Long Residence in the UK

Who may apply for this visa?

You may qualify for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) in the UK on the basis of long residence if you are a non-UK national and have lived in the UK continuously and lawfully for 10 years. You can apply for indefinite leave to remain on the ground of long residence regardless of the type or length of leave previously granted.

What are the requirements for ILR on the ground of long residence?

  • You have resided in the UK continuously and lawfully for at least 10 years;
  • No public interest reason why it would be undesirable to grant you indefinite leave to remain;
  • No general grounds for refusing your application (i.e. criminal convictions);
  • Adequate knowledge of the English Language and Life in the UK;
  • You are not in the UK in breach of immigration laws.

Continuous lawful residence

The 10 year period of lawful residence must be continuous and unbroken. It will not be continuous in the following circumstances:

  • You were absent from the UK for more than 18 months;
  • You were removed or deported from the UK;
  • You left the UK as a result of being refused leave to enter or remain;
  • You evidence a clear intention not to return to the UK when leaving;
  • You left the UK with no reasonable expectation of being able to return lawfully;
  • You were sentenced to a period of imprisonment or directed to be detained;
  • You were absent from the UK for more than 6 months at any one time;
  • You were absent from the UK for less than 6 months however had no leave upon departure or return (or both).

Public interest

You must demonstrate that there are no public interest reasons why it would be undesirable to grant you indefinite leave to remain. The UK Visas and Immigration will take in to account the following factors:

  • Age;
  • Strength of connections and ties in the UK;
  • Personal history (character, employment record, associations)
  • Domestic circumstances;
  • Compassionate circumstances;
  • Representations submitted on your behalf.

Criminal convictions

You must have a clean criminal record. You application will be refused if:

  • You have been sentenced to imprisonment for 4 years or more;
  • Sentenced for between 12 months and 4 years, and less than 15 years has passed since the end of your most recent sentence;
  • Sentenced for less than 12 months, and less than 7 years have passed since the end of your most recent sentence;
  • 2 years prior to the date your application is decided, you have been convicted of an offence for which you received a fine or community sentence (non-custodial sentence) or a court disposal is recorded on your criminal record (penalty notice or caution).

Overstayed recent leave – Breach of immigration laws

You can still apply for indefinite leave to remain under long residence route if you have overstayed your recent leave, provided that you apply within 28 days.

Dependants

Dependants will be required to submit separate applications and issued ILR in their own right.