Last month, we published an article following the release of the latest statement of changes to the Immigration Rules: HC 590, which was issued on March 14 2024. In this article, we made observations about the absence of any mention that applicants for 10-year settlement must not exceed 548 days away after living in the UK lawfully for 10 years. We can now confirm that this analysis was correct.


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The statement of changes listed a number of new proposals, most importantly the introduction of appendix long residence.


An application under long residence is used by those who have stayed in the UK lawfully for 10 years which could have been via a combination of different visas. The statements stated that there would be the introduction of Appendix Long Residence and the removal of paragraph 276, part 7 from the immigration rules.


Before this big change, people wanting to settle in the UK had strict rules to follow. If they were away from the UK for more than 548 days in total over 10 years, or for more than 184 days at once, they couldn’t apply for settlement. However, we noticed something important when we looked at the new rules: there was no mention of absences relating to the 548 days. This wasn’t stated in the statement of changes and no reference was given in appendix continuous residence.


This would mean that as of 11th April 2024, all those who have been prevented from applying for ILR due to exceeding absences for over 548 days will no longer be prevented from applying for settlement. We have seen over the past year that this has affected many people who were stranded abroad during the pandemic and promptly made our observations known. We can now confirm that following the release of the new appendix long residence, our analysis was indeed correct and there is no such requirement. Please note that the absence requirement of not being absent from the UK for 180 days at any given time still applies.


Contact us today if you believe you will be eligible for the settlement as a result of the change.


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