Initial Application – 20 Years Long Residence
You can apply for initial leave to remain on the basis of 20 years long residence if you have lived in the UK continuously for 20 years whether legally or illegally. An application on the basis of 20 years long residence is considered under paragraph 276ADE of the Immigration Rules. An application for leave to remain based on 20 years long residence is made using application form FLR (FP). If the application is successful, the applicant is granted leave to remain for 30 months under 10 years route to settlement.
For the application to succeed under the 20 years long residence category, it is important that you substantiate your claim of 20 years long residence through documentary evidence proving continuous residence in the UK for at least 20 years. The Home Office can refuse the application if the continuity of residence has been broken in the past.
A person who is outside the UK cannot make an application on the basis of 20 years long residence in the UK. The 20 years long residence route is a 10-year settlement route. There is no 5-year route to settlement for those who seek to rely on their 20 years long residence to remain in the UK.
Paragraph 276ADE(1)(iii) sets out the criteria to be applied, together with the other requirements of the rules, in assessing whether to grant leave to remain to an applicant on the basis of 20 years’ continuous residence.To meet this requirement, an applicant must have lived continuously in the UK for at least 20 years at the date of application, discounting any period of imprisonment.
To qualify for initial leave to remain for 30 months on the basis of 20 years long residence, the applicant must satisfy the following eligibility requirements:
- The applicant should meet the suitability requirement as evisaged under paragraph 276ADE(1)(i), and the application of the applicant must not fall for refusal under S-LTR: Suitability;
- The applicant must have lived continuously in the UK for at least 20 years (discounting any period of imprisonment).
Continuous residence’ is defined in paragraph 276A(a) of the Immigration Rules as:“continuous residence” means residence in the UK 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 UK 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:
- has been removed under Schedule 2 to the 1971 Act or section 10 of the 1999 Act, has been deported or has left the UK having been refused leave to enter or remain here; or
- has left the UK and, on doing so, evidenced a clear intention not to return; or
- left the UK 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
- 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
- has spent a total of more than 18 months absent from the United Kingdom during the period in question.
‘Lived continuously or living continuously’ is defined in paragraph 276A(c) of the Immigration Rules as:“lived continuously” and “living continuously” mean “continuous residence”, except that paragraph 276A(a)(iv) shall not apply.
Time Spent In Prison
It is pertinent to note that a period of time spent in prison will not break the continuous residence of an applicant applying on the basis of their private life in the UK. Rather, time spent in prison will not be counted towards the period of residence, but time before and after that imprisonment can be aggregated to make up the full amount of time.
To demonstrate length of residence in the UK, applicants will need to provide evidence of their residence here for the period they seek to rely on.Official documentary evidence from official or independent sources, that show ongoing contact over a period of time, for example from a housing trust, local authority, bank, school or doctor, will be given more weight in the decision-making process than evidence of one-off events. To be satisfied that the UK residence was continuous, the Home Office UKVI will normally expect to see evidence to cover every 12-month period of the length of claimed continuous residence, and passports or travel documents to cover the entire period, unless satisfied on the basis of a credible explanation provided as to why this has not been submitted.
If your application for leave to remain on the basis of 20 years long residence has been refused by the Home Office, UKVI and you believe that the decision to refuse your application is valid and lawful and therefore cannot be challenged successfully by way of appeal, you have the option to re-apply for leave to remain on the basis of 20 years long residence. We can provide the required legal help and assistance with re-applying for leave to remain on the basis of 20 years long residence.
As your legal representatives, our immigration solicitors can represent you in your application for leave to remain on the basis of 20 years long residence and carry out all the work on your leave to remain application until a decision is received from the Home Office UKVI. If instructed to represent you regarding your leave to remain application on the basis of 20 years long residence, the immigration casework to be carried out by our long residence solicitors will include the following:
- Assessing your eligibility for leave to remain on the basis of 20 years long residence by considering all your personal circumstances;
- Advising you on the weaknesses and strengths of your leave to remain application on the basis of 20 years long residence;
- Advising you on the relevant documents to be submitted in support of your leave to remain application on the basis of 20 years long residence;
- Assessing your documents to ensure that the documentary evidence is as per requirements of the Home Office UKVI immigration Rules;
- Completing and submitting the online application form to apply for leave to remain on the basis of 20 years long residence by gathering all the relevant information from you;
- Helping you with paying the application fee and the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) online;
- Booking your appointment with the application centre for verification of documents and enrolment of biometrics;
- Where necessary, preparing detailed witness statement of the applicant and other witnesses explaining the long residence in the UK and other relevant factors pertaining to the leave to remain application;
- Preparing a detailed cover letter to introduce and support your application;
- Uploading online all the relevant supporting documents before you attend your appointment for enrolment of your biometrics;
- Liaising with the Home Office UKVI for a timely decision on your application.
Unless your matter is very complicated, our fixed fees for leave to remain on the basis of 20 years long residence are as given in the fee table below:
|Our Service||Our Fixed Fees Range|
|Full service for leave to remain on the basis of 20 years long residence to cover all the work until decision by the Home Office UKVI||From £2,000 + VAT To £3,000 + VAT|
The agreed fixed fee will depend on the complexity of the application and the volume of casework involved in the 20 years long residence application. In addition to our fixed fee for leave to remain application on the basis of 20 years long residence, the applicant will also have to pay the Home office UKVI fees for the application.