Changes to the 10-Year Long Residence ILR Rules: New Absence Limits

Individuals who have resided in the UK for a continuous period of 10 years on various visas may qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) under the ‘Long Residence’ category. This includes time spent on visas that do not typically lead to settlement through the standard 5-year route, such as Student or Graduate visas.

However, recent amendments introduced on 11 April 2024 have altered the requirements for applying for 'long residence' ILR. Notably, applicants must now have held their current visa for at least 12 months before being eligible to apply.

Additionally, the rules regarding permissible absences from the UK have been revised. Before the implementation of the changes, to apply for settlement under the long residence route, the applicant must not have had total absences of more than 548 days during the entire 10-year period. Please find a summary of the changes below:

Absences Before 11 April 2024

  • Any single absence from the UK must not exceed 184 days.
  • For any 10-year period completed before 11 April 2024, the total number of days spent outside the UK must not surpass 548 days.

Absences After 11 April 2024

  • The 548-day limit no longer applies to 10-year periods extending beyond 11 April 2024.
  • Applicants must ensure they have not been outside the UK for more than 180 days in any 12-month period from this date onwards.

The updated Continuous Residence rule, CR 2.2A, specifies:

“For any qualifying period before 11 April 2024, applicants must not have been outside the UK for more than 184 days at any one time and must not have accumulated more than 548 days outside the UK during that period, in accordance with CR 2.3.”

Unfortunately, despite these changes, there is some inconsistency in the wording and implementation of the new guidelines. Our team is monitoring for further updates and awaiting precedents to clarify these rules. Nevertheless, These amendments significantly impact applicants planning to apply for ILR under the Long Residence route, making it essential to stay informed about the latest Home Office guidelines.

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