To obtain Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) you must have lived legally in the UK for a certain length of time (usually between 2 and 5 years), depending on the type of visa held and in most cases, you must be able to show that you have enough knowledge of language and life in the UK.
Once you have ILR, in general, you should not leave the UK for more than 2 years. If you do the authorities usually deem that you are no longer present and settled and your ILR may be revoked.
You can apply for ILR in the following circumstances:
- Shortly before the expiry of a 2 year Marriage Visa
- Having held a Tier 1 Visa (except time spent on a Post-Study Visa) in the UK for 5 years
- Having held a Tier 2 Visa in the UK for 5 years
- Having legally spent 10 years in the UK
- Having spent 14 years in the UK
Having achieved Indefinite Leave to Remain, you may apply for British Nationality. If you meet naturalisation requirements and your application is approved, you will be invited to attend a British Citizenship ceremony in your local council area. Having attended the ceremony you will be eligible to submit an application for a British Passport.
There are other ways to claim British Nationality such as descent from a UK born parent, by birth in the UK where at least one parent holds permanent residence, etc.