer your questions about this?
    I would love to give advice but I think you should look at hiring an immigration advisor as they will know the ins and outs of the law.

  213. Thanks Kat,
    Yes I called them and she said she couldn’t find the answer and to try
    Hiring a imagration adviser:(
    I would have thought I could find answers to such questions directly.
    I guess I have to find a immigration adviser and hope they have an answer.

  214. That sucks, I would have hoped they can point you in the right direction. An immigration adviser will be able to give you way more details about what they would be looking for evidence wise. The checklist in my article is the standard one that everyone gets (a few changes will happen depending on answers), in this case, you wouldn’t have any more details there.

    Kiwis in London recommends https://visacheck.co.uk/ so you could give them a bell :). They have prices listed for one-off consultancy.

  215. Hi Kat,

    Thanks so much for this blog! You are amazing! So helpful!
    Apologies if this question has already been asked – I’m just wondering if you do the standard process which can take 6 months – my BRP will technically have already expired at this point – so would I not be staying in the country illegally while waiting on the ILR application to be processed during that 6 months? I’m worried my employer won’t accept that? I’m guessing thats why you can’t travel as you mentioned in the blog.

    Thanks in advance for any info!


  216. Hi Kat,

    Thanks for detailed information. It was really helpful. I am trying to make an appointment on HO website but I have been given only one option (standard service). That really concerns me as I wish to get to pay for the super priority service so dont have to wait for 6 months. I beleive I am eligible as I am applying under ‘long residence’. I have the impression that once I pay this fee, I will be given the opportiunity to pay for the super priority service on Sopra Steria? I am right?

  217. Hi Kat, thank you for this blog it is fantastic however I still have a couple questions I hope you might help with with. I’m Aussie applying for ILR via ancestry route. I have already started my application and getting all my documentation together. My current visa expires 16th Feb 2020, so I just wanted to confirm that the 28days would be the 19th Jan I could apply? I had seen someone said the applied 45 days before the visa expired. Secondly, I am going to apply with the super priority as I need my decision and passport ASAP. Can I get a biometrics appointment before submitting my application? Can you travel while waiting for your decision, the reason being I desperately need to go back to Aus early Feb for my sons 25th Birthday, a can I travel and b if still waiting a result can I come back into the UK before my visa expires on the 16th Feb?Any tips you could offer would be great. Thanks Tracy

  218. Hi Tracy,

    Yes, 28 days would be the 19th Jan.

    Re applying earlier, in the old process you could apply 45 days before for the premium service but not since the process changes. The set o application says Do not apply any sooner than 28 days before you complete your qualifying period.

    No, as far as I’m aware you can’t get a biometrics appointment before submitting the application. I wrote about the process here: https://katsgoneglobal.com/ukvcas-biometrics-appointment/.

    All the documents I’ve read state that you shouldn’t leave the country while waiting for a decision for your ILR. You can find the photos of this in the comments.


  219. Hi Kat,
    Thanks for this information – very helpful. But I think I read conflicting (or outdated) articles, because I’ve just submitted my application for an extension of my spouse visa outside the 28 day window, but booked an appointment date within the 28 day window (and opting for super priority service). From the above, it seems like the new process is to wait until 28 days before the visa expiry date, and then hit submit on the application and pay the fees, and then book the appointment. Would it be beneficial to complete a new application (and submit 28 days before visa expiration) and include my reference number of my other application in the new application? Is there a way to include the payment reference number on the new application, to avoid having to pay twice?
    Thanks for your assistance.

  220. Hi Bradley,
    On 5th of Nov 2018, the process changed to the new 28-day rule for super-priority which used to be called the premium service that’s what gave people an extra 45 days window in the past. However, this was always the case if you were applying via standard service and you needed to post your application. As I understand cancelling your application you will not get a refund (see here https://www.gov.uk/cancel-visa). I am not sure the method you mention would work.

  221. Cheralynne Huxtable

    HI Kat

    Thanks for the super useful article. I have two questions:

    1. Did you provide them with your original ancestral documents (i.e. birth certificates and marriage certificates) or were copies sufficient? Reason I ask is because all these documents got stolen when my parents house got broken into in South Africa?

    2. Do you know what happens between the period you visa expires and the date you receive ILR, given there is a 6 month lag what happens to your right to live and work in the UK? I understand you can’t leave the country during this period but is your right to work and live in the UK affected?


  222. I just wanted to thank you so much for providing this resource. Although I was applying under spouse and not ancestry it was still a big help — even though I got a nasty surprise with the priority options (it was either 6 month wait or ‘same day’ for me, no middle option!). This was still an invaluable guide that calmed me down considerably when trying to wade through this whole thing.

  223. Hi Cheralynne,
    I provide originals for my application but it does say in the checklist section that you can either provide copies or originals.
    As I understand it’s meant to be a bridging visa (but not a physical visa in your passport etc) and that you are allowed to continue working while you wait. But from all the documents I have read, you are unable to travel while waiting for the decision. You can see the screenshots in the comments.

  224. Hi Kat,
    I was wondering if you could help me.

    On November 25th of this year, I will be living in the UK for ten years lawfully and will apply for indefinite leave to remain through the private life route. Usually, these type of applications has a decision time between one and six months or longer, depending on a variety of factors. However, the Home Office offers services that provide a quick decision for an extra cost.

    As far as we are aware, with applications of Indefinite Leave to Remain, you can use the super-priority service, which costs £800. With this service you pay £800 on top of the £2389 you would pay for the standard application, and they give you a decision in 24 hours. We have received conflicting advice towards the use of super-priority service. Some solicitors have advised that the Home Office is no longer offering this service until further notice, and others the opposite.

    I haven’t applied yet, because I am unsure if the use of super-priority service is still an option. We have tried contacting the Home Office on the phone too, but the advice is conflicting and different every time. We were wondering if you could help us to clarify this.

    Me and my husband, we both work full-time, but I am on a Tier 2 visa (work visa) and I don’t know if the company will renew my contract or not, and my right to live in the UK is currently tied to the job. So, it could be the case that if we apply using standard time, the application is delayed or refused even, and that could end up in deportation. I am not sure if a letter from my company with an end date will be detrimental too.

