Guidance on filling ILR Application. Important How To's

Recently filed my ILR application successfully. However, when I decided to file the paperwork myself I found myself asking the Slack community a lot of questions that were unclear. So I thought to write this note to help others that might be filing for ILR and have the same questions as me. Here goes.


Q. Do you have a valid national identity card?
This is a country specific guidance as many countries have a specified National Identity Card, but many countries don’t. For India in my case there are multiple identity documents e.g. Aadhaar but they are not a National Identity Card. So answer is No. You must check what is applicable for your country.

Q. When did you first enter the UK?
The form specifies clearly that you should put the date “on which you are basing your application”. I.e. say you came on Tier 2 ICT visa that was not eligible for ILR, then don’t put that date and instead put the date of your GT visa. I had come to the UK on ICT dependent and then switched to GT. I put the date I ARRIVED in the UK on the NEW GT VISA (which was few days after the grant date; some people say they put grant date but I had put arrival date).

Q. How do I fill absences? [Not an exact question; is based on Absences section]
You must fill all or as many as you can fill. If your travel is a lot and you can’t fill anymore in the online form, attach an excel with others. I would fill the latest first in the form and put older ones in the excel.
Note: I put one liner reasoning like ‘Family holiday’, ‘Work Travel to meet a client’.

Q. Are you employed or self-employed?
This is a tricky one for those that may have founded their own companies. And depends on your situation, described here.

  1. If you are a normal employee at a company you joined this is the easiest case - you are Employed :person_shrugging:
  2. I had created my own company and am a Director in that company, BUT I also registered for Paye and paid myself a regular salary. So I selected Employed. If you are paying yourself a salary and submitting Paye, I would pick Employed.
    For fully Self Employed i.e. you have a company and take money out of it as and when, you need to verify with your Accountant and also perhaps other people that have done this can share experience in comments. I would recommend paying yourself via Paye - its much easier but I know others have received ILR without this and by showing Dividend Certificates as well.

Q. Have you previously lived in a country outside the UK including your country of birth?
In this case give all countries and periods where you have lived, including your country of birth. You will need to include any other country where you lived e.g. if you studied somewhere abroad etc. In my case, other than my country of birth (India), I had previously lived in the UK and Netherlands so I included my time/date for India and the Netherlands.

Q. English language related
This also depends on your country and education language. In my case my degree was taught in English but its is not accepted as meeting English language requirement. So I answered as follows:
Do you have a degree that was taught in English? YES
Does your degree meet the English language requirement for this visa? NO
When you select Yes for earlier and No for above question you will be asked further if you have taken approved English Language Test or gotten ECCTIS approval for your certificates. I had taken the Grade 5 CEFR Level B1.1 English Language Test so filled in the reference number of that.

Q. Do you have a visa, leave to enter or remain or other permission to be in the UK?
This is mostly YES since you have ET/Global talent BRP.


I submitted the following documents:

  1. Current Passport (ALL PAGES)
  2. Mandatory PART 1 and if relevant PART2 /3 consent forms
  3. TechNation Endorsement Email showing grant of Exceptional category
  4. Letter that came with Global Talent Visa Grant
  5. Payslips for latest 3 months
  6. P60 for Latest Year
  7. Bank Statements for 3 months showing salary credited
  8. Letter from Company stating payslips are valid (note in my case I had a co-founder not living in the UK, but since I had a co-founder who owned shares in the same UK company I got him to sign the company letters - this might not be possible if you are the only Director/employee - you can use Accountant’s letter in that case)
  9. Letter from Accountant stating earning in expert filed and amount of earning
  10. Letter from Company stating earning in expert filed and amount of earning
  11. BRP Copy
  12. Old Passports used to travel to UK (ALL PAGES)
  13. English Language Test Certificate form Trinity College London
  14. [Adding this since people are asking] You have to add the Reference Number of your Life in the UK Test that you get after passing it; but there is no document, email or certificate to be attached for the same. Only the reference number has to be added to the application in the relevant section.

