Concession to the family Immigration Rules for granting longer periods of leave and early indefinite leave to remain

The new guidance surrounding early indefinite leave to remain (ILR) concessions, particularly for young adults (aged 18 or above and under 25 years) took effect for any new decisions made from 20 October 2021. It particularly targets applicants who may have entered the UK as minors, and who have since been granted leave on a 10-year settlement. This could either be within or outside of the family and private life rules. The main focus of this new guidance is for young adults seeking leave based on their private life (under Part 7 of the Immigration Rules). 

As previously set out in existing guidance, settlement in the UK is a privilege and does not give rise to automatic entitlement. Under the Family Immigration Rules, applicants may apply for a settlement after 5 years, provided they meet the requirements set out in Family life (as a partner or parent), private life and exceptional circumstances ( The 5-year period essentially serves as a probationary period that allows for applicants to integrate into society and gives them a chance to demonstrate their commitment to settling into life in the UK. It further seeks to test whether sponsored relationships are genuine and seeks to deter abuse of this application.

In situations where an applicant is unable to satisfy the requirements of the 5-year route, they have a further option of a 10-year route. This essentially means that in situations where it would be unreasonable for the child to leave the UK and return to their home country, under certain exceptions they may qualify for leave on a route to settlement after 10 years, under certain circumstances. 

The new guidance has been brought in with the best interests of children at the forefront. Under section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009, there is a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in the UK. There are various criteria that must apply to an applicant if they are to make an application to have an early consideration of their ILR, under the concession, namely:

  • The applicant must be 18 years or above, and under 25 years of age
  • The applicant must have spent at least half of their life living continuously in the UK, not including any period of imprisonment
  • The applicant must have either been born in the UK or entered the UK as a child
  • The applicant must have held 5 years limited leave; and 
  • The applicant must be eligible for further leave to remain under paragraph 276ADE(1) of the Immigration Rules and have made an application under those rules. 

In the event that an applicant meets the criteria set out above, the following factors must also be considered:

  • Applicants age when they arrived in the UK 
  • Applicants length of residence in the UK (including unlawful residence) 
  • Applicants connections and integration to the UK
  • Applicants efforts to engage with the Home Office and regularise the status

For any applications that are made under longer periods of leave or ILR, the existing policy will remain in place, and the applicant must be required to demonstrate exceptional or compelling reasons to grant leave for a longer period of ILR. 

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