A person can qualify for Leave to Remain or indefinite Leave to Remain on the basis of long residence in the UK, either on the basis of lawful residence or unlawful residence.
A person who has been living lawfully in the UK continuously for the last ten years – with any kind of visa or combination of visas – may be able to qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain on that basis. There must be no significant “gaps” in their leave and they must not have spent too much time outside the UK during the ten-year period. There are also rules about their visa status on any occasion when they travelled outside the UK and there is also an English language requirement.
Dependants cannot be included in the application.
The rules about this changed in July 2012, and they have become considerably more complicated than they used to be.
A person who has been living in the UK unlawfully – or unlawfully some of the time and lawfully some of the time – may qualify for Leave to Remain, depending on how long they have lived in the UK. So this could benefit someone who came to the UK lawfully but then overstayed and it could also possibly benefit someone who was previously in the UK unlawfully but whose status has been regularised and they are now in the UK lawfully.
Applicants must provide good evidence of their having lived in the UK for the relevant period, and of course in some cases it may be difficult to prove unlawful residence. If the application is successful leave will be granted for up to 30 months.
Someone who has lived in the UK for at least 20 continuous years, unlawfully or partly unlawfully, may qualify for Leave to Remain on this basis. Other adults may, in some situations, qualify for Leave to Remain on the basis of less than 20 years residence.
A child under the age of 18 may be able to qualify for Leave to Remain if they have lived in the UK for at least seven continuous years either unlawfully or partly unlawfully.
The rules about unlawful residence and Indefinite Leave to Remain have been made much more restrictive than they were before. A person can now only apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain on the basis of long residence if they have had at least ten years residence under the rules introduced in July 2012. This means that under the rules now in force nobody will be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain on the basis of unlawful/partly unlawful long residence until 2022.
There is also an English language requirement.
To find out more about the above, you are welcome to call us on 020 8566 5522 for a preliminary informal discussion of your matter. We may ask you to send us further information about your matter either by fax on 020 8566 5511 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we may get a fuller picture of your circumstances.
After this initial discussion, you may wish to book an appointment for a full consultation via SKYPE or ideally at our offices located at 7 Central Chambers, The Broadway, Ealing, W5 2NR. We are directly opposite Ealing Broadway tube and railway station.
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