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10 years Long Residency

Continuous residence is defined in Paragraph 276A(a) of the immigration rules:

 “Continuous residence means residence in the United Kingdom for an unbroken period, and for these purposes a period shall not be considered to have been broken where an applicant is absent from the United Kingdom for a period of 6 months or less at any one time, provided that the applicant in question has existing limited leave to enter or remain upon their departure and return”

The United Kingdom consists of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Interpretation Act 1978). Therefore, time spent in the Republic of Ireland, Channel Islands or the Isle of Man does not count as residence in the UK for the purpose of the long residence rules. This is the case even though those three entities form part of the Common Travel Area.

Example 1

A person enters the UK on 1 September 2004 with entry clearance as a student which is valid until 31 October 2005. On 5 November 2005 (after their previous leave expired) the person leaves the UK. On 5 January 2006 the person re-enters the UK with valid entry clearance as a student. Will the person’s continuous residence be deemed to be broken?

 Yes. The person did not have valid leave on the date of their departure so continuous residence has been broken.

Example 2

A person enters the UK on 1 September 2004 with entry clearance as a student which is valid until 31 October 2005. On 25 October 2005 (before the previous leave expired) the person departs the UK. On 5 January 2006 the person re-enters the UK with valid entry clearance as a student. Will the person’s continuous residence be deemed to be broken?

No. Because the person had valid leave on the date of their departure and the date of their return and the time spent outside the UK was less than 6 months, continuous residence has been maintained, even though they re-entered with a fresh grant of leave.

The Home Office have created the Continuous Residence Policy, it is always recommended you review this document to obtain clarity on meeting the requirements. You can speak to an advisor at ICS Legal to assist with the matter. 

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