Changes to the Long Residence rules
The Long Residence rules enable those with 10 years of continuous lawful residence in the UK to apply for indefinite leave to remain (also called ‘settlement’). Those who obtain settlement gain the right to live, work and study in the UK for as long as they would like, and to apply for benefits if they’re eligible. Settlement can also be used to apply for British citizenship.
How are the Long Residence rules changing?
Presently, any type of permission to stay (‘leave to remain’) in any immigration category, or a combination of different immigration categories counts as lawful residence. This applies whether the permission is in a temporary category or a long-term immigration route.
However, on 12 April 2023, the definition of lawful residence will change to exclude temporary immigration categories such as:
time spent on immigration bail; and
temporary admission granted while an application for asylum or humanitarian protection is under consideration.
After 12 April 2023, the periods of stay that count as qualifying periods under the rules will change.
This amendment will be retrospectively applied. In other words, applications made before 13 April 2023 will be decided under the current Long Residence rules. Applications made after 12 April 2023 will be decided under the new Long Residence rules.
How does the change affect me?
The revision of the Long Residence rules will particularly be important for those who have lived in the UK for 10 years in the past but have not applied for settlement. The rule does not require the 10 years to be continuous up to the time of the application.
If you believe that you qualify for settlement, we advise you to urgently obtain legal advice to check that you are not going to lose your entitlement after the rules change.