  225. Hi Viri,

    What you can do is roughly fill out an application until you get to the payment page and see what options you are provided at the end. When I say roughly just skip the things that take a long time like adding all your holidays etc. Once you see the options available then go back and add all the correct information. It’s only when you pay that the application is submitted and that way you will know what the truth is. That’s just what I would do.

    Also you shouldn’t be deported during your visa application and waiting for a decision. Why would your company not issue a contract with the terms saying you will be continued to be employed as long as you get approval for your long residence? You can still work whilst waiting a decision from the home office.


  226. Hi Kat..Hope you are doing good. I had one query regarding ILR. MY 5 years are getting completed on 5th Jan ’20 so I will be eligible to apply for ILR on 9th Dec’19. My query is that do I have to submit the form on 9th Dec to take an appointment or i can submit in advance to take appointment date as 9th Dec’19 as I am eager to apply for ILR asap

    Please let me know as this so getting confusing for me. Thanks a lot.

  227. Hi Max, I have been hearing rumours that the home office won’t be offering the 24-hour service for a while. You can call them to confirm, as I have not found an article that states this yet. Do be prepared that this may not be an option.
    Re when to apply, it’s in the 28 days window you submit your application and then book an appointment.

  228. Thanks Kat. Do you have the number which can be called as I can see many numbers but not sure which one is the correct one.

  229. Thanks for this Kat. I called home office and they said that they are changing daily limit to 20 for priority list so they aren’t cancelling this service, just that it will be difficult to get an immediate slot for this moving forward.

  230. Hi Kat, thank you so much for your helpful guide 🙂 Myself and husband are close to applying for our ILR, both Aussies. I don’t know anyone personally that has gone through the process so I was hoping I could clarify what I think I need to do? Basically we entered the country 29/12/2014 so from what I understand the earliest date I can apply is 2nd December 2019 (I can’t see anything about Xmas closing dates affecting the 28 apply period?). My concern is that we want to use the super priority service and worried that we won’t get an appointment. You can only book the appointment after applying? If we can get a super priority appointment in Jan, do you think that means we have overstayed or do they judge it from the application date? I wish I could just apply now but don’t want to do anything wrong. Also worried about them limiting numbers of people. My thoughts are that if I wanted an appointment in December and because I can’t apply until 2nd December, it means the dates 1st Dec-28th Dec will have already been open to people meeting their 28 day requirement in November and there won’t be any appointments left….

    I’ve created a spreadsheet of all of our trips for the past 5 years however the system I think has a certain capacity so I will just do the most recent backward. For the place travelled to, I will put the place flown in/out of even if multiple places have been visited. Hopefully that’s ok.

    For financials, are they looking for anything in particular or is there a requirement to meet?

    My husband has the ancestry visa, so we will do the application in his name and I’ll then add as a secondary person onto his. The list of options for why you are applying doesn’t change so I assume I also put ancestry visa even though it’s my husband who technically has this, I just also got the 5 year ancestry visa because we were married.

    Hopefully that covers everything and I would really appreciate hearing your opinion and thoughts on what I am doing for the application.

    Thanks again for your helpful guide!!!


  231. Hi Lauren,

    When did your visa start? It’s based on visa dates unless you don’t meet the continuous leave requirements. Here is the document: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/834928/calculating-continuous-leave-v19.0ext.pdf on page 8 under – Period between the issue of entry clearance and entering the UK.

    Super priority via UKVI and UKVCAS appointments are two different things. I explain more in this article https://katsgoneglobal.com/ukvcas-biometrics-appointment/ but in essence, getting an appointment fast doesn’t mean fast decision.

    Re the financials as I understand they are mostly looking at that you have been supporting yourself. Although I don’t have any documents to reference my assumptions.


  232. Update – I’ve just read that they are experiencing high demands for appointments and this can take up to 45 days. I assume that if I stay past the 28th Dec but have submitted my application that this won’t be considered overstaying. Also do you know whether you can travel between submitting your application online and attending the in person appointment. E.G I submit by application 2nd December and can book an appointment on 20th December. Could I go away the 6th of December for 2 days? … Also totally respect that even if you can answer any of my questions this is opinion/guidance/comments only – would greatly appreciate any of your thoughts and thanks for your time given to help myself and others. Lauren

  233. Hi Lauren,
    You need to submit your application before booking an appointment. As long as you submit within the 28 days that is fine. I also think that you will still be able to get an appointment at a hub, I know some of the service centres have been booked out but I have friends in the last few days that got appointments at Croydon the next day.

    Re the travel, I would say it’s a grey area until your visa expires. After your visa expires I would not recommend travelling until you get your decision as I have seen statements on the gov UK website that says this cancels your visa application. There are few screenshots I’ve previously added in the comments section.


  234. Thanks so much Kat! (sorry didn’t see your first reply before posting again). That is all really helpful and very pleased to hear some people you know have managed to get appointments next day 🙂 We arrived 29/12/2014 and our visa started 29/12/2014. Definitely won’t travel after the visa expires but thought if I submitted the application 2nd Dec and don’t get an appointment straight away then could be in trouble as I have a trip 6th-8th Dec. Though even if we pay for same day and I get an appointment on the 4th/5th, this probably means I can’t travel as I won’t of received the BRP card? Is that right?
    Again thanks so much for your help 🙂

  235. Hi Kat, Thanks for the blog it is really helpful. I just have a question about the 70 day thing. Our visa currently ends Feb 15 2020 so the first day we can submit is Jan 17 next year. What exactly does the 70 day thing mean? I accidentally opened a application for ILR but only registered my email. This was 2 weeks ago. Have I opened it too early as I am only now within the 70 days? I literally answered only these questions:
    Are you currently in the UK?
    Do you currently have an application with the Home Office for leave to remain for which you have not yet received a decision
    Who does this email belong to?
    Do you have an immigration adviser based in the UK?
    Saved these questions then exited. I never entered any information about my visa or the date.

