Once a person has resided in the UK for 20 years which can be a legal or illegal stay, the person can usually be permitted to stay in the UK. A private life route means if an individual has lived in the UK for a
substantial period and developed a private life in the UK, they can apply for permission to stay in the UK on a private life route.
A 20-year private life visa is for adults over 18 who have lived in the UK ‘lawfully’ or ‘unlawfully’ for 20 years or more. An application based on 20 years long residence is considered under Appendix Private
Life, which has replaced the paragraph 276ADE of the Immigration Rules.
Applicants are required to use the form FLR (FP). On successful application, the applicant is given permission to remain for 30 months on a ten-year route to settlement (Indefinite Leave to Remain - ILR).
After 30 months, applicants can apply for an extension of 2 years and 6 months. Applicants can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain on 20 years private life visa after ten years on a private life as an adult.
Applicants must meet the following criteria:
They must be in the UK at the time of their application
They must have lived continuously in the UK for 20 years or more. If they have lived for less than 20 years, the Home Office must be satisfied that there would be insurmountable obstacles for the applicant returning to their home country.
Applicants should provide documentary evidence to support their continuous residency. For example, tenancy agreements, utility bills or bank statements to show the places in the UK where they have lived, or documents such as contracts or certificates to show that they haveworked or studied in the UK.
Twenty years of continuous residence includes time in the UK, legally or illegally. However, this period must not be a significant time of absence. So, you should not have been out more than six months outside the UK and not more than 550 days in total during 20 years.
The time spent in prison does not count towards the continuous residence, but it does not break continuous residence as well.
If an applicant has been removed or deported from the UK or he/she has left the UK due to the refusal of leave to enter or remain breaks the continuous residence.
The time spent by an applicant in an institution other than a prison while he/she was detained or serving a sentence of imprisonment will not break continuous residence, although the time spent being detained will not count towards the 20 years.
If an applicant served a custodial sentence of more than 12 months, this would break continuous residence. Such cases fall for refusal under the Suitability Requirement. If the applicant left the UK and showed a clear intention not to return would break continuous residence.
If the applicant leaves the UK under circumstances where they could have no real chance of returning to the UK, they will lawfully break continuous residence.
The 20-year private life route does not enable you to an immediate settlement. You can only apply for an ILR after ten years of continuous lawful residence in the UK after you get permission to stay in the UK
on a 20-year private life route. Once you have held ILR for at least 12 months, you will be eligible to apply for British citizenship. If you are looking for professional advice or representation of your application, please contact Visa and Migration Ltd on 02034111261 or email us – firstname.lastname@example.org