Head Office:
3rd Floor Maddox House, 1 Maddox Street, Mayfair, London, W1S 2PZ

10 Years Long Residence Guidance, ILR (Indefinite Leave to Remain)

Our team of experienced immigration lawyers have been successfully assisting individuals with gaining indefinite leave to remain in the UK for many years. We have assisted a number of clients, all from different countries and different walks of life with the 10 year route to long residence in the UK.

  • ILR 10 years long residence status allows individuals to live in the UK permanently.
  • Indefinite leave to remain is the next step for individuals on the majority of visa types who want to remain in the UK.
  • The 10 years long residence route is a step towards British Citizenship.

Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) on the Basis of 10 Year Long Residence

ILR long residence status enables individuals to live in the UK permanently, without any immigration restrictions. It is also commonly known as ‘Permanent Residence’ or ‘Settlement’. Once you have attained ILR in the UK, you will not be subject to travel or employment conditions which may have applied to you previously.

Individuals can apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK after 10 years long residence in the UK. This means if you have been legally living in the UK under an immigration visa for the last 10 years, you’re eligible to apply for ILR. ILR offers a number of benefits to those who successfully apply for it, including the security of being a permanent resident in the UK, with no immigration restrictions.

Indefinite leave to remain is not the same as British Nationality, however it is the next step in your journey towards British citizenship. You may apply for British Citizenship once you have been granted ILR. Our team of immigration lawyers in London are on hand to assist you with the next steps of your journey.

“Westkin has been helping me out with my ILR application. Their extensive knowledge and experience in dealing with my case has made my application go through swiftly. I really appreciate the professional services and dedication by them and will definitely recommend this firm to my friends.”

Applying for indefinite leave to remain in the UK is an important step in anyone’s journey. For more information on the 10 year route, and how our team of immigration lawyers can help you in taking the next step, please get in touch. Call our office on 020 3820 0379 or get in touch through our website for a cost-free, commitment-free chat about 10 year long residence.

10 Year Long Residence FAQ’s

What is ‘lawful residence’?

Lawful residence is the time that you have been resident in the UK with valid leave. If you have periods of time during the 10-year qualifying period where you have overstayed, or where you have not had valid leave, it may constitute a break in your lawful residence. To qualify for indefinite leave to remain in the UK, individuals must have 10 years of lawful residence in the UK.

What is ‘continuous residence’?

When assessing your application for indefinite leave to remain in the UK, the Home Office will consider your absences from the UK during the 10-year qualifying period and any excessive periouds spent absent from will constitute a break in your continuous residence. It is imperative that you have 10 years continuous residence in the UK with lawful leave to qualify for the 10 year route to ILR.

What is the qualifying period for indefinite leave to remain?

Immigration rules state ILR can be granted if you have been a continuous resident in the UK for 10 years. You must ensure that you have not spent more than 540 days outside the UK in the 10-year qualifying period. You must also ensure that you have not spent over 6 consecutive months outside the UK during the 10-year qualifying period. If you exceed these travel restrictions, it is likely that your ‘continuous residence’ in the UK will be considered broken and you will not meet the required long residence rules.

If you’re unsure whether you qualify for indefinite leave to remain, or you’re worried about your application being approved, our immigration lawyers can help. Please get in touch for a cost-free, commitment-free chat about your indefinite leave to remain.

Please further spouse visa uk requirements 2021 listed below.

Is there an English Language requirement?

You must have sufficient English Language skills to qualify under the 10 year long residence route. You will be able to meet the English Language requirement in several ways:

  •  English Language Test—you can take a test through an approved provider. We can provide you with more information on the relevant level you will need to attain, as well as a list of approved test providers and centres.
  •  Degree taught in the UK—you can rely on a degree from a UK university which is of minimum Bachelors’ level.
  •  Degree taught outside of the UK—you can rely on a degree of minimum Bachelors’ level taught in English from a non-UK university. You will need to have this qualification certified by UK NARIC and we will guide you through this process.
  • Exempt—there are certain persons who will be exempted from meeting this requirement. This will include applicants under 18 years of age, or applicants over 65 years of age at the date of the application.
  • National of a Majority English Speaking Country—the Home Office has a published list of countries which are considered to be ‘English speaking’. If you are a national of one of these countries, you will automatically meet the English Language requirement.

You will also need to pass the Life in the UK Test.

What are the 10 year long residence documents required?

