uk immigration lawyers
uk immigration lawyers
Home / Long Residence visa applications

Long Residence Applications

You may qualify for indefinite leave to remain in the UK on the basis of long residence. Long residence means that you have been residing continuously and legally in the UK for a period of 10 years. Lawful residence also means that you have not overstayed your visa at any point throughout your stay in the UK.

The concept of lawful residence is quite broad in its application. As it takes into consideration 2C and 3C leave as well as appeals. 2C and 3C means that even though your leave is expired, if you have an application pending with the Home Office, your previous leave remains valid.

Summarily, what this means is that the 10 years long residence includes all periods spent in the UK with valid leave to remain, including 2C and 3C leaves as well as appeals.

It is also important that the long residence is a continuous one. You cannot be outside the UK for a period more than 6 months (180) days in one calendar year or 18 months throughout the 10 year period. Exceeding these benchmarks break your long residence and you may then have to start counting the long residence period all over again.


In order to qualify for long residence under the 10 years rule, you may need to meet the following requirements: -

  • You have resided in the UK lawfully and continuously for 10 years.
  • Granting you indefinite leave to remain will not be against public interest.
  • You do not fall refusal under the general grounds of refusal. General grounds for refusal include, criminal convictions, threat to immigration control).
  • You have passed the English language test as well as knowledge of life in the UK test.
  • You are not in the UK in breach of UK immigration laws.

If you are not sure if you are in breach or if you qualify, please speak with one of our immigration advisers today for a free initial assessment.

How can continuous residence be broken?

  • Absences of more than 18 months throughout the 10-year period.
  • You have at some point been removed or deported form the UK;
  • You left the country upon a refusal of an application.
  • You left the country with no reasonable expectation of being able to lawfully return;
  • You served a prison sentence
  • You were away from the country for more than 6 months at any one time.
  • You left the UK without any leave to remain at the point you left the country and/or when you came back in.

How will my criminal convictions affect my 10 years long residence application?

Your application will generally be refused if you have been convicted and sentenced to imprisonment for 4 years or more.

Also, you will need to wait for 15 years if you have been convicted and sentenced to imprisonment for a period between 12 months and 4 years.

Can my dependant apply for indefinite leave to remain with me based on long residence?

If you have just recently qualified for indefinite leave to remain on the basis of long residence, your dependants will need to qualify in their own rights. They will not automatically qualify for ILR just because you have ILR. They will have to stay in the UK for 5 or 10 years and qualify for ILR in their own rights.

Immigration Help for 10 years long residence application

At Reiss Edwards, our lawyers are fully trained and highly experienced in making Indefinite leave to remain on the basis of long residence applications. Our advisers have worked as solicitors in some of the best immigration solicitors firms in London.

Contact us today for a free initial assessment over the phone on 02037442797 or send an email in

ILR - 10 Years Long Residence

An individual may develop affiliation with the UK based on the length of time spent. This is acknowledged by the rules of long residence in the UK.

An individual who has successfully an uninterruptedly resided in the UK for 10 years as a legitimate resident, can apply for an indefinite leave to remain (ILR) for this reason. For this to be successful, the applicant must have been residing legitimately and continuously in the UK during this 10 year period.

Requirements for long residence

In order for the applicant to be granted this indefinite leave to remain in the UK, he must meet the following criteria:

  • That the individual must have resided legitimately in the UK for a minimum of 10 years
  • That granting leave to remain in the UK to the individual must not be a threat to Public welfare
  • That the individual must the knowledge of language and life requirement of staying in the UK.
  • The individual must not have any pending conviction that is within the definition of Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974

Paragraph 276A defines continuous residence as residing in the United Kingdom for an uninterrupted period of time. For the intent of the long resident application, an individual's continuous residence can be said to be broken if:

  • He spent six months or less outside the UK at any time
  • He has an existing leave to remain or enter upon previous departure and return

Legitimate residence as defined in paragraph 276A of the UK Immigration Rules is said to be a period of uninterrupted living in the UK where the individual possesses any one of these criteria:

  • A leave to enter or remain
  • A temporary Leave to remain or enter granted within section 11 of the 1971 Immigration Act
  • An exemption from Immigration control, including where the application of the exemption terminates if the individual is granted a leave to enter or remain.

