One of the interesting ways a person can obtain Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK is through a long residence. If you have been legally in the UK for more than ten years, you could qualify to apply on this basis. The time in the UK must have been without any gaps.
By obtaining Indefinite Leave to Remain in this way, you will have the right to live, work and study in the UK for as long as you like. It is a stepping stone to British citizenship.
How to qualify for Long Residence ILR
You must have leave to remain in the UK. The leave to remain can be in any category or through a combination of categories.
You must have a continuous residence of ten years in the UK. In other words, there may not be any gaps in your stay.
Knowledge of Language and Life
If you are between 18 and 65 years old, you must fulfil the Knowledge of Language and Life requirement. You will thus have to pass the Life in the UK test and prove you have sufficient English language skills.
Proving your Continuous Residence
The time you have spent in the UK must have been without any gaps. This is called continuous residence.
To fulfil the continuous residence requirement, you may not leave the UK for 180 days at a time and not more than 540 days in total.
You cannot count time spent in prison, a young offender institution or a secure hospital as part of your continuous residence. Time spent in Ireland, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands does not count either.
When to apply for Long Residence ILR
You can apply for ILR on this basis as soon as you qualify, and do not have to wait until your current visa expires.
Note that you must be in the UK to apply.
Spouses and Family Members
You cannot include your spouse, partner, or dependant children in your application. They must apply separately if they are eligible for Long Residence ILR.
If they are not eligible to apply separately, they can apply to remain in the UK as the partner of a settled person or remain in the UK as the child of a settled person.
Please speak to your Breytenbachs consultant for advice in your specific circumstances.
Right to Live and Work with Long Residence ILR
If you are successful in your application, you will be allowed to do the following without any restrictions:
- Work without any immigration restrictions, this includes self-employment.
- Study without restrictions.
- Access public services such as healthcare and schools.
- Apply for public funds and pensions.
How Breytenbachs can help you
Indefinite Leave to Remain is a stepping stone to British citizenship. You should be able to apply for British citizenship after spending twelve months on the status of ILR.
It is important to note that you can lose your status of ILR if you stay outside the UK for more than two years at a time.
It is thus best to apply for your British citizenship as soon as you qualify.
Please contact us today if you need more information or want to arrange a consultation.