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Category: Immigration

Published: 23 July 2020

Long Residence Visa Guidance

Under paragraph 276B of the Immigration Rules, a person with 10 years continuous and lawful residence in the UK can apply for indefinite leave to remain on the grounds of the ties they have built over a lengthy period of residence with the UK. By settling in the UK, you can live and work in the UK without time limitations.

To be eligible, the applicant must meet the following requirements:

  • Have a valid leave to remain in the UK in any immigration category,
  • Have at least 10 years continuous and lawful residence in the UK;
  • Not be in the United Kingdom in breach of immigration laws,
  • there must be no reason why granting leave is against the public good,
  • meet the knowledge of language and life in the UK requirement,
  • not fall for refusal under the general grounds for refusal,

Before granting indefinite leave to remain for long residence applications, the Home Office will have to consider the public interest, the basis of which is set out in paragraphs 276B (ii), 320 and 322 of the Immigration Rules. This will involve consideration of a number of factors indicating whether it would be undesirable to grant the applicant indefinite leave or not including:

  • Your age;
  • Strength of your connections in the UK;
  • Your personal circumstances;
  • Any compassionate circumstances;
  • criminal convictions;
  • NHS debt and
  • Any representations submitted on your behalf.

Lawful residence, as defined in paragraph 276A of the Immigration Rules, is as a period of continuous residence in which the applicant had one of the following:

  • Existing leave to enter or remain;
  • Temporary admission where leave is subsequently granted and
  • An exemption from immigration control.

Continuous residence is the time spent in the UK without any significant periods of absence. You can leave the UK for up to 6 months at any one time, but no more than 18 months in total (or 540 days) during the qualifying period without affecting your continuous residence. In addition, you will need to have valid leave both when you leave the UK and when you return however the existing leave does not have to be in the same category on departure and return.

You will also have a break in your residence if at any time during the period relied upon you:

  • Were removed or deported from the UK;
  • Evidenced a clear intention not to return to the UK on leaving;
  • Left the UK with no reasonable expectation of being able to return lawfully;
  • Were sentenced to a period of imprisonment (not suspended) or directed to be detained;

If you’re aged 18 to 65 years old, you must pass the Life in the UK Test and prove you have sufficient English language skills by either providing an English qualification at B1 CEFR level or a degree taught or researched in English.

The earliest you can make the application under the 10-year rule is 28 days before completing the qualifying period. Early application received more than 28 days before the applicant completes the required qualifying period will be refused and the application fees will not be refunded. However, the applicant can reapply once they have completed their qualifying period. 

You cannot include your family members (partner and/or child) as dependants in your application; they can apply separately if they’re eligible; otherwise and depending on your circumstances, they may have to switch into a different category of the Immigration Rules, such as the Spouse or Civil Partner or Child of a settled person.

A person who has completed 10 years continuous and lawful residence in the UK can apply for further leave to remain if he/she is unable to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain due to non-custodial criminal conviction which is less than 24 months old or due to his inability to pass the English Test and/or Life in the UK test.

An extension of stay on the ground of long residence in the United Kingdom may be granted for a period not exceeding 2 years provided that the Secretary of State is satisfied that the relevant requirements are met. Leave will be granted on the same condition code they had in their previous grant of leave even where the applicant would not qualify for further leave in that category if they were to apply separately for it or if that category no longer exists.

Contact our Immigration Solicitors 

If you require any assistance with any visa or immigration issue, please contact our dedicated team of experienced lawyers on 0141 375 9090 or by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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