To apply for settlement / indefinite leave to remain in the UK, there are a number of requirements that an applicant needs to satisfy. One requirement is knowledge of language and life in the UK.


Under the Home Office Discretionary Leave Guidance, it states that those who have been granted discretionary leave and are applying for settlement do not need to meet this requirement.


Case study


We were recently instructed by a client that had come to the UK in 2008 and claimed asylum. Her asylum claim was refused in 2011, however she was granted discretionary leave, outside the immigration rules on the basis that she had a child in the UK.


Over the years, she applied for a number of extensions, and instructed us to apply for settlement. We advised her that she does not need to undertake the English test nor the Life in the UK Test and explained the above said guidance.


An application was submitted and yesterday she was granted Indefinite Leave to remain. The client is understandably very pleased and can now plan her future in the UK as a settled person.


Are you eligible?


To be exempt from the English test and Life in the UK test requirement, you need to have been first granted discretionary leave which is often granted by one of the following methods:


1.  Applicants are normally failed asylum seekers;


2. Application was initially made by way of further submission, rather than using FLR(FP);


3. Extensions have been done by form FLR(DL), rather than FLR(FP), as HO’s system has always stopped such persons from using FLR(FP) forms and premium service.


How about if you were granted Discretionary leave, and then placed under the 10-year route within the immigration rules after an extension application?


We are of the view that if you 10 years lawful residence comprises of leave outside of the immigration rule and within, then it should be argued that the English test and Life in the UK test requirement should not be applicable to your case as the initial grant was granted outside of the immigration rules.


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