If you’re on a visa that leads to Indefinite Leave to Remain, it may seem like ILR is a long way off, but while you’re staying and working in the UK, being prepared can only make things easier and smoother when the time comes to apply.
Ensure you earn enough
Just as when you apply for a visa, there are certain financial requirements for applying for ILR. Make sure you know what applies for your specific application and how much Home Office requires you to be earning when you apply, and whether or not any dependants affect this amount.
Keep track for your admin
Home Office wants to see that you are contributing to the UK economy and are fulfilling all your responsibilities as a British “citizen.” This means ensuring you have an NI number and are paying tax, as well as keeping track of any post to prove your proof of address.
Make sure you don’t leave the UK for too long
Current travel restrictions allow for no more than 180 days in any 12-month rolling period. Keeping track of your travels will allow you to prove that you haven’t left the UK for more than 180 days. However, it’s best to keep it to no more than 450 days in a 5 year period, as this applies to you should you apply for British Citizenship after ILR.
Make a note of when your visa expires
This is perhaps the most important. If you apply too late for ILR or your visa expires, you will have to go back to South Africa and reapply for an extended visa. It is best to start the ILR application process or contact Robyn Lamb at RCV International at least 3 months before your visa expires. She will be able to assist you with the process.