Exceptional Leave To Remain In The UK


Exceptional leave to remain(ELR)

Exceptional leave to remain(ELR) in the United Kingdom was given at the discretion of the Home Secretary when an asylum seeker’s asylum claim had been refused. However the number of grants of ELR had been rising rapidly from levels of 3,000 to 6,000 in the period 1994 to 1999 up to 26,000 in 2002. Therefore in 2002 the Home Office decided to review the use and scope of exceptional leave “to focus on those who really need special humanitarian protection but do not qualify as refugee and to end the routine granting of exceptional leave on a country basis.

As from 1 April 2003, “Exceptional Leave to Enter or Remain” has been replaced by two different kinds of leave known as

  • Humanitarian Protection and
  • Discretionary Leave.

The Home Secretary will also retain the discretion to grant limited leave in “defined and tightly focused” circumstances.