Residence permit

United Kingdom

Country Report: Residence permit Last updated: 24/04/24


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Beneficiaries of refugee status and subsidiary protection (called “humanitarian protection” in the UK legal system) receive 5 years’ leave to remain. For most people, applying for settlement, also known as Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), after the end of the 5-year period of leave is a straightforward process.[1] Difficulties encountered relate to the length of time it takes for the application to be processed, as all documents must be submitted to the authorities. Although legally the period of leave is extended by virtue of the new application,[2] this is difficult to prove to employers and or providers of services who often want to see physical evidence of entitlement to work or rent, for example. This is becoming an increasing problem, as the government seeks to deny more services to those who cannot provide evidence of leave.[3]



[1] See Home Office, Settlement for people on a protection route (refugee status / humanitarian protection), 6 October 2021, available at:

[2] Section 3C Immigration Act 1971, available at:  

[3] RAMFEL, The Hostile Environment remains in place: A study of how thousands of lawfully resident migrants are wrongly deprived of their rights each year, 3 October 2022, available at:

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection