Definitions

An explanation of some important words and phrases used in this guidance.

  • Appeal rights exhausted – your case is at the end of the line and you have no more options to appeal against the refusal, so your options are only to make an out-of-time appeal or to make a new application. You have no permission to be in the UK
  • Biometric residence permit – a credit-card sized status document issued by the Home Office as proof of your leave in the UK
  • British by descent – a person is British by descent if they were born outside the UK to a parent who was a British citizen ‘otherwise than by descent’ i.e. through their birth in the UK or registration or naturalisation in the UK before their child was born
  • European Economic Area – the member states of the EU plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway (Switzerland is part of the single market so Swiss citizens also have the same rights)
  • Exceptional case funding – legal aid from the Legal Aid Agency that you must apply for. You must explain why you need help from a lawyer for your case, for example because of the complexity of your case or any vulnerabilities or needs you have
  • Indefinite leave to remain – permission to live in the UK permanently, also referred to as being ‘settled’
  • Leave outside the rules – permission granted by the Home Office to stay in the UK temporarily. An example of when this might be granted is because it would breach your human rights to make you leave
  • Limited leave to remain – permission granted by the Home Office to stay in the UK temporarily
  • No recourse to public funds – a condition that the Home Office puts on your leave that means you cannot access benefits, social housing or homelessness assistance
  • Permanent residence – the acquired right to live in the UK permanently held by citizens of countries in the European Economic Area (and Switzerland). This may no longer be valid after 1 July 2021, and all EEA nationals should check the advice for European Londoners for up to date information and advice.
  • Settled – when you have the right to live in the UK permanently. You are settled if you have indefinite leave to remain or permanent residence
  • UASC leave – limited leave as an unaccompanied asylum-seeking child, granted when refugee status and humanitarian protection are refused, either for 30 months or until the child turns 17½, whichever is shorter
     

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