Events that break continuous residence

An individual is considered to have broken continuous residence if:

  • The individuals has been absent from the UK for more than six months at any single time, or is absent from the UK for a lesser period but is without an authentic leave to enter the UK on return, or is without an authentic leave to remain whilst they depart the UK
  • The individual has left the UK due to deportation or refusal to grant him leave to enter or remain.
  • The individual has left the UK and showed intention not to return in the process.
  • The individual has left the UK in circumstances that dampens his chances of returning to the UK legally.

The individual has been declared guilty for offences and has received custodial sentence in institutions excluding prisons. Such institutions as Juvenile/young offenders institutions, hospitals etc. this does not include any suspended sentences. The individual has spent 18 months in total outside the UK, through the 10 year period.

Discretion for breaks in lawful residence

For an individual to be considered by the UKBA in discretion after a break in lawful residence, he/she will need to show that: It may be appropriate for the UKBA to use discretion if an applicant:

  • He/she has short gap in lawful residence through making previous applications out of time by no more than 28 calendar days, and
  • He/she meets all the other necessities for lawful residence.

Extension of Stay For 2 Years On The Basis Of 10 Years Long Residence

There may be reasons where an applicant may need to apply for an extension even though they qualify for Indefinite Leave to remain. Such an instance include where the applicant has not passed the life in the UK test however meets all other eligibility requirements for Indefinite Leave to remain.

It was only until 2nd April 2007 that it became possible for a person to be granted an extension or a limited leave in the place of an indefinite leave to remain. Paragraphs 276A1 and 276A2 of the immigration rules were recently included in the rules to allow applicants who have met all other eligibility requirements of an ILR application apart from the English language and life in the UK test requirement.

You need a current valid passport, your Biometric Residence Permit if you have one, all the passport you have held in the UK. Police certificate and 2 passport photographs. Please contact us for a full list of documents.

Please note that the overriding requirement for applying for this 2 years extension is that you must have met all other requirements for a grant of indefinite leave to remain on the basis of 10 years long residence apart from the English language requirement and/or life in the UK test.

The immigration rules have defined continuous residence to mean a period of unbroken residence in the UK. Please note that continuous residence doesn't not mean that you must not leave the UK for even a day. Importantly, continuous residence in the context of 10 years long residence is only broken on the following conditions: -

  1. That you leave the UK for more than 6 months within a year
  2. That you have been absent in the UK for more than 540 days throughout the 10 years period. It is important to note that this point relates to the total absences within the 10 year period and not just consecutive absences.
  3. That there is a gap between your visas of more than 14 days.
  4. That you have at one point left the UK showing a clear intention that you do not want to return.
  5. That you left the UK in a circumstance that returning would be unlawful
  6. That you were removed or deported from the UK
  7. That you have been convicted of a serious offence

Reiss Edwards boast of top immigration solicitors in London who have over 40 years combined experience. We advise on all matters of UK Immigration. Give us a call today for a free assessment on 02037442797.

Long Residence Applications Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
This enquiry has been dealt with in a private email by our Immigration advisers

Immigration Enquiry

subscribe to email and newsletters
Reiss Edwards Reviews
5 out of 5 stars 394 Google+ Reviews
reivew immigration lawyer

Our Brochure

Reiss Edwards immigration lawyers brochure

Arabic Brochure
Reiss Edwards immigration lawyers brochure

Immigration related Testimonials

Investing over 2 million pounds is defintely not a routine decision. We had to make sure that the Tier 1 investor immigration lawyers london that we would be picking has to be one of the best within the Tier 1 investor category. We contacted Reiss Edwards and they were able to get us not only the Tier 1 investor visa but also suggested profitable investment portfolios in addition to what we already had in mind.
The Home Office refused my Tier 1 Entrepreneur extension application. This meant that my family and i would have to go back to Jordan and my business would close down. I needed a good immigration lawyer to put in a very strong appeal. I approached Reiss Edwards based on a friend's recommendation and they put together a very strong appeal. I read the grounds of appeal and I knew that this was a winner. A big thanks to Joe who worked tireless on my appeal.
I am glad that i instructed Reiss Edwards on my visa matter.

It started with a 20 minutes free immigration advice. I met with Amar to discuss my ILR refusal. He gave me a great deal of quality advice and decided to take on my messy case. I had doubts on the merits of my case by he was relatively convinced he could win it. That made me quite secure.

To be honest, things did not start as quick as I would have wanted, but they kept on communicating the process and state of things to me

A big thank you to Verusha and Foram. They were also very helpful. Brilliant and informative.

