ILR on the basis of 10 years long residence
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Have you lived lawfully in the UK for a continuous period of 10 years?
The first question to ask is about your absences from the UK. Have you been out of the UK for more than 540 days during this 10 year period? Have you been absent from the UK for six months or more in any one go?
The next question is whether you have always made timely applications to extend your leave to remain. Has the Home Office ever returned your application as invalid? It may have seemed unimportant at the time, but it could have made you an overstayer. And you may not have known about it. Have you ever been an overstayer?
If your immigration history is beyond reproach and absences from the UK do not exceed 540 days in 10 years, you are eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain.
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ILR on the basis of long residence- application requirements
The application is subject to the following conditions:
- Continuous legal residence during a 10-year period: no interruptions in the legality of stay with the exception of any periods of overstaying of up to 28 days before 24 November 2016, or disregarding periods of overstaying after 24 November 2016 if leave was nevertheless granted after this date and paragraph 39E of the Immigration Rules applied;
- Absences from the UK should not exceed 18 months in total during the 10-year period or six months in any one time; continuous residence is not interrupted if the applicant left the UK while holding a valid leave to remain and returned to the UK within six months with a valid leave to enter;
- or where applicant left the UK after the expiry of their visa but reapplied for entry clearance within 28 days of expiry and before 24 November 2016, and re-entered the UK within six months of leaving the country;
- The application should not fall for refusal on criminality grounds;
- Knowledge of English to B1 level (speaking and listening) and successful completion of the Life in the UK test.
Criminal convictions as a ground for refusal of ILR applications
An application for indefinite leave to remain must be refused in the following circumstances:
1. Where the applicant has been convicted of a criminal offence in the UK or overseas and received a custodial sentence of 12 months or more;
2. Where the applicant is a persistent offender and shows a persistent disregard for the law;
3. Where the applicant has committed a criminal offence which caused serious harm.
If your application falls for refusal on the above grounds, you may still be eligible to apply for further leave to remain. We strongly recommend that you discuss your case with a lawyer.
Discretionary grounds for refusal of ILR applications
An application for indefinite leave to remain may be refused in the following circumstances:
1. Where there are public interest consideration which make grant of ILR undesirable;
2. Where the applicant has committed a criminal offence and received a custodial sentence of less than 12 months;
3. Where the applicant has committed a criminal offence and received a non-custodial sentence or an out of court disposal which is recorded on the applicant’s criminal record.
Where discretionary grounds for refusal may be raised, it is very important to discuss the mitigating factors with your lawyer. Legal representations are very important in applications which may or may not fall for refusal depending on how the decision-maker views the case.
Dependants of applicants for indefinite leave to remain under the long residence rule
It is important to bear in mind that there are no provisions for dependants to be included in the application for settlement under the long residence rule. We strongly recommend seeking immigration legal advice before applying as there is no general rule covering dependants of the applicants under the long residence rule and each scenario requires individual consideration.
Right of appeal against refusal of applications for indefinite leave to remain on the basis of long residence
Applications for indefinite leave to remain on the basis of long residence engage Human Rights (private life established in the UK), and a refusal of such application normally bears the right of appeal to an immigration tribunal.
If you qualify for indefinite leave to remain on more than one ground, for example, if you have completed five years in a work-related route and have reached 10 years lawful residence at the same time, you may benefit from legal advice and discussion of some subtle differences in the requirements and any potential risks associated with this or that option.
Applications can be made up to 28 days prior to completion of the qualifying 10-year period. Applications made earlier would normally be refused.
If you’re applying for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) the application fee is £2885.
If you are applying to extend your leave to remain the fee is £1,048.
You can apply for super priority service or the next day decision making, although this service is not always available. The fee is £1000.
If you use the standard service, you will receive a decision within 6 months.
However, you can apply for the super priority service (an additional fee of £800) to get a decision on your application by the end of the next working day (after you attend the biometrics appointment). Working days are Monday to Friday, not including bank holidays.
Where an application for indefinite leave to remain cannot succeed, either because the applicant does not meet the English language or Knowledge of Life in the UK requirement, or where the application for ILR would fall for refusal under general grounds, the applicant may consider applying for extension of leave to remain on the basis of continuous lawful residence of 10 years.
There is no rule preventing a visitor from making an application for indefinite leave to remain on the basis of long residence.
As a visitor, you are very unlikely to spend 10 years in the UK without breaking the law as visitors are normally allowed to spend up to six months in the UK in any 12-month period.
Yes, the rules allow to make the application relying on a past period of continuous residence, even if continuity of residence was broken after 10 years.
No, the application has to be made from the UK.
Last updated on January 17, 2022
Last updated on January 17, 2022