    Please let me know what you think, I am panicking!

  236. Hi Haley,
    I saw your post on FB as well and answered it there. The 70 days is just the time window where you can start filling in the application and gives you time to get the information/evidence. You can re-create a new application if the time does elapse.

  237. Hi Kat,
    Can I issue same IELTS for the ILR .The IELTS I already used at the first time Tier-2 Visa (Entry Clearance VISA)
    As you know the IELTS expire in 2years time so I shall need to reappear in the IELTS test.

  238. Hi Kat, thanks for this blog it’s been very helpful. Am also applying through the ancestry route. My question, is a letter from HMRC absolutely necessary? I have employment contracts/ lettters and payslip for my time in the Uk. P60s too.

  239. Hi Mona, the HMRC letter is just a supporting document I used because it’s from HRMC and they like government letters to support your application. If you feel you meet the evidence without it then go with what you feel is best for your application. Kat

  240. Hi Kat,

    First, I must say thank you so much for all this information, it is so helpful. I had a question around when the visa is issued and when you enter the UK. For myself, the visa was issued 10th May, however I did not enter until 17th August that same year. Do you know if this counts under the 180 day rule or must you have entered within 3 months of the visa being issued? There doesn’t seem to much information around regarding this. Thanks for you help:)

  241. Hi Kat,
    Thanks for your reply,

    Just quick search over the internet I found the below regarding ILR (A person who is already entered on Tier-2 General).

    Can I use expired ielts for ILR?

    Expired IELTs certificates
    You may still be able to use this if it has been used in the past, for example, with your last leave to remain application or previous Indefinite Leave to Remain application (and it’s at level B1).

  242. Hi Kat,
    Thanks for your reply
    I found under policy of guidance line Tier-2

    Points awarded for English language
    144. You will be awarded 10 points if you are applying for leave to remain under Tier 2 (General), Tier 2 (Sportsperson) or Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) and you meet the requirements of one of the categories listed below:
    • you are a national of a majority English speaking country; or
    • you hold a degree that was taught or researched in English which must be equivalent to a UK Bachelor’s degree or above; or
    Tier 2 Policy Guidance (Version 10/2019) Page 37
    • you have passed an English language test at the appropriate level; or
    • you have met the English language requirements when given a previous grant of leave; or
    • you qualify under the transitional arrangements.

  243. Hi Lauren,

    This document answer the questions: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/834928/calculating-continuous-leave-v19.0ext.pdf

    Period between the issue of entry clearance and entering the UK The period between entry clearance being issued and the applicant entering the UK may be counted toward the qualifying period. Any absences between the date of issue and entry to the UK are considered an allowable absence. This period will count towards the 180 days allowable absence in the continuous 12-month period. The applicant does not need to provide evidence to demonstrate the reason for delayed entry. If the delay is more than 180 days, you can only include time after the applicant entered the UK in the continuous period calculation.


  244. Hi Shahid, Sorry I thought you had found your answer in the guidelines and sharing your response. Do you meet the results as per the guidelines? If you think you do then that’s your answer. I can’t provide more details about this as I’m an exempted country so I haven’t had to figure this out.

  245. Hi ,

    What is the minimum time in which people get decision on ILR application if applied with super priority service? On an average please.

  246. Hi Max, the time stated on the service is 24 hours but this depends on how quickly you get the biometrics appointment and if you are willing to pay more for next day service etc. Kat

  247. Hey Kat
    Thanks for taking the time to create such a wonderfully detailed and reassuring piece of work. It’s really appreciated!
    Applying for ILR next month.
    Lots of Love

  248. Hi Max,

    My biometrics appointment was 08:30 on a Monday morning in Croyden (In July 2019), paid the £800 for the priority service, got email confirmation at 14:30 same day. BRP arrived via courier on the Thursday.

  249. Charlotte Henery

    Hi Kat,

    Thank you so much for this incredible resource!
    I’m also applying under UK Ancestry, did you provide originals or copies of your parents and grandparents birth certificates? Mine of course are in Australia!

    Many thanks,

  250. Hi Charlotte,
    I provided originals for mine. It states on the ILR form that it can be originals or copies but they can request the originals if they feel like the copy isn’t genuine.

  251. Hello Kat,
    Happy new year. Could you please help me with the following;
    These questions are from the online application form.
    1) do you have home office reference no). is this my recent brp no or the previous application no which i made for leave to remain?
    2) this question is from previous addresses in the UK. in the past five years i have changed three addresses but do not remember the exact months.
    Thank you so much.
    Have a nice day 🙂

  252. Hi Farry,
    I didn’t have any home office reference numbers as I wasn’t going through another application.
    Do you have your lease agreements? That’s where I found all my dates but be as accurate as possible.

  253. Hi Kate,
    Hope your well… really appreciate your help.I need to ask you about ILR for my wife, She came to UK on Spouse visa on 25/12/2014, My wife was granted Leave to remain five year partner route on 15/09/2017, her resident permit is expires on 20/03/2020. What date she can apply for ILR SETTLEMENT as 28days before?
    I am British citizen, as on home Office website it’s mansion as soon you get ILR SETTLEMENT…you don’t have to wait for one year if your spouse of British citizen?
    Please can you guid me for these two questions? I thank you in advance and wait for your earliest reply.

  254. Hi Imran,
    From what you are saying she was initially grant of 30 months limited leave to remain (which means you can stay in the UK for a period of 30 months) on the 25/12/2014 and then from 15/09/2017 for a further period of 30 months. After this (60 months = 5 years), she will be eligible to apply for ILR. My understanding is mainly Set o applications not set m but as I am aware it is 28 days before the visa ends. Re the citizenship, as soon as ILR is approved she can apply for this if you are married to, or in a civil partnership with, someone who is a British citizen. https://www.gov.uk/apply-citizenship-spouse.

  255. Hi Kat,
    Thanks for your reply, I have got my answer to citizenship thanks, please can explain me about ILR …SET(O) & SET(M)…really confusing…both have the same requirements…! SET(M) meaning married, I have checked the information on home Office web page… don’t understand 🙃
    And can she apply on 21/02/2020, as 28days before…?

