Dear Immigration Team, Do I have a right to claim 20 years long residence for Indefinite Leave to Remain settelement in the UK? and what are the main requirements under this route? I would be please to arrange an appointment but could you kindly provide some general information on the 20 year route for settlement visa first?

Areas of Expertise: 

Public Answer: 

Dear Tom, 

Thank you for your question. We set out some information below which may assist you in applying under this visa route.

Individuals living in the UK for twenty years or more (either lawfully or unlawfully), can apply for Leave to Remain on the grounds of private life.  After a further ten years residency, he or she can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain.

The most important distinction between the 20 year route and the 10 year route is that you can apply for Leave to Remain after 20 years even if you have been in the UK illegally.


The law relating to the 20 years long residence route for Indefinite Leave to Remain is contained in paragraph 276ADE of the Immigration Rules.  Prior to this paragraph coming into force in 2012, applicants could apply for Leave to Remain after 14 years.

The applicant must meet one of the requirements contained in paragraph 276ADE (iii) to (vi), which state that the applicant;

  1.                         i.         Has lived continuously in the UK for at least 20 years (discounting any period of imprisonment)
  2.                        ii.         Is under the age of 18 years and has lived continuously in the UK for at least seven years (discounting any period of imprisonment)
  3.                      iii.         Is aged 18 years or above and under 25 years and has spent at least half of their life residing continuously in the UK (discounting any period of imprisonment)
  4.                       iv.         Is aged 18 years and above, has lived continuously in the UK for less than 20 years (discounting any period of imprisonment) but has no ties (including social, cultural or family) with the country to which they would have to go if required to leave the UK.


The Definition of ‘Ties’

When establishing whether or not an applicant has any ties with the country he or she would have to return to if they left the UK, the UK Border Agency will consider factors such as language, whether the applicant has any family and/or friends in that country, cultural ties etc.


How OTS Solicitors Can Help You With Your Application

Our experienced and highly-qualified solicitors will take the time needed to put together a comprehensive application for Leave to Remain under the 20 year route. You can be assured we will take an approach to your case to ensure it has the best chance of succeeding.  We can also answer any questions the Home Office may have regarding your application on your behalf.


When you engage our services you can expect the following standard of service:

  • Based on the information you provide us, detailed advice as to the UK immigrationlaws that apply to your case
  • A clear, concise discussion with an your solicitor, outlining the strengths and weaknesses of your application
  • Advice as to what documentation you will need to provide to support your application
  • Assistance with filling in the relevant application forms
  • Full follow-up with the UK Border Agency if there are any questions or problems with your application
  • Advice on appeals or applications for administrative or judicial review should you application be denied
  • Your Immigration solicitor will prepare strong detailed legal representations setting out the legal framework to support your application 


OTS Solicitors is registered with and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.


Our Fees

We can offer a fixed fee service for an Indefinite Leave to Remain Application for 20 years’ residence in some circumstances.  We can also offer payment options if required.

 To find out more on how we can advise you on your application for IndefiniteLeave to Remain after a twenty year residence in the UK, please phone our office on 0207 936 9960.  We would be happy to offer an initial consultation over the phone, or you can make an appointment to see us in our London office.

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