In these precarious political times, there is great comfort in knowing that you have indefinite leave to remain (ILR) if you are an immigrant living in the UK. With the help of an immigration lawyer who can submit the best application for ILR, migrants living in London and beyond can have their dream of living free from immigration restrictions.
In certain circumstances, if you have been living in the UK for ten years or more, you may apply for ILR under the 10-year permanent residence route (otherwise known as long residence). An application can be made for ILR using this pathway at any time once you meet the requirements and you have a valid visa.
The criteria for ILR long residence applications
To successfully apply for ILR under the 10-year route, you usually need to show:
- you have lived in the UK for at least ten years
- you meet the ‘continuous residence’ requirements
- you have abided by the rules of your visa/s
- you have passed the Life in the UK test (if you are aged between 18 and 65 years)
- you meet the English language requirements (if you are aged between 18 and 65 years)
The continuous residence requirements state that during your ten (or more) years in Britain, you must not have left the country for any more than 180 days at a time and no more than 540 days in total.
Continuous residence in the UK is also broken if an applicant receives a custodial sentence by a court of law and is sent to:
• A prison
• Young Offenders Institute
• Secure hospital
Continuous residence would also be broken if you spend time in any of the following:
• The Republic of Ireland
• The Isle of Man
• Channel Islands
The settlement visa fee for ten years’ long residency is £1,875.00* and you should receive a decision within six months. If you wish to have a decision on your ILR application made on the same day, you can apply at a Premium Service Centre for a fee of £2,375*.
*Fees are correct at the time of writing – 24th April 2017
The types of entry clearance that will not qualify for ILR under the 10-year route
If you are in the UK on certain types of entry clearance, you may not qualify for ILR via the long residence route. A primary example is if you are in the UK under the European Economic Area (EEA) Regulations, or if you are a family member of an EEA national exercising their Treaty rights in the UK.
- economically self-sufficient
Unfortunately, in most cases, the time you may have spent in the UK under the EEA regulations will not count as ‘continuous residence.' Therefore, if you are refused a permanent residence Card, you will not be able to apply for ILR under the 10-year route.
An immigration official may take your time in the UK under the EEA Regulations into account if you were granted Leave To Remain in several categories. If you are in this situation, it is best to obtain expert advice from an experienced immigration lawyer.
What to do if your application for ILR is refused
If you fail to meet all the eligibility requirements for ILR under the 10-year route, you may be able to extend your stay for another two years (known as Leave To Remain). This extra two years may give you enough time to meet the continuous residence requirements.
If your application for ILR is refused, you can appeal. Often appeals are made on humanitarian grounds. If you have a family in the UK, you may have grounds to appeal under Article 8 of the European Convention on human rights. This states:
Article 8 – Right to respect for private and family life
1. Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.
2. There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.
If your appeal fails, you may be able to apply for a judicial review of your decision. judicial review is the process whereby the judges of the Administrative Division of the High Court and the Upper Tribunal (immigration and Asylum Chamber) exercise jurisdiction over the lawfulness of acts or omissions of public bodies and a supervisory jurisdiction over inferior courts and tribunals.
Acts or omissions will be unlawful and open to review if they fall under one of the available public law grounds of judicial review. The key grounds include:
- illegality, i.e. where there was an error of law in the making of the decision
- irrationality or unreasonableness
- procedural impropriety and unfairness
- the decision was in breach of the human rights Act 1998 (usually involving an assessment of proportionality), and
- the decision breaches EU law
An application for judicial review can only be made once all other legal avenues, including appeals, have been exhausted. Your immigration solicitors will be able to advise you on the best course of action to take if your application for ILR under the 10-year route is refused.
Losing your ILR status
Your ILR can be revoked if you breach the terms of its issue. One of the main reasons people have their ILR revoked is because they are absent from the country for two or more years. This suggests to immigration officials that the UK is not their permanent home. ILR can also be revoked if you gave false information to obtain the status or you are to be deported.
ILR via the 10-year permanent residence route can be a complex process. An experienced immigration lawyer will provide you with the best options applicable for your situation and help ensure your submission to the Home Office has the best chance of success.
OTS Solicitors is one of the most respected immigration law firms in London. Our immigration team dealing with ILR applications comprises of Smit Kumar, Hans Sok Appadu, and Maryem Ahmed, all of whom would be happy to talk to you about applying for ILR under the 10-year route.
By making an appointment with one of our immigration solicitors, you can be assured of receiving some of the best legal advice available in the UK today.
If you wish to discuss any of the points raised in this blog, please phone our London office on 0203 959 9123.
For the best expert legal advice and outcome on your UK immigration application, contact OTS immigration solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online.
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Posted on: Tuesday, 25 April, 2017