Is it possible to leave the UK and still apply for leave to settle?
January 30, 2013 6:37 AM Subscribe
I am hoping to (eventually) settle in the UK permanently, but one of the requirements is worrying me somewhat, and I was hoping someone could clarify under what circumstances it is possible to leave the UK for short periods of time while on a Skilled Worker Visa.
posted by kalimac to Law & Government (6 answers total)
YANMYL, I know, but I'm hoping that I can get this out of the way based on others' experience, before I do drop a load of cash talking to an immigration lawyer about the other fifty things keeping me up at night.
Basically, I am hoping that I'll soon be able to switch to a Skilled Worker Visa (Tier 2, General), with an eye to eventually being able to apply for indefinite leave to remain (and from there, for citizenship). Although there are a load of requirement that mean this may be a pipe dream, this particular clause caught my eye:
During the continuous residence period, you cannot be outside the UK for more than 180 days in any 12 consecutive months. The absences must be for a reason that relates to the purpose of your leave in the UK, or for a reason that relates to the purpose of your leave in the UK, or for a serious compelling reason (such as a serious illness). Your sponsor must confirm the reason if it was related to work. You must confirm the reason for the absence if it was for a serious or compelling reason.
Does this mean that I cannot leave the UK for ANY amount of time unless it is for work or something like a parent dying, or merely that I cannot be away for more than 180 days unless it is for those reasons? Essentially -- am I looking at five years of not going home to the US for the holidays (3 weeks max), or taking a holiday outside of the UK?
(I know that the immigration laws change constantly, but I am operating on the theory that I'll react to the laws as they stand, adjusting my behavior as needed.)