Applying for settlement via the 10-year route is a popular option for migrant students or workers or those who have been legally resident in the UK for over 10 years. The 10-year period starts from the applicant’s date of initial entry into the UK. After that, the applicant must have held valid visas for a continuous period of 10 years.

The 10-year continuous period must not have any ‘breaks’ in residence before and after visa extensions


  1. Applicant must not have a ‘gap’ of more than 28 days in between visas
  2. Time spent on a Tier 1 (PSW) visa can be included for the 10-year route but can’t be included for the 5-year route
  3. 10-year settlement applications take the Home Office longer to process, hence why it is only possible to apply by post for now. Applicant may apply 28 days before completing the 10-year residency period.
  4. Dependents cannot apply for settlement in line with the main applicant. If dependents have lived in the UK legally for 10 years as well, they need to apply separately.
  5. Applicant must not have been absent from the UK for over 540 days

More often than not, applicants face 2 common issues; either they have one or more ‘gaps’ in residence, or their time spent outside the UK exceeds the maximum that is allowed. Speaking from our approved cases, if an applicant can provide valid documents in line with the Home Office requirements to prove the inevitability of breaking their residence, the chance of being refused will fall dramatically.

Other than that, most applicants are unfamiliar with the immigration rules. They are often unsure of their eligibility for settlement because they forget if they have had any ‘gaps’ in the past 10 years. Therefore, once they have appointed us as their legal representative, we will assist them in confirming that by making a Subject Access Request (SAR) to the Home Office, which contains all details of the applicant’s immigration history.

UK Visa Partners have been running immigration services for a number of years, and we are dedicated to giving our customers the peace of mind and freeing them of any hassle before getting their visa decisions.

For further information on Indefinite Leave to Remain, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us on +44 (0)20 7253 6888 by phone or by e-mail.