Taylor Hampton’s latest update discusses Home Office changes to ‘Long Residence’ rules.
Now, after ten years of continuous legal residency, the immigration laws offer individuals the possibility to seek ‘indefinite leave to remain’. Currently, a stay permit of any kind, whether temporary or part of a permanent immigration pathway leading to settlement, counts as lawful residence.
When will the Home Office modify lawful residence status?
This rule will be modified on April 12, 2023. However, it will exclude temporary immigration categories. For example, guest visas, short-term student visas, and temporary admission. Additionally, the government is considering excluding an application for asylum or humanitarian protection from the concept of legitimate residency.
Furthermore, the change will take effect retroactively. This means that even if the periods of residence under consideration began before 12 April 2023, applications submitted before 13 April will be handled in accordance with the old rules. Plus, applications submitted after that date will progress in accordance with the new rules.
How does the rule apply to those resident in the UK for over ten years?
For those who have already been in the UK for ten years but have not applied for indefinite permission to remain, this move will be very significant. The rule does not mandate that the ten years have been continuous up until the application.
How soon should I act?
Immigration attorneys should carefully consider whether their clients would lose their current entitlements after April. Likewise, individuals who might qualify for indefinite permission to remain under the long residence provision should consult legal counsel. This is because they need to ensure they won’t lose this status once the rules change.
Admittedly, it is extremely unlikely for visitors to accrue ten years of legal residence in the UK through frequent visits. First, they are not anticipated to be in the country for more than 180 days in a single year. Second, the border agency would quickly notice this. Indeed, visits can bridge the gap between two long-term visas in the context of continuous residence.
Why are the changes perplexing?
This modification is especially aggravating because it appears solely to punish applicants even more severely for waiting for a judgement. There is no mechanism to force the Home Office to adhere to any deadline. The obligation to make a choice within a fair amount of time relates to the context of a given situation. Strangely, in fact, the longer and more frequent the delays, the more elusive the idea of ‘a decent amount of time’ becomes.
How do I get clarification on my position?
For more clarification on your position and status, contact Evellyn Geemon at Taylor Hampton Solicitors. +44 207 427 5293. We recognise that every situation is different and handle client requests on a very personal basis.