Long residence stay in the UK

Long residence stay in the UK. Image: AdobeStock

Long residence stay in the UK

One of the lesser-known routes to settle in the UK is via a long residence in the UK.

Long residence stay in the UK

Long residence stay in the UK. Image: AdobeStock

Persons normally apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK after spending five years in a visa category that leads to ILR. 

However, it is also possible to apply for settlement after spending a continuous ten years in categories not normally leading to ILR. Provided your stay in the UK was legal, you will be able to apply for ILR via a long residence in the UK. 

Why apply for Indefinite Leave based on Long Residence?

It is important to note that a person does not automatically receive ILR. You will have to apply for this status and fulfil various criteria to qualify. 

It is beneficial to apply, as ILR confirms that there is no time limit on a person’s stay in the UK. After obtaining ILR, you will have the right to live and work in the UK without immigration restrictions. You will also be able to leave and enter the UK without restriction. 

Last but not least, it is a stepping stone to obtaining British citizenship. 

How to qualify for ILR based on Long Residence 

To qualify to apply for ILR based on long residence, you have to have leave to remain in any immigration category. 

You will also have to provide proof that you have been in the UK legally for ten years. This criterion is known as the continuous residence criteria. 

You will also have to show that you have kept to the terms of your UK visas during your long residence of ten years. 

If you are between 18 and 65 years old, you will have to pass the Life in the UK test and prove sufficient English language skills. 

Ten years of long residence 

A person will have to show ten years of continuous residence. This criterion means that you must have spent ten years in the UK without any gaps. However, the Home Office will allow an absence of 180 days at a time and 540 days in total over the ten years. 

Time spent in prison, a young offender institution, or a secure hospital will not count towards the continuous residence. Nor will time that you spent in Ireland, the Isle of Man, or the Channel Islands. 

The ten-year qualifying period starts when a person either arrived in the UK with a visa or received permission to stay in the UK. 

How Breytenbachs can help you 

If you are interested in applying for ILR based on long residence in the UK, please feel free to contact one of our consultants. 

You can email us at info@bic-immigration.com or visit www.bic-immigration.com

Please note that the information in this article does not constitute professional advice. It is provided for general information purposes without any warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied.