ILR 10 Years' Long Residence

If you have lived in the UK for 10 continuous years, you may be eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain status through the 10 Years' Long Residence route, also known as the ILR Long Residence application.

To qualify for this 10-year ILR route and become a British Citizen, you must have legally resided in the UK for 10 years without breaks, and you are required to meet the Indefinite Leave to Remain UK rules and relevant criteria.

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What is Indefinite Leave to Remain through the 10-year route?

Indefinite Leave to Remain (10 years’ ILR) is an immigration status that allows you to remain in the UK without any time limit and free from immigration control.

If you are granted Indefinite Leave to Remain it will enable and allow you to work, study, live in the UK and claim qualifying benefits. ILR status is the most secure immigration status other than British Citizenship; ILR 10-year route can also be used as a path to British Citizenship.

Much like the 5 Years' ILR route, you must not only meet the eligibility requirements for the 10 Years' Long Residence ILR route, but you must also put forward a convincing application about your UK history to the Home Office to increase your chances of success.

The lawyers at QC Immigration have extensive experience in successfully submitting Indefinite Leave to Remain applications for both the 5 and 10 years' route and will be able to give you the guidance that you need to submit a comprehensive and strong case for permanent residency in the UK. Contact QC Immigration lawyers today for expert advice, solutions, and representation with your ILR 10-year Long Residence application.

What is continuous residence?

In order to be granted Indefinite Leave to Remain, you must fulfill the continuous residence rule, which means an individual should spend the lawful amount of time living in the UK without any long absences on their record and also apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after 10 years.

Specifically, an individual is allowed to leave the UK for up to 180 days in any 12 months' period, from 11 April 2024.

If the 10 years' UK residence period you are claiming ends after 11 April 2024, then your absences are subject to:

  • 184 days per trip and total absences of 548 days, for the period until 10 April 2024;
  • up to 180 days in any rolling 12 months, for the period from 11 April 2024.

If the 10 years' UK residence period you are claiming ended before 11 April 2024, then your absences are limited to:

  • 184 days per trip, and
  • 548 days in the course of 10 years.

As a non-British Citizen or non-UK national, excess absences may impact your ILR Long Residence application through the 10-year route.

* If you do not satisfy the Long Residence requirements, we may still argue for the ILR application to be granted under discretion if there are valid Human Rights grounds to consider. For example, the current Appendix Continuous Residence allows the below absences to be disregarded from the above Absence limit:

~ you were assisting with a national or international humanitarian or environmental crisis overseas, providing if on a sponsored route your sponsor agreed to the absence for that purpose

~ travel disruption due to natural disaster, military conflict or pandemic

~ compelling and compassionate personal circumstances, such as your life-threatening illness, or life-threatening illness or death of a close family member

ILR 10-Year Route Requirements and Eligibility Criteria

To have a successful, valid application in obtaining Indefinite Leave to Remain under Long Residence and become a British citizen without immigration restrictions, you must have met all of the terms of your past Visas and have had a lawful residence in the UK continuously for 10 years.

In addition, you must meet the following general requirements:

  • You have been living in the UK legally for 10 continuous years
  • You have permission to stay in the UK (hold qualifying and existing Leave to Remain or Enter)
  • You have complied with the terms of your UK Visa
  • You have not breached any immigration laws
  • You have applied within reasonable time before your previous leave expired
  • You have no unresolved criminal convictions
  • You have not been absent from the UK for 180 days or more in any rolling 12-month period
  • You have passed the Life in the UK Test
  • You have met the Knowledge of the English language requirement
  • You have had your current permission/Leave/Visa for one year (or exempt from immigration control within the last 12 months), if it is granted from 11 April 2024
  • You have not been served removal directions under section 10 of the Immigration & Asylum Act 1999 in this 10-year continuous residence

Other factors will be considered for your suitability for applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain after 10 years, such as your personal history, relations or family members in the UK, and age.

If you or your family members are EEA, EU, or Swiss citizens, you may be able to apply for settled status under the EU settlement scheme, as opposed to via the 10 year Indefinite Leave to Remain. Contact QC Immigration for more details.

English Language Requirements and Life in the UK Test

Applicants aged 18 to 64 years old must meet both the English Language and Life in the UK Test requirements, known as ‘Knowledge of Language and Life in the UK' (KoLL), in order to gain residence in the UK or obtain a 10 year ILR.

  1. You may meet the knowledge of the English language requirements, which can be satisfied by having an academic degree taught or research completed in English or by passing an accepted Secure English Language Test (SELT) at level B1 or above. You may be exempt from the English language requirement if you are from a majority English-speaking country.
  2. You must further pass the Life in the UK Test.

‍You may be exempt from both KOLL when applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain after 10 years because of your age, a long-term physical or mental condition, or if you have lived lawfully in the UK for 15 years continuously in certain Visa categories.

