Some of you will already be aware that the UKBA has updated a number of guidance documents (known as Immigration Directorate Instructions or IDIs) online. ‘Modernised guidance’ is available for those applying for indefinite leave to remain after spending a continuous period in the UK under the working categories including the previous work permit scheme, Tier 1 and Tier 2.

A number of enquiries that we have recently received from those coming up to the end of their 5 years, have related to what constitutes continuous residence. There has also been some confusion as to what happens when a non-EEA national falls short of the 5 year residence requirement.

If a non-EEA national on a work permit for example, is granted 5 years continuous leave to enter but does not enter the UK until some 6 to 8 weeks after the date the visa is issued, they will not have completed 5 years leave in the UK and fall short of this requirement for ILR. However, the guidance confirms that:

Applications that fall short of the five year continuous period

In some cases, applicants may have been granted five years continuous leave, but will not have spent five years continuously in the UK before their current leave expires. Caseworkers may count the period between entry clearance being granted and the date the applicant entered the UK towards the five years, provided this period was not longer than three months.

This is a positive piece of guidance for those who may have not entered the UK within 28 days of their visa being issued.

If you have any questions regarding your eligibility to apply for ILR, please contact us on 0845 413 7000 or at info@davidsonmorris.com