The prospects for many applicants seeking to apply for this represent the final hurdle for achieving their long awaited status. Depending on the basis of your application e.g. Tier 2 work permits or 10 years lawful residence, you may qualify for indefinite leave either after 5 years or 10 years lawful residence. Before making these application applicants should check they meet the requirements to ensure that they qualify.
In particular applicants should look closely that they do meet the continuous residence requirements, and that there residence is lawful throughout this period. Under the Immigration rules continuous residence means residence in the UK for an unbroken period, and the for these purposes a period shall not be considered to have been broken where an applicant is absent from the UK for a period of 6 months or less. So if an applicant who has existing leave travels overseas and return with 6 months. This would be treated as continuous.
Identifying Gaps or breaks in the qualifying period.
What if you do have gaps or breaks in your period of entitlement? Have you made an out of time application in the proceeding period? If there has been a break, how long is the break? If you have had a period of overstay during the qualifying period, then this can affect the result of your application.
One should not assume that just because an application meets the milestone of say 5 years or 10 years that you will automatically qualify. In cases where an applicant has a single short gap in lawful residence through making one single previous application out of time by a few days not more than 10 days (e.g. postal strike, hospitalization, administrative error) then it may be possible that caseworkers may exercise discretion in these instances.
If there is a gap or break applicants should ensure that they do get the necessary legal advice before proceeding with their application.