10 Year Long Residence - Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) Applications

10 Year Long Residence - Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) Applications

A Long Residence application for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), also known as settlement, is designed for individuals who have lived lawfully and continuously in the UK for at least 10 years.


The UK Home Office has several applications available for those who have reached the end of their specific visa route and want to remain permanently within the UK. This is also known as Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), or sometimes, settlement. One of the widest categories for settlement is that of 10 years 'Long Residence'. 

What Is A 'Long Residence' Application

A 'Long Residence' is a type of application for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) and is for those who have lived in the UK with a valid visa lawfully and continuously for 10 years or more. This can be in any category except for visitors, short-term students or seasonal workers. There is an element of discretion over time spent as an EEA or EU national if their status is not confirmed on status documentation.


How To Make A Successful 'Long Residence' Application

As with other Immigration applications, the application should be made on the specified form and the correct fee will need to be paid at the time of submission. There is no immigration health surcharge applicable since this is an application to remain permanently in the UK. It will be important to ensure that documentary evidence is provided, not only showing the applicant’s ID and immigration history but also showing residence in the UK for the full 10-year period claimed. Evidence of residence should cover a wide span of each year of residence and the UK Home Office provides guidance on what documents carry the most “weight” in their considerations.

Applicants on this route must show they have sufficient English language skills and have good knowledge of Life in the UK via acceptable tests. If the Applicant cannot meet this requirement, then they will need to apply to extend instead.


Recent 2024 Changes

The way in which these applications are considered, has undergone an overhaul since 11th April 2024.

Amongst some other minor amendments, one major change occurred recently in that the Long Residence application for settlement was given an Appendix to the Immigration Rules that sets out clearly what the requirements are.

One positive amendment which will be helpful to many is that some absences are not discounted from the calculations regarding continuous residence. These include international humanitarian or environmental crises, travel disruption due to pandemics and compelling and compassionate circumstances (which are not exhaustively listed), as well as research activity for study and work requirements. This is much more generous than previously.

It is no longer possible to use any historical 10-year continuous period, which had previously been useful to those on the EU routes, who were less likely to be documented. Since 11th April 2024, the application will usually be counted backwards from the date of application (some other limited options exist to recalculate the dates under consideration, such as counting back from the date of the decision instead, but they are entirely at the discretion of the decision maker and not available upon request).



A Long Residence application for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), also known as settlement, is designed for individuals who have lived lawfully and continuously in the UK for at least 10-years. This route is one of the broadest categories for settlement but excludes time spent as a visitor, short-term student, or seasonal worker. Special consideration applies to EEA or EU nationals whose status documentation might not confirm their stay. By adhering to these guidelines and understanding the recent changes, applicants can improve their chances of a successful Long Residence application for ILR in the UK.


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