Accelerated Settlement for 7 Year Children
The statement of changes HC1118, published on 15 March 2022 introduces the new Appendix Private Life, which makes welcome changes to the way in which 7 year children can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) or settlement.
At present, paragraph 276ADE(1) contains the rules on leave to remain on the basis of private life. This includes that permission may be granted if a child has been resident in the UK for at least seven years and cannot reasonably be expected to leave (‘7 year children’). If granted on this basis, the child would be granted 30 months of limited leave to remain and would need to extend this until they have completed 120 months and are eligible for settlement.
What are the Changes for 7 Year Children?
The new Appendix Private Life is due to take effect from 20 June 2022, and whilst it maintains much of the original provisions, it has introduced welcome changes relating to 7 year children.
A child who was born in the UK will be able to qualify for immediate settlement after spending 7 years of their life in the UK. This is significant as it bypasses the need to apply for leave to remain and make multiple extensions prior to settlement. However, under the new PL 13.3, the applicant must satisfy the decision maker that it is not reasonable to expect them to leave the UK. Given recent case law which interprets this restrictively (NA (Bangladesh)  EWCA Civ 953), this is easier said than done.
7 year children who were not born in the UK will also be able to apply for ILR earlier than under the current rules. Young adults and 7 year children will be allowed to choose whether to apply for leave to remain for 30 months or 60 months, with the requirements being the same. It is expected that the fee will be higher for the longer period, however for those willing to remain in the UK long term, it certainly reduces the anxiety of an additional extension.
Young adults and 7 year children will instead have a continuous qualifying period of 5 years (rather than the current 10 years). This simplifies matters as the applicant can possibly have a grant of leave to remain for 60 months, followed by their application for ILR.
Private Life Applications
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