… Immigration Rules for Long Residence:
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Long Residence immigration rules

The long residence rules provide a route to settlement for applicants who may otherwise be unable to qualify, e.g. the applicant has no present leave at all, or the applicant does have leave but is not in a ‘settlement’ category of the immigration rules.

Crucial to the long residence rules is the concept of “continuous residence”. The rules do allow an applicant to have been absent from the UK for a period of 6 months or less at any one time, as long as they had leave to enter or remain upon their departure and return. However, the rules also impose conditions under which the period of residence will be considered to have been broken:

  • if the applicant has been removed from the United Kingdom, or has been deported or has left the UK after being refused leave to enter or remain;
  • if the applicant has left the UK whilst showing an intention not to return, or has left in circumstances where there could be no reasonable expectation of returning lawfully;
  • if the applicant has been convicted of a criminal offence resulting in a prison sentence;
  • if the applicant has been absent from the UK for more than 18 months in total during the period in question.

For a period of residence to be “lawful” this usually means where there has been existing leave to enter or remain but in some circumstances can also include ‘temporary admission’ and an exemption from immigration control.

To apply under the 10-year rule, the period of residence must be continuous (above) and lawful.

The the 14-year Long Residence rule was abolished with effect from the 9th of July 2012, and was replaced with a 20-year route to settlement on the grounds of 'private life' in the United Kingdom.

All applicants must be of good character. This means not having any ‘unspent’ criminal convictions and no ‘public interest’ grounds which would make it undesirable for indefinite leave to be granted. Finally, the applicant must satisfy the ‘knowledge of English language and life in the UK’ requirements of the rules, unless an exemption applies.