How to Apply for Early ILR Concession
The early ILR concession allows individuals who would typically have to wait 10 years to gain ILR under the “private life” rules to do so after 5 years if they have been living in the UK continuously since childhood.
This concession is available to those who came to the UK as a child or were born here, are now 18 to 24 years old, and have spent at least half their life living here. However, the early ILR concession is not available to those who came to the UK as an adult or anyone who has broken the continuous residence requirement (as explained below).
Early ILR concession requirements
In order to make a successful early settlement concession application after 5 years rather than the normal 10 years, applicants must:
- Be aged 18 years or above and under 25 years
- Have spent at least half of their life living continuously in the UK
- Have been born in the UK or came to live in the UK as a child
- Have held limited leave to remain in the UK on the basis of family life or private life for at least 5 years. This may include as a holder of a family visa (appendix FM), part 7 of the immigration rules, or outside the immigration rules.
- Meet the suitability requirements (e.g., be considered of good character and not have breached any immigration rules on committed any crimes while in the UK)
- If aged between 18 to 64
- pass the Life in the UK Test
- meet the English language (level B1 in speaking and listening or a degree taught in English)
Important factors for early ILR concession application
Early indefinite leave to remain applications will be carefully considered by the Home Office. According to the early ILR concession guidance, some of the main considerations include:
- How long you have lived in the UK : this must be at least half of your life, but any period of “unlawful residence” will not be considered. In other words, any time spent in the UK without permission and time spent in prison will not be included when working out how much time you have spent in the UK.
- Whether you have strong connections and you are well integrated within the UK: the Home Office will take into account any family you have here and any factors which may suggest you have adapted to British life (e.g., by learning the language).
- If you have broken the immigration rules in the past (e.g., you overstayed or came without permission), whether this was due to your actions or your parent/guardian while you were under the age of 18.
- Whether you have made efforts to engage with the Home Office to make your immigration status legal.
- The type of permission you currently hold to be in the UK.
- Whether and how much having to stay in the UK with limited leave may have a negative effect on your health or welfare.
There are also other exceptional circumstances that the Home Office may consider. For example, under exceptional circumstances, it may be appropriate to grant an early settlement concession for 18 to 24 years olds whose non-compliance with immigration rules was not their choice or responsibility.
Therefore, given the range of factors the Home Office will take into account when considering an application for early ILR concession, it is advisable to engage the services of an immigration solicitor. An immigration solicitor will make sure that each requirement is fulfilled and submitted with a detailed covering letter that is backed up with evidence.
How to apply for the early ILR concession
To apply for the Home Office ILR concession, the guidance states that applicants should:
- Complete the private life LTR (leave to remain) form1. The guidance states it is not necessary to use a settlement form for this concession.
- Pay the application fee of £1,048 (you may be able to apply for a fee waiver2 if you cannot afford the fee).
- Provide the required documents to support your application, including:
- your current passport
- copies of your visa or entry stamp in your previous passports
- a copy of your biometric residence permit (BRP card)
- details of any criminal convictions
- your national insurance number
- evidence that you meet the English language requirement
- evidence you have passed the life in the UK test
- Book and attend an appointment at a UKVCAS service centre to have your biometrics scanned.
Depending on the circumstances, you may be invited to attend an interview to discuss your early settlement concession application before a decision can be made.
Decisions are normally made by UKVI within 8 weeks if using the standard processing service. If you require a faster decision, you may be able to use the super-priority service (for a cost of £800) for a decision by the end of the next working day or the priority service (for a cost of £500) for a decision within 5 working days.
How can Reiss Edwards help?
Reiss Edwards specialises in all areas of immigration law, including early ILR concession applications. Our immigration lawyers can:
- Explain how the early ILR concession works
- Check your eligibility for the early ILR concession and any exceptional circumstances which apply to you
- Advise how to overcome any eligibility problems for the early ILR concession
- Prepare and submit your early ILR concession on your behalf
- Handle any queries from the Home Office
- Handle a refusal of an early ILR concession application
- Discuss your plans for British citizenship
For assistance with your early ILR concession application, please speak to our immigration lawyers for a free telephone consultation on 020 3744 2797 or by email at email@example.com.
1 GOV.UK: Application form for private life LTR
2 GOV.UK: Fee waiver