The Returning Resident application brings welcome news to many persons who had the status of ILR but have been outside the UK for more than two years.
Many persons in this situation wrongfully think that all is lost, and they have to re-apply for a UK visa. Fortunately, the Returning Resident application could bring a remedy in some cases.
Returning Resident and UK Immigration Rules
The UK Immigration rules state that you could return to the UK if you have been outside the UK for LESS than two years since being granted Indefinite Leave to Remain(ILR).
However, if you have been outside the UK for MORE than two years, you lose your ILR status. You will then need to apply as a Returning Resident. You will have to prove that your previous stay in the UK was not subject to a time limit.
Returning Resident Application
To be successful in your Returning Resident application, you will have to fulfil several criteria. You will also have to provide sufficient evidence to support your application.
- It is imperative, for the application, that you prove that you have strong social- and economic ties to the UK.
- You will also have to show a valid reason for your absence.
- You need to show that you intend to settle in the UK permanently.
These types of applications are normally not straightforward and often discretionary. UK Visas and Immigration will also look at the length of time spent in the UK after receiving ILR and time spent outside the UK.
What happens if my Returning Resident application is successful?
Once your Returning Resident application is approved, you will be issued Indefinite Leave to Enter.
You will initially only receive a vignette. The vignette will be valid for either three or six months. Upon arrival in the UK, you will have to apply for a bio-residency permit (BRP). You can use the BRP for work and travel purposes.
How Breytenbachs can help you
If you have held ILR and been outside the UK for more than two years and wish to return to the UK for permanent settlement, we can evaluate whether or not you will qualify as a Returning Resident. We strongly recommend setting up a consultation with one of our expert Immigration Consultants. They will evaluate your specific circumstances and advise on the situation.