Returning Residents

Returning Residents

If you are a non-UK citizen and are not currently in the UK, but have previously been granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK, you may be eligible to return to the UK for settlement as a returning resident.

The requirements that you will need to satisfy in order to be admitted to the UK for settlement as a returning resident will vary depending upon whether you have been away from the UK for more, or less, than 2 years. If you have been outside the UK for more than 2 years then you should apply for a Returning Resident visa before travelling. You may also apply if you have been away for less than 2 years. In each case, entry to the UK may be refused if the requirements of the Immigration Rules are not satisfied.

Requirements for entry as a Returning Resident: absent from the UK for less than 2 years You may be admitted to the UK for settlement as a returning resident if the Immigration Officer on arrival is satisfied that you:

  • Had indefinite leave to remain in the UK when you last left the UK; and
  • Have not been away from the UK for more than 2 years; and
  • Did not receive assistance from public funds towards the cost of leaving the UK; and
  • Now seek admission for the purpose of settlement.

If you consider that the Immigration Officer may have concerns in relation to your ability to satisfy any of the above requirements then you should consider applying for a Returning Resident visa before you travel.

Requirements for entry as a Returning Resident: absent from the UK for more than 2 years If you have been absent from the UK for over two years then you should apply for a Returning Resident visa before travelling to the UK. You will need to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration that you:

  • Had indefinite leave to remain in the UK when you last left; and
  • Did not receive assistance from public funds towards the cost of leaving the UK; and
  • Now seek readmission for the purpose of settlement; and
  • There are good reasons for you to be admitted as a returning resident.

Having strong family ties in the UK, or having lived in the UK for most of your life, may be good reasons for you to be admitted as a returning resident. However there may be other good reasons.

Intervening visits to the UK may assist; however they may also undermine an application for a returning resident visa depending upon the timing and circumstances of the visits.

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