  256. Set o and set m don’t have the same requirements. Set m is for “if the person applying to settle in the UK as a current spouse or partner of a person present and settled in the UK or as a parent of a child present and settled in the UK.” Unless you moved here on tier 2 visa then the requirements would be different.

    I suggest that this questionnaire is the most helpful to find the application you are looking for: https://www.gov.uk/settle-in-the-uk.

    And I’ve answered the other question in the post below.


  257. Hi kat,
    Thanks for your reply, so I need to use set M,
    How can I submit ILR and Citizenship applications at the same time? Thanks.

  258. Hi kat,
    Hope your well… please can you guide me as I am going to submit my wife ILR on 24/02/2020. I will apply on line Set M … the documents I will download and will take the original ones to the UKVCAS on the appointment day. Will be using superior service, hopefully once she get ILR, will be applying for citizenship…. please can you tell how she can apply for the passport at the same time… with citizenship application..? Some one told me that when applying for citizenship you can fill passport form and take at the centre and they do the rest…? I don’t know if this is correct..? Is there any superior service for citizenship as well as ILR..? Please also can you tell how many months it took your application from ILR TO PASSPORT. Just for an idea..! Thanks

  259. She can’t apply for the visa at the same time as getting a passport. You need to do one step at a time first ILR, then citizenship application, citizenship ceremony and then the passport. You can watch my whole experience of citizenship here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfIxdedOZJE&list=PLDlxTqTzRAc1Fg1x6E5BOPDjhRRofR-wV.

    There is no priority service for citizenship. Generally takes about 2-3 months to complete the citizenship process. I’ve had people tell me that their decision has taken longer than 6 months so it really depends.

  260. Hi Kat,
    I have stumbled across your site whilst researching and preparing to apply for ILR when my Ancestary visa expires in June. Can i just say thank you very much for writing these articles. The official websites are anything but helpful and it is extremely helpful to have the process explained by someone who has gone through it. Your site will now be my bible! I do have one question on the travel diary, i have managed to create one for my past 4.5 years, however i have a number of trips to the likes of edinburgh and ireland where a passport stamp is not given upon arrival back into london and stupidly i have not kept my flight confirmations for these trips. Have you had a situation like this or know from the application what other type of evidence they would accept for these trips?



  261. Hi Emma,
    You don’t need to count any trips in the UK so England, Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales. These are all countries you are allowed to live with your current visa :).

    New tip I learnt, You can request a ‘copy of your movement’ from the UK Border Force, which will tell you every entry/exit record they have for you in/out of the UK. The in’s will be from the actual immigration desks/e-gates, the exit dates from flight/train data which is passed on to border force. It’s free, take a couple of weeks to get, but super handy! I’ll link it below for you….



  262. Hey Kat,
    That’s a very helpful and handy blog you have written. I will be applying for my ILR from February 2020. I have been working for the same employer over the last 5 years.
    I was issued Tier 2 General visa on 01/03/2015, entered UK on 11/03/2015 and started work on 16th March 2015. My current Tier 2 visa is valid until 01/03/2021.
    However, I wish to apply for ILR at the soonest.
    Could you please tell me when can I submit my ILR application? As in, which is the soonest date do I consider?

  263. Thanks very much Kat, that is super helpful. Most of my trips have been to the Republic of Ireland so i wonder if that has any impact. Nonetheless i will definitely be requesting a copy of movement 🙂
    Have a nice day!

  264. Hi Kat
    My son is applying online to extend his UK Ancestry Visa from within the UK.There does not appear to be any submit button when you finish the application. He has made his biometric appointment and uploaded docs. Is he supposed to take a printed copy of his appn to the appointment and sign it there – at the end it has a declaration section which talks about sending the application??

  265. Hi Kat,
    Me again, just the usual question on when to apply. My Visa expires on 05 June 2020 however i only first entered the UK on 16 June 2015. Am i able to submit my application 28 days before the 5th of June (so 6th May) or 16th June (19th may) ? I’ve read that the Ancestral visas are issued for 5 years from the offset, so applications can apply for ILR 28 days before their visas expire. Would you agree with this?
    Secondly just wondering whether since the change in process the 70 days to prepare the application still exists?

    Thanks again, Emma

  266. Hi Emma,
    You can submit 28 days before the visa expiry date. Submitting the application is the payment element. Yes, you can start the application 70 days or 10 weeks before you plan on submitting.

  267. Hi Kat

    Thank you for your blog, super helpful! Cant believe you are still answering questions in 2020!

    I am not sure if this has already been asked so I do apologise. My wife and I will be applying together for our ILR through ancestry. I didn’t see any mention of needing to show evidence of our lease agreements, council tax bills etc to show where we have been living, and that we have been living together for 5 years. We have been married for 10 years, so I am assuming our marriage certificate is enough?

    Thanks in advance.

  268. Hi James,
    Well, life events would depend on whether you individually have your own ancestry visa or one of you is on a dependent visa. If one of you is on the dependent visa then personally I would include some life events to cover 6 months and marriage certificates. The checklist doesn’t state to included birth certs/ heritage but when I asked they said to include them. I also know someone’s application that was delayed and requested this as well. While the checklists are good, I find them to have faults.

  269. Hi Kat,

    Your post is amazing, thanks so much for creating it. I was sent here via Kiwi’s in London.
    I have a question that is probably soooo stupid, but I can’t find the answer and I know you will know!

    If I am due to apply for my Indefinite Leave to Remain in the summer, and I don’t choose the “premium” option, and I send my passport away and they have it for 6 months – won’t I totally be overstaying my visa?! My ancestry visa expires September 2020, so if I send my passport off mid August, and I don’t get it back with a decision until say…. December, isn’t that technically overstaying if I’m still in London passport-less months after my ancestry has expired? Can I still work and earn money etc???! (I realise I won’t be able to go on holidays etc)

    Hahaha, thanks for your help. I’m mind boggled.


