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How to Prove the Continuous Residence in the UK 


  1. As we are all aware of the residence requirements, which are required for almost all the immigration applications including the Nationality application.
    One has to provide documentary Evidence/Proof of residence in the UK.
    It’s important to understand, that in Civil matters, unlike Criminal cases, the onus and burden of the proof is on the applicant/ claimant.
    One can not apply without the proof of continuous residence and the excuse of having no proof of residence is not considered or acceptable by the Home office.
  2. The real dilemma and confusion in this matter is because there is no published or specified list of documents, to be submitted under the Immigration law and rules.
    No application can be refused for the lack of any particular document or evidence to prove the residence in the UK.
  3. Most of the time, the proof of continuous residence is accepted, depending on the nature of the application and the individual circumstances.
    The overall satisfaction of the caseworker is required.
    Therefore, sometimes their decision is arbitrary and whimsical.
  4. Keeping this point in mind, it’s very important to carefully examine and submit all the documents and information, relevant to the application.
  5. I can understand and appreciate the difficulties and problems in collecting this kind of evidence.
    Recently, I had to provide evidence for the residence on a particular address.
    When I checked my utility bills, they were all on the ‘Direct Debit’
    and I didn’t have any documentary evidence.
    One can, well imagine the difficulty of those immigrants who who are overstayers or illegals.
    Particularly in the application of Human rights, under article 8 of family life/ private life, the applicant have to provide the proof of continuous residence.
    Even the applications for long residence, 20 years ( legal/ illegal ) 10 years (Legal) are solely based on the proof of residence.
  6. In my experience, the official documentary evidence i.e. Council tax, Electoral roll, NHS and HMRC carry more weight.
    Any evidence from the independent source, showing the ongoing contract for the last 3 months is also very effective.
    One should be careful with one-off events, evidence.
  7. In immigration application, the list of following documents can be very helpful.
    It’s not a exhaustive list.
    However, one can challenge the Home office if they don’t accept the evidence/ proof provided by the applicant.
    (a) Utility bills, i.e. Electric, Gas, Water bill.
    (b) letters from the local authority.
    (c) Tenancy agreement, Mortgage statement, letter from the Landlord, Ownership deeds of property, letter from the local council or housing trust.
    (d) Latest Bank statements, with address.
    (e) letters from the school if applying on child basis.
    (f) Employment/ Contract letters.
    (g) T.V licence, phone and cable bills are also accepted.
    They should corroborate the other evidence because they can be obtained without living on a particular address.

By : Mr. Dost Malik