Indefinite Leave to Remain – 10 Years Long Residence


The Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) – 10 Years Long Residence route is designed for individuals who have legally resided in the UK continuously for a decade. This status allows them to obtain permanent residence in the UK. The term “indefinite” reflects the permanent nature of this residency. However, applicants must meet specific criteria, including restrictions on absences from the UK.

Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for ILR under the 10 Years Long Residence route, applicants must have resided legally in the UK for a continuous period of 10 years. Various types of lawful stay, excluding time spent on a visitor visa, count towards this period. For example, a combination of 4 years on a student visa, 3 years on a spouse visa, and 3 years on a skilled worker visa would be eligible.

Duration of Grant

Once granted, ILR is indefinite. However, if an individual is absent from the UK for more than two years, they will lose their ILR status. In such cases, they must apply for returning residency and demonstrate ongoing ties to the UK.

Continuous Residence – New Rules

The concept of continuous residence is crucial for ILR eligibility. The rules surrounding continuous residence have recently been updated, effective from 11 April 2024:

– Absences Before 11 April 2024: Any single absence must not exceed 184 days. The total absences over the 10-year period must not exceed 548 days.

– Absences After 11 April 2024: There is no longer a 548-day limit for periods extending beyond this date. However, applicants must not be outside the UK for more than 180 days in any 12-month period.

Grace Period: Time spent in the UK during the grace period from 1 August to 31 August 2020 counts towards lawful residence.

– Current Permission: Applicants must have had permission on their current immigration route for at least 12 months on the application date. This requirement does not apply if the current permission was granted before 11 April 2024.

Special reasons for absence from the UK may exempt some periods spent outside the UK from counting towards the total period of absence.

Our Support and Guidance

Navigating the requirements for ILR under the 10 Years Long Residence route can be complex. If you are uncertain whether you meet the qualifying criteria without breaking continuous residence, or if you have exceeded the permitted absence periods, we are here to help.

Contact us for guidance and support in determining if your absences fall under permitted reasons and to ensure your application process goes smoothly.

*This article is not legal advice but provides a general overview. The specific details of your case will determine the best course of action.