after 10 Years in the UK
individual who has resided continuously in the United Kingdom for a minimum of
10 years may fulfil official requirements for settled status. In accordance
with paragraph 276A of the immigration rules, this ten-year period must be
unbroken and refers exclusively to legal residence in the United Kingdom.
ten-year residency route to settlement is based on the assumption that those
who have spent at least a decade in the United Kingdom will have created strong
ties with the country’s environment and people. While it may be necessary to
formalise this assumption with evidence of ties to the United Kingdom, anyone
living legally in the country for at least 10 years has the right to apply for
you’d like to discuss the possibility of obtaining official settled status
based on your long-term residency in the UK, contact the individual immigration
team at Aristone Solicitors today.
order to qualify for settled status as a long-term resident of the United
Kingdom, the applicant must meet several mandatory requirements:
10 years continuous residence
person applying for settled status must have resided legally in the United Kingdom
for a minimum period of 10 years. During this time, the applicant must have
been legally permitted to reside in the UK with no overstaying periods of more
than 28 days.
the requirement for 10 years’ continuous residence in the UK means that the
applicant must not have spent more than 18 months in total outside the UK
within this 10-year period. They should also have spent no longer than six
consecutive months outside the UK for any reason.
the long-term residence pathway to settled status is based on the applicant’s
assumed connections to UK society and culture, there is very little leeway with
the requirements outlined above. It is assumed that if an individual is able to
spend more than six months outside the UK at any given time or accumulate 18
months’ absence over a period of 10 years, they may not be sufficiently
connected with the UK to qualify for settled status.
also important to note that any time spent in a young offenders’ institution, a
correctional facility, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or the Republic of
Ireland may not count towards the applicant’s total residency requirement.
accordance with immigration policy, the 10-year period of residency to qualify
for settled status in the UK must have been 100% legal. Referring to paragraph
276A of the Immigration rules, the resident must have one of the following:
- Formal and valid
permission to enter and remain in the United Kingdom
- Temporary permission
to access the UK (based on section 11 of the 1971 Act)
- A formal exemption
from standard immigration controls
addition, qualification for long-term resident status may be affected by the
applicant’s criminal record. Their application may be refused if they have one
or more unspent convictions within the meaning of the Rehabilitation of
Offenders Act 1974.
applications are considered in accordance with the wider interests of the
public. Should the Home Office reach the conclusion that to grant an individual
settled status is against the public good, it will be rejected. Much of the
stipulations regarding public interest are matters of personal opinion and
judgement, rather than formal requirements to fulfil.
Skills and UK Way of Life
Settled status will typically only be granted to
those who can demonstrate an acceptable grasp of the English language, along
with a broad knowledge of UK culture and the way of life in the United Kingdom.
Immigration legislation defines adequate English language skills as
an English qualification at B1 level above of the Common European Framework of
Reference for Languages (CEFR), or SET (LR) GUIDANCE NOTES Version 11/2015 Set
(LR) Guidance Notes (Version 11/2015) or earning a degree-level qualification
in the United Kingdom that was taught in English. Applicants who are nationals
of English-speaking countries are also typically exempt from such requirements.
applicants are required to take the life in the UK test, a series of 24 or more
questions must be answered within a period of 45 minutes. The questions are
designed to gauge the applicant’s knowledge and understanding of the values,
the people and the general culture of United Kingdom.
Breaks in Continuous Residence
of the most common reasons for breaks in continuous residency are as follows:
- The applicant has spent
more than six months outside the UK in a single trip for any reason.
- More than 18 months have
been spent outside the United Kingdom during the 10-year qualifying period.
- The applicant exits the United
Kingdom at any time and does not have the legal entitlement to re-enter the
- Deportation or forced
removal proceedings have been implemented against the applicant.
- Permission to enter the
UK or reside legally has been refused and the applicant has left the country.
- The applicant has left
the United Kingdom willingly and demonstrated an intention not to return.
- There is no possibility
of the applicant returning lawfully to the United Kingdom after exiting the
country for any reason.
- The applicant has been
ordered to be detained in an institution which is not a prison, or sentenced
based on a conviction. Suspended sentences are exempt from this rule.
for Breaks in Lawful Residence
are instances wherein the Home Office may demonstrate a certain amount of
flexibility with regard to breaks in lawful residents. According to official
immigration legislation, discretion may be exercised in the following
the applicant has broken their continuous residence by a maximum of 28 calendar
days due to making prior applications at the time.
instances where all other requirements for local residents are met by the
is therefore important to understand your rights and the strength of your case,
before submitting your application. Even if there have been breaks in your
period of lawful residence in the UK, the Home Office may still consider your
application by way of individual merit.
the vast majority of applications will be immediately declined where any of the
general rules regarding the 10 years continuous residence requirements are
breached. Please note that this 10-year period begins on the day the applicant
arrived in the UK, or the date of receiving formal leave to remain where
you are currently residing legally in the United Kingdom on a temporary visa,
you may need to apply for an extension to fulfil the 10-year minimum residency
Luton’s Leading Long-Term Residence Lawyers
at Aristone Solicitors, we’ve spent more than a decade assisting clients with complex
and challenging individual immigration cases. Our experience and expertise
extend to all aspects of individual immigration law, allowing us to streamline
and simplify the application process for the benefit of our clients.
an application for settled status or dealing with the fallout of a rejection,
we’re standing by to offer our full support. Contact a member of our individual
immigration team today to book your obligation-free consultation.