Long Residence Settlement
If you are a non-UK national and have lived in the United Kingdom continuously and lawfully for 10 years, then you may qualify for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) in the UK on the basis of long residence.
You can apply for indefinite leave to remain on the ground of long residence regardless of the type or length of leave previously granted. This can include periods when you were waiting for a decision on an application for further leave to remain, provided that you submitted your application before your previous leave expired.
Requirements for ILR on the ground of long residence: the 10 year ILR rule In order to qualify for settlement under the 10 year ILR rule, you will need to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration that:
- You have spent a period of at least 10 years residing in the United Kingdom continuously and lawfully; and
- There are no public interest reasons why it would be undesirable to grant you indefinite leave to remain; and
- There are no general grounds for refusing your application (such as a relevant criminal conviction); and
- You have demonstrated sufficient knowledge of the English language and about life in the United Kingdom; and
- You are not in the United Kingdom in breach of immigration laws.
Continuous lawful residence Your 10 year period of lawful residence must be unbroken. It will be broken if at any time during the period relied upon:
- You were absent from the UK for more than 18 months in total; or
- Your were removed or deported from the UK; or
- You left the UK having been refused leave to enter or remain;
- You evidenced a clear intention not to return to the UK on leaving; or
- You left the UK with no reasonable expectation of being able to return lawfully; or
- You were sentenced to a period of imprisonment (not suspended) or directed to be detained; or
- You were absent from the UK for more than 6 months at any one time; or
- You were absent from the UK for less than 6 months but had no leave either upon departure or return (or both).
Public interest If you are able to establish 10 years continuous lawful residence, UK Visas and Immigration will consider whether there are any reasons of public interest why your settlement application should not be approved, taking into account your:
- Strength of connections in the UK;
- Personal history (e.g. character, conduct, associations, and employment record);
- Domestic circumstances;
- Compassionate circumstances; and
- Any representations submitted on your behalf.
Relevant criminal conviction Amongst other grounds, your application will be refused if you:
- Have ever been sentenced to imprisonment for 4 years or more; or
- You have ever been sentenced to imprisonment for between 12 months and 4 years, but less than 15 years has passed since the end of your most recent such sentence; or
- You have ever been sentenced to imprisonment for less than 12 months but less than 7 years have passed since the end of your most recent such sentence; or
- Within the 2 years immediately prior to the date your application is decided you have been convicted of, or admitted, an offence for which you either received a non-custodial sentence (such as a fine or community sentence) or for which an out of court disposal is recorded on your criminal record (such as a penalty notice or caution).
Breach of immigration laws You may still apply for indefinite leave to remain under the 10 year ILR rule if you have overstayed the expiry of your most recent period of leave, provided that you do so within 28 days.
Dependents An application for settlement on the grounds of long residence is an individual application. Therefore, any dependents will be required to submit separate applications in their own right. Some dependents (such as children born in the UK) may be entitled to British Citizenship by Registration upon their parent being granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK.