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Indefinite Leave To Remain | 20 Year Route

The Twenty Year Route

On 9th July 2012 the Home Office introduced new provisions for overstayers which closed the previous fourteen year route and extended the period to a requirement of twenty years continuous residence in the UK.

A person who has lived in the UK either lawfully or unlawfully for twenty years or more, will not qualify automatically for Indefinite Leave to Remain (‘ILR’) but will be granted further leave to remain for a period not exceeding thirty months. This period will need to be renewed and after ten years the applicant is able to apply for ILR.

Accordingly, some applicants will need to have been in the UK for thirty years to reach this stage.


The law relating to the twenty years long residence route for ILR is contained in Paragraph 276ADE of the Immigration Rules and the Applicant must meet one of the following requirements:

  • Has lived continuously in the UK for at least twenty years
  • Is under the age of eighteen years and has lived continuously in the UK for at least seven years
  • Is aged over eighteen and under twenty five and has spent at least half their life residing continuously in the UK
  • Is aged eighteen and above and has lived continuously in the UK for less than twenty years and has no ties to the country to which they would have to go if required to leave the UK

Key Features

  • Continuous residence means that the Applicant should not, at any time, have been absent from the UK for a period of six months or more
  • This period does not include any period of imprisonment (any period of imprisonment does not mean that the twenty years period starts again; simply that it is kept on hold and recommences once the period of imprisonment is over).
  • Evidence is required through documentation of continuous residence in the UK for twenty years, which may include tenancy agreements, letters or statements from, for example, HMRC, local council, doctor, bank, utility provider or family members.

Strict criteria are applied for qualification for ILR, the immigration rules are complicated and it is essential that expert guidance is obtained to ensure that the same are met.

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How Can We Help?

With the rising cost of fees payable upon each application, it is imperative that experienced advice is sought before submitting an application to the Home Office for their consideration in order to reduce the risks of such applications being refused and payments being wasted.

All applications must be made correctly on the very detailed forms with full supporting documentation, which may present individual technical difficulties.

Failure to submit a proper application could result in the issue of a Notice of Refusal, leading to an illegal overstay.

Immigration rules are complicated and we are able to help, advise and process applications.

At Kangs Solicitors, our experienced team of immigration lawyers advise and assist clients with immigration status issues in the UK, on a daily basis.

We have a proven track record of successfully advising and guiding clients through the immigration application and appeals process.


Mrs Sharan Rupra
07989 521 210 | 0121 449 9888 | 020 7936 6396


2 Wake Green Road, Moseley
Birmingham, B13 9EZ

0121 449 9888


9 Carmelite Street, City of London
London, EC4Y 0DR

020 7936 6396


76 King Street
Manchester, M2 4NH

0161 817 5020