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What is the 7 Years Child Immigration Rule in 2022?

Under the current 7-year child immigration rules, a child who was born in the UK and has been continuously living in the UK for 7 years can apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) immediately1. New rules introduced on 20th June 2022 also mean that children and young people who came to the UK as children can gain ILR after just 5 years.

The private life immigration rules make it possible for a person to stay in the UK after living here for a significant period on the basis that they have made a private life in this period, and it would not be reasonable for them to leave.

In this article, we will look at the changes to the new 7-year child immigration rule (including the 7-year child rule in the UK in 2021 and 2022), the 7-year child private life route to ILR requirements, and gaining British citizenship after ILR.

What are the changes in the new 7 years child immigration rule 2022?

Under the new private life immigration policy introduced on 20th June 2022 in Appendix Private Life,2 the following rules now apply:

  • Child born in UK 7-year route: a person who was born in the UK can apply for settlement (ILR) immediately after living in the UK for 7 years.
  • Child who came to UK 7-year route: a person who came to the UK as a child and who has been continuously resident here for 7 years and gained permission to remain based on their private life can now apply for settlement after 5 years. Young adults between 18 and 25 years who arrived in the UK as children must have spent half of their life in the UK.

Both of these changes to the immigration rules allow children and young adults to gain settlement faster than the normal 10 years long residence rules that apply to children. These make the 7-year child concession policy introduced in 2021 a permanent fixture in the immigration rules.

7-year child private life route to ILR requirements

To qualify for the 7-year private route to ILR as a child, applicants must:

  • Meet the continuous residence requirements
  • Pass the Life in the UK test (if aged between 18 and 64 years)
  • Meet the English language requirements – this means you must have an English language qualification of CEFR level B1 in speaking and listening. Alternatively, applicants will meet this requirement if they have a degree taught or researched in English.

Continuous residence requirements

To meet the continuous residence requirements, applicants must have:

  • been born in the UK and have resided here for a continuous period of at least 7 years, or
  • arrived in the UK as a child and meet all of the following criteria:
    • first given a visa on the basis of a private life when aged between 18 and 24
    • arrived in the UK as a child
    • have lived in the UK for 5 continuous years with a visa

The Home Office 7 years rule also state that it is possible to include time spent in the UK on any other type of visa as long as they lead to ILR. Applicants must have held a private life visa for at least one year on the day that they apply for ILR.

British Citizenship after ILR

Having held ILR for a period of 12 months, it is possible for your child to apply for British citizenship. Citizenship provides a number of significant benefits, including the ability to travel freely outside the UK and apply for a British passport. Here are some key requirements to acquire UK citizenship for your child.

  • have lived for at least 5 years in the UK and have held ILR for 12 months
  • provide a full birth certificate
  • provide the passport used to gain entry to the United Kingdom if applicable, and any subsequent passports
  • provide the marriage certificate or civil partnership certificate of the parents
  • provide evidence of guardianship (i.e., a deed, will, or court order) if applicable.

For more information, you can read our UK citizenship guides for a child born in the UK to non-British parents and settled status for child born outside UK.

How can Reiss Edwards help?

At Reiss Edwards, our immigration solicitors specialise in all aspects of settlement, including helping children and young adults gain ILR through the private life route. Our immigration Solicitors can:

  • Check your eligibility (or that of your child) for earlier ILR under the private life route
  • Advise on any routes to ILR available to you, such as the EU Settlement Scheme
  • Handle your private life ILR application on your behalf (or of your child)
  • Advise how to overcome any eligibility problems with your ILR application
  • Deal with the Home Office on your behalf
  • Guide you through the process of gaining British citizenship.

For assistance on ILR through the private life route, please speak to our immigration lawyers for a free telephone consultation on 020 3744 2797 or by email at info@reissedwards.co.uk.

References

1 GOV.UK: Applying for ILR under private life

2 GOV.UK: Private life appendix

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