Long residence in UK immigration law is when a person who has lived in the United Kingdom for a specific period continuously without leaving the country for more than a specific duration can acquire Indefinite Leave to Remain. There are different rules related to long residence, which is also known as continuous residence. Thus, this article helps break this down into simple terms.

Different Periods of Long Residence

The rules for long residence in UK immigration law vary based on the duration of your stay in the United Kingdom. Thus, below are some details on the two different durations.

Long Residence of 10 Years

Those applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain based on their long residence can only do so if they satisfy the continuous residence requirement according to paragraph 276B of UK immigration law. Thus, they must stay within the United Kingdom for 10 years without leaving the country for a period of more than 6 months at a time. However, they can leave the UK for shorter periods (six months or less) if they had Leave to Remain and Leave to Enter when leaving and returning.

Those who were incarcerated will also have only their period outside of custody counted in the acceptable 6-month exit period. Applicants who left before 24th November 2016 also can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain even if they do not satisfy the 6-month rule when they reapplied for their entry to the UK because of the expiry of their leave at that date.

Applicants of this duration must also have lawfully stayed in the UK for this period. Consult UK immigration solicitors for more details on what counts as lawful residence.

Long Residence of 20 Years

The Long Residence of 20 Years is a replacement for the previous rule that was based on 14 years of residence. The rules for this period are the same as the long residence rules for 10 years of residence. However, the most notable difference is that the applicant does not have to have lawfully lived in the UK continuously for 20 years. The rules are discussed in the UK immigration laws, paragraphs 276ADE(i) and (iii). That said, every applicant must pass the suitability grounds and have a valid application to acquire Indefinite Leave to Remain through their continuous residence of 20 years in the UK.

Final Words

Long residence in UK immigration law can be tricky to understand as there are specific rules and exceptions to those rules. That is why it is critical to consult a skilled and experienced UK immigration solicitor about your case. It’s possible that you may qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain if you believe that your case does not satisfy the rules. Your solicitor can help guide you with your case and make a suitable application.