If you wish to live and work in the UK indefinitely you will need to meet the requirements for indefinite leave to remain. However, if you cannot, you may still be able to apply through the discretionary leave to remain route.

Discretionary leave to remain can be granted by the UK government where it would be unreasonable to request of you to leave your family and personal life in the UK. This immigration status exists to allow individuals to remain in the UK on compassionate grounds, where it would be unjustifiably severe to remove them from their UK lives.

Examples of where discretionary leave to remain could be granted

Where an individual living in the UK has become terminally ill or where they are suffering from a serious medical condition for which they are in treatment in the UK the Home Office may decide that they will allow this person to remain in the country, especially if there is no proper care for them to return to.

In another case, victims of human trafficking and modern day slavery may be offered to discretionary leave to remain in the UK as they may not have been initially brought here against their will and may be in danger returning to their home country.

In less extreme cases people who have been living with family in the UK, who would have to leave their spouse and/ or children for good if they aren’t granted discretionary leave to remain may be eligible.

Each case is assessed separately and on its own merits, which is why the applicant should provide clear and substantial evidence to support their application. Because of the difficulty in applying for discretionary leave to remain it is important to seek legal advice and immigration guidance from expert immigration solicitors throughout the application process.

The protective benefits of section 8

Article 8 is a factor in the protection of your rights and in the consideration of your right to stay. Article 8 is a section of the Human Rights Act that protects your privacy, your family life, your home and your communications.

Within this article it is stated that everyone has the right for their private and family life to be respected, as well as their home and communication with and unless its in the best interests of national security and public safety, the government has no right to interfere in a person’s private life.

What will happen if you are granted discretionary leave to remain

If you are granted discretionary leave to remain you may remain in the country as stated by the Home Office, which can differ case by case. In general it is assumed that a person successfully applying for discretionary leave to remain is granted 30 months stay.

Whilst you are in the UK you have full access to public funds and you are able to work and study, however you may be limited in what student finance you could apply for. You may also leave and return to the UK as you wish, however, if you do wish to apply for indefinite leave to remain down the line you must keep in mind that you will need to be in the UK for the minimum qualifying period during your stay on discretionary leave to remain.


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