  270. Hi Maddie,
    Everyone worries about this but you’re allowed to stay and continue working until a decision is made. I wouldn’t recommend switching jobs during this time as you will only be able to provide that you’re going through the visa process. Also, you no longer send your passport off but you can’t travel until a decision is made.

  271. Hey Kat,

    Thanks so much for your answer. Do you during the up to 6 month ‘decision time’ I can still fly between the United Kingdom – and live out my travel bug that way? I’m thinking Belfast, the Highlands, Lake District, Snowden etc. I know catching trains around will be no problem as they don’t check passports, however what about flying? I’m guessing as we have E-Gates now for Kiwis and Aussies it shouldn’t be an issue to fly up to Scotland or across to Northern Ireland while a decision is made? Or is it better not to risk it? What would you do in this situation? I’m guessing I’m not confined to London!

    Thanks again,

  272. Travelling in the UK will be fine and will have no impact on the visa being processed. You wouldn’t ever go through the e-gates or be stamped travelling in the UK. However, travelling to Ireland like Dublin would count as international travel. Also you can just fly with your drivers license being your ID in the UK.

  273. Hi Kat

    Just wanted to say this guide has been enormously helpful for me when applying for my ILR. On proof of travel – my experience is you don’t need to show tickets etc, as the Home Office keeps a record of when you travel in and out of the country in their system. The HMRC letter is amazing, means you don’t need P45s and p60s. I had my in person interview at 9.30am on Monday 11 February 2020, and got my ILR granted by 10am the next day. Don’t stress too much, as long as you follow the above advice you will be fine!


  274. Hi Kat,
    I’m looking at my visa options for IRL/ancestry renewel visa. If you know anything about the 180 days cutoff any info would be helpful. I was out of the UK travelling for 200 consecutive days in late 2016 to early 2017. However, the way it’s written on the website is super vague about how it works.
    But I’ve been given info from someone else that my dates away of 10/10/2016 to 28/04/2016 may work for me. The information I received is ‘You may be ok then, the 5x 12 month periods will go back from end of march (when you began your visa in 2015) which will split the 200 days into approx 170 and 30, but you could well go over of you took more than 10 other days in the earlier 12 month period’. Which I didn’t spend any days out of the UK in the previous 12 months.

    Does the 180 days outside work like this do you know??

    Thanks for all the other info! Cheers, Jordan.

  275. Hi Jordan,

    As per my email, I don’t think with the annual leave you’ve had out of the country you will be able to apply and will need to renew.


  276. Hello Kat, thanks so much for all this information its been super helpful! I have a few questions for you.
    1. Do you need to provide proof of accommodation for the 5 years? I have 2 tenancy agreements but the time first 2 years I live with family and friends – should I provide a letter from them stating that I lived with them?
    2. For the 180 day rule, I’ve been told you don’t need to include the day you depart and arrive in London as that is a part absence. When I used your spreadsheet it calculates my grand total at 200 but minus the part absences its 140. A bit nervous about this?
    3. I was denied a visa last year but when I appealed they granted it to me. Theres a question that asks if you’ve ever been denied – do I say yes or no? Should I say no and write a cover letter explaining that it was granted in the end?
    4. For the employment letter do I need to state all the holidays I took and that it was okay for my employer? Or is that for a tier 2 visa requirement? Not to sure what to write in it? is there any chance you could send me a template?

    Kind Regards,

  277. Hi Samantha,

    I didn’t provide any tenancy agreements, I just use these to help me figure out the dates for when I live where.
    I would read the document in my article that explains continuous leave which has all the details about the rules there.
    I would say yes but this is just me as I like to make sure nothing can come up during the process.
    UK Ancestry only needs a letter that you are employed. Tier 2 need their employer to explain absences.


  278. Hi Kat,
    Do you know if the date on the documents should be one month from the online application date or the one month from the appointment date?

    Best Regards,

  279. Hi Amro, I would provide as close evidence as you can. The documents need to be uploaded before your appointment so you have until then to get them sorted. Kat

  280. Hello Kat, Great blog!

    I just wanted to ask for your guidance as I’m eligible to apply for settlement- ILR application from today, however when I try to submit the ILR application online it shows that the Priority and Super Priority appoinments are no longer available until further notice.

    I am looking to go for ILR Super Priority service but it seems that is possible only after the Covid19 restrictions are lifted. My Employers might be putting a lot of employees on Furlough or potential lay offs due to Covid19 crisis.

    I want some advise on whether

    1- I should apply for ILR using the Standard Service now as I have all the documentation from HR and Salary Slips, etc ready, even though it can take 6 months for the application to be processed or if I do this and if Im furloughed after submitting the application,will it affect the decision?

    2- Wait out for the Priority/Super Priority Apoointments to open again and then apply for it for the same day service depending on I’m not furloughed by then?

    I would really appreciate your advice on this as this is a bit of nervous time as I’ve already completed my 5 years and due to this uncontrollable situation, I’m unable to apply for my ILR currently.

  281. Hi Kat,

    First off, thanks for this amazing information!

    Secondly, I have a question 🙂 Do you know if bank statements must be stamped and signed? Nothing states this in the application, it just says they can’t be internet print outs. My bank will send me ‘originals’ (pretty sure these are just the same as online statements) but they refuse to stamp and sign them and say if I need to do this I need to go into the branch (which isn’t ideal given the current situation…). Last time I applied for my Ancestry visa, they refused to stamp them in branch and said that was something they aren’t allowed to do anymore. I managed to convince them eventually but I’m apprehensive if I do make the trip to the branch, only for them to refuse, then I don’t know what to do.

    I asked them to send a cover letter stating why they couldn’t be stamped and that most branches are closed due to COVID-19 but they couldn’t do that either.

  282. Hi Tarnica,

    I bank with quite a few banks so I’ve had a few experiences. HSBC provided me with a cover letter and statements on the letterhead. They didn’t stamp them as it was all pretty formal with the way they provided it. With Lloyds, all they did was stamp my online statements and sent me on my way.

    I used both of these for my ILR application.

    If the originals are on letterhead then that should suffice. The whole thing is that online statements can be faked etc.


