The basis of long residence recognises the ties a person may form with the UK over a lengthy period of residence in the UK. The UK Immigration Rules have changed. Before 9th July 2012 it was possible to grant long residence after a period of 14 years continuous residence, but that provision was removed by changes to the Immigration Rules on that date.
However, a person granted an extension of stay following an application made before 9th July 2012 can still be considered under the rules in force before that date. This means a person granted leave to remain on the basis of the 14 years residence in the UK can still be granted indefinite leave to remain once the requirements are made. It is strongly advisable to seek professional advice with regard to UK immigration law.
Paragraph 276(A)(D)(E) of the Rules provides for a person to be granted leave to remain on the grounds of private life on the basis of her long residence in the UK.
Requirements for Long Residence
Immigration Rules UK require that the applicant must meet the following requirements to be granted indefinite leave.
1. The applicant must have at least 10 years lawful residence in the UK
2. There must be no reason why granting leave is against the public good
3. The applicant must meet the knowledge of language and life requirement
4. The applicant must not fall for refusal under the general grounds for refusal
UK Immigration Rules state that continuous residence is considered to be broken if the applicant has been absent from the UK for a period of more than six months at any one time or is absent from the UK for a shorter period but does not have valid leave to enter the UK on their return, or valid leave to remain on their departure from the UK or has spent a total of 18 months outside the UK throughout the whole 10 year period. On the other hand, Immigration Law UK states continuous residence is not considered broken if the applicant is absent from the UK for six months or less at any one time and had existing leave to enter or remain when they left and when they returned. This can include leave gained at port when returning to the UK as a non visa national. If an applicant was in the UK with a right to reside under the European Economic Area Regulation when they left the UK and was readmitted under the EA Regulations, continuous residence is not broken. Furthermore UK Immigration Rules state that continuous residence is not broken if an applicant receives a suspended sentence from a Court of Law.
Applications which are received more than 28 days before the applicant completes the required qualifying period for long residence must be refused. This is because the applicant has not completed the required period of leave in the UK. The UK Immigration Rules state that applicants who are refused under the Long Residence Rules, due to them submitting their application too early, can reapply once they have completed their qualifying leave or up to 28 days before this. If the applicant has one single short gap in lawful residence through making one single previous application out of time, by no more than 10 calendar days, and meets all the other requirements discretion might be used in favour of the applicant.