‍You may also be exempt from proving the English Language requirement if you are applying for 10-year ILR as:

  • victim of domestic violence;
  • foreign and Commonwealth citizens on discharge from HM Forces (including Gurkhas);
  • highly skilled migrants applying under the terms of the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP) judicial review, and their dependants;
  • bereaved spouses, civil partners, unmarried partners, or same-sex partners of people present and settled in the UK for 10 year ILR;
  • parents, grandparents, and other dependent relatives of people present and settled in the UK, applying under paragraph 317 of the Immigration Rules, even if they are aged between 18 and 64;
  • adult dependent relatives, under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules, even if they are aged between 18 and 64;
  • retired persons of independent means;
  • people who have extensive time spent in a secure hospital;
  • people applying for 10-year ILR as a refugee;
  • people applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain on the basis of discretionary leave;
  • people applying for ILR on the basis of humanitarian protection;
  • people applying for 10 year Indefinite Leave to Remain outside the Immigration Rules, for example under discretionary arrangements such as those for Gurkhas, widows, overage dependants and orphans;
  • people applying for 10-year ILR 10 as a stateless person;
  • a citizen of certain English-speaking countries;
  • Skilled Worker, T2 or Tier 2 Visa.

The above exemption only applies to Indefinite Leave to Remain 10 Years' Long Residence application with the knowledge of English language requirement, and they are still required to satisfy the Knowledge of Life in the UK test.

Documentation – What you need for your 10 Years' ILR application

You will need to submit your application for Indefinite Leave to Remain after 10 years with the relevant documentation in order to successfully apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain through 10 Years’ Long Residence.

This includes:

  • your valid Visa (Visas), digital status or Biometric Residence Permit,
  • current passport (or another valid ID),
  • as well as every past passport that you have held throughout your 10 years of stay in the UK, where available.

You may also need to submit additional documents depending on your circumstances. As a QC immigration client, we will provide you with a list of documents that is customised to your case for 10-year ILR.

When can I apply for ILR through the 10 Years' Long Residence route?

The earliest we may submit your application to the Home Office is 28 days prior to completing your 10-year qualifying period and certainly before your current Leave to Remain or Enter Visa expires. The process of applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain after 10 years can take up to 6 months. There is an option to purchase Super Priority service, which shortens the decision-making time to 1 working day; however, the slots are very limited.

It is also important that you present a strong case with all the necessary documents. Get advice and help from our expert immigration lawyers today.

Costs and Fees

There is a one-off fee of £2,885 to pay at the Home Office to process your application for 10 year ILR. You will also have to consider additional costs, such as legal advice and certified translations. If you cannot obtain Indefinite Leave to Remain 10 years, you will only need to pay £1,048 to extend your stay in the country.

How Long Does It Take to Process an Application?

In general, the process of applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain after 10 years takes about six months. Specifically, this pertains to the review of your application and its approval or rejection by the government. However, this is only the case if you apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after 10 years through the standard procedure.

Circumstances That May Shorten the Route

Say you wish to significantly speed up the process of applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain after 10 years. In that case, it is advisable to use additional means, specifically by adding an extra £1,000 to the cost of services for the 10-year ILR and obtaining "Super Priority" status.

In this case, instead of waiting for up to six months for the application to be processed when you apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after 10 years, you will receive a response within one or two working days after providing your biometric data (which is a mandatory component in the list of procedures for 10 year Indefinite Leave to Remain).

How the team at QC Immigration can help

QC Immigration specialises in ILR 10 years’ long residence applications and UK Visas under the Immigration Rules. We have maintained an exceptional success rate, even when handling complicated cases. Contact us now for an initial consultation to discuss your unique case and for the best chances for a successful application with this Visa category.

Bringing on legal professionals to advise you and help you shape a strong application is highly advisable. Having to deal with an appeal or an administrative review can prove to be a drawn-out and costly process. Therefore, it's best to do what you can in order to be successfully granted Indefinite Leave to Remain on the 10 year route on the first attempt.

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How Does the Process Work?

We use all our experience to expedite your ILR application on a 10-year basis and enhance the chances of your application's success. That's why we've devised an optimal collaboration process to help us provide you with quality services for preparing your application for ILR based on 10 years. It includes several steps:

  • Receiving your inquiry and consultation.
  • Gathering documents for 10 years’ long residence ILR.
  • Analyzing the documentation and your eligibility to meet all rules.
  • Legal justification of the application.
  • Submitting the application and client support.
  • Ensuring compliance with all regulations and standards.
  • Assistance in interview preparation and Home Office communication.
  • Drafting statements, legal arguments or our Legal Representative Letter where relevant.

In summary, you'll achieve your desired outcome much faster and have the opportunity to remain in the United Kingdom permanently, enjoying nearly all the privileges as a full-fledged citizen.


What is the processing time for ILR under the 10-year route?

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