Residence permit

United Kingdom

Country Report: Residence permit Last updated: 30/05/23


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For those who applied for asylum prior to the implementation of NABA on 28 June 2022, beneficiaries of refugee status and subsidiary protection (“humanitarian protection”) receive 5 years’ leave to remain. For most people, applying for settlement, also known as Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), after the end of the 5 year period of leave is a straightforward process.[1] Difficulties encountered relate to the length of time it takes for the application to be processed, as all documents must be submitted to the authorities. Therefore, although legally the period of leave is extended by virtue of the new application, this is difficult to prove to employers and or providers of services that may require evidence of leave to access. This is becoming an increasing problem, as the government seeks to deny more services to those who cannot provide evidence of leave.[2]

Applicants must have held a UK Resident Permit (UKRP) for a continuous period of 5 years which must not have been revoked or not renewed. The Rules also enable the Home Office to delay granting settlement to those with a criminal history or where there is any evidence of extremist behaviours that run contrary to British values, either permanently or for set periods of time depending on the severity of the crime or behaviour. In these cases, the application for settlement may be refused but if the applicant is still in need of international protection, additional periods of time limited leave may be granted.[3]

Effect of Nationality and Borders Act 2022: Following the implementation of section 12 of the NABA, refugees are granted leave according to their ‘group one’ and ‘group two’ status. The grouping relates to the decision makers’ view as to whether or not the refugee was considered under the new law to have ‘come directly’ to the UK or has a reasonable excuse for not claiming asylum in a safe country through which they travelled. Those considered not to have ‘come directly’ are designated ‘group 2’ status which confers leave to stay for 30 months at a time with settlement possible only after 10 years’ residence.

Beneficiaries of Humanitarian Protection whose application was made on or after 28 June are all granted 30 months’ permission to stay.




[1] See Home Office, Asylum Policy Instruction: Settlement protection, 2 February 2016, available at:

[2]  See e.g. Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI), Passport please, February 2017, available at:; Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, Report on the ‘hostile environment’, October 2016, available at:

[3] Home Office, Asylum Policy Instruction: Settlement protection, 2 February 2016, Section 7.

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection