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Howard, Immigration Lawyer
Category: UK Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 459
Experience:  Senior Partner with nearly 20 years experience in UK Immigration Law.
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Hi I have to submit my ilr application (10yrs) very soon,

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I have to submit my ilr application (10yrs) very soon, and theres 1 thing im confused about, and its stressing me out badly. Here goes: In Sep 2006, i was supposed to finish my law degree and my student visa finished in jan 2007. But that didnt happen as i failed a module. I then did a resit in January which i passed. The same month, i went to uni and spoke to a counsellor there who told me that i could send a student visa application to home office so that i could get a visa till september 2007 so i could attend graduation. Naive as i was i did that on the 31st jan, and shortly afterwards the whole application was sent back to me. The application wasnt refused but i was told to apply on visitor visa to attend graduation(a visitor visa apllication was enclosed). I then found another institution and sent back the forms for student visa but again it was sent back to me because my picture was not good. by then, its been more than 28 days since original application on 31st jan. My student visa for masters was granted in june 2007 for masters. My question is will that count as more than the '28 days gap allowed'? Will that application count as valid? coz although it was on time, will home office say it was invalid as i used the wrong form which they returned and then i overstayed? Does the picture count as mandatory requirement for application form to be valid? There was another time for another in-time extension whereby the application was returned because of issue with payment. This was returned to them with correct fee starightaway. My question is does section 3c cover the 'second application' for continuous residence purposes?

many thanks
You can usually take the view that the date of return of the application (whether due to it being invalid or due to refusal) is where the 28-day period begins in which you leave or submit another application. Given that you quickly got another application in at each stage I would not expect you to have any particular problems and I would not take the view that you had overstayed at any stage as you were making applications.

Make sure you use the right form this time - many are still trying to use the old SET(O) form, whereas there is now a dedicated form for Long Residence applications - SET(LR) forms and guidance:

Let me know if that has answered your questions.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks for your response


Its just that a few people i know in similar situations have had problems with this for ilr. Thing is, and thats something we can all agree on. If 'second application ' was refused at any 1 time, i wouldnt have had the right of appeal. So we know for sure ukba is treating the 'second application' as out of time. The main issue is how do you count the days gap: on the long residence guidance it says:


If a person submits an out-of-time application, they will have a gap in continuous lawful residence, from the date their leave expired until the date they are next granted leave, regardless of how long it takes for the decision to be made. For an example of this, see
example 5 in related link: Examples of continuous lawful residence.


Theres a lot of caselaw on this and it is a grey area. Theres other statutes immigration (2008) for cases before 2008 which states that if reeturned within 28 days it shouldnt be termed as invalid. But also other cases where a strict interpretaion as above has been applied depending on caseworker who is going to look at my immigration history. I have ordered my sar from home office. Do you think i should get legal assiatnce or try to do it myself? and what are my chances? thanks

I advise based not only on the rules but the practical application of those rules based on large numbers of applications.


You are allowed to submit an application within 28 days of a visa expiring. The discussion comes down to what is considered to be the expiry date where an application was submitted 'in time' and the Home Office took their time to make a decision - in other words, the applicant's visa has expired, sometimes by quite a considerable amount of time, due to the time taken by the Home Office. The applicant should not be penalised for this and therefore it has been accepted for quite some time that if an application is returned to the applicant, invalid or refused, then the applicant will normally be allowed to quickly submit a new application. This is a key point.


I have known many applications like this and have not personally had any refused for this reason.


Right of appeal is usually determined simply by whether or not the applicant has valid leave to remain at the time of a refusal being issued (put in simple terms). You also need to be careful when drawing conclusions from other people's experiences - very often people are refused for reasons that are not exactly the reasons that they think they have been refused for. I'm not saying that this is the case in the examples you mention but it does happen, in the same way as people get approved and think they have done things right when in fact they simply got lucky.


Don't forget that for Long Residence the rules are a little bit more relaxed than for the 5-year qualifying period.


Again, if the application is put together well and the only issue is resubmission upon receipt of refused or invalid applications then I would not expect the application to be refused solely for this reason.


With regard to your last question, I think legal representation can be very useful for Long Residence applications.

Howard and other UK Immigration Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

thanks for your answer



After i receive my SAR, do you think i should write a letter to ukba explaining the gap specifically with all the dates and that whenever this happened i did my utmost best to resubmit well within the days given to me and also explain why application was returned (e.g wrong advice from univ counsellor).


The ilr process nowadays takes 6-9 months which is a long wait and i definiteely dont want it to go on appeal, thats why i wanna put all the chances on my side. do you think i should do the letter or leave it or get a solicitor to do me a well drafted letter?


many thanks again

In these cases I do not explain why there is a gap - I explain that there is not a gap by outlining the circumstances. Remember that when an application is submitted 'in time' your visa is effectively extended pending receipt of a decision (or return of the application). You can therefore take the view that the visa actually effectively expires when the decision is received or the application returned. You can then take a more favourable view of gaps (or the lack of gaps). Certainly you can focus on the speed of application submission and the reasons, etc.

It is definitely a good idea to provide a covering letter with any application and certainly in this type of situation. A good representative should have written a large number of these types of covering letters and can also ensure that there are no other reasons for refusal given to the Home Office. It is not possible for me to say whether a legal representative will do a better job than you as I don't know who you are going to use or what letter you would write. Remember that it is not only solicitors who can assist but also OISC registered representatives. You want someone who has extensive experience if you are going to use someone.

Does that answer your question?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.



just one last thing please. you said quoting above:


"Remember that when an application is submitted 'in time' your visa is effectively extended pending receipt of a decision (or return of the application). You can therefore take the view that the visa actually effectively expires when the decision is received or the application returned. You can then take a more favourable view of gaps (or the lack of gaps).


so that means the visa expired upon return of application. do you mean the visa "takes effect again" when the application is sent back to them? will the gap then be counted as the gap between the return of application and subsequent return of application back to ukba?


just wanted to clarify this last thing

Yes, that is the argument I have always used. If the visa is effectively extended then so effectively is expiry and the 28-day period for submission (or re-submission).

Again, it is very easy to overcomplicate applications - given that applications have always been re-submitted very quickly I would not expect you to have issues. I would not make too big an issue out of this when applying - simply make clear that applications have been submitted within days of applications being returned where applicable.

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