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Long Residence immigration update

The Long Residence rules enables those who have accrued 10 years continuous lawful residence, during or across any immigration category to apply for indefinite leave to remain was amended on 11 April 2024, with subtle if not significant changes, as follows:

  • an applicant must have been in their current visa for at least 12 months at date of submission of the application – for some applicants this will mean they will need to delay making their application beyond the 10 year period – an applicant should plan ahead when applying for visa extensions, particularly when approaching this time frame to ensure they can fulfil the new requirement, the consequence of falling short is that the applicant would need to find a visa for at least a further 12 month duration, which may or may not be so straightforward

  • an individual applying pre-11 April 2024 must not have absences of more than 184 days in a 12-month period and not more than 548 days in total. Those applying post-11 April 2024 must not be absent for more than 180 days in a 12-month period, but are not subject to an overall total – the removal of the 548-day time limit may benefit those who have had high absences such as businesspeople or students

  • the Long Residence rules are now aligned with a general ‘continuous residence’ rule - absences for more than 180 days can be disregard where for example it is connected with an international crisis, travel disruption, compelling or compassionate circumstances and those undertaking permitted research for certain working categories – as well as those mentioned, this may well assist individuals who were unable to travel back to the UK during the COVID 19 pandemic

  • time spent in the Channel Islands or Isle of Man will be regarded as an absence on if it was for a full 24-hour period

  • continuous residence will be broken for an individual subject to removal directions or removed or deported following expiry of their permission

  • time spent in the UK between 1 to 31 August 2020 will be lawful, if granted through the Coronavirus Extension Concession and the individual had immigration permission prior to this

  • the English language testing requirement can also be met through holding a GCSE, International GCSE, A level, Scottish National Qualification at level 4 or 5 or a Scottish Higher or Advanced Higher in English language or literature so long as it was awarded by an approved body and the person started the course in school when under 18 years of age.


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