Apply For Indefinite Leave to Remain After 10 Years

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 Long Residence application.

To qualify for this 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.

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

Indefinite Leave to Remain (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 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 ILR applications for both the 5 and 10-year routes 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 application.

What is continuous residence?

In order to be granted indefinite leave to remain, you must fulfil 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.

Specifically, an individual is allowed to leave the UK:

  • 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 application through the 10-year route.

10-year route requirements and eligibility criteria.

To have a successful, valid application in obtaining Indefinite Leave to Remain through the 10 Years' Long Residence route and becoming 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 (‘Leave to Remain' - continuous lawful residence)
  • 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 must not have been outside of the UK for longer than 18 months total throughout the 10 years, and no more than 6 months consecutively in any 12-months’ period
  • You have passed the Life in the UK Test
  • You have met the Knowledge of the English language requirement

Other factors will be considered for your suitability to be granted indefinite leave to remain, 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-long route. Contact QC Immigration for more details.

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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.

  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 requirements  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 as:

  • an adult or child on the Private Life route
  • 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
  • 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 ILR as a refugee
  • people applying for ILR on the basis of discretionary leave
  • people applying for ILR on the basis of humanitarian protection
  • people applying for ILR outside the Immigration Rules, for example under discretionary arrangements such as those for Gurkhas, widows, overage dependants and orphans
  • people applying for ILR as a stateless person
  • a citizen of certain English-speaking countries
  • Skilled Worker, T2 or Tier 2 Visa
  • Representative of an Overseas Business visa
  • Tier 2 Minister of Religion visa 
  • International Sportsperson visa
  • UK Ancestry visa
  • Global Talent visa
  • Innovator Founder visa
  • International Agreement visa (Temporary Work)
  • Domestic Worker in a Private Household visa
  • Scale-up Worker visa.

The above exemption only applies to the knowledge of English language requirement and they are still required to satisfy the Knowledge of Life in the UK.

Documentation - What you need for your ILR application.

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

This includes:

  • your valid visa, 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.

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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 application process 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 £2,404 to pay at the Home Office, to process your application. You will also have to consider additional costs such as legal advice and certified translations.

How the team at QC Immigration can help

QC Immigration specialises in 10 Years' Long Residence Indefinite Leave to Remain 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 ILR on the first attempt.

Book your consultation today.

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