When you go to the step of submitting documents you will have to figure out which category to upload which document in. I did the following:

Mandatory Section: 1, 2
Other: 3, 4
Sponsors / Employment: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
Proof of Identity / Travel History: 12
Educational: 13

Initially I was confused if I should put the payslips etc in Finance, but realised that Employment is better and far more accurate. Finance is used to show “funds to support yourself” typically and not something we have to show so I didn’t put in that.

Hope this guidance is helpful for anyone trying to figure the ILR by themselves. Having done the process I can say that its very easy to apply for your ILR yourself and you don’t need a consultant or immigration lawyer (unless of course you have a complex situation).

All the best.


Thanks for sharing experience.

This is very helpful. Thank you for sharing.

Thanks @Anurag_Singh , this was very useful. Do you mind sharing format of the accountant letter as well, just a template so that I can refer the main points included.

Thanks in advance

This is what I used Seema given that I had a company registered in the UK and was a Director and took a salary from it. It would be slightly different if one took Dividends and not needed if normal Employee at a company. I had also given letter from my company since I had a c-founder - that is also attached below:

ACCOUNTANT LETTER - I have slightly modified it to my original one since I submitted a company letter as well. This format can be used if submitting just accountant letter. It might need more details per your circumstances and other documents you are submitting.

Dear Sirs

(Name of applicant), (Company), DOB: dd/mm/yy (insert Date of birth of applicant)
Personal UTR (add UTR here)
NINO: (add NI number here)

DD Month 2023

We are writing with regards to our above-mentioned client and their limited company. (Candidate name) is the sole Director and majority shareholder of (Company name) having company number (company registration number).

The company, (name of company), and (Candidate name) provide services in the field of Digital Technology under, with registered SIC codes of 58290 - Other software publishing; 62012 - Business and domestic software development; 62020 - Information technology consultancy activities; 62090 - Other information technology service activities. Currently the company is supporting (describe a digital technology activity) from which major revenues are expected to be received.

For the financial year (add start and end date of financial year), (Candidate name) received a gross salary from the company of £xx consisting of £yy monthly salary and an annual bonus of £zz.

We trust that this information is sufficient to requirements, though if there are any queries, or any further information is required please do not hesitate to contact us on (accountant telephone number).

Yours faithfully

(name of accountant)

Accountant Company Name & Address

COMPANY LETTER on LETTER HEAD showing company name and registered address.

To Whom It May Concern

Sub: Confirmation of (Candidate Name)’s earnings in the expert field of Digital Technology

(insert date)

Dear Sir, Madam

(Candidate Name)
Date of Birth: (candidate date of birth)
Passport Number: (candidate passprot number)
National Insurance Number: (candidate NI number)

I am hereby confirming that (Candidate Name) is an Employee, Director and shareholder of (Company Name), having Company Number (company registration number) with its registered address as (company registered address).

The company, (company name), and (candidate name) provide services in the field of Digital Technology under registered SIC codes with Companies House of: 58290 - Other software publishing; 62012 - Business and domestic software development; 62020 - Information technology consultancy activities; 62090 - Other information technology service activities.

(Candidate name) serves as (candidate designation) and undertakes ownership of all digital technology product development at the company. The company has created software’s in the space of Productivity Applications and currently is also supporting a smarty city to build XXX platform, from which major revenues are received. Both of these projects and activities relate to the digital technology field.

Kind regards

(Name of co-founder, shareholder)

NOTE: Above letter may be difficult to create if candidate is sole founder, director, shareholder - in which case the accountant letter is good enough.


you are generous. Thanks.

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Thank you @Anurag_Singh for sharing this vital piece of information. I have recently got endorsed for Global talent visa, and looking for a job. I would like to find out if its compulsory I work in the tech sector to get ILR so I focus on only certain types of jobs in the UK. Thank you.