  283. Hi Ami,

    I would go ahead with your application. We have no idea how long this is going to last for and considering all the restriction in place the chances are you won’t be travelling anyway. In normal circumstances, most decisions are made within two months. Being furloughed shouldn’t affect the decision as long as you meet all the tick boxes.


  284. Hi Kat. Re: ‘Arrival Date or Visa Start Date’, thanks for providing a link to the guidance on how to calculate continuous period in the UK. But could you please clarify which date you put on your application to answer that question… was it the date your visa was issued or the date you arrived in the UK?

    Secondly, I’ll be uploading copies of all my financial statements. These are digital PDFs of the monthly statements on company letterhead, obtained from my online banking. Since they’ll be uploaded and not actual sent in, is there any reason that would be any less acceptable than a digital PDF scan of a physical printout provided by the bank.


  285. Hi Thomas,
    For the questions: When did you first enter the UK? I put the date I arrived in the UK.
    The reason I provided statements from the bank (i.e stamped statements from a branch) is the checklist states: Note, we do not accept internet or cashpoint statements as evidence of finances.

  286. Ah. Thanks for the quick reply. So I’ll also put the date we arrived in the UK, but then include the 6 weeks prior to that as one of our absences from the country as you’ve done.

    Re: the financial statements, I think by “internet statements” they mean screenshots rather than actual downloaded official PDFs, which would be exactly the same as what the bank would provide anyway. I guess I will upload all the PDFs I have with my application, and then also get printed copies of the statements from the bank. Unfortunately some of the institutions don’t provide written statements at all, as they are online-only (e.g. Monzo, Revolut, Freetrade).

  287. I didn’t provide any challenger bank statements so I didn’t have this issue. I’ve only ever used Monzo as a travel or spending account so there was no need to include these statements for me.

    As I understand Monzo will post statements if you raise a request with them. Also for example with Lloyds just using the interface I can request a paper statement sent to my house. Whether they are any different than the PDFs I am not sure.

    In most cases I have seen if the UKVI are unhappy with evidence they will request more.

  288. Hi Kat,
    There is a question in the ILR application form as below:
    Have you previously lived in a country outside the UK including your country of birth?

    Now, I assume the answer is ‘YES’ for me as I was living in my country of birth until I arrived here in June 2015 and have been continuously living here since then (& it is 5 years now and therefore qualify to apply for ILR).
    One query I have is if I would need to include any travels to other countries on business visa (business trips spanning between 1 week upto 3 months) and visitor visa (leisure trip spanning between 1 week upto a month) before starting to live in the UK (in 2015)?

  289. Hi Kat,

    Thanks so much for all the detailed information.
    A question on the documents – is a certified (in NZ) copy of my grandfather’s birth certificate sufficient as proof of ancestry? I am reluctant to have the original sent by post. As I understand it, I can scan all the documents and upload but I would have to take all the originals to the interview? The UKVCAS website is a little ambiguous stating to bring documents that need to be scanned.

    Thanks in advance

  290. Hi kat
    your information regarding ILR is quite useful am due to apply for mine. However i would like to know if i have to upload all the pages of my 6 months statements because they are 111 pages or can i pick out afew that mainly indicate the payments coming in for each month.

  291. Hi Gavin,
    You don’t send any documents by post if you are completing the application online, it’s just uploaded into UKVCAS. The UKVCAS are just a third party doing your biometric appointment and not the UKVI so they won’t provide any information outside the appointment. You will find the list of documents you need to upload after completing the online application as a part of the checklist (i.e. the UKVI). Basically my article is a copy of the checklist and what I provided.

    The only document they checked in my recent application at the UKVCAS centre was my passport and just ran through what I had uploaded. No one checked a single thing other than that.

  292. Hi Pat,
    It’s your choice how you want to represent your information. I provided about 300ish pages in my application – in fairness, I did go over the top as I was confused if I needed to provide 5 years worth of payslips. However, all my bank statements were a full statement.

  293. Thank you Kat for your response was thinking 111 pages is too much to upload.But will upload them all just to be on the safe side.

  294. Hi Kat. Me again. Just a quick question so I know what to expect in the Life In the UK Test. In terms of format and difficulty, would you say the questions were more like the ones found here (https://law.resource.org/pub/uk/life/gov.uk.life.test.2013/gov.uk.life.test.2013.html) – which seem overly easy; or the ones found here (https://lifeintheuktests.co.uk/life-in-the-uk-test/) – which sometimes seem much more difficult and ask for specific years with little variation in the answers. Thanks.

  295. hi Kat,
    at what point does one press the submit button to send the application through when they are done filling it in.Is it in the section where they create an account via UKVCAS where they have their documents uploaded?I think you didn’t mention that any where in your videos.

  296. Hello Kat,
    just a quick one at what point do we press the submit buttom after filling the online application?Is it in the UKVCASsection after uploading the documents and also are we still able to keep saving and return to the point we upload the documents at a later date.


  297. To be issued a visa decision you need to have the biometrics done. Submitting the application during the online process will put your application in motion and then once you have you appointment at UKVCAS they will submit your biometrics/documents which will start the decision process. Hope that make sense.

  298. For the documents, you can upload them whenever you want up until the biometrics appointment. Once you submit your payment you won’t be able to change any answers on the online form.

  299. Hi Kat ,
    I arrived in 2010 and coming to a end on my 2 Ancestry Visa , Am applying ILR next week .
    Am going through the 5 year route , do I still need to show my first Ancestry Visa ?
    Also do I need to show all travels in 5 year for just 18months .. ?

  300. Hi Tim,
    You need to show all your travels for the past 5 years so that you can prove the continuous leave requirement. Re your first ancestry visa they will def ask you about it, not sure if you will need to provide a copy of your first one. See what the checklist says and provide evidence-based on that.

  301. Hi Kat
    I have tier 2 visa. My 1st BRP expired in 2019 and i’ve got 2nd one last year. My 1st entry was 26 Jan 2016. So, how am i going to calculate absences ?
    As you know after 11 Jan 2018, now its rolling basis which confuses me.
    For example do i need to calculate by
    26 Jan 2016 to 26 Jan 2017 etc… ?

