You can apply to settle in the UK if you’ve been in the UK legally for 10 continuous years (known as ‘long residence’). Settling (known as ‘indefinite leave to remain’) means you can stay in the UK without any time restrictions.
You must meet all the eligibility requirements which are set out below. You may be able to extend your stay for another 2 years (known as ‘leave to remain’) even if you do not meet all the eligibility requirements.
You must have permission to stay (‘leave to remain’). This can be in any immigration category, or a combination of different immigration categories.
You must also have:
- been in the UK legally for 10 years (known as your ‘continuous residence’)
- kept to the terms of your UK visa
If you’re aged 18 to 65 years old, you must:
- pass the Life in the UK Test
- prove you have sufficient English language skills
You must also not fall for refusal under the general grounds for refusal for indefinite leave to remain. There are various general grounds for refusal but the main reasons are custodial, non-custodial offences and/or engaging in activities which would deem your presence in the UK as undesirable.
Your 10-year qualifying period starts from either:
- when you arrived in the UK with a visa
- when you were given permission to stay in the UK
Continuous residence is time you’ve spent in the UK without gaps.
You can leave the UK during the continuous residence for up to:
- 180 days at a time
- 540 days in total
You cannot count time spent in:
- a prison, young offender institution or secure hospital
- Ireland, the Isle of Man or Channel Islands
If you do not meet the above requirements you can apply to extend your leave instead.
Your family members (‘dependants’) can apply separately if they’re eligible.
A dependant is your:
You cannot include your family members (‘dependants’) in your application.
Your partner can apply to remain in the UK as the partner of a settled person if they are not eligible to apply separately and your application for settlement is successful. They may be able to include their children in their application.
Your children may have to leave the UK if they’re not eligible to apply separately and are over 18.
Makka Solicitors provides comprehensive immigration advice on long residence applications. Our fee to prepare and submit an application varies depending on the complexity of your matter. Please refer to our Fees page for full details of all of our fees for immigration applications.