How to determine if the continuous period is spent lawfully in the UK

Continuous residence in the UK is an important part of a settlement based application. The applicant must not have spent any of their time in the UK without valid leave to enter or remain.

Home Office will refuse indefinite leave to remain (ILR) if the applicant does not meet the continuous period requirement set out in the Immigration Rules. The continuous period requirement is the minimum amount of time which a migrant must spend in employment or being active in the UK economy before being eligible to qualify for ILR.

Home Office will assess if the applicant has spent the required minimum time period in the UK, as well as whether they meet all of the other requirements for ILR set out in the Immigration Rules. When you calculate if an applicant has met the continuous period requirement, you must examine how many days absence from the UK they have accrued. The applicant must provide reasons for these absences in all categories except bereaved partner.

The majority of applicants are also required to provide evidence of the absence. Evidence is not required from applicants in the following categories:

  1. Tier 1 (Investor) (paragraph 245EF)
  2. Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) (paragraph 245DF)
  3. Tier 1 (Exceptional talent) (paragraph 245BF)
  4. highly skilled migrants (who fall under the HSMP Forum judgment)
  5. The Secretary of State retains discretion under the Immigration Act 1971 to grant leave outside the rules in exceptional cases.

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