Leave to remain
This page explains the permission we give you to stay in the United Kingdom if your application for asylum is successful. This permission is known as leave to enter or leave to remain.
If we recognise you as a refugee, or decide you may stay here for humanitarian reasons, you will be given permission to enter and stay in the United Kingdom for an initial period of five years. For more information about humanitarian protection, see Human rights applications.
If you have any dependants, they will receive the same permission to stay.
The five-year, temporary permission to stay does not apply to refugees who are resettled in the United Kingdom through the Gateway Protection Programme. Those refugees are given permanent residence immediately (we call this indefinite leave to remain). For more information about the Gateway programme, see Human rights applications.
You will be able to renew your residence permit, or apply for permanent residence, at the end of the five years, unless we believe there are serious reasons to refuse. The Active review page gives more details of the circumstances in which we may refuse to renew your residence permit. See United Kingdom residency for information on applying to extend your residence permit or apply for permanent residence.
If we have given you humanitarian protection and you wish to extend your residence permit or apply for permanent residence, you will need to complete application form HPDL (see Extend your visa for more information on this).
Your residence permit will give you the same rights as permanent residents of the United Kingdom. You will be able to work and apply for official support, known as benefits. Your case owner will help you to start building your new life in this country. We call this integration.
If we do not recognise you as a refugee, or consider that you qualify for humanitarian protection, we may give you another type of temporary permission to stay in the United Kingdom. We call this discretionary leave to remain. The length of time you are allowed to stay will vary depending on your circumstances but it is unlikely to be more than three years initially.
Discretionary leave to remain is given only in limited circumstances. If you apply to renew it when it expires, we will review your circumstances before deciding whether to give you further permission to stay. See Active review for more details. You will not be able to apply for permanent residence until you have lived in the United Kingdom for at least six years (10 years in some cases). To extend your residence permit or apply for permanent residence, you will need to complete application form HPDL (see Extend your visa for more information on this).
Extension of stay if you were granted discretionary leave, humanitarian protection or less than 4 years' exceptional leaveChoose a different form
Someone who depends on you financially, such as a husband, wife, partner, or child.
Indefinite leave to remain (often known as 'ILR' and 'settlement') is permission to remain in the UK without any time restrictions on the length of stay. It is not the same as naturalisation as a British citizen and may, in specific circumstances, be ceased or invalidated, for example, if a fraudulent application is uncovered, if the person resides outside of the UK for more than 2 years or as a result of a criminal conviction that results in a Deportation Order coming into force.
Leave to remain is permission to stay in the UK, either temporarily ('limited leave to remain') or permanently ('indefinite leave to remain').