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Long Residence

Indefinite Leave on the basis of 10 years Long Residence

We have many years experience dealing successfully with this type of application. More often clients fail to work out the continuous residence element of their application and turn to us for advice. Also applicants can look at applying for limited leave under this category prior to making an application for settlement

Rule 276 of the Immigration rules allows for an indefinite leave to remain for persons who are deemed to have met the long 'continuous' residence rule in the UK.

To qualify for this you must either:-

Spent at least 10 years 'continuous' lawful residence in the UK;


At least 20 years 'continuous' residence in the UK, even if some of that residence was unlawful. This was the old 14 year that has recently been deleted

Following the abolishment of the 14-year long residence route to settlement in July 2012 - one of the changes made to the Immigration Rules on family migration, at least 20 years of continuous residence in the UK will now generally be required before a person can apply for settlement.

However, individuals who have not lived in the UK for that long can apply for leave to remain if they satisfy one of the following requirements:

1.Those who are under 18 years of age and have resided continuously in the UK for at least 7 years,2.Those who are 18 or above but under 25 years of age and have spent at least half their life residing continuously in the(e.g., a 22 year-old who has continuously resided in the UK for 11 years), or3.Those who are 18 or above and have no social, cultural or family ties with his/her country of origin.

An applicant who qualifies for leave to remain on this basis will enter a 10-year route to settlement. At the end of the 10 years, he/she may qualify for indefinite leave to remain.

This route of settlement is based on Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights - right to respect for private life.

Please contact us if you require advice on settling in the UK.


If you have been previously refused a visa the clock may have stopped ticking. This prevents you building up time from when the clock has stopped ticking and may prevent an application being made. In such instances it is important to map out the dates when you have applied for your previous leave and the date it was granted. If you have remained in the UK and never made an application you will not need to do the above but simply to come and visit us with the evidence to show your residence period in the UK.

10 year applications

What is 'continuous' residence and how should it be calculated?

Continuous residence means the time you have been in the UK with immigration permission for an unbroken period.

The period of time commences from the moment you enter the UK.

You are allowed to spend a certain part of the time out of the country, but in certain situations the period will count as broken:

A broken period is:

An one off period of absence from the UK of more than 6 months at any time in the previous 10 years; or

An Absence from the UK of less than 6 months when you did not have valid leave to remain on the day you left the country and when you returned.

You also cannot remain outside the country for more than 540 days (18 months) in total.

Other factors that the immigration authorities state will break continuous residence.

The applicant has been removed or deported from the UK or have left the UK following the refusal of leave to enter or remain; the applicant left the UK and at the same time there is evidence that he had no intention to return or he departed the UK in such a manner than objectively, he cannot have expected to be able to return with a lawful valid visa or where there has been a criminal conviction.

Factors taken into account by the Home Office in granting your application if you have the required 10 year continuous residence in the United Kingdom. Or 14 years continous residence if you have overstayed or entered illegally.

The immigration authorities will also assess whether it is in the public interest to grant you indefinite leave to remain. This is a question based around the following factors:

(a) your age, (b) strength of connections in the United Kingdom, (c) personal history, including character, conduct, associations and employment record (d) domestic circumstances, (e) previous criminal record and the nature of any offence of which the person has been convicted,) and any compassionate circumstances

Unspent conviction - UKBA guidance states

The applicant must not have one or more unspent convictions within the meaning of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

The applicant must also have sufficient knowledge of the English language and sufficient knowledge about life in the United Kingdom, unless you are under the age of 18 or aged 65 or over at the time he makes his application.

If you meet ALL the requirements then you will be granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

If you meet all the requirements but not the Language requirements and you cannot show sufficient knowledge of life in the UK If you are applying under the 10 year rule, you will only be granted 2 years leave to remain with no restrictions on employment but with no access to public funds.

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