Indefinite leave to remain if you’ve been in the UK for 10 years (long residence)

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Overview

You may be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain if you’ve been in the UK legally for 10 continuous years (known as ‘long residence’).

Indefinite leave to remain is how you settle in the UK. It’s also called ‘settlement’. It gives you the right to live, work and study here for as long as you like, and apply for benefits if you’re eligible. You can use it to apply for British citizenship.

You must meet all the eligibility requirements.

Other ways you can stay

There will be a different way to apply for indefinite leave to remain if you have a visa that’s on the basis of your private life (because of the time you’ve spent in the UK). Applications open from June 2022 at the earliest.

If you’re not eligible because of the time you’ve spent in the UK, there are other ways to apply for indefinite leave to remain.

If you’re not eligible for indefinite leave to remain, you may be able to extend your stay for another 2 years (known as ‘leave to remain’). You need to have already been in the UK legally for 10 years without gaps (known as your ‘continuous residence’).

If you’re from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein

If you or your family member started living in the UK by 31 December 2020, you may still be able to apply to the free EU Settlement Scheme. Check if you can still apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.

Fees and how long it takes

The fee depends on what you’re applying for.

What you’re applying for Fee
Indefinite leave to remain £2,389
Extend your stay £1,033

You’ll also need to pay £19.20 to have your biometric information (fingerprints and a photo) taken.

You’ll usually get a decision within 6 months if you apply using the standard service.

You must not travel outside of the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man until you get a decision. Your application will be withdrawn if you do.

Get a faster decision on your application

If you’re applying to settle you can pay an extra £800 for the super priority service. You’ll get a decision:

  • by the end of the next working day after providing your biometric information if your appointment is on a weekday
  • 2 working days after providing your biometric information if your appointment is at the weekend

Working days are Monday to Friday, not including bank holidays.

Once you’ve got your decision letter, your biometric residence permit will take up to 10 working days to arrive.