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RECENT POSTS
Early Settlement on Private Life Grounds
HGV Food Drivers: Eligibility & Conditions
Temporary Visa Scheme for HGV Drivers & Poultry Workers
Immigration Rule Changes September 2021
Right to work checks changes from 01 September 2021
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Early Settlement on Private Life Grounds

The UK Immigration System and its concepts are rather complex. Individuals born or raised in the UK who have spent half their life in the country are only granted 30 months of limited leave to remain – if eligible. They are then required to renew their permit at least four times before being fit for settlement. It seems even more absurd if we consider the fees charged for each application, not to mention the risks involved if things were to go wrong at any given time.

On the 25th October 2021, the UK Visas and Immigration Department published new guidance. The document informs that a foreign national aged between 18 and 25, who has spent at least half of their life in the UK, could be eligible for early settlement upon completing five years of continuous residence in the UK rather than 10. This is a new and welcome home office concession. 

    Eligibility Criteria for Settelement

    The eligibility criteria are straightforward. You must:

    • Not be aged over 25 on the date of application;
    • Have been born in or entered the UK as a child;
    • Have held five years limited leave; and
    • Be eligible for further leave to remain under paragraph 276ADE (1) of the Immigration Rules, and have made an application under those rules.
    Background

    The Home Office has previously said that the ten-year wait “serves as an incentive to encourage compliance”. But it now accepts that children brought to the UK by their parents, or even born here without immigration status, are not in a position to respond to such incentives. Often they “cannot be considered responsible for any previous non-compliance with immigration laws and are fully integrated into society in the UK”. Hence the new concession. It allows those with permission under the half of life rule and who were born in the UK or entered as a child to apply for indefinite leave to remain after five years rather than ten

    Hurdles

    Unfortunately, meeting the above criteria will not guarantee a positive outcome. The UK Visas and Immigration Department will assess each case on individual circumstances, and caseworkers must then decide whether or not to grant “early” indefinite leave to remain.

    The length of the applicant’s residence in the UK (including unlawful residence), the applicant’s age when he arrived in the UK, the strength of their connections, and their integration into the country are the key aspects to be considered when making a decision.

    An applicant must further evidence that the grant of an early settlement is not against the public’s interest. Factors that may influence this decision include

    • The applicant’s efforts made to engage with the Home Office and regularise status.
    • The length of their residence in the UK (including unlawful residence)
    • Whether unlawful residence in the past was the result of non-compliance on the part of the applicant or their parent/guardian whilst the applicant was under the age of 18
    • Any leave currently held and length of continuous lawful leave
    • Whether (and the extent to which) limited leave to remain will have a detrimental impact on the person’s health or welfare
    • Any period of any continuous leave held in the past

    This concession is an important change in policy with the potential to transform the lives of young people brought up as British but denied settlement and citizenship as punishment for choices that were not their own.If you are not sure whether you could qualify for this concession, do not hesitate to contact our office.

    For expert advice and assistance regarding an application or immigration assistance, contact us at enquiries@citylegalservices.co.uk or call on 020 4525 1798. 

    Disclaimer: No material or information provided on this website should be construed as legal advice. Readers should always seek appropriate professional advice to resolve their Legal Matters.
    About the Author

      Annamaria Zeka

    Anna joined the firm in 2019, works as an Immigration Associate being regulated by the OISC at Level 1 and assist clients on all aspects of personal & business immigration to the UK.

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