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Applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK based on Residence

There may be many students studying in this country who have or will have clocked up at least 10 years of studies, and have decided to make the UK their main home. Or there may be those who have been here on work permits for less than 5 years, and have transferred to other categories of immigration, again having clocked up, or about to, 10 years lawful residence. For those persons provided they comply with the immigration rules, they will be in a position to apply for permanent residence, that is to say, indefinite leave to remain in the UK, and live here permanently, and then apply for British citizenship.

There may be others however who have not been in this country lawfully, or who have been here partly lawfully and partly as overstayers, and provided they can show that they have clocked up at least 20 years of residence in this country, then they would be in a position to apply for limited leave to remain.

The immigration rules also make provision for those who have been born in the UK and have lived here for at least the first 10 years of their life, who may be in a position to apply for British nationality straightaway leapfrogging any requirement of permanent residence first.

Finally, the immigration rules to make provision for those children who have lived in this country for at least 7 years and it can be shown that it is unreasonable to request them to leave the UK and return to the country of their nationality with, for example, their parent(s).

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You Must Prove Your Dedication To Be A Permanent Resident

To qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain, you must not only have a desire to remain in the UK, but you must prove your dedication to the UK. You must prove that it is your genuine home, that you have sufficient knowledge about life and culture, and sufficient knowledge of the UK. You must also pass an appropriate English Language Test. We will work with you or your family member to fill in any gaps in knowledge that may be missing. There are a few exceptions to the knowledge and language proficiency tests. For example, children under the age of 18 or adults over the age of 65. There are also exceptions for qualified dependents with health and medical conditions.

ILR For European Citizens Post Brexit

To qualify for Permanent Residency (Indefinite Leave to Remain) in the UK as an EU citizen or as a dependent of an EU Citizen you will have to apply through the EU Settlement Scheme.

Read our step by step guide on how to apply here 

Applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK based on Residence

10 Years Continuous Lawful Residence

If someone has been in this country with lawful permission to stay, for example as a student, and has had an unbroken chain of grants from the Home Office for at least 10 years, that individual may be in a position to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK. The residence must be continuous, that is to say without periods of overstaying, but there are rules as regards what the Home Office will ignore in terms of those who have overstayed their permission to remain, and furthermore during the period of at least 10 years lawful residence, the individual concerned should not have been out of the UK in total for more than 18 months, that is to say 540 days. There again, there are certain exceptions depending upon the facts of each case and whether these will be considered by the Home Office as so exceptional that any periods over and above the permitted leave of absence, could be ignored.

20 Years Residence in the UK

There will also be those persons who have been in the UK illegally for at least 20 years or those who have been here partly lawfully and partly as overstayers, who will not be a position to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain based on 10 years lawful continuous residence. Those individuals must show by way of documentary evidence for each year that they claim to have resided in the UK, that they have written evidence of physical presence here for at least 20 years. This may be difficult to prove for those who have come here illegally,  because undocumented individuals or those who cannot show valid immigration leave to remain in the UK, may find it difficult to open a bank account, obtain lawful employment and or register with various government agencies, and indeed obtain free medical healthcare.

In any event, to apply under this category of the immigration rules it will be necessary to convince the Home Office, or the tribunal, (if an application under this category has been refused and permission to appeal has been granted), that the individual has amassed documentation for every single year of claimed residence, for example, utility bills, junk mail so on and so forth.

Permission under this category is not permanent, to begin with, but limited, granted at tranches of 30 months until the person concerned has completed 10 years of such limited leave to remain, after which an application can be made for Indefinite Leave to Remain.

Birth in the UK and 10 Years Residence

The immigration rules also provide for situations whereby an applicant was born in the UK, but other than that can show no lawful presence here. Therefore, a child of asylum seeking parents may be born here and lived here for at least the first 10 years of life. If this can be shown, for example by the birth certificate, correspondence from primary school(s), and letters from the child’s doctor to include the child’s Redbook for example, then irrespective as to the child’s immigration status or those of his/her parent(s), that child can apply for registration as a British citizen.

This provision also applies to adults who can show that they were born here and have lived here continuously here for the first 10 years of their life.

7 Years Residence in the UK

Those children who have lived in this country for at least seven years, even though they may not have been here lawfully, can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK if it can be shown that it would be unreasonable in the particular circumstances of their case to ask them to leave.

In such cases, the law regards those who have been in this country for at least seven years, as having developed roots, and seven years is taken as a guideline to establishing whether a child can appropriately be said to have become more interested in his/her peers than bonded solely with the family. Has the child reached an age in the particular circumstances of the case concerned whereby it can be said he/she is more interested in friends rather than parents? Will the child find it difficult to live abroad, in the country of his/her nationality with his/her parent(s)? Will the child be able to have the same level of education there as in the UK? Is the child able to speak the language of his//her nationality? These are some of the matters that will have to be dealt with in any application for leave to remain under this category, or if leave is refused, then if permission to appeal has been granted, on appeal to the immigration tribunal.

Click here to learn more about what other areas of immigration we specialise in. 

Contact us if you have any concerns about residing in the UK by visiting our website at www.gulbenkian.co.uk or telephone our office on 0207 269 9590 and ask to speak to one of our immigration experts 

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