Early settlement concession for young people living half their lives in the UK

Some young people born or brought up in the UK without immigration status can now apply for settlement after five years rather than ten. The change in policy comes in a new and very welcome Home Office concession, published on 25 October.

Paragraph 276ADE(1)(v) of the Immigration Rules allows people aged 18-24 inclusive, who have spent half of their life living continuously in the UK, to apply for permission to stay. The catch is that they remain on the immigration system treadmill for a long time.

While most migrants can settle in the UK after five years, young people with permission under this “half of life” rule have been on a ten-year route to settlement.

The Home Office says that the ten-year wait “serves as an incentive to encourage compliance”. But it now accepts that children brought to the UK by their parents, or even born here without immigration status, are not in a position to respond to such incentives. Often they “cannot be considered responsible for any previous noncompliance with immigration laws and are fully integrated into society in the UK”

Hence the new concession. It allows those with permission under the half of life rule, and who were born in the UK or entered as a child, to apply for indefinite leave to remain after five years rather than ten. The full eligibility requirements are that the applicant:

  • Be aged 18 years or above and under 25 years of age and has spent least half of his/her life living continuously in the UK (discounting any period of imprisonment)
  • Have either been born in or entered the UK as a child;
  • Have held five years limited leave; and
  • Be eligible for further leave to remain under paragraph 276ADE(1) of the Immigration Rules and have made an application under those rules.

That is just the first hurdle, though. Caseworkers must then decide whether or not to grant “early” indefinite leave to remain:

where an applicant meets the above criteria and requests an early grant of ILR the following factors should be considered:

These include (but are not limited to) the following:

the person’s age when they arrived in the UK

  • the length of their residence in the UK (including unlawful residence)
  • the strength of their connections and integration to the UK
  • whether unlawful residence in the past was the result of non compliance on the part of the applicant or their parent/guardian whilst the applicant was under the age of 18
  • efforts made to engage with the Home Office and regularise status
  • any leave currently held and length of continuous lawful leave
  • any period of any continuous leave held in the past
  • whether (and the extent to which) limited leave to remain will have a detrimental impact on the person’s health or welfare

These must be weighed against public interest factors: “the need for 10-year route applicants to serve a longer probationary period before qualifying for settlement, and the principle of lawful compliance”. An example of where the balance may be in favour of granting early settlement is where

previous non-compliance with immigration requirements was not of their own choice or responsibility, because their overstaying was as a child or young adult under the age of 25.

This is an important change in policy with the potential to transform the lives of young people brought up as British but denied settlement and citizenship as punishment for choices that were not their own.

Please note that the above visa route (the one about half of life in the UK) is applicable to those who entered the UK illegally or were born in the UK and stayed here illegally and then after spending here half of life, they apply for a leave to remain on this basis. This visa route is not automatically applicable to those who validly entered the UK and stayed here legally all the time (for example on student visas, work visas, spouse visas, etc) and it is a discretionary concession which may or may not be used by the Home Office for those who have lived in the UK legally all the time.

Like this article? Share on

Facebook
Linkdin
Twitter
Telegram
WhatsApp

Related articles

Information about our own complaints process, raising concerns to the Legal Ombudsman and to us

We want to give you the best possible service. However, if at any point you become unhappy or concerned about the service we provided then you should inform us immediately, so that we can do our best to resolve the problem.

In the first instance it may be helpful to contact the person who is working on your case to discuss your concerns and we will do our best to resolve any issues at this stage. If you would like to make a formal complaint, then you can read our full complaints procedure here. Making a complaint will not affect how we handle your case.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority can help you if you are concerned about our behaviour. This could be for things like dishonesty, taking or losing your money or treating you unfairly because of your age, a disability or other characteristic. 

You can raise your concerns with the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

What do to if we cannot resolve your complaint

The Legal Ombudsman can help you if we are unable to resolve your complaint ourselves. They will look at your complaint independently and it will not affect how we handle your case.

Before accepting a complaint for investigation, the Legal Ombudsman will check that you have tried to resolve your complaint with us first. If you have, then you must take your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman:

  • Within six months of receiving our final response to your complaint; and,
  • Within one year of the date of the act or omission about which you are concerned; or
  • Within one year of you realising that there was a concern.

 

If you would like more information about the Legal Ombudsman, you can contact them at the following details:

 Contact details

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By closing this message, you consent to our cookies on this device in accordance with our cookie policy unless you have disabled them.