From 20 June 2022, The Home Office will introduce what is being described as a “simplified” approach for those on the ten-year private and family life routes to qualify for indefinite leave to remain (ILR).

 

What do the changes mean?

PRIVATE LIFE

 

Qualifying period – Under the new rules, a child born in the UK can apply for ILR immediately after spending the first seven years of their life in the UK – even if they have never had any leave to remain[1]. Where neither parent has valid leave to remain in the UK, the application is less straightforward. Currently, applicants have to complete ten years on the private life route before they can secure ILR.

 

Accelerated Process – For seven-year children who were not born in the UK, a new accelerated route will be introduced to enable these applicants to get ILR after five years leave instead of ten. 

 

30 month leave – Under the new regime, applicants can apply for either 30 months’ or 60 months’ leave. The conditions to be met are the same for both, the only difference being the application fee. This clearly has the advantage of reducing the amount of application required before settlement. Currently, a successful applicant will be granted 30 months’ leave following which they must reapply if they wish to extend their stay. 

 

10 Year Requirement – Apart from children and young adults (aged under aged 18 to 24) everyone on the private life route has to complete ten years after being granted permission before they can get ILR. Under the new rules not everyone needs to have spent 10 years on the private life route as leave under Appendix FM. The ten-year family route or Article 8 outside the Rules can now count towards the qualifying period.

 

Suitability Criteria – The new regime introduces a change in the suitability criteria. A prison sentence of at least 12 months now prevents a person from ever getting ILR on the private life route. This is a departure from the current position where such leave can still be granted if 15 years had elapsed since the end of the sentence.

New category – A new category has been introduced for a “child born in the UK to a person on the Private Life route”. Under this category, limited and indefinite leave will be granted in line with the parent.

 

FAMILY LIFE

 

  • Continuous Residence Requirement – The new Appendix Settlement Family Lifeintroduces a new “continuous residence requirement” for ILR as a partner or parent on the ten-year route. This limits the number of absences from the UK to a maximum of 180 days’ absence in any 12-month period.

 

One of the exceptions to this will be absences due to work, study, or supporting family overseas as long as the UK remains the applicant’s place of permanent residence and they maintain a family life in the UK. Another exception includes time spent out of the UK due to a pandemic or life-threatening illness. The last exception relates to absences pre-dating the new appendix. These will be disregarded if they were followed by a grant of permission on private or family life grounds.

 

  • Showing intention – Under the new Appendix Relationship with Partner the need to show intention to live together permanently in the UK will be removed. However, all other requirements under the old rule are maintained.

 

In conclusion, it is fair to say that the changes introduced are largely positive as they allow earlier settlement for those with private and family life in the U.K. That notwithstanding, the new regulations are particularly unforgiving of anyone with a prison sentence of at least 12 months.

To learn more about these new regulations and about how they might affect you, please contact Ken Obierozie @ Lexpert Solicitors LLP 

Tel : +(44) 0207 392 8888 E-mail : ken@lexpertllp.com | Web: www.lexpertllp.com

 

[1] There is still a requirement to demonstrate that it would not be reasonable to expect them to leave the UK.