You can apply for further leave to remain or Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) on the basis of long residence in the UK. The requirements for applications on the basis of long residence are set out in part 7 of the Immigration Rules. All long residence applications are treated as human rights claims by the Home Office UKVI and a refusal of a long residence application normally triggers an in-country right of appeal unless the human rights claim is certified by the Home Office UKVI as manifestly unfounded.

Our Services For Long Residence Applications

As specialist long residence solicitors, our expert team of lawyers can provide fast, friendly, reliable and fixed fee immigration advice and legal representations for the following applications based on long residence:

FAQs - 20 Years Long Residence

I have lived in the UK for 20 years continously but was in prison for 4 months as a result of a criminal conviction. Can I apply for leave to remain on the basis of 20 years long residence?

Your application for 20 years long residence may not succeed becuase as a result of prison sentence, the continuity of 20 years long residence is broken.

What application form is used to submit initial application for leave to remain on the basis of 20 years long residence?

You should complete application form FLR (FP) online for your initial application for leave to remain on the basis of 20 years long residence.

Do I need to meet the English language requirement for my initial application for leave to remain on the basis of 20 years long residence?

No, you do not need to meet the English language requirement for your initial application for leave to remain on the basis of 20 years long residence.

Will I get right of appeal if my application for leave to remain on the basis of 20 years long residence is refused by the Home Office UKVI?

You should get an in-country right of appeal against the refusal of your initial application for leave to remain on the basis of 20 years long residence unless the Home Office UKVI certify your human rights claim to be manifestly unfounded.

FAQs - ILR 10 Years Long Residence

How can I apply for ILR on the basis of 10 years long residence?

You can apply for ILR on the basis of 10 years long residence by using online application form SET (LR).

Can I apply for ILR after 9 years residence in the UK?

No, you can only apply for ILR on the basis of 10 years long residence 28 days before completing 10 years long residence. Your application for ILR on the basis of 10 years long residence may be refused by the Home Office if at the time of decision on your ILR application you have not completed the qualifying period for ILR.

If you are short by few months in completion of 10 years long residence, it may be possible to extend your leave temporarily by virtue of Section 3C through an appropriate immigration application in your given circumstances so that you are able to complete your 10 years long residence in the UK to be eligible for ILR on the basis of 10 years long residence in the UK.

When can I apply for ILR on the basis of 10 years long residence?

You can apply for ILR on the basis of 10 years long residence within 28 days before completing 10 years long residence in the UK whether applying through standard service or through Super Priority Service (decision within 24 hours).

Once you have built up a period of 10 years’ continuous lawful residence, there is no limit on the length of time afterwards when you can apply for ILR on the basis of 10 years continuous and lawful residence in the UK. This means you could leave the UK, re-enter on any lawful basis, and apply for ILR from within the UK based on a 10 year period of continuous lawful residence you built up in the past. There is also nothing to prevent a person relying on a 10 year period that they may have relied on in a previous application or grant.

What is continuous residence for the purposes of ILR on the basis of 10 years long residence?

Continuous residence is defined in paragraph 276A of the Immigration Rules. Continuous residence means residence in the UK for an unbroken period i.e. without gaps. For the purposes of long residence, a period is not considered broken if the applicant:

  • was absent from the UK for six months or less at any one time, and
  • had existing leave to enter or remain upon their departure and return.

You can leave the UK during the continuous residence for up to:

  • 180 days at a time;
  • 540 days in total.

You cannot count time spent in:

  • a prison, young offender institution or secure hospital
  • Ireland, the Isle of Man or Channel Islands
What is lawful residence for the purposes of ILR on the basis of 10 years long residence?

Lawful residence is defined in paragraph 276A of the Immigration Rules as a period of continuous residence in which the applicant had one of the following:

  • existing leave to enter or remain
  • temporary admission within section 11 of the 1971 Immigration Act where leave to enter or remain is subsequently granted
  • 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.
What events break continuous residence for the purposes of 10 years long residence ILR?

