Submitting a Private Life visa application outside the Immigration Rules

The Home Office understands that there are individuals in the United Kingdom who may not be eligible to apply for a visa within the Immigration Rules and in some circumstances has the power to grant discretionary leave outside the Immigration Rules. In order to apply for a visa outside the Immigration Rules, you must apply under the Private Life route. If you apply under this category, you must provide evidence that there are compassionate and compelling circumstances preventing you from leaving the United Kingdom. The Home Office will consider your application with reference to Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. 

What is a Private Life visa application?

A Private Life application is a discretionary leave to remain application and is available for individuals who are in the UK and wish to ask the Home Office for a visa outside the Immigration Rules. A Private Life application is ideal for individuals who lack valid immigration status in the UK. However, it is an application open to everyone including individuals with valid visas, which are up for renewal, but their circumstances have changed.

When to submit a Private Life visa application?

You can only submit a Private Life visa application if you are present in the UK.  There is no legal requirement to hold valid immigration status prior to the submission of the application. It is advised that a Private Life application should only be submitted as a last resort in circumstances where an application within the Immigration Rules is not available.

How much does a Private Life visa application cost?

The Home Office application fee is £1,033 and there is also a fee of £19.20 for biometrics.  In addition to the Home Office fees, there is also an Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) payment of £400 per year (likely to be increased to £634 in October 2020). It is possible to apply for a fee waiver if you need financial support with the Home Office visa application fees. The onus will be on you to demonstrate that you are in need of financial assistance. However, you should always take legal advice before requesting for financial support as it could have an adverse impact on your application.

What are the requirements for a Private Life visa application?

A Private Life application is unique as the onus is on the Applicants to provide evidence in relation to their personal circumstances. Unlike all the other visa routes for this visa route, there is no fixed set of requirements or mandatory documents. Paragraph 276ADE of the Immigration Rules governs discretionary leave applications. Individuals can apply for discretionary leave on a number of different grounds under Paragraph 276ADE as it states:

  • (i) does not fall for refusal under any of the grounds in Section S-LTR 1.1 to S-LTR 2.2. and S-LTR.3.1. to S-LTR.4.5. in Appendix FM; and
  • (ii) has made a valid application for leave to remain on the grounds of private life in the UK; and
  • (iii) has lived continuously in the UK for at least 20 years (discounting any period of imprisonment); or
  • (iv) is under the age of 18 years and has lived continuously in the UK for at least 7 years (discounting any period of imprisonment) and it would not be reasonable to expect the applicant to leave the UK; or
  • (v) is aged 18 years or above and under 25 years and has spent at least half of his life living continuously in the UK (discounting any period of imprisonment); or
  • (vi) subject to sub-paragraph (2), is aged 18 years or above, has lived continuously in the UK for less than 20 years (discounting any period of imprisonment) but there would be very significant obstacles to the applicant’s integration into the country to which he would have to go if required to leave the UK.

In January 2019, the Home Office updated its guidance on the Private Life route and clarified what significant obstacles to integration actually meant. A ‘very significant obstacle to integration’ means something, which would prevent or seriously inhibit the applicant from integrating into the country of return. When considering the ‘significant obstacles to integration’ issue the Home Office has a duty to consider the following:

  • Cultural background;
  • Length of time spent in the country of return;
  • Family, friends, and social network;
  • Faith, political or sexual orientation or gender identity; or
  • Common claims.

The key to submitting a successful application is providing strong evidence of your personal circumstances. Our Immigration Team has ample experience in submitting successful Private Life applications and is able to provide you with a bespoke documents list outlining what documents are required for your application giving your Private Life application the best chance of success. 

Can you apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain under Private Life?

It is possible to apply for indefinite leave to remain (settlement) under the Private Life route after a period of 10 years. In order to apply for indefinite leave to remain individuals must acquire 10 years of lawful residence under this route and must show that the United Kingdom is their primary place of home alongside the correct documentary evidence. Individuals who are granted settlement status can apply for British citizenship once they have held indefinite leave to remain for a period of 12 months. 

How our immigration solicitors can help with a Private Life visa application

Our immigration solicitors in London specialise in visa applications and prepare applications to the highest standard. We have an impeccable track history of submitting successful Private Life visa applications for a range of clients. The key to submitting a successful Private Life visa application is being aware of the relevant Immigration Rules and submitting the correct supporting documents. Our immigration solicitors in London guide Applicants through the requirements and prepare detailed legal submissions in support of the application. In addition to the legal representations, our team of solicitors also provides multiple substantial reviews of the application bundle to ensure that the correct documentary evidence is submitted. We also prepare and assist with the submission of the application.

Using our Immigration Solicitors to submit Private Life visa application applications

Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration matter. You can instruct one of our immigration and visa legal representatives to successfully assist you with a Private Life visa application to submit a visa application. Our solicitors and Barristers will help you comply with the Home Office’s requirements and meet the Immigration Rules.

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 application succeeds, our solicitors and barristers will ensure all specified documents must be provided.

The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules.

Successfully submit Private Life visa applications

Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your prospects of submitting a Private Life visa application before your application even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation and submission of a visa application and ensure that you meet all the requirements under the Immigration 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.  We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice, and other central London courts.

Preparation is the key to successful immigration applications. 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 to discuss a visa application.

Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.

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