Is it possible to abandon a UK settlement visa if you move?
March 26, 2012 5:43 AM   Subscribe

Is it possible to abandon your UK settlement visa?

More UK immigration questions! I am currently living in the UK, but may be moving outside of the EU for a few years. I know in the US, if you leave for years, immigration may deem you to have "abandoned" your green card, and can be quite vigilant about this. Is the same true of UK immigration?

In short, if I have a permanent settlement visa and leave for, say, five years -- will I have to reapply for a new one?
posted by caoimhe to Law & Government (2 answers total)
If I understand you correctly, the UKBA would call you a Returning Resident:

This page explains whether you can return to live in the UK if you were allowed to settle here permanently in the past but decided to leave.

A resident is someone who has been given permission to stay in the UK without any time limit. A returning resident is a resident who left the UK and wants to come back to live here again.

You may return to the UK as a resident if:

you were settled in the UK when you last left; and
you have been away for 2 years or less; and
you are returning to live here permanently; and
you were not given public funds to pay the costs of leaving the UK.
If you have been away for more than 2 years, you may still qualify to return to live in the UK if, for example, you have strong family ties here or have lived here most of your life.

If you have been away for more than 2 years, you must apply for a visa or an entry clearance certificate before you can return here.

posted by vacapinta at 5:51 AM on March 26, 2012

Wow, such a swift answer -- thanks so much vacapinta!
posted by caoimhe at 6:19 AM on March 26, 2012

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