Indefinite Leave To Remain Expiry Rules-2024

It is essential to understand the indefinite leave to remain expiry regulations and how ILR status can be lost or cancelled if you have indefinite leave to remain (ILR) or are seeking ILR.

You are permitted to live in the UK for an unlimited amount of time and to do anything you choose as long as you have indefinite leave to remain (ILR). Additionally, immigration controls do not apply to your travels into and out of the nation. Even though ILR gives residents of the UK permission to stay there indefinitely, there are situations in which this status can be revoked.

Indefinite Leave To Remain Expiry Rules

ILR status may expire if a person leaves the UK, Ireland, or the Crown Dependencies (Isle of Man, Guernsey, and Jersey) and has not returned for more than two years in a run, according to UK immigration regulations. It means that you might not be seen as present and settled in the UK after two years away.

Regardless of when your BRP or passport vignette expires or any other ILR papers, the two-year rules still apply. After two years of being outside of the nation, your status will be considered to have automatically expired.

The clock will reset if you return to the UK for a brief visit. Still, as indefinite leave to remain status is connected to being settled and permanently resident in the UK, border officers may inquire if you are only there occasionally.

You could only be released from the expiry rule of the indefinite leave to remain under the following specific conditions:

  • You travelled with a member of the HM Armed Forces overseas as their dependent.
  • You have been travelling with a British citizen or settled person (i.e., someone with permanent residence, settled status, or ILR) who is employed full-time by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Department for International Development, Home Office, or British Council.
  • As a Commonwealth citizen, you are covered by the Immigration Act of 1971, section 1(5).
  • You enter the UK again in conditions for which you do not need permission.

Before returning to live in the UK, you must apply for entry clearance as a returning resident if the two-year rule is applicable and your ILR status has been lost.

Keep in mind that the expiry rule takes effect for those having EU settled status who leave the UK after five years.

Returning resident visa

If you have previously held and lost the grant of indefinite leave to remain, and you want to return to the UK to settle after a gap of two years or more, you will need a returning resident visa. Your indefinite leave to remain will be renewed if you are readmitted as a returning resident.

You should still seek to resume your settlement as a returning resident from outside the UK if your ILR has expired and you have since revisited the country.

These people were once able to apply for re-entry at the border; however, as of July 2018, you must apply for entrance clearance using a returning resident visa before departing for the UK.

Verify the expiry of your indefinite leave to remain:

You will be denied entrance and forced to return to your country of origin if you try to re-enter the UK after your ILR has expired without having been given a returning resident visa or another kind of appropriate entry permit.

You must confirm the duration of your absence from the UK and whether the indefinite leave-to-remain expiry rule applies to you before you go to the UK, given the impact of the two-year rule on your immigration status and travel rights in the UK.

Check your past travel records, making sure to check tickets, travel paperwork, and your passport for any visa or immigration stamps obtained after your ILR was granted.

Additionally, keep in mind that no matter the expiration date on any documentation proving your ILR, like a passport stamp or BRP, your ILR will expire after two years of absence.

Can I revoke an indefinite leave to remain status?

There are some situations in which you may lose your UK ILR. It will be automatically cancelled if you are deported. It will also be compensated if you are eligible for deportation. Still, your deportation cannot occur for legal reasons (e.g., the EU Convention on Human Rights or the Refugee Convention).

Your ILR will also be removed if it is discovered that you gained it through fraud or if you were given ILR status as a refugee and that status is no longer applicable.


The immigration laws in the UK are intricate and dynamic. Seek professional guidance if you have questions regarding your immigration status to the UK.

You will be denied admission and deported if you try to enter the UK again using your ILR status even after it has expired. It is advisable to verify your status before departure and take the required actions to get authorization to enter the UK before you reach the border in order to minimise the trouble and cost.

Experts in UK immigration, My Legal Services provides advice and assistance to people on applying for ILR. By assessing your previous status and leave grant and determining if it was lost due to the indefinite leave to remain expiry restrictions or for other reasons, we can assist you in understanding your current situation.

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