You must have permission to stay (‘leave to remain’). This can be in any immigration category, or a combination of different immigration categories.
You must also have:
- been in the UK legally for 10 years (known as your ‘continuous residence’)
- kept to the terms of your UK visa
If you’re aged 18 to 65 years old, you must:
If you do not meet these 2 requirements you can apply to extend.
Your 10-year qualifying period starts from either:
- when you arrived in the UK with a visa
- when you were given permission to stay in the UK
Continuous residence is time you’ve spent in the UK without gaps.
You can leave the UK during the continuous residence for up to:
- 180 days at a time
- 540 days in total
You cannot count time spent in:
- a prison, young offender institution or secure hospital
- Ireland, the Isle of Man or Channel Islands