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Until 9th July 2012 there were two routes to settlement on the grounds of long residence for persons of good character whose residence would not offend the public interest.

1. 10 Years continuous and lawful residence, or
2. 14 years of continuous residence (whether lawful, unlawful or a combination of two).

The 14 year category is now closed except for people granted an extension of stay on this basis following an application made prior to 9th July 2012, who will be able to apply for ILR once the requirements of the old rule are fully met: R276 A2.

Since 9 July 2012, the 14 year rule has been replaced for post July 2012 applicants by the provisions of the new 'private life' category at R276 ADE (1). It shifts from being a '14 year rule' to being a '20 year rule' (for those who are not the special cases.

There is now one direct route to settlement on long residence grounds for persons of good character whose residence would not offend the public interest,under Rule 276B which requires;

1. 10 year continuous and lawful residence.
There are other rules for individuals who have been resident here for significant periods such that they can make a case built on private life grounds. These result in 30 month grants of limited leave to remain on a 10 year settlement route. You will see that these are long residence' routes to a greater or lesser extent, though the length of residence is far less for the young and for those who cannot integrate abroad. These require

1. 20 years unlawful residence for those who are not children or young people who have lived half their lives here or who are unable to show there are very significant obstacles to their integration in the country of return.

2. 7 years residence for a child who can show their departure would be unreasonable.

3. residence of half their life for a young person aged under 25.


4. any period of residence for a person who can show there are very significant obstacles to their integration in the country of return.

Ten Year Rule
Continuous lawful residence

Under the 10 year rule (276A to 276D) the leave must be continuous and lawful. The terms continuous residence and lawful residence are defined in rule 276A (a) and (b) respectively.
Continuous residence is residence for an unbroken period and it not broken by absence of up to 6 months or less at any one time so long as the applicant had leave to enter or remain on leaving and returning but is broken if they;

1. are removed, deported or depart following a refusal of leave
2. leave evidencing a clear intention not to return or where there is no reasonable expectation of lawful return
3. are convicted and sentenced to a custodial non-suspended sentence.
4. are abroad for more than 18 months during the relevant period.

Lawful residence is that;
1. with leave to enter or remain, or where one is exempt from immigration control.
2. with temporary admission, where leave is subsequently, granted (e.g. where the application which led to a grant of temporary admission subsequently succeeeds, as with an asylum claim made at the port of entry.