Their fee was fair and reasonable, especially if you compare them to other law firms and immigration law firms in London; some of whom even told me that i would not be able to get an indefinte leave to remain in this country.

The process was long but was worth it. In the end, a big thank you to Reiss Edwards.
I have just had British Citizenship application approved. Prior to making the application, i was not sure which law firm i should hire to facilitate the paperwork. After a few hours of research, i decided to go with Reiss Edwards and i must confess that i wasnt disappointed.

The immigration lawyers at Reiss Edwards handled my case well and they really knew what they were doing. They were fully aware of what documents I needed and it was easy for them to tell if my case was going to be easy or not.

At the end of the day, I have not received my British citizenship within 3 months.

If anyone is looking for a good immigration lawyer to handle thier case, contact Reiss Edwards.
Fantastic Solicitors!!!

My wife's spouse visa extension application was refused by the Home Office and they gave her 14 days to leave the country. We contacted Reiss Edwards and they said "OK don't worry we will sort this out". They put together the list of documents for me to obtain and they prepared a bundle which was as thick as the printer it came out from.

We followed everything they asked us to do and in the end we won our appeal and got our spouse visa.

We can't recommend them enough and we have promised ourselves never to make any more UK visa applications without them.
The team of lawyers at Reiss Edwards are very professional and friendly people. Their experience in and around UK immigration law is quite extensive; be sure that you application is in safe and competent hands. My immigration matter was an indefinite leave to remain application based on Tier 1 on a self-employment basis. The immigration lawyers at Reiss Edwards made sure that the application was perfect and ready to be accepted. I got a positive decision and I recommend them highly for anyone who needs a UK immigration help.
This is the only firm that i spoke with that didn't ask for money before listening to me, will be using them again.
I used Reiss Edwards for my Tier 2 visa application and it was successful. The team was ever present and happy to answer my question.

The caseworker that dealing with my case went on holiday yet by case did not suffer one bit. Another lawyer stepped and took over the case without any hassle.
My Tier 1 Investor Visa was dealt with quickly and without issue. Would recommend Reiss Edwards as an Immigration law firm in London. Thank you to the team.
I contacted Reiss Edwards to help me with my wife’s UK settlement visa. They acted with utmost professionalism throughout the entire application. I spoke with Joe Dinh, he is an immigration solicitor and he is one of the best solicitors out there. He ensured that there was little to no room for error. At some point I thought he was over cautious. He remained calmed and continued to assure us on our immigration matter. Most people in his position would have panicked but he was calmed and continued to assure us. We received out positive outcome very quickly.

Click to view all google reviews
I have been using Reiss Edwards for three years now for my family's immigration application. Both for my initial application and extension. They are really affordable. The team of solicitors at this firm are probably one of the most efficient and economical in terms of cost. They offered free advice over the phone and spent good time with us before inviting us for consultation.

Click to view all google reviews
Reiss Edwards is a top notch immigration service company. The way they handled our documentation and also the list of documents they sent was efficient and top quality. They helped us professionally throughout the process. We are very happy with the immigration advice we received from the team. We highly recommend them.

Click to view all google reviews
I used Reiss Edwards’ immigration lawyers to assist with my immigration matter and that of my family. It was an EX1 application. They dealt with the matter properly and even when complications were coming up from the Home Office, they helped resolve the issue properly. They are very professional and are very popular in London. I am happy to have worked with them.

Click to view all google reviews
It's a shame that you dont have an 'Excellent' star rating on here, as my experience with Reiss Edwards is nothing short of an excellent rating. They handled my application for an Indefinite Leave to remain in April 2014 and did my husband's one very recently including my daughter. Every time i have approached them, they have continued to treat me with courtesy, respect and patience. Amar was indeed a very thorough and professional gentleman. He is very knowledgeable, corporative and engaging. He responded to my emails, calls and enquiries promptly. He was always reassuring. I could not have asked for a better Immigration service.

I would recommend them over and over again for anyone looking for an immigration advice.

They gave me a free immigration advice when i called them, and the quality of the advice was something other charge thousands for. If you need a particular, name, Amar would be it. He exemplifies, for me, the true, professional gentleman. He is a valuable asset to Reiss Edwards.

Kind regards
Nancy Jacquard

Copyright © 2019 Immigration Lawyer London