    Other question, so after 11th Jan 2018, are they now change any 12 months ?
    Lets say i travelled March 2018. Are they going to check from March 2018 to March 2019 to see whether 180 days exceeded ?


  302. Hi Kat
    What kind of evidence requires to prove absences out of UK ?
    Are they going to check passport stamps or do we also need to provide Flight itineraries etc ?
    On my passport, for example X country’s stamps are on different pages. How will they find each stamps on pages ?


  303. I’ve only ever provided my passport as proof of this requirement. I like to think of it as a needle in a haystack when they were searching for all my stamps and pages haha. I provided about 40 pages and 1 passport was full.

  304. For my application, I completed based on the rolling basis so from the start of my visa. My visa was for 5 years so I did from Sept to Aug covering each trip I had within that rolling year. I provided a spreadsheet to show how many days I had been outside of the country. It’s linked in the article the spreadsheet I put together.

  305. Hi Kat,

    Thank you for your hard work in creating this useful website. It has helped me immensely. I am in the same situation as you Ancestry Aus visa doing ILR and about to submit my application online tomorrow and pay. I have a couple of quick questions. Currently UKVCAS is not accepting application bookings and advice to wait to be contacted once you have an account with them. I am thinking that if that is the case I should just do my part to upload the docs/evidence and wait to hear from them about a biometrics booking.

    As I am currently being furloughed and the payment amount changes monthly, I am unable to provide a set in stone number to the question, what do you earn after deductions a month. I have therefore chosen a recent payslip and simply put down what the number was even though it was different the month before and the month after. Do you think that is ok?

    Thirdly, I have printed 4 recent online monthly statements from my credit card company, and a proof of account statement printout from my bank account in Australia. Lloyds I was able to walk in and they stamped and printed for me. Do you think the printed ones will be accepted for my Aus account and UK credit Card?

    Lastly I have been unable to get a statement from a past employer about a work trip I made with them in 2016 to Spain. However do you think simply writing the reason of work and some details with flight details will be enough evidence?

    Thanks again.


  306. To Kat,
    With the different kind of services for UKVAC scanning , what does The Premium service Include ?

    Also I have to say , this was a good link to follow , no jargon , just easy to follow ,step by step , with the ILR process form and been watching the others aswell .

  307. Hi Kat,

    May I know that I don’t have payroll for 2 months in a span of 5 years. will I get any problems in the process of ILR?


  308. Hi Ashok,
    I can’t comment on what decision the officer will make. For the first 40 days of my visa I didn’t have a job and mine was approved. Please note it’s up to the officer to decide and you to provide the evidence to meet the requirements for your visa to ILR.

  309. Hey Kat,

    THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS, you’re a superstar.

    I too have left the country lots of times and I’m confused about how to enter the information correctly. Where it says “What countries did you visit or travel through…” on the application it only allows you to enter one country. How did you go about entering trips where you went to more than one country between leaving and re-entering the UK?


  310. Hey Kat,

    Thank you for all that you do here 🙂

    Just a quick one, it says you cannot privide statements from the Internet.
    Now I know that definitely means Bank Statements but does it also include pay slips? I can easily download my payslips online but just wondering if I need to also get these printed off and sent to me from my employer? What did you do?

    Thanks 🙂


  311. I entered all the countries I entered and exited but some people just put the first country and then when they entered the UK again. It still confuses me today!

  312. I printed my payslips and didn’t get my employer to. I only had my employer write a letter re my employment status.

  313. Hello there! I was wondering, did you have to provide information on all the times you received medical treatment in the UK? If so, did you just have to provide information on stuff like hospitalisations or were even trivial check-ups included? Also, can the NHS provide information on when you’ve used them if thats the case?

  314. Hello
    I am applying for a BRP replacement.
    I have uploaded all my 21 years of residency documents and ID’s (in colour by mistake).
    However I am not sure where to upload the consent form.
    At the moment, I upload them to “other document” of optional, but it’s not submitted.
    Can you tell?

  315. Hi,

    I got my ILR last year on Dec ’19 and now I am going to apply for my wife’s ILR in October..I had one question that her current passport is going to expire in Dec’ 20 so can i apply for her ILR before getting her current passport renewed and get the passport renewed later?

    or i have to first get the passport renewed and then only apply for ILR.
    Now a days it is too difficult to get an appointment , henceforth the question as passport appointment date is not available till Nov ’20.

    Can you also please let me know if people are getting priority slots for getting ILR applied or there is a long queue in that as well?


  316. Hi all,

    What’s the current normal processimg time of ILR,considering the covid-19 and no super priority service available.

  317. Hi Kat,

    Thanks for all these resources. It helped me and answered almost all the questions apart from one. I entered to UK as a student and changed to partner visa after almost 16 months (16 months on student visa). I have been living in the UK now for over 6 years. Can I apply now before my current visa expires which is going to be 30 Jan 2021? Or do I have to wait for 28 days?

  318. You would need to check whether a student visa counts towards ILR time which will be your answer to the question. Not all visas count toward the 5 years for ILR.

  319. Hi, Meher

    Big Thank you to Kat. I have gain a lot of useful information from her here.
    You can apply your wife’s ILR in October and chose the Primer Service which you can get the decision in 24 hours. Your wife should get her passport back before December when it is expired.


  320. Hi Kat amazing you are still answering these questions!

    This has been such a helpful resource for me…do you know yourself or anyone else on here if there is clarity on what it means by “no acceptance of internet or cash point statements”?

    Most banks are paperless these days but can be downloaded as a pdf statement which shows your name and address on a formal letter head – do you think this is acceptable considering the documentation is uploaded via the visa portal when applying for ILR? Thanks

  321. If you’re bank provides you something on letter head or stamps it, then that is prefectly acceptable. That’s all Llyods did for me is print and stamp the statement. HSBC gave me letter on their letter head and printed statements.

  322. I am applying for ILR Set (O) under 5 years Tier 2, I have got a supporting letter document from the sponsor (confirming my details and absences/ annual leave).
    This document is electronic, with letterhead, but without a signature, will that be a problem?

