You can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain – ILR 10 years on the basis of long residence in the UK.

Migrants who have accumulated ten years continuous lawful residence in the UK, under any combination of UK visas, may qualify for ILR on 10 years basis.

An applicant will further need to show sufficient knowledge of English language at level B1 CEFR and pass Life in the UK test among other requirements for a successful application.

General Overview of ILR on 10 Years Basis

To apply for the ILR on a long residence basis, you should have lived lawfully for 10 continuous years in the UK. The period can be completed with a combination of various visas, for example, Global Talent Visa, Post Study Work Visa, Tier 2 (General work) visa etc.

The rules are rather strict as to what accounts as a continuous lawful residence in the UK. You shouldn’t have spent more than 18 months in total outside the UK during this ten-year period. In addition, you must not have spent more than six months outside the UK on any one occasion.

In addition to the regular postal applications, the UKVI also offers premium service for the ILR 10 years applications. Applicants can book an appointment to apply using the premium service visa centre paying additional fees.

Applicants will also have to pass Life in the UK and English language tests, among other requirements for 10 years ILR application.

Requirements for ILR on 10 Years Basis Application

The applications for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) based on 10 years continuous lawful residence are complex in nature. You will need to fulfil several requirements to be eligible for the indefinite leave to remain after 10 years lawful stay.

You should have current leave to remain in one of the immigration categories to apply for the ILR. The eligibility requirements for the ILR on 10 years basis include;

  • You should have lived lawfully in the UK for 10 continuous years (see more about 10 Years requirement)
  • You must pass the Life in the UK Test and prove you have sufficient English language skills
  • You shouldn’t have breached any immigration laws and maintained the terms of your UK visa
  • Have existing leave to remain in any UK immigration category
  • No reasons with regards to public interest on why it would be undesirable to grant you ILR

Other factors such as your age, personal history, relations in the UK etc will also be considered for your suitability for ILR on the grounds of public interest reasons.

Continuous 10 Years lawful Residence

Applicants should have maintained 10 years of continuous lawful residence in the UK. You should have fulfilled continuous 10 years period by;

  • Not being out of the UK for more than 18 months (540 days in total) during the 10 years period
  • Maintained valid leave to remain status under any immigration category for the period
  • Not being out of the UK for more than 6 months on any one occasion during the 10 years period
  • Not left the UK during the 10 years period with a clear intention or evidence of not returning to the UK.
  • You shouldn’t have left the UK within the relevant period having been refused leave to enter or remain
  • Not have been removed or deported from the UK during the 10 years period

English Language Requirements for ILR 10 Years Basis

You can fulfil the English language requirements for ILR 10 years category:

  • With a speaking and listening qualification in at B1 level
  • Qualification of Degree level that was taught or researched in English
  • Original national of an English-speaking country

Absences for 10 years ILR

Very often, applicants will have absences exceeding 540 when applying for ILR based on 10 years lawful residence. If your absences are over 540 days in 10 years, the Home Office can exercise discretion in the following circumstances:

  • The Home Office will consider whether the long absence (or absences) that pushed the applicant over the limit happened towards the start or end of the 10 year residence period, and how soon they will be able to meet that requirement. The closer the absence to the end of 10 year period, the less likely the discretion to be exercised for your ILR application.
  • If the absences were towards the start of that period, the person may be able to meet the requirements in the near future, and so could be expected to apply when they meet the requirements.
  • However, if the absences were recent, the person will not qualify for a long time, and so you must consider whether there are particularly compelling/compassionate reasons. Compelling reasons mean when an applicant was prevented from returning to the UK through unavoidable circumstances.

For excess absences for 10 year ILR application, Home Office in addition to the above will always consider whether the individual returned to the UK
within a reasonable time once they were able to do so.

Subject Access Request (SAR) for 10 Year ILR Applications

Where an applicant has insufficient records of absences from the UK, subject access request can be submitted to the Home Office. This may prove useful if one of the passports is missing or the applicant is struggling to prepare a complete list of absences.

Generally, it is a good practice to request SAR for 10 year ILR application if the record of absences is incomplete. Our immigration lawyers are able to assist with submitting SAR request for 10 year ILR application and reviewing the data received from the Home Office.

When to Apply for 10 Years ILR?

You should make an application for ILR before the expiry of your current leave to remain. You cannot apply more than 28 days before completing the qualifying period of continuous 10 years.

Your qualifying period for 10 years ILR starts from the visa date on which you entered the UK or the date you were granted permission to remain in the UK (if you didn’t enter the UK on a visa).

It’s very important to get the qualifying period right as your application will be refused if you make an early application without meeting the requirement. You will also lose the fees and will have to make a new application.

Documents Required for ILR 10 Years Application

The list of documents for a valid Indefinite Leave to Remain – ILR application can vary depending on your situation.

In general, you must submit the following documents for a valid ILR application on the basis of 10 years.

  • Your current Passport or other valid travel ID
  • BRP (biometric residence permit ), if you hold one
  • Two identical passport size colour photographs
  • Police registration certificate, if you have one
  • Other supporting documents with the application

There can be several other documents that you might need to provide depending on your immigration status.

Besides, if your documents aren’t in English and Welsh, you should also submit certified English translations for all of them.

Time and Fees for ILR 10 Years Application

It usually takes up to 6 months for the UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) to make a decision on your application. This time can vary depending on your application circumstances.

It is possible to expedite the decision on your ILR 10 years application using a super-priority service. With super-priority service, your 10 years ILR application will normally be decided in 24 hours.

Type of ApplicationFees
Applying by post in the UK£2,389
Applying at a premium service centre£3,189
Applying for Further Leave to Remain -
Extension by post

Experienced Lawyers for ILR on 10 Years Basis

Edmans and Co have years of experience in making an application for ILR on 10 years basis. We regularly advise our clients for ILR long residence applications.

For more ILR categories, please refer to our complete guide to Indefinite Leave to Remain.

Our ILR 10 Years Services Review
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If you need any legal assistance with your Indefinite Leave to Remain – ILR 10 Years application, please contact our London-based immigration lawyers on 020 7439 3000.

Book a consultation with one of our immigration experts so that we can carefully assess your case and advise you on how to make a successful indefinite leave to remain application.