Discretionary Leave explained

discretionary leave

Discretionary Leave (DL) is granted in exceptional or compassionate circumstances and is designed to address the issue of individuals who require assistance even though they do not meet standard immigration requirements. Do you qualify?

Exemptions for Discretionary Leave

DL should not be granted to you if you would qualify to stay in Britain under standard Immigration Rules or if you are eligible for Leave outside the Rules or LOTR.

It should also generally not be used if you are from an EU country and are eligible for free movement rights or if another eligible country has responsibility for your asylum claim.

If Discretionary Leave is granted

Once DL has been granted, you will be eligible to receive public funds if applicable and you will face no prohibition when it comes to work.

You may also enter higher education, although you will not be eligible to receive student finance if you are on limited leave. Study conditions may also apply.

Children born in the UK

UK-born children of two parents with DL will normally be given the same limited leave as the adults. If just one parent has been granted DL, the child’s leave will depend on the status of the other parent.

Duration of Discretionary Leave

The duration of DL granted will depend on your individual circumstances but will not normally exceed 30 months at a time. Extensions are possible but it is advisable to seek professional advice when it is time to apply and to ensure that this is completed before your current status expires.

If the total DL you have been granted reaches ten years you may be eligible to apply to settle in the UK permanently.

A short period of leave may be granted if it is expected that aggravating factors will cease in the relatively near future and you will be able to return to your home country. In some cases such as this, you will not be granted DL but you may be given a promise that you will not be removed from Britain until the factors preventing your return have changed.

Non-standard, longer periods of leave are also possible if deemed appropriate. This may be because they serve a child’s best interests or as a result of your particular circumstances.

Could Discretionary Leave be retracted?

Your Discretionary Leave may be reviewed if you apply for and receive a national passport or if your circumstances change, as in the case of an improvement in your health if a medical condition is relevant to your case.

DL may also be curtailed if there are grounds for your exclusion from the country and deportation as a result of criminal behaviour or if you are considered to be a danger to Britain’s national security.

Your leave may also be invalidated if action is taken against you for illegal entry to the UK or if you are found to have obtained DL as a result of deception. Another reason for curtailment could include the offer of an appropriate adult to care for a child in their homeland.

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