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Long Residence & Private Life

If you are looking to remain in the UK then Blacks Solicitors’ specialist Immigration team can help.

There are two specific immigration routes available for individuals based on their length of residence in the UK.

Indefinite Leave to Remain is available for those with ten years’ continuous and lawful residence in the UK, however the ‘Private Life’ route offers limited Leave to Remain for individuals (in certain circumstances) who are living in the UK without valid Leave.

Long Residence

Individuals, who have been resident in the UK lawfully, and continuously, for at least 10 years may be eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain under the Long Residence category

This route is for individuals who have acquired continuous Leave across different immigration categories.

You will need to satisfy the Home Office’s definition of ‘continuous residence’ as it applies to Long Residence and must show you have not been absent from the UK for more than six months at any one time during the 10 year period.

In addition, in order for residence to be continuous you must not have spent more than 18 months abroad over the 10 year period relied upon.

Private Life

An individual might be eligible for limited Leave to Remain under the Private Life route, even if he/she does not presently hold valid Leave (although there are tough qualifying conditions).

An individual will need to satisfy ‘suitability requirements’ and show that one of the following applies:

  • The individual has lived continuously in the UK for at least 20 years
  • The individualis under the age of 18 years and has lived continuously in the UK for at least seven years (and it would not be reasonable to expect the applicant to leave the UK)
  • The individual is aged 18 years or above and under 25 years and has spent at least half of his/her life living continuously in the UK
  • The individual is aged 18 years or above, has lived continuously in the UK for less than 20 years but there would be ‘very significant obstacles’ to the Applicant’s integration into the country to which he/she would have to go if required to leave the UK

Successful applicants under the Private Life route will be granted Leave for a period of 30 months and individuals must accrue 120 months in this category before being eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain on the basis of Private Life.

For both the Long Residence and Private Life categories, applications can only be made from within the UK.


For more information about any of the above, or to find out how we can help you, please email or call Blacks’ Immigration Law team today on 0113 322 2842.

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  • I was recently referred to Louis MacWilliam of Blacks Solicitors with relation to a visa application to live/work in the UK. Louis was extremely thorough and always kept in touch throughout the entire process. I could not recommend Louis or the team at Blacks more highly.

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