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Thomas, Solicitor
Category: UK Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 7620
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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My friend is an American citizen who came to the UK legally

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My friend is an American citizen who came to the UK legally about 30 years ago and has never gone hom. He has always until recently worked to keep himself but now cannot because for some reason he has managed never to acquire a NI number and cannot now get a job or a police check which he needs for some work.
He needs to regularise his position and be naturalised as a British citizen or get right to remain, but he is afraid of rocking the boat and getting slung out if he pops his head over the parapit. What is your advice? will he succeed in getting a right to remain and getting a NI number and under what grounds and what is the fee?

Thanks for your question.

If he has been here that length of time then illegally then he will need to apply under the long residence rules. This means that he must have been here with a mixture of illegal or legal leave to remain for a period of 14 years. Obviously he meets this criteria but he needs to prove this to the UKBA and it would therefore be sensible to instruct a solicitor to prepare the application for him.

The solicitor will be able to help him collate all the documentary evidence needed to prove his length of stay here to the UKBA. Provided he can do this he should be awarded indefinite leave to remain in the UK which means he can stay here permanently. 5 years after this he can apply to have himself naturalised as a UK citizen if he meets the criteria and wishes to do so

If this has been useful please kindly click accept so that I may be rewarded for my time. If you do not click accept your money stays with the site and I do not receive any credit for the time I have taken to answer your question.

I will answer your follow up questions you may have.

Kind regards,

Thomas and other UK Immigration Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Hi Tom,


Thanks for your answer. How much is it likely to cost and how long is it likely to take if he can supply all the information promptly, which I think he can? I am a bit worried that if there is an element of discretion in any decision, his age (71) will be against him. Is there a discretion or is he entitled to stay if he can prove that he has been here for more than 14 years? he would probably die of misery if he were to be sent back to the USA.


Where is your firm? can you operate long distance as we are in devon, where there are few immigartion problems and therefore few experts.





Hi Gillian,

Thanks for your accept.

Unless it can be proved that he is not of good character (eg. criminal convictions etc) and has not been a burden on the state by accessing public funds then provided he can evidence his stay here then there will be very little room for them to refuse.

I'm afraid that private contact between experts and customers is prohibited by the site unfortunately.

Most firms will operate from long distance provided you are able to attend their offices 2/3 times during the course of the applicant and are able to deal promptly with their requests for information.

Kind regards,

Thomas and other UK Immigration Law Specialists are ready to help you