ILR – Long Residence Rule


Individuals who live in the UK for an extended period of time, either 10 years with continuous lawful residence, or 20 years without permission, may be eligible to apply for ‘indefinite leave to remain’.

The Rules

The requirements to be met by an applicant for indefinite leave to remain on the ground of long residence in the United Kingdom are that:

  • he has had at least 10 years continuous lawful residence in the United Kingdom; or
  • he has had at least 20 years continuous residence in the United Kingdom, excluding any period spent in the United Kingdom following service of notice of liability to removal or notice of a decision to remove by way of directions under paragraphs 8 to 10A, or 12 to 14, of Schedule 2 to the Immigration Act 1971 or section 10 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 Act, or of a notice of intention to deport him from the United Kingdom; and
  • having regard to the public interest there are no reasons why it would be undesirable for him to be given indefinite leave to remain on the ground of long residence, taking into account his:
    • age; and
    • strength of connections in the United Kingdom; and
    • personal history, including character, conduct, associations and employment record; and
    • domestic circumstances; and
    • previous criminal record and the nature of any offence of which the person has been convicted; and
    • compassionate circumstances; and
    • any representations received on the person’s behalf; and
  • the applicant has sufficient knowledge of the English language and sufficient knowledge about life in the United Kingdom, unless he is under the age of 18 or aged 65 or over at the time he makes his application.


An application under the Long Residence Rule must be submitted to the UK Border Agency on a prescribed form with the appropriate fee. The application must be accompanied by the applicant’s passport and supporting documentation.

Applications under the 10 year rule can only be made through the postal system and are currently taking approximately 3-6 months to process.

Applications through the 20 year rule can only be made through the postal system.

If your application is refused, you will have a right of appeal against the Immigration Officer’s decision which is processed in the UK.


You should lodge your application one month before the completion of the 10 year or 20 year period.