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The protection of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) extends to every person within the United Kingdom and also to those under the authority and control of the UK immigration authorities.

Under Article 8 of ECHR, everyone has the right for private and family life. If you have a partner and/or child in the UK, and you are forced to leave the country, your Article 8 rights may be breached as leaving the UK means that would be separated from your family. Your rights may also be breached if you are forced to leave the UK after you have resided here for a long period of time and established substantial ties.

You can only apply on the basis of your private life if you’re already living in the UK.

You must be able to prove that you’re:

  • under 18 and you’ve lived in the UK continuously for at least 7 years, and it would be unreasonable to expect you to leave the UK
  • between 18 and 24 and you’ve lived continuously in the UK for more than half your life
  • 18 or over, have spent less than 20 years in the UK and would have very significant problems living in the country you’d have to go to – for example, you do not speak the language and could not learn it
  • 25 or over and you’ve been in the UK continuously for 20 years

You should note that the following conditions will apply to your stay in the UK in this category.

You will be permitted the following activities on your visa granted on the basis of Private Life

  • Work and study in the UK
  • Extend your visa
  • Settle in the UK


You will not be able to do the following in the UK:

  • Claim public funds (most benefits)

Fairmont Lawyers can help you navigate the requirements and provide you with professional legal assistance every step of the way to obtain a visa on the basis of your Private Life.


It takes around:

  • 12 weeks if you apply from outside the UK
  • 8 weeks if you apply from inside the UK

However, some delays may occur depending on your individual circumstances or the Home Office/UKVI.

You may be able to choose Priority Service, subject to availability. You will need to pay an additional fee to use this service, and the cost depends on the visa center.

The current visa application fee for an application under Private Life category (from October 2021) is £1,033 (plus £19.20 for biometric enrolment if you are in the UK). The Immigration Healthcare Surcharge (IHS) is £624 per each year of the visa unless you are exempt. The Home Office regularly reviews its fees and these may be subject to increase in the future.

Depending on your individual circumstances, you may be able to request the Home Office to “waive” your fees. Please get in touch with us so we can assess your situation in more detail.