Paragraph 276 of the Immigration Rules allows Applicants to apply for indefinite leave to remain on the grounds of 10 years lawful Long Residence. The 10-year lawful residence can be for any period current or past. There are a number of benefits in securing indefinite leave to remain such as having no time restrictions on how long you can reside in the UK. Our Immigration Solicitors in London specialise in submitting successful historic indefinite leave to remain applications.
What is a historic indefinite leave to remain long residence application?
The Immigration Rules and Policy Guidance permits Applicants to apply for settlement for any 10-year lawful period. There is often a misconception that Applicants cannot apply for historic indefinite leave to remain. However, the Policy Guidance states: “Once an applicant has built up a period of 10 years’ continuous lawful residence, there is no limit on the length of time afterwards when they can apply. This means they could leave the UK, re-enter on any lawful basis, and apply for settlement from within the UK based on a 10 year period of continuous lawful residence they built up in the past. There is also nothing to prevent a person relying on a 10 year period that they may have relied on in a previous application or grant”. It should be noted the same principle applies to EU nationals who wish to apply for an EEA Document Certifying Permanent Residence (Settlement). The only difference being that EU nationals need 5 years of continuous residence in the UK.
Applicants can also rely on historic time spent in the UK under Section 3C leave towards the 10 years lawful residence period (see below). The Immigration Act 1971 provides a shield of protection for anyone who has an Immigration application or appeal pending with the Home Office. If an Applicant is protected by Section 3C leave his/her immigration will be extended until a decision is made on his/her immigration application or appeal. Section 3C leave is a complex area of law. Applicants are advised to obtain legal advice if they have any questions on 3C leave.
What are the benefits of applying for historic indefinite leave to remain?
There are a number of advantages in acquiring indefinite leave to remain status in the UK. Applicants with indefinite leave to remain will not be required to extend their visa every 30 months. This will allow applicants to save money on Home Office applications fees and the Immigration Health Surcharge payments. More importantly, applicants will not be required to repeat the daunting application process. There are no time restrictions on how long a person can reside in the UK as long as they comply with the conditions of their indefinite leave to remain. Applicants can submit a British nationality application after holding indefinite leave to remain for 12 months as long as they meet the requirements under the British Nationality Act 1981.
What are the requirements for historic indefinite leave to remain?
In order to submit a historic indefinite leave to remain application; Applicants must meet the following requirements and have documentary evidence of the same:
- Must not fall under the General Grounds of Refusal (GGR) and must be of good character;
- Must show 10 years of lawful continuous residence for any period; and
- Must meet the English Language requirement and Life in the UK.
The Home Office will take into consideration an Applicants age and strength of connections in the UK, personal history, including character, associations and employment record and domestic and compassionate circumstances. The Home Office will consider what family life an Applicant has established in the UK when assessing the strength of their connections to the UK. This may be particularly strong if they are married to or have established a similar relationship with a settled person. Owning property or a business may support the view that an applicant has shown long term commitment and a connection to the UK. The Home Office will also take into consideration positive contributions made to society i.e. through significant investment or charitable work.
What is lawful residence in historic indefinite leave to remain applications?
Paragraph 276A of the Immigration Rules defines lawful residence as a period of continuous residence in which the Applicant had one of the following:
- Existing leave to enter or remain;
- temporary admission within section 11 of the 1971 Immigration Act where leave to enter or remain is subsequently granted;
- an exemption from immigration control, including where an exemption ceases to apply if it is immediately followed by a grant of leave to enter or remain; and
- leave covered by Section 3C of the Immigration Act 1971.
The Immigration Rules and Policy Guidance makes it clear that lawful residence is broken if an Applicant “is absent from the UK for six months or less at any one time, had existing leave to enter or remain when they left and when they returned – this can include leave gained at port when returning to the UK as a non-visa national, or departed the UK after the expiry of their leave to remain, but applied for fresh entry clearance within 28 days of that previous leave expiring”. However, time spent under the EEA Regulations does not count towards the lawful residence period under the Immigration Rules. You can ask the Home Office to exercise discretion in special circumstances and sufficient evidence must be provided to demonstrate that the applicant has been exercising treaty rights throughout any period that they are seeking to rely on for the purposes of meeting the long residence rules.
Using our immigration solicitors in London to submit a historic indefinite leave to remain long residence application
Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration status. It is possible to instruct an immigration and visa legal representative to submit a historic indefinite leave to remain long residence application.
Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your historic indefinite leave to remain long residence application succeeds, all necessary documents must be provided. Our immigration solicitors in London are able to assist you throughout the entire visa process.
This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative; our immigration solicitors in London can help ensure that your historic indefinite leave to remain long residence application meets the Immigration Rules.
Successful historic indefinite leave to remain long residence application with our immigration solicitors in London
Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. Our immigration solicitors in London offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your immigration status and the merit of your historic indefinite leave to remain long residence application before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. Our immigration solicitors in London can assist you with the preparation and submission of your settlement application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.
We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients. LEXVISA is just minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.
Preparation is the key to a successful historic indefinite leave to remain long residence application. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation.
Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.