Update on the 10-Year Long Residence ILR Rules

23 Apr 2024, 43 mins ago

The introduction of a new Appendix to the Immigration Rules has brought amendments to the 10-year Long Residence Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) route.

First and foremost, a new Appendix to the Immigration Rules, known as Appendix Long Residence, has been introduced to streamline and clarify the requirements for the 10-year Long Residence ILR route.

One of the most notable adjustments is the requirement for applicants to have held current permission for at least 12 months or have been exempt from immigration control in the 12 months immediately preceding the date of the application. Whilst this change may delay some applications, it aims to ensure consistency and compliance.

Moreover, the incorporation of exercising Treaty rights as qualifying for the ten-year ILR application is a significant step towards a clearer pathway for applicants, as previously such applications had to rely on a caseworker’s discretion.

However, not all alterations bring ease. The transitional provisions mean that those nearing the end of their ten-year period must still adhere to previous absence limits. Continuous residence shall be deemed interrupted if an individual spends over 184 days away from the UK at any one time or exceeds a total absence of 548 days, specifically if the absence period commenced before 11 April 2024.

Yet amidst these shifts, opportunities emerge. The revised calculation of absences, particularly beneficial for former students with extensive overseas stays, offers a more flexible approach to residency requirements. Additionally, whilst applicants are still required to pass the Life in the UK test, English language requirements have been slightly relaxed, allowing reliance on GCSE/A-Levels.

Nevertheless, challenges remain, especially for individuals who accrued a historic ten-year residency under previous rules. The option for making an ILR application based on a historic ten-year period of residence has been removed, which may disadvantage certain individuals who had accrued such residence period but had not previously applied. The removal of this option can have a particular impact on long-term residents from the EU.

In conclusion, whilst the changes to the 10-year Long Residence ILR rules present both advantages and obstacles, they underscore the necessity for careful consideration and expert guidance. Although the changes may simplify the Long Residence ILR route for some applicants, particularly those with high absences or young students, they may also present challenges for individuals who had relied on the historic ten-year residency option. Additionally, the changes may affect EEA citizens with longstanding ties to the UK who may now face more difficulties in securing settlement.

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