uk visa enquiry

Long Residence ILR - A complete overview

After an applicant has lived in the UK for a continuous lawful period of 10 years, they can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK on the basis of Long residence. Indefinite leave to remain is also known as 'settlement'. If you are granted Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), you are allowed to live in the UK as long as you wish without any immigration control. You can also work and study in the UK if you have ILR status. 

The rules of counting continuous residence are pretty strict. However, the duration of 10 years of continuous residence can be completed with a combination of various visas such as a Global Talent visa, visit visa, and Tier (2) visa, etc. 


Requirements for Long Residence ILR 

The core requirements are provided under  Part 7 of the Immigration Rules under paragraph 276B. The eligibility requirements for Long Residence ILR are: 


  • You must have lawful status in the UK which may be combination of different immigration categories. 

  • You must have been living in the UK for ten years continuous lawful residence. 

  • If you are aged 18 to 65 years old, you must pass the Life in the UK test and prove that you have sufficient English language skills. You can meet the English language skills: 

  1. With a speaking and listening qualification at the B1 level 
  2. Qualified Degree that was taught or researched in English 

  3. If you are originally a national of an English-speaking country 

  • You should not have breached any of the UK's immigration laws except for any overstaying less than 14 days or 28 days in accordance with paragraph 39E of the Immigration Rules. 


How is continuous lawful residence calculated? 

Time spent in the UK without gaps is called 'continuous residence. While calculating ten years of continuous residence, you are allowed to leave the UK for less than or up to - 

  • 180 days at a time 

  • 540 days in total 

However, time spent in the following cannot be calculated towards ten years of continuous residence. 

  • A prison, young offender institution, or secure hospital 

  • Ireland, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands 

If you left the UK with a valid visa and returned to the UK within 6 months with another valid visa can be counted towards continuous lawful residence.  

Once you have completed 10 years continuous lawful residence in the UK, you can claim this length of residence to apply for ILR at any time, for example – once you had 10 years lawful residence  and you left the UK, you can re-enter the UK and make an application for ILR based on your previous lawful residence of 10 years.  


Documents required for Long Residence ILR 

You will be required to submit the following documents: 

  • Your current passport or any other valid travel ID; 

  • Your BRP (biometric residence permit) if you have one; 

  • All the passports you have held during your time in the UK; and 

  • Evidence relevant to your circumstances 


How long does it take to get a decision? 

Usually, it takes six months to get a decision from UKVI on your Long Residence ILR application. However, you can get it expedited by choosing a super-priority service. With super-priority service, you can get a decision on your long residence ILR as quickly as 24 hours. 


If you apply by post in the UK, the application fee is £2,404 as a fee, and if you apply using a super priority service, the application fee is £3,204. 

Family member 

If you have dependents (partner, child), they need to apply separately for Long Residence ILR if they meet the eligibility requirements. You cannot include them in your application. If your family member is under a PBS dependent route they will need to submit an application under Appendix FM rules for their leave. 

  If you need professional advice and representation for your application, please do not hesitate to contact Visa and Migration Ltd on 02034111261 or email us on  


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Visa and Migration is a private OISC regulated company (F201500999) and is not an official Government body. If you would like to prepare and submit your UK immigration application yourself you can do so by visiting the UKVI website.