top of page



Application on the basis of your Private Life


The private life visa gives individuals the right to stay after living and establishing a private life in the UK over several years. The private life route is a category of the UK’s family immigration scheme and such applications are made on the basis of Article 8 of the ECHR


The amount of time a person must have lived in the UK to gain a private life visa depends on their age when they arrived here and their individual circumstances. You may be able to apply for a private life visa if:

  • You are under the age of 18 and have lived in the UK for a minimum of 7 continuous years, and it would be unreasonable to expect you to leave the UK

  • You are between the ages of 18 and 24, and you have lived continuously in the UK for more than half of your life

  • You are 18 years old or over, and you have spent less than 20 years living here, but you would have very significant problems reintegrating into your home country

  • You have been in the UK for a continuous period of 20 years, or

  • You were born in the UK to a person with permission to remain in the UK on the basis of their private life (or they have submitted an application for permission on this basis)

On 20th June 2022, the immigration rules for private life applications were changed. The changes introduced a new ‘Appendix Private Life’2, which applies to all new applications for permission to stay under the private life immigration route. Some of the main changes include:

  • Giving a child born in the UK who has lived here for 7 or more years the right to gain immediate settlement in the UK (ILR)

  • Giving a child born in the UK the right to gain permanent settlement after 5 years after gaining permission to stay on the basis of their private life.

Normally, for an adult to settle in the UK under the private life route, they must have completed 10 years of continuous residence once they have permission to stay under this route; this is referred to as the ‘private life in the UK' (10-year route). The period required to gain settlement has been reduced in these exceptional circumstances to provide greater safeguards and promote the welfare of children who have come to the UK.

20 years private life route

The 20 years private life in the UK route enables an adult who came to the UK as a migrant to secure a private life visa to remain in the UK after living here for 20 years. Successful applicants are given permission to remain for 30 months, after which they can further extend their stay. 

The main criteria for those applying under the 20-year private life visa route state that applicants must be:

  • aged over 18

  • present in the UK at the time of application

  • have lived continuously in the UK for at least 20 years, and the Home Office must be satisfied that it is unreasonable to expect them to leave the UK.

  • Meets Suitability requirements 

How can Visas 24/7 help with a private life visa application?

Visas 24/7 is a leading UK immigration law firm specialising in private life visas, and UK immigration matters. Our immigration lawyers can prepare and represent all aspects of the private life visa. Contact us today at

bottom of page