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Private Life

If you have lived continuously but unlawfully in the UK for long periods, it may be possible to obtain lawful immigration status through a long residence Private Life visa. Human Rights legislation makes this possible.

If you have been in the UK without lawful leave to remain, you may be able to apply on the grounds of the Private Life you have built up in the UK. Some people arrived in the UK as visitors and did not return to their home country but never obtained legal permission to remain in the UK. Some were brought here as children and did not realise they had no legal immigration status until they tried to find work or study at university.


You can only apply for a Private Life visa if you already live in the UK.

You must be able to prove that you are:

• under 18 and you have lived in the UK continuously for at least seven years, and it would be unreasonable to expect you to leave the UK;
• between 18 and 24 and you have continually lived in the UK for more than half your life;
• 18 or over, and have spent less than 20 years in the UK and would have very significant problems living in another country. For example, you do not speak the language and could not learn it;
• 25 or over, and you've been in the UK continuously for 20 years


You are typically granted a 10-year route to settlement once your visa application under the Private Life route is successful. The 10-year route was introduced in 2012 for people who cannot meet the requirements of other immigration rules but whose removal would breach their private or family life rights. Successful applicants are given leave to remain in 30-month tranches and are required to make repeated applications until they have accrued ten years of continuous lawful residence.


The Home Office conceded that the ten-year route is disproportionate to applicants born in the UK or who entered as children (under 18). Therefore, young adults (18-24) cannot be considered responsible for any previous non-compliance with immigration laws and are fully integrated into society in the UK. Once these applicants have completed five years of leave to remain, they should be granted Indefinite Leave to Remain.

To qualify for the early ILR concession, you must fulfil the following criteria:

  • You must be aged 18-25 (on the application date) and have spent more than half of your life in the UK;
  • Have either been born in the UK or entered the UK as a minor;
  • Held five years limited leave to remain; and
  • Be eligible under and have made an application based on private life grounds.

The new guidance can benefit many previously considered applicants under the ten-year settlement route. The new guidance means that they could apply for settlement straight away after five years. Applying under the early ILR concession will significantly save the Home Office application fees and Immigration Health Surcharge. Naturalising as a British citizen may also become available quicker.

Most immigration applications have strict factual and evidential requirements that are not necessarily straightforward to comprehend or satisfy. LS Legal Solicitors are well versed and highly experienced in providing advice and assistance on immigration applications. We appreciate that many of the requirements may seem overly complex and onerous. However, we guarantee to make your experience as smooth and stress-free as possible.

For the quickest response, please WhatsApp or call us on +44 (0) 75 3595 9450. You can also contact us via email at info@LSLegaLUK.com or use the contact form to discuss your requirements further or arrange an appointment with one of our experts.