The Home Office has updated their guidance on continuous residence to provide further clarification in relation to the 548 days absence requirement for 10 year settlement applications.


A person can apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK if they have accumulated 10 years lawful continuous residence in the UK. Prior to 11th April 2024, a person’s continuous residence is considered broken if their absences during that 10 year period exceeded 18 months (548 days).


However, since 11th April 2024, this is no longer the case and this requirement ahs been removed. The Home Office have received many enquiries from applicants requesting clarification as to whether this requirement applies if the 10 year period is a combination of time spent before 11th April 2024 and after 11th April 2024.


The Home Office has yesterday updated their guidance and confirmed that the period before 11th April 2024 and the period after will be assessed individually. The period before will be considered under the old rules and therefore the 548 day total absence requirement will be considered, whilst the period after will not.


To provide clarification, please see the examples below:




A person first obtained first leave to remain on 1st July 2016. He would like to apply for ILR on 1st July 2026.


The Home Office will consider the person’s absences between 1st July 2016 – 10th April 2024 to ensure that they have not exceeded absences totalling 548 days in that period.


If they have been absent after 11th April 2024, then this can be disregarded and does not form part of the calculation.


Please note that the absence requirement of not being away for more than 6 months (184 days) at any given time applies to absences both prior and post 11th April 2024.


Should you have any queries, then please do not hesitate to contact us and our Immigration team will be happy to help.


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