Updated 10-Year Long Residence ILR Rules in the UK 2024


The UK has recently updated its rules regarding the 10-year long residence route to indefinite leave to remain. These changes impact both new and existing applicants and came into effect on April 11th, 2024. The aim of these changes is to streamline the application process and align it more closely with broader immigration requirements. However, they also impose stricter conditions on eligibility, particularly concerning the duration of permitted absences and the requirements for continuous permission.

In this article, we will explore the key changes to the long residence ILR rules, examine their implications, and provide essential insights for navigating these new regulations effectively..

Let’s start by understanding the changes in the 10-year long residence ILR rules for individuals seeking indefinite leave to remain in the UK through the long residence route. Significant changes have been implemented that affect the application process. These changes, effective from the 11th of April, 2024, aim to streamline and clarify the requirements, but they also introduce new restrictions that applicants need to be aware of.

What are the key updates to the long residence ILR rules? Let’s begin with the extended permission requirement. The new rule states that applicants must hold their current permission for at least 12 months on the application date or have been exempt from immigration control during this period. This change reduces flexibility and could potentially delay ILR applications for those who received permission after the 11th of April, 2024.

Let’s discuss the changes in the clarified qualifying period for settlement eligibility. Although the qualifying period still spans 10 years, specific conditions have been refined regarding the types of permission that count towards this period. For instance, time spent in the UK under various non-visitor visas exemptions or as a European Economic Area National exercising treaty rights before Brexit are explicitly counted.

However, the continuous residence requirements have also been tightened. The new rule limits absences to 180 days in any 12 months starting from the 11th of April, 2024. Previously, the rule allowed for up to 548 days of absence during the 10-year period. But there are special provisions. Absences for specific reasons like assisting with crises, certain research activities, or due to compelling personal circumstances are exempt from breaking the continuous residence.

It is important to understand why these changes matter. The adjustments to the long residence ILR rules reflect a tightening of policy, aligning it with broader immigration controls while attempting to provide clearer guidelines for applicants. These changes are particularly impactful for students and short-term visitors who now face more stringent requirements concerning their length of stay and absences from the UK.

Therefore, prospective applicants must carefully review these new rules to ensure compliance, especially regarding the length of permission and absence from the UK. It is crucial for those affected to plan accordingly and seek professional advice if necessary to navigate these changes effectively.

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