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Indefinite Leave To Remain For Refugees

An application for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) can be submitted to the Home Office on the basis of five years residence in the UK as a recognised refugee under the 1951 United Nations Convention and have been accepted as a refugee or granted humanitarian protection.

Those granted refugee status were set on the road to permanent residence.

Prior to 2nd March 2017, asylum seekers/refugees applying for ILR, simply had to confirm that:

  • there remained a risk of persecution should they be returned to their country of origin,
  • they have not travelled back to their home country and
  • they continued to rely upon the facts set out in their initial asylum claim.

In most cases this would automatically lead to ILR and, subsequently, citizenship.

The Home Office published a new policy on 2nd March 2017 under which they are now reviewing whether a refugee requires protection at the end of a five year period of leave.

This process is known as the ‘Safe-Returns Policy’ and means that ILR is more difficult to obtain and, accordingly, applications are now more complex.

The ‘Safe-Returns Policy’, also known as cessation, enables the Home Office to consider whether:

  • a ‘significant and non-temporary’ change has occurred in the country from which the applicant fled
  • there have been changes in personal circumstances
  • the refugee has returned to their country of habitual residence
  • the refugee has obtained a passport from their country of origin
  • there is evidence to suggest that the original decision to recognise refugee status was incorrect
  • any form of persecution, which would continue to endanger the applicant, still exists.

It is for the applicant, including refugees already resident in the UK, to prove the continuance of a threat, probably by the production of evidence such as case-law, newspaper articles and government publications.

Refugees are no longer secure in their status in the UK and the threat of removal at the end of a five year period will now affect all refugees.

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How Can I Apply For ILR?

At the end of the five year period referred to above, the refugee must apply for ILR, by submitting the SET(P) form. There is no fee applicable for this application.

The Applicant must be present in the UK when the application is made.

If the application is not made within the five year period, the applicant may be regarded by the Home Office as an ‘Overstayer’ which can affect access to benefits, housing and employment.

Having received the SET(P) form, the Home Office will require the applicant, (and any dependants), to attend an approved venue to enable their biometric data i.e. fingerprints and photographs to be recorded.

How Can We Help?

If you are a refugee and seeking immigration assistance of any nature, we are here to help.

We can assist in the preparation of all applications which must be made correctly on the very detailed forms with full supporting documentation, which may present individual technical difficulties.

As failure to submit a proper application could result in the issue of a Notice of Refusal, leading to an illegal overstay, it is essential that all documents are handled correctly.

Immigration rules are complicated and we are able to help, advise and process applications.

At Kangs Solicitors, our experienced team of immigration lawyers advise and assist clients with immigration status issues in the UK, on a daily basis.

We have a proven track record of successfully advising and guiding clients through the immigration application and appeals process.


Mrs Sharan Rupra
07989 521 210 | 0121 449 9888 | 020 7936 6396


2 Wake Green Road, Moseley
Birmingham, B13 9EZ

0121 449 9888


9 Carmelite Street, City of London
London, EC4Y 0DR

020 7936 6396


76 King Street
Manchester, M2 4NH

0161 817 5020