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imaneggspurt

Returning To The Uk ,need Uk Visa Advice

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Hi, Please can one of our resident experts advise to save me contacting the visa section of the UK embassy, we are returning to the UK after 3.5 years in thailand, we lived in the UK prior, my Thai wife currently has a residence permit valid until "indefinate ", is this suffice for our return to the UK,type of last visa is "settlement" ,thanks in anticipation,.

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The word "indefinite" should not be taken too literally. The UK Goverment as a public policy are mindful of those who go for UK settlement and then leave for long periods of time. When my Wife returns to UK after a few weeks away she is usually asked by the Immigration Officer as to say how long the away period has been.

This implies that your Wife may need to make a fresh application. Members of this forum may not be qualified to provide a definitive answer and you should seek direction from the UK Embassy or Visa Legal Specialist.

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my wife also has permanant leave to remain in the UK. I was under the impression that they were allowed no more than two years in one go out of the UK. My wife and i have been out of the UK now ten months we return to the UK next month, total 11 months can not for see any problems on our return ? i hope !

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Immigration rules, Para 18

18. A person seeking leave to enter the United Kingdom as a returning resident may be admitted for settlement provided the Immigration Officer is satisfied that the person concerned:

(i) had indefinite leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom when he last left; and

(ii) has not been away from the United Kingdom for more than 2 years; and

(iii) did not receive assistance from public funds towards the cost of leaving the United Kingdom; and

(iv) now seeks admission for the purpose of settlement.

(my emphasis)

Para 19 does provide for persons who have strong ties to the UK, even if they have been away for more than 2 years. SET9.5 Exception to the two year rule for those who have strong ties to the UK

The ECO should consider the following factors in assessing whether strong ties exist:

the length of the original residence in the UK;

the time the applicant has been outside the UK;

the reason for the delay beyond the 2 years - was it through their own wish or no fault of their own (e.g. having to care for a sick or elderly relative)?;

the reasons for leaving the UK and for now wishing to return;

the nature of the family ties in the UK;

how close are they and to what extent have they been maintained during the absence?;

do they have a home in the UK and, if admitted, would they remain and live there

Imaneggspurt, your wife could make an application as a returning resident, but to be honest, from what you have said, I think it is unlikely that she would qualify for this; and so she would be refused.

So, my advice is that she should make a new application for settlement as your spouse, and then once she has been in the UK for 24 months she will need to apply for ILR again (unless she qualifies for indefinite leave to enter, in which case she will be granted this instead of a 27 month spouse visa; see see this topic).

She could, of course, make an application as a returning resident and if that were refused then make a new application for settlement. However, the fee for the refused application would not be refunded and she would have to pay again for the new one.

If you decide to seek professional advice on this, make sure that the adviser is suitably qualified (see this topic).

As said, ILR is indefinite, not permanent; it can and does lapse. In order to avoid this happening, one can apply for naturalisation as British once one has ILR (or the equivalent) and, if the spouse or civil partner of a British citizen, lived in the UK for at least three years (5 years for others).

British citizenship cannot lapse, no matter how long a citizen spends out of the UK.

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A friend of mine returned to the UK on an ILR visa in her Thai passport, having been out of the UK for 22 months, they let her enter, she was only there on a three week holiday, but they canceled her ILR, all cases are slightly different, but i think the two year rule is hard and fast.

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Has she visited the UK in the last 3.5 years ?
No she hasnt, and from what im hearing it sounds like we have to apply for a returning residents visa !

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All the relevant information is in the link provided.
Thanks for your help, we have been together in thailand for 3.5 years with our 8 year old daughter, ( she has a british passport ) ,i retired here, however circumstances have changed and we are moving back, it has been suggested as we are all travelling back together that its very unlikely that she will have a problem at heathrow, but we intend to do it right,

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it has been suggested as we are all travelling back together that its very unlikely that she will have a problem at heathrow

I obviously don't know who suggested this; but it is not a course I would recommend.

The Immigration Directorate Instructions clearly state that in order to grant entry to a returning resident

The immigration officer needs to be satisfied that the passenger.......has not been away from the United Kingdom for longer than two years.......

It may be that the IO who checks your wife's passport is not very thorough and so does not notice that she has been away too long and her ILR has lapsed. But the chances are that the IO will notice and she could easily be refused entry; or at best granted entry as a visitor only.

She may be able to convince immigration that she qualifies for entry under Para 19 of the rules, but this would involve a lot of questioning at her port of entry and would probably take a great deal of time; with no guarantee of success.

It is also possible when checking in with the airline to leave Thailand that they see she does not have a valid entry clearance for the UK and so refuse to carry her.

we intend to do it right
Sensible, and the best, choice, I think. Should be a formality if she applies for settlement as a spouse. Not so sure about applying as a returning resident; see my above post.

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They will let her board the air craft as she has ILR in her passport but when they swipe it in the UK she may have a problem.

I doubt at this end they will be aware of the 2 year rule at Bankok airport.

Edited by ThaiVisaExpress

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If the OP's missis has been away for 3 years and had previously acquired ILR, she probably hasn't got the Knowledge of Life in the UK qualification. If she applies de novo for settlement she'll have to jump through that hoop as well. Thus they may wish to bear that in mind when assessing whether to chance an application as Returning Resident or go for Spouse for Settlement.

As TV says, the airline will probably carry her because her passport shows she doesn't require a visa, but she'd be chancing her arm on arrival.

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