Can I build on an old UK Visa?
February 17, 2017 6:37 PM   Subscribe

I was granted Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK in 2010, but left almost immediately afterwards. I assume it's automatically revoked and useless in cases like that - or is it?

I received the visa on the grounds of a relationship that imploded the same week I got the visa (at which point I bailed for home [Canada]). You're supposed to maintain residence in the UK for two years after that to hang on to your status, so I assume that visa is no longer valid. That's correct, isn't it? Or would a border guard have to make that call? (In which case I assume they wouldn't necessarily let me in, at this time...). If I wanted to go back to the UK for another reason, would I have to start over, or would that visa work in my favour? (Previously had, iirc, a working holiday visa, then a student visa, and probably a couple of visitor's visas in there somewhere as well. The passport holding these visas has expired. I assume it all amounts to nothing, but maybe not?)

No one here is my lawyer :)
posted by cotton dress sock to Law & Government (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
From the UK Visa Bureau: "Please note that once you have been granted ILR, it is important to try to not spend 2 years or over outside of the UK, as this can lead to it being revoked. In order to avoid this, most migrants will be able to apply for British Citizenship after 1 year as a permanent resident after qualifying."

This would seem to indicate that your indefinite leave has ended. You'll probably need to contact them directly to find out where they puts you as far as restarting the process.
posted by RainyJay at 7:46 PM on February 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

Thanks Rainy Jay, I did see that blurb, should have mentioned. The "can" made it seem like possibly not necessarily a certainty. I'd consider contacting them if I had better odds than eg 10%. (Had settled completely against it back then, mostly forgot about it; found my old passport, idly curious :) )
posted by cotton dress sock at 8:16 PM on February 17, 2017

I received my ILR in 2009, and then had to leave the UK shortly after. But what I had read at the time is that I would need to apply not from scratch, but as a returning resident. I interpreted this to mean that I wouldn't have the automatic right to return, but wouldn't have the same status as someone who never had IRL, and maybe I wouldn't need to do the two years settlement visa again. That's why we thought it was worth it.

I realise that there have been a lot of changes since - and the rules are much more xenophobic now. Maybe my ILR is useless. But then again, we're probably not going back because of that growing xenophobia thing.
posted by jb at 8:41 PM on February 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

You can try applying for a Returning Resident visa here for cases like yours:
posted by moiraine at 3:14 AM on February 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

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