8 February 2018

UNITED KINGDOM:  Stricter counting rules imposed when considering permanent residency

Visa and Immigration in UK has started to enforce stricter rules when considering applications for permanent residency for those who have been outside the UK during the required five-year period of continuous lawful presence.

Effective immediately, applicants applying for permanent residency (indefinite leave to remain), who were absent for more than 180 days within any rolling 12-month period during the five year period may be ineligible for permanent residency.  Until now adjudicators would refuse only those who were absent for greater than 180 days within any of the separate five year consecutive 12-month period prior to the application date.

This new method of calculation will apply to all applications filed after 11 January 2018.   Important to note however if the new method of calculation would result in extreme consequences, it is possible to request discretion at the beginning of the process by including a letter with the application detailing the circumstances of their situation.

How does this affect the client?

These new stricter rules could result in applicants being rejected for permanent residency, especially applicants who have untaken short term assignments outside the UK or even those who travel extensively for business.  It is strongly recommended that foreign employees and their family members carefully track their travel history so that they can ensure that they are not away from the UK for more than 180 days during any rolling 12-month period.  If absences exceed the new method of calculation please consult your immigration specialist to discuss their case before making their application.


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