The long residence rule allows migrants who switch between different categories of visa to apply for settlement after ten years. The rule is part of the Immigration Rules and acts as a “backstop” for migrants who have had ten years of continuous lawful residence. It is in line with Article 3(3) of the European Convention on Establishment.
To qualify for long residence, an individual must have lived in the UK continuously for ten years. An exception can be made in compelling circumstances. A lawyer can help individuals explain absences from the UK. Applicants must also have an English language level of B1. For more information, visit the UK immigration website.
In addition to meeting the requirements for indefinite leave after ten years of lawful residence, the applicant must not fall within general grounds for refusal. Immigration officials must consider the reasons for and against granting indefinite leave and the public interest when deciding whether to grant a permit. To avoid a refusal, applicants should provide evidence of their personal circumstances, work history, and general conduct.
Before submitting a long residence application, applicants must pass the English language proficiency test. The test is a computer-based assessment of English language proficiency. A successful applicant must be able to answer a minimum of twenty-four questions correctly. This exam is taken in one of over 100 UK test centres.