10 years long residency otherwise known as a long residency application, is part of the Immigration Rules. Post 9th of July 2012, the Home Office removed the 14 years long residency application however introduced a new private life application.
The purpose of this long residency application is to recognise a person ties to the UK over a long period, in this case, 10 years continuous residency. This demonstrates that once a person has resided in the UK for 10 years, they should be granted indefinite leave to remain, demonstrating their strong ties to the UK. There are different immigration policy related to those who has lived in the UK prior to 1st of January 1973.
Background to the long residency application
Until April 2003 there was no provision within the Immigration Rules for a person to be granted Indefinite Leave to Remain on the grounds of the long residence.
The "Long Residence Concession" allowed a discretionary grant of Indefinite Leave to Remain after 10 years continuous lawful residence, provided there were no serious countervailing factors. For the purposes of ILR under 10 years Long Residence category, the residence in the UK must be both continuous and lawful.
Following this, the Home Office on the 2nd of April 2007 introduced paragraph 276A1 and paragraph 276A2 of the Immigration Rules HC395. This was to allow a person to qualify under the Immigration Act 1971. Specified evidences were required to support the application under long residency. Failure to meet the requirements, allowed appeal rights to be generated & exercised before the First Tier Tribunal.
Requirements for long residence
When an application for long residency is lodged, there are certain requirements that a person must meet and here is in brief the requirements for the 10 years long residency application:
You must have lived in the UK for a continuous period of 10 years and there are no broken periods.
You must not fall for refusal under the general grounds of refusal. A number of long residency applications are refused because you did not meet this requirement.
The knowledge of life requirements need to be met unless you have applied for an exemption. This can apply on the basis of your visa category or medical grounds. We advise you to take legal advice prior requesting an exemption on this requirement.
You must not have one or more unspent convictions within the meaning of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.
Able to demonstrate that you have strong ties to the UK, which may include family and private life.
What is the definition of continuous residency under the long residency application?
It is, and remains, one of the most common grounds of refusal. First of all, we know that the Home Office removed the 28 days out of time application provision since 24th of November 2016. This meant that any periods of overstaying prior to that date, could be disregarded for the purposes of this application under long residency.
We move to the changes implemented on the 24th of November 2016, where paragraph 39E of the Immigration Rules was introduced.
Now coming back to the wording around “continuous residence”, this means residence in the UK for an unbroken period. For the purposes of the ILR 10 years long residence, a period is not considered broken if the applicant:
was absent from the UK for six months or less at any one time, and
had existing leave to enter or remain upon their departure and return.
The lawful residence is defined in paragraph 276A of the Immigration Rules as a period of continuous residence in which the applicant had one of the following:
existing leave to enter or remain;
temporary admission within section 11 of the 1971 Immigration Act where leave to enter or remain is subsequently granted;
an exemption from immigration control, including where an exemption ceases to apply if it is immediately followed by a grant of leave to enter or remain.
Events that break continuous residence
ILR 10 Years Long Residence - Continuous residence is considered to be broken if the applicant has:
been absent from the UK for a period of more than six months at any one time, or is absent from the UK for a shorter period but does not have valid leave to enter the UK on their return, or valid leave to remain on their departure from the UK;
been removed or deported from the UK, or has left the UK following the refusal of leave to enter or remain
left the UK and by doing so, showed a clear intention not to return;
left the UK under circumstances in which they could have no real chance of returning to the UK lawfully;
been convicted of an offence and been given a custodial sentence, or ordered to be detained in an institution other than a prison, such as a hospital or young offenders institute, not including suspended sentences;
spent a total of more than 18 months outside the UK throughout the whole 10 year period.
Discretion for breaks in lawful residence
It may be appropriate for UK Visas and Immigration to use discretion if an applicant:
has a short gap in lawful residence through making previous applications out of time by no more than 28/14 calendar days respectively, and;
meets all the other requirements for lawful residence.
Early applications for long residency
It may be possible to apply for the 10 years long residency application early, however you must explain your reasons for that. It is likely that the Home Office may refuse your application for long residency if you have applied far too early.
Time spent in the UK as a family member of an EEA national
The Immigration Rules have not changed however discretion is being applied for those who are non EEA national living in the UK. EEA nationals may also apply for long residency unless they hold permanent residency.
Whilst an EEA national or their family member does not require a visa to remain in the UK, they must provide evidences that they meet the definition of Regulation 6 & 7 of the EEA Regulations 2016.
Getting advice on your application
ICS Legal can advise and complete the application of the ILR 10 Years Long Residence. If you wish to discuss about your application, you can speak to one of our Immigration Lawyers on 0207 237 3388 or you can email us your enquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to make an application for long residency under the 10 years?
The application is now available online and you can only apply for this once you are in the UK. It may be possible to apply from outside of the UK, however this depends on the reasons for your departure from the UK.
How long does a long residency application take to process?
Decisions on an application can take around 6 months, however it is possible to pay for a priority service and receive a decision quicker. Please note if you have a complex matter, i.e. you have overstayed your stay in the UK, then we do not advise on a priority visa service.