Do you need to meet the absence requirement?

Migrants who are applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) might also need to meet the criteria under Appendix Continuous Residence requirement. For example, if you are applying for ILR as a Skilled Worker, Sole Representative, UK Ancestry migrant, Tier 1 Entrepreneur or Hong Kong British National (Overseas) etc, you must have resided in the UK for a continuous 5 years period and must not have been outside the UK for more than 180 days in any 12-month period.

However, if you are applying for Settlement as a spouse/civil or unmarried partner of a British citizen or an ILR holder, Appendix Continuous Residence does not apply. Therefore, there is no such a rule stating that a spouse visa holder cannot be absent from the UK for 180 days in any 12-month period when applying for settlement.

However, paragraph E-ECP.2.10 of Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules, states the applicant and partner must intend to live together permanently in the UK. If the applicant were to travel or spend frequent time abroad for holidays, visiting family, on business trips etc for a short time, this will not be a matter of concern. But, in the case were the majority of the time is spent overseas, the Home Office might doubt the couple’s intention to live together permanently in the UK.

In addition, migrants, who enter the UK as visitors, might be under the impression that there is a maximum permitted stay of 180 days in any 12-month period.  However, Appendix V of the Immigration Rules, states only that ‘This route is for a person who wants to visit the UK for a temporary period, (usually for up to 6 months), for purposes such as tourism, visiting friends or family, carrying out a business activity, or undertaking a short course of study.

This means that the maximum duration of a single stay/visit is 6 months. For non-visa nationals, for instance, if they are Americans, Australians, Japanese or South Korean etc, this six-month period will start calculating from their date of entry to the UK. The most important requirement if for the applicant to show that they have strong ties to the their country of nationality/habitual residence and do not intend to make the UK their main home with frequent and pro-longed stays.

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For expert advice regarding any aspect of the UK visa application, please contact our immigration team on 0203 384 3075.



The content of this article is for general use and information only. Since each case should be prepared on its own merit and in light of the constant amendments to the Immigration Rules, it is important to note that the information provided must not be relied upon unless Migra & Co has either given written consent or has been officially engaged in relation to a specific immigration matter. As a result, Migra & Co will take no responsibility for any damage, cost or loss resulting from relying on the information contained in this article, blog and website.