  323. Hey Kat,

    Thanks for this useful information.

    I am applying for ILR Set (O) under 5 years Tier 2, I have got a supporting letter document from the sponsor (confirming my details and absences/ annual leave).
    This document is electronic, with letterhead, but without a signature, will that be a problem?

    Let me know your take 🙂

  324. Hi Kat,

    I have entered 28 lines under the Absences from most recent to latest. As I entered the UK after my visa start date I was visiting New Zealand, Vietnam in the weeks leading up to entering the UK. As it’s mandatory to put the return back to the UK e.g date you left and re-entered, what would your advice be? Or would it be to leave it at 28 lines and upload the supporting spreadsheet to show the travel done before entering the UK?

    Thank you,

  325. I entered the dates that I entered and exited each country, it wasn’t always when I entered the UK. You only have 30 lines to fill anyway. As mine was over 30 lines I just showed my trips at my visa start date and then highlighted when I entered the UK.

  326. Hi Kat

    Thanks for the very informative blog which I’m sure has helped so many. I am here in the UK on an Ancestral VISA. My son came as my dependent and he is now 21 years old, studying and working part time. Our visas are valid until March 2022. I am concerned about meeting the financial requirements for ILR. I work 30 hours a week in retail earning minimum wage. In addition I care for my elderly mother, a British citizen, who is infirm and has cancer. She contributes a monthly allowance towards household expenses and her care.

    My question is, is their a minimum amount one needs to earn to qualify, and would in my case it be higher because my son although now an adult, entered the UK as my dependent.

    Kind regards

  327. Hi Kat,

    I would be applying soon for the ILR under the long residence category (10 continuous years) and have the following questions which I am not clear to be filled in the application form:

    Question 1. How long have you lived in the UK?

    – As I would be applying within the 28 days before the completion of the 10 years, so should I answer the question as 9 years and 11 months or should the answer be 10 years.

    Question 2. At any time have you ever had any of the following, in the UK or in another country?
    • A criminal conviction
    • A penalty for a driving offence, for example disqualification for speeding or no motor insurance
    • An arrest or charge for which you are currently on, or awaiting trial
    • A caution, warning, reprimand or other penalty
    • A civil court judgment against you, for example for non payment of debt, bankruptcy proceedings or anti-social behavior
    • A civil penalty issued under UK immigration law

    – I had a Bus Lane Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) for driving in the bus lane which was paid immediately and case closed down. Do I need to declare this in my application. If yes, under which category from the above listed options? By declaring this will it have any impact on my application?


  328. Hi Kat,

    Thanks so much for this incredible information, it’s really helped a lot. I’m also considering ILR (Canadian on UK Ancestry), though also considering extending my current Visa.
    Sorry if you’ve already written, but do you know how long the ILR lasts? I’ve read it expires in 2 years, but then another site contradicted that. I’m just wondering if I would then need to safe within that 2 years for another big cost to apply for settlement, as this may impact my decision. Thanks so much. 🙂

  329. There is an expiry date on the BRP card but that just means that you need to renew it. If you leave the country for more than 2 years on ILR it will lapse so, those who have been absent from the UK for less than 2 years and so retain their indefinite leave status, from those whose indefinite leave has lapsed due to an absence of more than 2 years. Those in the latter category must now apply for entry clearance and demonstrate they have strong ties to the UK in order to be issued indefinite leave to enter.

    You can read more here: https://www.freemovement.org.uk/case-irene-clennell-rules-returning-residents-ilr/.

    After a year of ILR you can apply for citizenship, just make sure you are not out of the country more than 90 days in that year.

  330. Hi Kat. Thank you so much for sharing your and your sisters experience of this process. So reassuring to know what will happen and what worked for you.

    Apologies if this has already been asked above and I’ve missed it: My husband will be applying via this route, he arrived within a few days of his visa being issued so at 28 days pre-arrival, he’ll have been in the UK less than 5 years, and it will be less than 5 years since the date of visa issue. If you use the super-priority route, do they issue a decision within 24h of reaching the 5 year requirement, or within 24h of submitting the application? And do you know if there’s a letter that confirms you’re awaiting a decision on an application (context: to prove right to continue working to employer)?

  331. Hi Kat,
    Thank you for sharing all useful information.
    I have some further questions about the process.
    – After submitting the application in online, how long after you were able to book an appointment? Is there enough time slots to book right after the submission?
    – In the appointment, do I have to submit and leave my passport in the centre and wait to get it back until the decision is made?
    – is it possible to travel to outside of UK after the visa centre appointment, before getting the result?
    Thank you so much.

  332. Thank you so much for this information!

    Do I need to supply original or certified (signed by justice of peace) birth certificates for my application? It looks like just copies will suffice but want to double check.

    Thanks again!

  333. I just provided scanned copies of my original documents and not the phyisical documents as they don’t require you to.

  334. 1. Unlikely there will be any appointments after you submit but you never know you might be lucky. You generally need to book them around 12am or call to see when they are releasing appointments.
    2. No they no longer keep any of your documents. Just take your passport to the appointment and then it will be handed back.
    3. The only application you are allowed to travel on is naturalisation. If you are waiting for any other you will need to wait for your approval.

  335. I am not entirely sure I follow but if his visa is 5year UK ancestry and expires on 28th of Feb as an example then he can press submit on his application on 1st Feb.
    There is no 24 hour decision process available at the moment.
    I’ve never recieved a letter stating that I can still work, you would just provide the confirmation you applied to the employers if they asked.

  336. Hello,

    I hope you are well. Your blog is very helpful. I am currently filling out ILR appliction from tier 2 (work visa) route. I first arrived to uk in August 2012 with tier 4 (student visa). I then changed to work visa and granted tier 2 visa in Jan 2016. One of the question says: When did you first arrive to UK? This is the date you entered the UK when the period of stay you are basing this application on started. So do I put 2012 as that was my first time to UK. Or do I put 2016 as this application is based on tier 2 start date. I am a bit confused.


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