Discretionary leave to remain is a form of permission to live in the UK, granted by the Home Office outside of the rules and meaning someone can live and work in the UK for a designated period of time.
The leave means that you can legally live in the UK for a set amount of time, normally for 30 months. Although, prior to 9th July 2012 the Home Office often granted people 3 years discretionary leave to remain.
Once you have been granted discretionary leave you can work and study in the UK. However, normally there is a restriction placed on the leave that you will have no recourse to public funds, in other words you will not be entitled to claim benefits in the UK. Recently the immigration rules have changed slightly and the Home Office do have discretion to change this restriction if they consider there should not be such a condition.
Before your discretionary leave to remain expires you will need to make an application to renew your leave. If your leave was granted before the rules and you were given three years discretionary leave to remain then you can make a settlement application after completing 6 years discretionary leave. If your leave was granted under the new rules in force from 9th July 2012 then you will be entitled to apply for settlement after either 5 years or 10 years depending upon which route to settlement you are following.
If you have any queries about discretionary leave to remain then please contact one of our Immigration Solicitors.