If you have resided in the UK lawfully for 10 years then you are entitled to apply for settlement, commonly known as indefinite leave to remain. Meeting certain criteria, such as passing the Life in the UK test is essential, along with ensuring that your absences from the UK don’t exceed specific limits. So, when it comes to 10 year settlement, how much time can you spend outside the UK?


Mahfuz namecard


Well, until recently, applying for indefinite leave to remain based on a decade of residence was restricted if, within the past 10 years, you had:


  • Stayed outside the UK for more than 184 days on a single occasion.
  • Accumulated over 548 days of absence in total during the past 10 years.



However, in the latest Statement of changes to the Immigration Rules: HC 590, issued on March 14, 2024, a significant adjustment has been made. Effective from April 11, 2024, the introduction of Appendix Long Residence and the removal of paragraph 276, part 7 from the immigration rules will govern long residence applications.


No mention that absences cannot surpass 548 days


This regulatory update reflects meticulous scrutiny and review on our part. We carefully reviewed the proposed Appendix Long Residence and Appendix Continuous Residence, whereupon we made an insightful observation. While both appendices stipulate that absences exceeding 180 days will disrupt continuous residence, we noted a conspicuous omission of any mention that absences cannot surpass 548 days.


This revelation underscores our commitment to keeping up-to-date with changes in the law and meticulously analysing their implications. Moreover, it underscores our dedication to ensuring that our clients are informed of every opportunity available to them.


This development marks a significant shift, as many individuals were previously unable to apply for settlement due to absences exceeding 548 days over a 10-year period. As of April 11, 2024, applications can be submitted under the revised regulations.


Feel free to reach out to us today to explore your case further. We stand ready to provide comprehensive guidance tailored to your specific circumstances.


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