All ILR applicants

UK VCAS, 'Life in the UK', and English language test centres remain open and priority ILR options available again for those on work visas and their dependants

UK VCAS, 'Life in the UK', and English language, centres are open and taking bookings, however, there is high demand for appointments. Visa appointments are seen as 'essential services' so they should stay open during the continuing Covid-19 lockdown and travel to appointments is permitted.

The priority ILR application options were suspended by the Home Office in March and have now finally been reintroduced for those on work visas, such as Tier 2/ Skilled Worker and Global Talent and their dependants. Home Office guidance lists the routes for which priority options have been reinstated. A standard ILR application could take up to six months to process, during which time the applicant must not travel as if they do their application will automatically be cancelled. While there are additional fees to apply through the priority routes this should result in a much quicker decision.

The priority application option has been reintroduced for 10 year 'Long residence' ILR applications but there are limited numbers of priority application slots each day so if the priority application option does not appear when you go to submit your application you may have to wait and try again early then next morning when a slot may be available.

Anyone intending to submit an ILR application, and particularly those who must submit their application soon before their current visa expires, should contact the Staff Immigration Team for advice.


All ILR applicants must evidence their 'Knowledge of life and language' which consists of the English language requirement and the Life in the UK test.

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The main applicant, and all dependants over 18 years old, must meet the English language requirement. Information on the different ways ILR applicants can meet this requirement is found in Home Office guidance.

The main applicant, and any dependants over 18 years old, must also have passed the 'Life in the UK' test before they apply for ILR. Home Office guidance states that a test must be booked at one of the 5 centres closest to where the applicant lives. When booking the test a residential address is entered and the closest centres are indicated.


Booking a 'Life in the UK' test

When booking the test the applicant must state what documents they will present on the day as proof of identity and address. If there are any differences in their details, or the documents presented on the day, they will not be allowed to sit the test, and will have to book and pay for another test. The identification requirements and terms & conditions for booking a test are details in Home Office guidance.



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