A child who has lived in the UK for 7 years continuously can apply for leave to remain on the basis of private life. While the application process can be complex and daunting, our expert immigration team are here to guide you through the process quickly and efficiently.

Parents of a child who has lived in the UK for 7 years or more can also benefit from the 7-year rule. If you are an overstayer and you have a child who has lived in the UK for a continuous seven-year period and/or is British, you as the parents may also be able to apply for Leave to Remain on the basis of your family and private life in the UK.

The rules require that the applicant must be under the age of 18 years and must have lived continuously in the UK for at least 7 years (discounting any period of imprisonment) and it should not be reasonable to expect the child to leave the UK.

Why Seven Years?

The Home Office has a duty to safeguard and promote the best interest and welfare of all children in the UK. It considers that a child that has spent 7 continuous years in the UK generally would have adapted or integrated to life in the UK and that it would not be reasonable to remove them. In some circumstances, it may also become detrimental to their well-being. It is not enough to show that you have a child who has lived in the UK for a continuous period of 7 years or is British. You must also show that you have a ‘genuine’ and ‘subsisting’ parental relationship with your child and it must not be ‘reasonable’ to expect your child to leave the UK. It is important to remember that each application is assessed on its own merit and it is, therefore, vital to instruct an experienced immigration solicitor from outset.
Based on the Below answers to all those questions, the grant to discretionary leave to remain in the UK will be determined. The success rate of applications comes down to how the application and evidence is presented. To increase your chances of a successful application, we advise seeking professional assistance from our legal experts.

The success of an application is dependent on many factors including:

  • The best interests of the child
  • The immigration status of the parents of the child
  • The financial circumstances of the parents of the child which would affect the well-being of the child in their country of origin
  • The circumstances in the country to which the child and the child's parents can be required to go and live in
  • Any medical conditions of the child or the parents of the child
  • Any special needs of the child including any medical and educational needs
  • Any special circumstances showing an exceptionally strong private life established by the child in the UK
  • Any psychological effect on the life of the child

Applications - Our Expertise

If instructed to represent you for your application for leave to remain based on 7 years of residence as a child, our immigration solicitors will carry out the following work:


  • Discussing and advising you about the relevant immigration laws and procedures including the weaknesses and strengths of your application.
  • Advising you about the documentary evidence and checking what is to be submitted in support of your 7 years child route application
  • Completing the application forms
  • Preparing a cover letter to introduce and support your application for leave to remain on the basis of 7 years residence in the UK as a child under the age of 18
  • Submitting your application to the Home Office, UKVI and liaising with the Home Office /UKVI for a timely decision on your application
  • Doing all the follow-up work until a decision is reached on your application

Applications - Our Expertise
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If successful, the applicant will be granted discretionary leave to remain in the UK for 30 months under the 7 years route to settlement. A child who has lived in the UK for a period of 10 years is eligible to apply to for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) as a route to settlement. Legal advice should always be sought before an application is submitted, the case must be argued well and in detail to show evidence that you meet the requirements.

How to Get in Contact

Please call us on 01234 350 244 or email us at info@dvsolicitors.com for further information and advice about our services. We will happily provide you with a free initial discussion about your individual circumstances.

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