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The 10 years long residence route to indefinite leave to remain (ILR) is a route to settlement for those that have had continuous lawful residence in the UK for a period of 10 years.

Do I qualify for 10 Years Long Residence ILR?

In order to make a successful application for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) on the ground of 10 years long residence, you need to satisfy the following requirements:

  • You need to demonstrate that you have spent a period of at least 10 years residing in the United Kingdom continuously and lawfully; and
  • Your 10 years period of lawful residence is unbroken; and
  • There are no public interest reasons why it would be undesirable to grant you indefinite leave to remain; and
  • There are no general grounds for refusing your application (such as a relevant criminal conviction); and
  • You have the required English language qualification;
  • You have passed the ‘Life in the UK’ test;
  • You are not in the United Kingdom in breach of immigration laws.

What is 10 years continuous lawful residence?

To qualify for ILR under this route, you must have at least 10 years continuous lawful residence in the UK.

Lawful residence will include periods in which you have valid leave to remain (such as a student visa, spouse visa or refugee status). It can also include period of temporary admission if you were later granted leave to remain and also periods you have had section 3C leave (i.e. waiting for a decision on an application or appeal).

Continuous residence will be broken for the purpose of a 10 years long residence ILR application if you have:

  • Been absent from the UK for a period of more than 6 months at any one time;
  • Spent a total of 18 months outside the UK throughout relevant 10 year period;
  • Left the UK with no valid leave to remain on departure from the UK and did not apply for entry clearance within 28 days of that leave expiring.

The Home Office has issued detailed guidance in relation to calculating the 10 year qualifying period and also in relation to absences that break the continuous residence. If you require advice based on your particular circumstances, contact us today and one of our experts will take detailed information about your immigration history and provides detailed and specific advice.

Is there any discretion in 10 Year Long Residence Applications?

It is possible to argue that discretion should be exercised in relation to absences when making a 10 years long residence ILR application.

The Home Office guidance states:

If the applicant has been absent from the UK for more than 6 months in one period or more than 18 months in total, the application should normally be refused. However, it may be appropriate to exercise discretion over excess absences in compelling or compassionate circumstances, for example where the applicant was prevented from returning to the UK through unavoidable circumstances.

The following factors are relevant to whether or not discretion will be exercised in a 10 years long residence indefinite leave to remain (ILR) application:

Things to consider when assessing if the absence was compelling or compassionate are:  for all cases – you must consider whether the individual returned to the UK within a reasonable time once they were able to do so

  • For the single absence of over 180 days: you must consider how much of the absence was due to compelling circumstances and whether the applicant returned to the UK as soon as they were able to do so you must also consider the reasons for the absence
  • For overall absences of 540 days in the 10 year period: you must consider whether the long absence (or absences) that pushed the applicant over the limit happened towards the start or end of the 10 year residence period, and how soon they will be able to meet that requirement
  • If the absences were towards the start of that period, the person may be able to meet the requirements in the near future, and so could be expected to apply when they meet the requirement
  • However, if the absences were recent, the person will not qualify for a long time, and so you must consider whether there are particularly compelling circumstances”.

What if I have been in breach of Immigration Laws?

This does not always mean that your application will be refused, as the Immigration Rules provide some exceptions where a period of overstaying will be disregarded for the purposes of an application for ILR based on 10 years Long Residence.

This will depend on the timing of the overstaying and its length. Contact us today for further advice based on your specific circumstances.

When can I make my Application for 10 Years Long Residence ILR?

You can apply for ILR in the 10 years long residence category up to 28 days in advance of completing your qualifying period of continuous lawful residence. This means that if you have nearly completed 10 years of lawful and continuous residence, and you have 28 days or less remaining, you can submit your application.

However, an application for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) based on 10 years long residence made more than 28 days in advance will be refused.

What is the English Language Requirement for 10 Year Long Residence ILR?

As part of your application, you will need to demonstrate that you can speak English to the required standard. Currently, the rules require that you can speak English to Level B1 of the Common European Framework of Languages.

Your qualification will be valid only if your English exam is taken through an approved (SELT) Provider.

There are some, limited, exceptions, where you can be exempted from meeting the English language requirement, as follows:

You do not need an English Language test if you:

  • Are a national of a majority English speaking country
  • Are aged under 18 or over 65
  • Have a long-term physical or mental condition
  • Hold a degree or any educational establishment that was taught or researched in English.

Do I need to pass the Life in the UK Test for ILR?

Yes. To prove your knowledge of life in the UK, you will be required to sit a multiple choice test.

How long will my Long Residence ILR Application take?

The time can vary, and depends on a number of factors.

There are some factors within your control, such as ensuring that you comply with all of the stipulated requirements and provide all the necessary documents. In cases where there are missing documents, a decision may take longer. This is why it is important that you receive correct advice at the appropriate time for your case.

On average, decisions are made in around 6-12 weeks. You do have the option of paying an additional premium, to receive a decision within 2 weeks.

What happens if my 10 Year Long Residence ILR application is rejected?

If you find that your application is rejected, you will usually have the right to appeal against this. It is best that you seek advice about the reasons for your refusal, so that you stand a good chance of being successful with your appeal.

If you are not given a right of appeal, you may be able to challenge the decision by a process known as Judicial Review.

Contact us today, our experts are on-hand to discuss your case with you.

How can Batley Law help with my 10 Year Long Residence ILR Application?

We regularly make applications for ILR based on 10 year long residence on behalf of our clients. This includes clients that have resided in the UK on a combination of different visas, including student visas, Tier 2/5, refugee status and humanitarian protection.

For every case, we will:

  • Advise you of the requirements that apply to your case;
  • Check your immigration history and advise whether you qualify;
  • Check all of your documents to ensure they comply with the requirements;
  • Complete the online application;
  • Arrange the Home Office biometrics appointment;
  • Draft a detailed letter of representations to go with your application.

If you would like our assistance with your spouse application, get in touch today.

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