Discretionary Leave is granted on a discretionary basis outside the Immigration Rules in accordance with the policy guidance set out by the Home Office. Discretionary Leave is intended to cover exceptional and compassionate circumstances and therefore, should be used sparingly. Furthermore, Discretionary Leave should not be granted to applicants that qualify for asylum or humanitarian protection, or for family and private life reasons. 

Initial application

For an application of Discretionary Leave to be successful the Secretary of State for the Home Department must be satisfied that the circumstances of the applicant are exceptional, compelling, and compassionate. An application made outside the Immigration Rules must be made online using the form FLR (HRO). If the application is successful, the applicant will be granted an initial leave to remain for 30 months under the 10 years route to settlement. 

Extension of discretionary leave 

An applicant can apply for an extension of discretionary leave as long as there have been no adverse changes in the circumstances of the applicant at the time of making the renewal application. However, if the applicant’s circumstances have changed to the point where the applicant can satisfy the requirements under paragraph 276ADE or Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules, it would be better for the applicant to make an application under the Immigration Rules rather than outside of it.

Indefinite leave to remain under discretionary leave

An applicant may be eligible to apply for settlement in the UK if they have completed a continuous period of 120 months (10 years) of limited leave. All applications will be considered in light of all the circumstances at the time. An application for settlement must be made 28 days before the existing leave expires. Contact us today for more information.

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