There are a number of documents which you may be required to submit with your indefinite leave to remain application. These can be dependent on your specific situation, and which visa route you have been on throughout your time in the UK. Some of the common documents you’ll be asked to submit include:

  • Your current Passport or other valid travel ID
  • BRP (biometric residence permit ) if you hold one
  • Two identical passport size colour photographs
  • Police registration certificate, if you have one
  • Other supporting documents with the application

The Home Office is also likely to conduct checks with third parties such as your employer, landlord, partner and any other person who is relevant to your application.

To ensure that your application is as strong as possible, it is advised that you seek legal assistance in putting your supporting evidence together. Our team of lawyers at Westkin are well experienced in assisting people with their applications and offering 10 year long residence guidance. For information on how we can help you, please get in touch.

What is the long residence visa processing time? 

Once you have submitted your 10 year long residence application, it can take up to 6 months for a decision to be made. It is possible for this decision to be sped up if you use the 10 years ILR premium service to submit your application. In this instance, a decision will usually be made within 24 hours.

What are the 10 year long residence ILR fees?

The fees for this route vary depending on how you apply. For applications made by post in the UK, the cost is £2,389. Applying at a premium service centre will cost £3,189.

At Westkin, our fees for assisting you with your application can vary depending on your case and your position. We invite all of our clients to get in touch with us for a cost free call so we can assess your case and discuss your options with you. Please call our office on 020 3820 0379 for more information.

10 year long residence refused – can I still apply?

It is still possible to qualify for Long residence ILR even if you have had a visa refusal. Your qualifying period would not have been broken if you made a fresh in-time application or won your appeal following your visa refusal and your visa was then granted.

Depending on the reason for refusal and whether you have valid leave left on your visa or not, it may be able to re-apply or apply for an appeal based on your Human Rights grounds. The best way forward will depend on the facts of your case and refusal reasons.

If you’ve had a visa refusal and are unsure about your options, our team can help. We have a wealth of experience in successfully managing visa appeals. Please get in touch for more information on how we can assist you. 

Does indefinite leave to remain affect my spouse and dependents?

Any children or dependent who are with you in the UK will need to apply for a family visa such as a Spouse visa or Child dependent visa within 14 days following the grant of your ILR. This is because their dependent visas will no longer be valid.

I have too many absences for long residence – what do I do?

If you have too many absences from the UK to qualify for a 10 year long residence visa, you should map out when your absences were in the last 10 years. Once you know this information, you may be able to delay your application to take advantage of earlier absences not being counted. There is some discretion in the law if you have strong ties to the UK or compassionate circumstances.

If you’re concerned about having too many absences to apply for indefinite leave to remain, our team of immigration lawyers can help. Please get in touch so we can discuss your case.

Please contact our experienced immigration experts in central London for further details.

Westkin Associates


5th Floor, Maddox House,

1 Maddox Street




United Kingdom

020 3820 0379

© 2019 Westkin – London Immigration Lawyers

Immigration Cases


Read All

  • Amnesty for Visa Overstayers

    Earlier in 2021, the UK goverment held a parliamentary debate considering a petition for amnesty for undocumentented migrants, the discussions curtailed how the rhetoric of ...

    View: Amnesty for Visa Overstayers

  • UK Scale Up Visa

    The UK Scale Up Visa is aimed at “opening [the UK’s] borders to top talent”. The route will be open to people who have a ...

    View: UK Scale Up Visa

  • Afghanistan Citizens Resettlement Scheme

    In response to the ongoing escalation of events in Afghanistan, the UK government have announced a new resettlement scheme for Afghan citizens known as the Afghan ...

    View: Afghanistan Citizens Resettlement Scheme

  • Spouse Visas: Should The Minimum Income Rule Be Rethought?

    The UK Spouse Visa allows individuals to come and live in the UK permanently with their partner. It requires individuals to be able to prove ...

    View: Spouse Visas: Should The Minimum Income Rule Be Rethought?

  • The Top Immigration Stories Of The Week – December 2020

    We are nearing the end of 2020, a year which has brought much turmoil for many across the world. With the pandemic still reaching new ...

    View: The Top Immigration Stories Of The Week – December 2020

Special Services

Book A Weekend Appointment Now

Weekend Services

Book A Same Day Appointment Now

Same Day Services


Premium Client Services

our high net worth immigration premium services

High Net Worth Individuals


our celebrity and public figure  immigration premium services

Figures & Celebrities


our immigration services for sports people

Leading Sports Persons


our immigration services for businesses

International Business Persons


Looking to hire an immigration lawyer?
Book your free consultation