Written by Mahfuz Ahmed.
Under the UK’s ‘long residency’ rule, a person can qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain allowing them to stay in the UK without any time restrictions, provided that they have been resident lawfully in the UK legally for 10 or more continuous years.
Long Residency is typically shown by a visas or a combination of different visa covering 10 or more continuous years of lawful residence.
‘Continuous residence’ may be broken if a person leaves the UK for a considerable time. Paragraph 276A(i)(a)(iii) of the Immigration Rules. States that:
(iii) left the United Kingdom in circumstances in which he could have had no reasonable expectation at the time of leaving that he would lawfully be able to return; or
The UK Visitor visa permits a person to visit the UK for a period of up to 6 months. This article will look in to whether the time spent during a visit to the UK may count towards a long residency application.
R (on the application of Mungur) v Secretary of State for the Home Department
In this case, the Court of Appeal considered whether an applicant who was in the UK under a visitor visa, can reasonably expect that they would be able to return at the time of leaving for the purposes of para 276A(i)(a)(iii) of the Immigration Rules.
The Appellant, Mungar had initially entered the UK on visitor’s visa, and subsequently left the UK in order to make an application for a student visa. The student visa was granted and Mungar re-entered the UK.
Mungar applied for Indefinite Leave to remain on the basis of 10 more continuous years of residence which included the time spent in the UK whilst he was visiting. The Home Office refused the application on the basis that the time spent on his visit visa did not count towards his continuous residence, as at the time he left the UK he had no reasonable expectation that he would lawfully be able to return to the UK.
Mungur made an application for Judicial Review challenging the refusal made by the Secretary of State. The Court considered the application of paragraph 276A(i)(a)(iii) of the Immigration Rules.
The Court held that as the Appellant was granted the student visa as he fit the criteria required, it was reasonable for the Appellant to expect to return to the UK.
The Appeal was upheld.
From the above judgement, we can see that the time spent on visit visa may be considered towards an application for Indefinite Leave to Remain. Should you require any assistance, then do not hesitate to contact us.
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