Long residence 10 Year ILR

Long Residence ILR requires 10 years continuous lawful residence in the UK. 10 years is quite a long time, so if you can qualify for ILR under other category, you should use this other option as a priority.

5 year residence as a standard for UK ILR

Most long-term UK visas allow to apply for an Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) after completing 5 years continuous residence in the UK. There are only few UK visas, for example Innovator or some of the Global Talent, that allow to apply for ILR after just 3 continuous years in the UK. Investor visa holders who invested 10 million in the UK can apply after 2 years.

long residence ILR in the UK

Other visas, such as Student or Intra company Transfer (ICT) that is now called the Global Business Mobility (GBM) do NOT lead to ILR, however, those visas can be counted towards the continuous residence for the 10 Year Long Residence ILR.

For the Long Residence ILR, applicants can accumulate 10 continuous years of lawful residence in the UK on any type of visa, except the specifically excluded visa categories which we list below under lawful residence.

Definition of lawful residence

 “lawful residence” means residence which is continuous residence pursuant to: (i) existing leave to enter or remain, except this cannot include time with entry clearance or permission under Appendix V: Visitor, Appendix Short-term Student (English language), or Appendix Temporary work – Seasonal Worker; or

(ii) an exemption from immigration control, including where an exemption ceases to apply if it is immediately followed by a grant of leave to enter or remain. (c) “lawful residence” does not include time spent on immigration bail.”.

Good character requirement

Good character required to qualify for the 10 years Long Residence ILR. Applicants must not fall for refusal on ‘General Grounds’ (i.e. criminal record, breaches of immigration rules, unlawful residence, etc.).

Legally present in the UK at application

Applicants also need to be legally present in the UK at the time of application.

Can apply at a later time

Once you accumulate the 10 years continuous residence you may be able to apply later.

  • ILR based on all types of visas
  • no dependants on the application allowed
  • Life in the UK and English test required
  • have to stay in the UK while application is processed

Continuous residence

To meet the continuous residence requirement applicants must not be outside the UK for more than 180 days at any given time and not more than 540 days in total during the 10 years. Time spent in the Isle of Man or Channel Islands do not count.

Other obligations for the applicant are passing Life in the UK test. We write about Life in the UK test in more detail here. You have also to prove you have English language skills required.

Dependants of the applicant (partner and children) must apply separately if they are eligible. They cannot be included in your application.

The Home Office website for reference.