Blog Post - Obtaining permission to stay on the basis of your residence if you are living in the UK without documents


Our immigration department can assist clients with all types of immigration matters regardless of whether a client has leave to remain in the UK or is residing in the UK without immigration status.

Under the immigration rules, an applicant without immigration status who is applying to stay in the UK on the basis of their residence needs to show that they have lived in the UK continuously for at least 20 years.

If an applicant is able to successfully evidence that they have lived in the UK continuously for at least 20 years and are of suitable character, they would normally be given leave to remain in the UK.

The immigration rules also allow for permission to stay in the UK to be granted to some applicants if they have not lived in the UK continuously for at least 20 years and are able to demonstrate that they would experience very significant obstacles to their re-integration if they had to return to their country.

Due to the high threshold, applicants rarely succeed in meeting the ‘‘very significant obstacles’’ test of the immigration rules. However, it is possible to succeed in obtaining permission to stay in the UK despite not being able to meet the stringent requirements of the immigration rules by relying on Article 8 of the Human Rights Act 1998 which safeguards the right to a private and family life.

We recently acted for clients who had not lived in the UK for 20 years. However, we were able to rely on Article 8 in order to obtain permission to stay in the UK on their behalf.

The case involved a married couple from Chile, who were in their eighties. Our clients were undocumented and had been residing in the UK for 18 years caring for a relative who was suffering from cancer. We argued that there would be a disproportionate interference to our clients and their relative’s family and private life if our clients were to be removed to Chile mainly due to the relationship of mutual interdependency between our clients and their sick relative. Our arguments were accepted by the court and our clients’ appeals were allowed by the court.

We often come across ill-prepared immigration applications with practitioners relying on template covering letters and irrelevant legal provisions whilst ignoring pertinent facts which could be the difference between a client’s application being refused or allowed. It is critical in such cases to put forward tailored evidence highlighting the exceptional and compassionate features of a case in order to successfully rely on Article 8.

We have had considerable success in assisting clients with applications for long residence based on the immigration rules as well as applications based on Article 8. Please contact our immigration department , if you are undocumented in the UK and require assistance with a long residence application or an application based on Article 8.

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