You can apply for Indefinite Leave to Enter (ILE) as a returning resident if you previously held Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) which became invalid due to absence from the UK for 2 years or more consecutively.

A person who has been absent from the UK for more than 2 consecutive years, will automatically lose their indefinite leave as a matter of law. This is set out in paragraph 20 of the Immigration Rules and in Article 13 of the Immigration (Leave to Enter and Remain) Order 2000 (LTERO). A person who has been absent for more than 2 years must apply for entry clearance as a returning resident and will be assessed by Entry Clearance Officers under paragraph 19 of the Rules. Your dependants (partner and children) need to apply separately for a Returning Resident visa if they are eligible.

You cannot apply for a Returning Resident visa if you lose your settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme.

Free Immigration Advice For ILE As A Returning Resident

Our specialist team of immigration solicitors can provide one-off free immigration advice online in relation to your application for Indefinite Leave to Enter (ILE) as a returning resident. Ask a question online to our specialist team of immigration solicitors for free immigration advice online or book an appointment online for a detailed immigration advice and consultation with one of our immigration solicitors concerning your application for Indefinite Leave to Enter (ILE) as a returning resident.

 

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Specialist Immigration Solicitors For Returning Resident Visa UK

Our specialist team of immigration solicitors can provide expert immigration advice and legal representations on fixed fee basis concerning your application for Indefinite Leave to Enter (ILE) as a returning resident. Our immigration solicitors have wealth of knowledge and huge experience of successfully helping with returning visa applications.

Premium Solicitors are specialist UK immigration solicitors and the high quality of UK visa and immigration legal services provided by our best team of fully qualified and experienced immigration solicitors is self-evident from the 5-star Google Reviews rating by 99% of our clients.

Eligibility Requirements For Returning Resident Visa UK

To qualify for Indefinite Leave to Enter (ILE) as a returning resident, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You must submit a valid application for entry clearance for Indefinite Leave to Enter (ILE) as a returning resident;
  • You must have had Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK which became invalid due to consecutive absence of 2 years or more;
  • You must not have received financial support from the Home Office to leave the UK when you left the UK with ILR
  • You should have strong ties to the UK - for example you or your family have lived here most of your life
  • You must explain your current circumstances and why you have lived outside the UK

Relevant Factors For Consideration Of Returning Resident Visa Application

The Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) considering your application for returning resident visa UK may consider the following factors when assessing whether you can be
readmitted to the UK as a returning resident:

  • their strength of ties to the UK including:
    • the nature of those ties
    • the extent to which those ties have been maintained during the applicant’s
      absence
  • the length of their original residence in the UK
  • the length of time the applicant has been outside the UK
  • the circumstances in which they left the UK and their reasons for remaining absent
  • their reasons for now wishing to return
  • whether, if they were to be readmitted, they would continue to live in the UK
  • any other compelling or compassionate factors

Strength of ties to the UK

A person’s ties to the UK may be evident in a number of different ways. The nature of those ties, and the degree those ties have been maintained during a person’s absence, will need to be considered when assessing whether a person should be readmitted as a returning resident. Such ties may include (but are not limited to):

  • family ties
  • property ties
  • business ties

Family ties

Where a person has close family ties in the UK which have been maintained during their absence, this will likely indicate strong ties to the UK. The more immediate the family members are, for example parents, spouse, partner, children or grandchildren, the greater the strength those ties are likely to have. However, relationships with wider family members, such as cousins or nieces and nephews, may also be taken into account if those ties have been closely maintained.

The nature of any contact will also need to be considered. For example, regular visits from, or to, the applicant from family members in the UK will help demonstrate the strength of those ties. Such contact does not, however, need to be have been made physically in person, and strong ties can still be demonstrated where there has been regular contact through other means.

Property and business ties

Ties may also be in the form of property/business interests. This may be, for example, where the applicant owns their own property in the UK or has a vested interest in an ongoing business venture within the UK. Ties on the basis of property or business interests alone are unlikely to demonstrate strong ties to the UK, but can be used in conjunction with other factors to satisfy this.

Length of original residence

Generally, the longer the period of original residence, the more likely it is that the applicant will have developed strong ties to the UK and can be admitted as a returning resident. It is important to consider the length of the original residence together with all other relevant factors. The ECO should not refuse an application solely based on a short period of original residence, if the other evidence points to the applicant having strong ties to the UK.

Length of time outside the UK

The length of time spent outside the UK will be an important factor to take into account when assessing whether a person can be readmitted as a returning resident. This must be assessed against all other factors, including the time spent in the UK before they left.

Extended absence from the UK due to COVID-19 pandemic travel restrictions

Some applicants will have been prevented from returning to the UK in 2020 and 2021, due to travel restrictions in place relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. In some cases this will have resulted in their indefinite leave lapsing.
The Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) should consider whether travel restrictions after 24 January 2020 resulted in unintended absences from the UK. Where the decision maker assess someone had intended to return to the UK before their leave lapsed but were prevented from returning by travel restrictions, the decision maker should consider this as an additional factor supporting a grant of entry clearance.

