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10 Year Long Residence


If you have legally resided in the UK for 10 continuous years, you may be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).

Our team of specialist advisors are able to assess your case on its individual merits, assist in the preparation of your application, and support you through the process.


1. What is Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)?

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

ILR is not the same as British Nationality. You may be able to apply for British Citizenship once you have been granted ILR, and our immigration specialists will be able to advise you accordingly.

2. 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 as a break in your lawful residence.

3. What is ‘continuous residence’?

The Home Office will also consider your absences from the UK during the 10-year qualifying period and any excessive absences will constitute as a break in your continuous residence.

It is imperative that you are resident in the UK for 10 years continuously with lawful leave to be granted ILR under this route.

4. What are the travel restrictions to qualify for ILR under this route?

You must ensure that you have not spent more than 540 days outside of the UK in the 10-year qualifying period. You must also ensure that you have not spent more than 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 to be broken.

If you believe that you do not meet these requirements, we will advise you further on the exceptions which may be considered by the Home Office, and if appropriate, we will guide you on the types of documents you will need to provide.

5. Is there an English Language requirement?

You must have sufficient English Language skills in order to qualify under this route. You will be able to meet the English Language requirement in a number of ways:

¬ English Language Test – you can take a test through an approved provider. We are able to 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 which was taught in English from a non-UK university. You will need to have this qualification certified by UK NARIC and we are able to guide you through this process.

¬ Exempt – there are certain persons who will be exempt from meeting this requirement. This will include applicants that are under 18 years of age, or applicant that are 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.

6. What other things does the Home Office look for

The Home Office does conduct back ground checks with other government bodies such as HMRC. It is important that the information you provide to the Home Office is true and updated.

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.

Please contact our experienced immigration experts for further details.

Westkin Associates


17 Hanover Square, Mayfair

United Kingdom

0207 1184 546

© 2019 Westkin – London Immigration Lawyers

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