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Until April 2003 there was no provision in the immigration rules for a person to be granted indefinite leave to remain on the grounds of long residence. The Long Residence Concession allowed for a discretionary grant of settlement after 10 years continuous lawful residence or 14 years continuous residence of any legality, provided there were no serious countervailing factors.
Under the provisions of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act (NIA) 2002, which came into effect in April 2003, there is no right of appeal against refusal for those seeking leave to enter or remain under concessionary arrangements. As a consequence the Long Residence Concession was brought within the scope of the immigration rules from 1 April 2003.
The United Kingdom consists of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Interpretation Act 1978). Therefore, time spent in the Republic of Ireland, Channel Islands or the Isle of Man does not count as residence in the UK for the purpose of the long residence rules. This is the case even though those three entities form part of the Common Travel Area.
Continuous residence means residence in the United Kingdom for an unbroken period, and for these purposes a period shall not be considered to have been broken where an applicant is absent from the United Kingdom for a period of 6 months or less at any one time, provided that the applicant in question has existing limited leave to enter or remain upon their departure and return, but shall be considered to have been broken if the applicant:
(i) has been removed under Schedule 2 of the 1971 Act, section 10 of the 1999 Act, has been deported or has left the United Kingdom having been refused leave to enter or remain here; or
(ii) has left the United Kingdom and, on doing so, evidenced a clear intention not to return; or
(iii) left the United Kingdom in circumstances in which he could have had no reasonable expectation at the time of leaving that he would lawfully be able to return; or
(iv) has been convicted of an offence and was sentenced to a period of imprisonment or was directed to be detained in an institution other than a prison (including, in particular, a hospital or an institution for young offenders), provided that the sentence in question was not a suspended sentence; or
(v) has spent a total of more than 18 months absent from the United Kingdom during the period in question.
"lawful residence" means residence which is continuous residence pursuant to:
(i) existing leave to enter or remain; or
(ii) temporary admission within section 11 of the 1971 Act where leave to enter or remain is subsequently granted; or
(iii) an exemption from immigration control, including where an exemption ceases to apply if it is immediately followed by a grant of leave to enter or remain.