Reasons for leaving and wishing to return

A person may leave the UK for a variety of reasons. This may include:

  • to access health treatment overseas
  • to care for family
  • to retire
  • for employment/self-employment
  • study

In some cases, these reasons mean a person remains outside the UK for more than 2 years, and so their indefinite leave lapses. The decision maker must consider their reasons for leaving and for wishing to return to the UK. For example, a person may have left the UK to care for family members and now wishes to return to the UK to retire.

Any other circumstances

Other more specific circumstances which would support an application are:

  • travel and service overseas with a particular employer before return to the UK with the employer
  • service abroad for the UK Government, or as a dependant of a member of HM Forces or as an employee of a quasi-governmental body, a British company or a United Nations organisation 
  • employment abroad in the public service of a country that has good relations with the UK, by a person who could not reasonably be expected to settle in that country permanently
  • a prolonged period of study abroad by a person who wishes to rejoin the family in UK on completion of studies
  • prolonged medical treatment abroad of a kind not available in the UK
  • unintended absences from the UK due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Additionally, there may be other compelling or compassionate circumstances not mentioned above which need to be considered. Each case must be considered on its individual merits.

How Can We Help With Returning Resident Visa Application?

Our specialist team of immigration solicitors can provide expert immigration advice and legal representations on fixed fee basis in relation to your entry clearance application for Indefinite Leave to Enter (ILE) as a returning resident. Our fixed fee for your entry clearance application for returning resident visa will cover all the work of our immigration solicitors on your entry clearance application until a decision is made by the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) on your application. The casework to be carried out by our immigration solicitors in relation to your entry clearance application for Indefinite Leave to Enter (ILE) as a returning resident will entail the following:

Advice on requirements: Our immigration solicitors will advise you on the relevant requirements you have to meet for your entry clearance application to succeed.

Advised on documents: Our immigration lawyers will prepare and email you a comprehensive list of supporting documents to be submitted in support of your entry clearance application for Indefinite Leave to Enter (ILE) as a returning resident;

Assessment of documents: Our immigration lawyers will assess your documents to make sure that all the documents you provide in support of your entry clearance application for Indefinite Leave to Enter (ILE) as a returning resident are in accordance with the requirements of the Immigration Rules.

Completing application form: Our immigration lawyers will complete the relevant application form for your entry clearance application for Indefinite Leave to Enter (ILE) as a returning resident.

Submitting application through Priority Service: Where possible, our immigration lawyers will submit your online entry clearance application through priority service to get faster decision on your entry clearance application for Indefinite Leave to Enter (ILE) as a returning resident.

Booking an appointment with the application centre: After the online submission of your entry clearance application for Indefinite Leave to Enter (ILE) as a returning resident, our immigration lawyers will book your appointment with the application centre for you to enrol your biometrics.

Preparing a detailed cover letter: Our specialist immigration solicitors will prepare a detailed cover letter in support of the entry clearance application to explain all the relevant legal requirements have been satisfied for the approval of the entry clearance application;

Uploading documents online: Before the biometrics enrolment date, our immigration lawyers will upload online all the supporting documents to be considered in support of the entry clearance application for Indefinite Leave to Enter (ILE) as a returning resident.

Follow up work: Our immigration lawyers will carry out all the follow-up work until decision by the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) on the entry clearance application for Indefinite Leave to Enter (ILE) as a returning resident.

Our Fixed Fees For Returning Resident Visa UK

Our immigration solicitors will charge a fixed fee ranging from £1,500 to £3,000 (no VAT) for your entry clearance application for Indefinite Leave to Enter (ILE) as a returning resident. The agreed fixed will depend on the complexity of the application and the volume of work involved in the application for returning resident visa UK.

Our fixed fee for the application does not cover any disbursements e.g. UKVI fee for the application and the applicant has to separately pay the Home office UKVI fees for the application.

FAQs - Returning Resident Visa

Your ILR will become invalid if you were absent from the UK for less than 2 years consecutivley. When you travel back to the UK, you should show the stamp, vignette or biometric residence permit (BRP) that originally gave you Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). If it is in an old passport, carry both your old passport and your new passport when you travel.

Evidence to support an application where a person has been absent from the UK for more than 2 years may include:

  • evidence of previously holding Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK
  • details of any family in the UK and correspondence with them (to establish strong ties to the UK)
  • evidence of property in the UK and/or any business interests (to establish strong ties to the UK)
  • letters of enrolment/attendance at an education establishment if they have been studying outside the UK for long periods
  • letter of employment where this has been reason for their absence from the UK
  • a letter from a medical professional if their reason for their absence relates to caring for another person or for their own medical reasons

This list is not exhaustive and other evidence can be taken into account and you may need to provide additional documents depending on your circumstances.

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