@Abisola per my understanding you don’t need to work in the tech sector, but your job must be in the field of Digital technology. For e.g. you can be working with a Consumer Goods company like say Unilever, but your role must be in Digital Technology e.g. Data Scientist, Developer, Product Manager of a web/mobile app etc. Same goes for Banking - its not a tech sector but there are several roles that are in Digital Technology. So key is the specific job you do needs to be directly in digital tech; your company’s broader sector does not matter.

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Thank you very much @Anurag_Singh , this has been very helpful.

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Thank you @Anurag_Singh. As we know, Global talent visa recipients have flexibility to change roles or employers, enter self-employment, set up a spin-out company or earn money from other sources such as consultancy without seeking permission from the Home Office.

My question is, if I’m working for digital technology companies outside the UK. Is there any condition for that and would it affect ILR later. Thank you

This is a super important consideration @alex_james - a key criteria is that ‘ideally’ you have to ‘earn in the UK’. I am not an expert on this so you will need to check this with others in the community but here are my inputs:

  1. If you are employed by a UK company in digital tech - no problem
  2. If you are working for a non UK company in digital tech you need to do either of the following:
    a) Register a company in the UK that you use to invoice the non-UK company and then pay yourself via PayE or take Dividends
    b) You declare your self as self-employed and pay taxes in the UK

Of these 2a is fully eligible - and I have done that so can confirm that that’s ok. On 2b I don’t know if that is recommend and if anyone has successfully applied for ILR. I recall with my interaction with a Tech Nation associated Law firm that had advised me that lot of people make the mistake of working for a non UK company. So basis what I know I would do 1 or 2a. But please ask wider community on 2b as an option.


Thank you very much for the prompt response.

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Hi Anurag, Thank you for all your help. My ILR application was successful today

I submitted a letter from an accountant as I am the only director of the company and used the letter to prove that income is from the field of Expert “Digital technology”.

I was drawing salary and also had income via Dividends. So i did quote myself as “Employed”, but also attached my self assessment reports from HMRC, SA302 documents and Dividend vouchers.


Just a note for everyone Re this format. I have put some examples of the digital tech activities that were relevant to me. Please make sure to edit those parts and replace with your specific work. E.g. the text “The company has created software’s in the space of Productivity Applications and currently is also supporting a smarty city to build XXX platform, from which major revenues are received.” was specific to my case. Please make sure to edit. I am no longer able to edit the main post or reply so can’t edit that in the main comment body.

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Hello @Anurag_Singh @Seema_Nair

I have questions regarding what you have said so far.

My current situation
I am currently working remotely/freelancing for a product-led company in the US while I reside in the UK. I am working on registering my company (IT company - Software development agency) in the UK. My team and I are also working on a product-led app (still in dev mode), and I plan to have it registered separately.

My Questions:

  1. I plan to declare myself as self-employed. Can I use the IT company I plan to register to pay myself since I currently work for a company outside the UK?
  1. Can someone have two companies (IT servicing + Product-led company) registered, or it has to be under one umbrella?

  2. I understand that I need to have an accountant (I do not have one in the UK right now) but the declaration of earnings can be monthly or yearly to the HMRC?

Overall, I will be glad if you can provide a direct link to where I can further read about all these. Thank you.


@alex_james first off - everyone on this forum is either a TN aspirant or recipient - not experts :slight_smile: so I would recommend that you find professional help in case of complex questions. Any view and inputs we provide are basis our experience and not from a “official” source or channel.

Re your questions, inputs basis my understanding:

  1. Yes, you can use your digital technology / IT company to pay yourself (ideally you need to invoice the US company via this UK company and then pay yourself)
  2. You can have N number of companies
  3. If you pay yourself a regular salary, there is a PAYE mechanism you sign up for and report your Pay every month. You also annually submit a Self-Assessment tax return

I am not aware of any direct link where you can read about this.


Wow. Thank you so much @Anurag_Singh . This answered a number of the questions all in one place. I appreciate.

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thanks @Anurag_Singh, this was super informative and well crafted

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Thanks @Anurag_Singh .
This is very helpful.

Hi @Anurag_Singh , thanks for sharing your experiences and pointing me towards this thread, it’s super useful.