Acquisition of an Indefinite Leave to Remain (“ILR”), or settled status, in the UK generally means that a person is no longer subject to immigration control i.e. restrictions imposed on entry to the UK meaning there is no time limit to how long they can remain in the UK.
Some immigration categories, such as Tier 1 (Investor) visa, Tier 2 (General) visa, or a visa as the partner of a person settled in the UK under Appendix FM, allow for a settled status to be gained after residing here for five years (or less, depending on your circumstances).
There are still many categories that will allow settlement in the UK only after the migrant has spent 10 years in the UK, while others (such as student visas) do not typically lead to settlement at all. Some migrants may even find themselves in the precarious situation of jumping from one visa to another during their time in the UK without being able to obtain settlement.
However, just because you have not been able to obtain settlement, does not mean you do not have a strong connection with the UK. For this reason the Immigration Rules provide that a migrant can apply to settle in the UK if they have been living here legally for 10 continuous years (known as ‘long residence’).
In order to be eligible for such a status, a person must have kept the terms of their visa at all times, not violating any of the conditions imposed on them such as staying in the UK beyond the expiry of their leave. They must have also accumulated 10 years of “continuous residence” in the UK. This means that they have spent this period without any gaps of their residence, and have never left for more than 180 days at a time and 540 days in total for the whole 10 years.
The 10-year period normally starts when a person first arrived in the UK with a non-visit visa, or was given permission to remain here. An applicant may have accumulated the 10-year period under any type of leave.
In a limited number of scenarios, if a person does not meet all of the requirements, they may be able to remain in the UK for further two years on the basis that they have resided here for the last 10 years.
Gherson has over 30 years of experience in assisting with various immigration and nationality matters. Should you wish to speak to a member of our team, please do not hesitate to contact us.
The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.