UK Immigration forum

UK Immigration and Settlement Forum
Browsing Indefinite Leave to Remain

New Fees from 6th April 2014



General Questions Answered


Employment Routes: Continuous Residence

Q.  When does my 5 year continuous period for settlement (ILR) start?

A. The continuous period is counted backwards from the date of application
for ILR.

Example: Application date 11 November 2012

Year 1    11 November 2012          to 12 November 2011

Year 2    11 November 2011          to 12 November 2010

Year 3    11 November 2010          to 12 November 2009

Year 4    11 November 2009          to 12 November 2008

Year 5    11 November 2008          to 12 November 2007

Q.  I received my grant of leave but delayed my entry to the UK by two
months, have I broken the 5 year continuous period for ILR?

A. No.  Provided the delay was no longer than 90 days, we will count the
time between you being granted entry clearance and coming to the UK
towards the continuous period for ILR,

Q. If I delayed my entry to the UK by less than 90 days, can I still apply
at a PEO 28 days before my leave expires?

A. Yes you can still make your application at a PEO 28 days before your
current leave expires

Q. I have been absent from the UK for annual holidays, and to attend a
number of business meetings; have I broken my 5 year continuous period for

A. If your absences within any 12 consecutive month period of the 5 year
continuous period do not exceed 180 days, you will not have broken the
continuous period for ILR.  You must provide evidence of all absences.

Q. I have been absent from the UK on business trips and have exceeded the
180 day limit over one or more of the 12 consecutive month periods; have I
broken my continuous period for ILR?

A. Yes, even if the180 day limit is exceeded by only 1 day.

Q. If I have been outside of the UK for less than 24 hours, will this
count as one day’s absence from the UK?

A. No, only whole days will be counted towards the 180 day limit

Q I was a work permit holder, but will be applying for settlement as a
Tier 1 (General) migrant, do I need to provide evidence of work related
absences for both periods of leave?

A. Yes, you are required to submit evidence of all absences in both of
these categories of leave.

Q. I was absent for 95 days in a single absence, have I broken the
continuous period for ILR?

A. No, a single absence exceeding  90 days will not break continuity, but
continuity will be broken if absences in any of the12 consecutive month
periods that make up the continuous period exceed 180 days.

Q. My absences exceeded the 180 day limit in one year of my 12 consecutive
month periods, can this be disregarded if my employer provides evidence
that it was essential to the business?

A. No.  There can be no discretion applied to any absence exceeding 180
days in any of the consecutive 12 month periods of the continuous period.

Q. I was absent for more than 180 days in one of my consecutive 12 month
periods, but had no further absences from the UK throughout the remainder
of my continuous period.  Was my continuous period broken?

A. Yes.  Regardless of absences in any other 12 month period, if the 180
day limit is exceeded in only one 12 month period, continuity will be

For more details, please also see the following link to the Continuous
Residence guidance on our website:…

Long Residence (10 Years): Continuous Residence

Q. I have previously made an application for further leave to remain 7
days after my original leave expired. Will my residence in the UK be
deemed as legally continuous?

A. A single period of 10 days or less with no valid leave to remain in the
UK will be disregarded and so for these purposes your legal leave shall be
deemed to have been continuous.

We will also allow your ILR application to be submitted up to 28 days
after your last period of further leave expires.

Family Members: Continuous Residence

Q. I need to meet a qualifying period before applying for settlement
(ILR). When does this period begin?

A. If you entered the route overseas, the qualifying period will begin
when you arrive in the UK. If you ‘switched’ into the route within the UK,
the qualifying period begins on the date you were granted leave.

Family Members – Transitional Arrangements

Q. I was granted leave onto the Family route before the Rules change on 9
July 2012. Do I need to meet the new Rules at my next application?

A. No, anyone granted leave on the basis of the Rules in place before 9
July 2012 will need to meet those Rules when applying for further leave or
settlement. Please see our website:


Family Members – Financial Requirement

If you need to meet the financial requirement, guidance on this is
available on our website:


English Language requirement for Leave to Remain as a Family Member

Q. Do I need to meet the English Language requirement?

A. You will need to meet the requirement if you are applying for Entry
Clearance or Leave to remain as a Partner or as a Parent of a person
settled in the UK.

Q. What can I do to meet this requirement?

A. You can meet the requirement in one of the following ways:

·        by passing an acceptable test at a minimum level A1 of the Common
European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) with an approved
provider, or

·        by being a national of a majority English speaking country, or

·         by having an academic qualification equivalent to a Bachelor’s
or Master’s degree or PhD in the UK, which was taught in English.

Further information is available on our website:


Q. Is this the same as the Knowledge of Language and Life (KOLL)
requirement at Settlement and Citizenship?

A. No, this is a separate requirement and asks for a different level of
English. Unlike KOL, you cannot use the Life in the UK test to meet this

Knowledge of Language and Life (KOLL) requirement for Settlement

Q. The Life in the UK test is changing on 25 March 2013. If I take my test
before then, will my Pass Notification Letter (PNL) be invalid?

A. No, there is no expiry date for PNLs. You can still use your PNL if you
make your application to UKBA after 25 March 2013.

Further information on the current ways to demonstrate the KOLL
requirement is available on our website:


Dependants of Points Based System (PBS) Migrants

Q. I am the dependant of a PBS Migrant who has now become settled in the
UK. Do I need to switch into the ‘Partner of a Settled Person’ category?

A. This will depend on how the PBS Migrant applied for settlement. If they
were granted on the basis of being a PBS Migrant (under Tier 1 or Tier 2)
then you will not need to switch and you can apply for an extension as a
PBS dependant until you meet the requirements for settlement yourself.
Apply for further leave on the ‘PBS Dependant’ application form.

If the PBS Migrant applied for settlement under the Long Residency
provision, then you can no longer be considered as a PBS Dependant and you
must apply for Leave to Remain as the ‘Partner of a Settled Person’ on
application form FLR(M).

Further information is available on our website:

Q. I switched into the ‘Partner of a Settled Person’ category before 9
July 2012; do I begin my qualifying period again?

A. No, you can combine leave as a PBS dependant with leave as the partner
of a settled person to meet the qualifying period under paragraph 287.

Q If I have leave as a PBS dependant, what form do I use when I apply for

A Form SET(O)

Q If I have leave as a Partner of a Settled Person what form do I use when
I apply for settlement?

A Form SET(M)

Which Advisor to use?


Obviously there is no obligation to use an immigration advisor, however, in many instances they can make the difference of an approved or refused application. I have devised a concise list of 5 requirements that your advisor should meet before you instruct anyone to assist in your immigration matter. It could be one of the most important choices you ever make, so choose wisely!

The 5 points for Choosing an Immigration Advisor:

(1) An obvious one, but people still trip up on this one.. Is the firm or individual registered to give immigration advice? Always check to see that they are either OISC registered or registered by the law society..

(2) How long have they been established? If they are only a few months old how can you be sure of past performance and whether the advisors are up to speed with all the various immigration quirks that there are?! You can usually check the age of a firm. For example, if they are OISC registered the beginning of the registration number tends to indicate the year that they were initially registered ex. F2005…

(3) How secure are your documents? Does the company in question have good security so you can be sure your documentation is safe?

(4) Do they over charge? Make sure that the fees are indicated before you instruct someone. In many instances, firms will only charge on approval (which I guess is an added motivation for them too!)

(5) Can you get in contact with them easily? Make sure you have an office number or email address should you have any questions..

We hope this helps!

Chris (IWP)

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