New immigration rules for individuals applying on Private Life routes

The Home Office have recently made changes to the immigration rules that will affect individuals seeking permission to stay in the UK on the basis they have developed a Private Life. The new rules can be found here Immigration Rules Appendix Private Life, and details regarding the Home Office’s guidance can be found here Private Life.

These changes mostly affect how the Home Office grant leave and settlement for children (under the age of 18 years old) and young adults (between 18 and 25 years old). The biggest change to the rules is that the Home Office will now grant longer periods of leave to remain (60 months rather than just 30 months) for children and young adults. They have also provided additional, shorter Private Life routes to settlement for children and young adults. See below for a more detailed overview of the changes.

Under the old rules, children who have resided in the UK continuously for 7 years have the right to make an application for leave to remain on the basis of their Private Life in the UK, if they can prove it is not reasonable for them to leave the UK. The recent changes mean that:

  1. Children (born inside the UK) who have resided in the UK continuously for 7 years are now able to apply for settlement immediately. They can apply for settlement if they have lived in the UK with or without permission during those 7 years of continuous residency.
  2. Children (born outside of the UK) who have resided in the UK continuously for 7 years can now apply for 5 years leave to remain on the basis of their Private Life.
  3. Children (born outside of the UK) can make applications for settlement in the UK after holding leave to remain on the basis of their private life for a period of 5 years.

Under the old rules, young adults between the ages of 18 and 25 years old who arrived in the UK as a child and has continuously resided in the UK for at least half their life, can make an application for leave to remain on the basis of their Private Life. The recent changes mean:

  1. Young adults who have spent half of their life continuously in the UK can now apply for 5 years leave to remain on the basis of their Private Life.
  2. Young adults can make applications for settlement in the UK after holding leave to remain on the basis of their private life for a period of 5 years.

The rules for Private Life applications made by adults (who don’t meet any of the above application rules) remain unchanged. An application for leave to remain on the basis of Private Life can still be made on the basis someone has continuously resided in the UK for more than 20 years, or if it is accepted that there would be very significant obstacles to the applicant’s integration in another country if they were required to leave the UK. The Home Office will still only grant 2 years and 6 months (30 months) leave to remain, and you can only apply for settlement after holding leave to remain for 10 years continuously.

The English Language and Life in the UK requirements remain the same for settlement applications on the Private Life route.