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10-Year Long Residence


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

Our team of specialist advisors can assess your case on its individual merits, help prepare your application, and support you through the process.


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

ILR Status enables you 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, 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 apply for British Citizenship once you have been granted ILR, and our immigration specialists will 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 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 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 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.

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 to qualify under this 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.

6. What other things does the Home Office look for?

The Home Office does conduct background 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.

Please contact us for further information.

Westkin Associates

5th Floor, Maddox House,
1 Maddox Street
United Kingdom
0207 118 4546

© 2019 Westkin – London Immigration Lawyers

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10 Year Long Residence FAQ's

In order to maintain your continues residence you must have spent no more than 540 days outside the UK in the 10 year period, with no single trips being longer than 6 months. There are some circumstances where you can be over 540 days if you have shown strong ties to the UK or compassionate circumstances.
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.
Any children or dependent whom 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.
Firstly you should map out when your absences were in the last 10 years. Once you know this then 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.
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.
Long residence relates to either applying for ILR based on 10 years lawful leave in the UK. This is sometimes called 10 years ILR, The second thing long residence relates to is applying for leave to remain if you have been in the UK for 20 years or more, with or without a visa.

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