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Returning Residents | UK Residency| Settlement | Living in the UK

UK Returning Residents | ICS Legal

The UK Returning Resident Visa is also known as indefinite leave to remain (ILR) application and this is a process for the indefinite leave to remain to be re-instated, following a period of absence. Usually, less than 2 years absence will not revoke your ILR, as long as you intend to relocate and settle. However those with more than 2 years of absence will need to satisfy further requirements.

If you travel to the UK without being issued a returning residency visa, you may be allowed entry, depending on your personal circumstances. However you can be refused at the border and granted temporary leave, with a possible right to appeal against the decision. If there are no right to appeal generated or a right to do an administrative review, you will have the opportunity to challenge the decision through other legal remedies. 

Taking advice on the UK Resident Visa

This provision allows someone who was a resident in the United Kingdom and who have left the UK and wants to come and live here permanently. A resident is someone who has been given permission to stay in the United Kingdom without time limit. 

Those who have been absent less than 2 years, will have their application considered under paragraph 18 of the immigration rules. You will need to demonstrate that there is full intention to come and settle in the UK. Reasons of your absence may be asked but this does not need to be documented. There are still a risk of refusal depending on your periods of residency in the UK, previous immigration stay or if you have a criminal or civil conviction.

You don’t need a visa if you have your original documentation confirming your settled status and you’ve been away for less than 2 years. You may still need to apply for a visa if you’ve been asked to confirm you can travel to the UK, for example by the airline you’re travelling with. UK returning resident who wishes to return to the UK must plan to return to live in the UK permanently, have been settled in the UK before you last left and not have been given public funds to help you leave the UK.

Now moving to those who have been absent for more than 2 years from the UK, you will automatically lose your indefinite leave to remain stay and this is set out under Article 13 of the Immigration (Leave to Enter and Remain) Order 2000 (LTERO). Nonetheless, you can apply to have your indefinite leave to remain reinstated but this would depend on your circumstances. If this is refused, you may have a right to appeal against the decision.  

Some of the grounds you will need to raise as part of your immigration application are as follows:

  1. Your strong family ties to the UK, including partner, children however this is not limited depending on your ties to the UK. Article 8 ECHR protects your right to family and private life, however Home Office has a right to interfere with that right if this is proportionate. 

  2. You may have property ties or business ties to the UK, which may be considered by the Home Office. 

  3. You may have lived in the UK majority of your life and can provide evidences to confirm this. 

  4. Your current circumstances and why you’ve lived outside the UK. Evidences will be required. 

You won’t lose your indefinite leave to remain after 2 years outside the UK if your spouse or partner is a member of the UK armed forces and you’ve joined them on an overseas posting. You also won’t lose it if your spouse or partner is a British citizen or settled in the UK and one of the following:

  1. A permanent member of the Diplomatic Service. 

  2. A UK-based British Council employee who works outside the UK. 

  3. A Department for International Development (DFID) employee. 

  4. A Home Office employee.

How to apply for the UK Resident Visa

The visa application is applied online; this is whether you are in the UK or outside of the UK. Once you have completed your UK Resident Visa, you will be able to pay for the visa fees and book the visa appointment. As part of the submission, you will need to submit your legal representation and also the evidences to support your UK Resident application. 

The decision on a settlement based application can take around 3 months however you can apply for a fast track service and pay the additional costs at the time of applying for your UK Resident Visa. 

Refusal of your UK Resident Visa

Where you do not meet the requirements of paragraph 19 of the Immigration Rules, the Home Office can refuse your visa, however depending on what grounds you have raised, you may have an appeal rights under human rights grounds or right to complete an administrative review. 

The decision letter will outline in detail the grounds of refusal. For example, if forged documents were used as supporting evidence for your immigration application in this category, the Home Office will refuse the application on both general grounds 320(7A): deception and failure to supply required documents for the specific category. 

Taking legal advice on the UK Resident Visa

At ICS Legal, we will advise you on the correct process of applying under UK Resident Visa and support you throughout the visa application process.

You can speak to one of our UK Immigration Lawyers on the UK Resident Visa requirements by sending us an email on info@icslegal.com or you can call us on 0207 237 3388. We also have a free visa assessment form that you can complete. 


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