Can you apply for Long Residence if you overstayed?

If a migrant intends to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) on the basis of Long Residence in the UK, one of the most important requirements is that he/she must have resided in the UK lawfully for a continuous 10 years period.

Requirements for ILR application based on Long Residence

The applicant must meet the following requirements to be granted indefinite leave:

  • The applicant must have at least 10 years continuous lawful residence in the UK;
  • There must be no reason why granting leave is against the public good;
  • The applicant must meet the knowledge of language and life requirement;
  • The applicant must not fall for refusal under the general grounds for refusal;
  • The applicant must not be in breach of immigration laws.


What are the exceptions for overstayers?

Under paragraph 39E of the Immigration Rules, if the application was made within 14 days of the migrant’s leave expiring and the Secretary of State considers that he /she has a good reason to explain why the application could not be made in-time, or the application was made:

(a) following the refusal of a previous application for leave which was made in-time; and

(b) within 14 days of:

  • The refusal of the previous application for leave; or
  • The expiry of any leave extended by section 3C of the Immigration Act 1971; or
  • The expiry of the time-limit for making an in-time application for administrative review or   appeal; or
  • Any administrative review or appeal being concluded, withdrawn or abandoned or lapsing.


Breaks in continuous residence

The migrant’s continuous residence is considered to be broken if he/she has:

  • Been absent from the UK for a period of more than 180 days at any one time;
  • Spent a total of 540 days outside the UK throughout the whole 10 year period;
  • Left the UK before 24 November 2016 with no valid leave to remain on his/her departure from the UK, and failed to apply for entry clearance within 28 days of his/her previous leave expiring (even if they returned to the UK within 6 months).


For more detailed information in relation to the ‘exceptional circumstances’ of Long Residence, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Contact Our Immigration Team

For expert advice regarding any aspect of the Settlement application, please contact our immigration team on 0203 384 3075 or contact us here.



The content of this article is for general use and information only. Since each case should be prepared on its own merit and in light of the constant amendments to the Immigration Rules, it is important to note that the information provided must not be relied upon unless Migra & Co has either given written consent or has been officially engaged in relation to a specific immigration matter. As a result, Migra & Co will take no responsibility for any damage, cost or loss resulting from relying on the information contained in this article, blog and website.

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