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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)

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