Continuous residence is considered to be broken if the applicant has:

  • been absent from the UK for a period of more than six months (180 days) at any one time, or is absent from the UK for a shorter period but does not have valid leave to enter the UK on their return, or valid leave to remain on their departure from the UK
  • been removed or deported from the UK, or has left the UK following refusal of leave to enter or remain
  • left the UK before 24 November 2016 with no valid leave to remain on their departure from the UK, and failed to apply for entry clearance within 28 days of their previous leave expiring (even if they returned to the UK within 6 months)
  • been convicted of an offence and been given a custodial sentence, or ordered to be detained in an institution other than a prison, such as a hospital or young offenders institute, not including suspended sentences
  • spent a total of 18 months (540 days) outside the UK throughout the whole 10 year period.
How can I challenge the refusal of ILR 10 years long residence application?

Appeal against refusal of SET (LR) application:

If your ILR long residence application is refused by the Home Office, UKVI and you believe that the refusal decision is unlawful, you can challenge the refusal of your SET (LR) application by filing an Appeal Against Refusal Of SET(LR) 10 Years Long Residence Application with the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) within 14 days of receiving the refusal letter.

Pre Action Protocol (PAP) & Judicial Review (JR) against refusal of SET(LR) application:

If you have not been given an in-country right to appeal agaisnt the refusal of your SET(LR) application, you can still challenge the refusal of your application by way of Pre Action protocol (PAP) and Judicial Review (JR) against the Home Office UKVI decision to refuse your SET (LR) application.

Can I re-apply for ILR on the basis of 10 years long residence after the refusal?

If your application for ILR 10 years long residence - SET(LR) application 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 may have the option to re-apply for ILR 10 years long residence within 14 days of your section 3C leave ending. We can provide the required legal help and assistance with re-applying for your ILR 10 years long residence through our Super Priority Service.

Can I apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) after 10 years?

You can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK if you've been in the UK legally for 10 continuous years (known as 'long residence').

How early can I apply for ILR on the basis of 10 years long residence?

You can apply for ILR 28 days before you complete 10 years continuous and lawful residence in the UK starting from your date of very first entry in the UK.

Can Home Office UKVI exercise discretion for absences exceeding 540 days in total or 180 days at a time?

If the applicant has been absent from the UK for more than 6 months in one period or more than 18 months in total, the application would normally be refused. However, it may be appropriate to exercise discretion over excess absences in compelling or compassionate circumstances, for example where the applicant was prevented from returning to the UK through unavoidable circumstances.

Things for the Home Office caseworker to consider when assessing if the absence was compelling or compassionate are:

For all cases

The Home Office caseworker should consider whether the applicant returned to the UK within a reasonable time once he was able to do so

For the single absence of over 180 days

The Home Office caseworker should consider:

  • how much of the absence was due to compelling circumstances and whether the applicant returned to the UK as soon as they were able to do so;
  • the reasons for the absence

For overall absences exceeding 540 days in the 10 year period

The Home Office caseworker should consider:

  • whether the long absence (or absences) that pushed the applicant over the limit happened towards the start or end of the 10 year residence period, and how soon they will be able to meet that requirement
  • if the absences were towards the start of that period, the person may be able to meet the requirements in the near future, and so could be expected to apply when they meet the requirements
  • however, if the absences were recent, the person will not qualify for a long time, and so Home Office case worker should consider whether there are particularly compelling circumstances

All of these factors must be considered together when determining whether it is reasonable to exercise discretion.

Does any overstaying rule out ILR on the basis of 10 years long residence?

According to paragraph 276B(V), any previous period of overstaying (gap) between periods of leave will be disregarded where –

  • the previous application was made before 24 November 2016 and within 28 days of the expiry of leave; or
  • the further application was made on or after 24 November 2016 and paragraph 39E of the Immigration Rules applied.
Can a child under 18 apply for SET LR on the grounds of 10 years lawful residence?

Yes, a child who has completed 10 years continuously and lawfully in the UK can apply for ILR on the basis of 10 years long residence.