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Index >> UK Residency >> Indefinite Leave to Remain >> Categories where the continuous period is not 5 years >&g back button

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Indefinite Leave to Remain

Categories where the continuous period is not 5 years

The continuous period may be less than 5years provided the criteria are met, in the following work categories: 

Tier 1 (Entrepreneur)

Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) applicants may qualify for indefinite leave to remain after 3 or 5 years,depending on their level of business activity.

Tier 1 (Investor)

(Paragraph 245EFand appendix A, table 9).Applicants may qualify for indefinite leave to remain after 2, 3 or 5 years, depending on their level of investments.

Applications under the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP) Judicial Review

This is for applicants qualifying under the HSMP judicial review (paragraph 135G and 245CD).Applicants may qualify for indefinite leave to remain after 4years if they applied to the HSMP before 3 April 2006, or 5 years if they applied between 3 April 2006 and 7 November 2006.

Nationality applications

The limits set out in this guidanceapply to applications for indefinite leave to remain(ILR)only. The assessment of absences for nationality applications is different.  Lengthy absences taken during the continuous period for ILR can impact on the applicant’s ability to meet the residency requirements for nationality. 

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

The applicant must not have spent any of their time in the UK without valid leave to enter or remain.

 You must 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.  You must 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.

 Whenyou calculateif an applicant has met the continuous period requirement, you must examine how many d
ays 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:

  • Tier 1 (Investor)(paragraph 245EF)

  • Tier 1 (Entrepreneur)paragraph 245DF)

  • Tier 1 Exceptional talent)(paragraph 245BF)

  • highly skilled migrants(who fall under the HSMP Forum judgment)

The Secretary of State retains discretion under the Immigration Act 1971 to grant leave outside the rules in exceptional cases

Definition of the UK

For immigration purposes,‘UK’ means Great Britain and Northern Irela nd only.

 It does not include the Crown dependencies of the:

  • Channel Islands 

  • Isle of Man

However, paragraph 1(1) of schedule 4 to the Immigration Act 1971states that, as he Crown dependencies form part of the Common Travel Area, leave granted there is treated as if it had been granted in the UK.  

You can include time spent in the Crown dependencies in a category equivalent to any category of leave covered by this guidance toward ILR in the UK,provided it meets the Immigration Rules requirements.  

You must treat any time spent in the Crowndependencies during the continuous  period with leave not covered by this guidance as an absence from the UK.

Any time spent working off shore on the UK continental shelf, beyond the 12 mile zone defined as UK territorial waters,does not count toward the continuous qualifying period for ILR, for example on ships or oil rigs. You must count this as an 
absence from the UK.


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