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Returning Resident Visa Entry Clearance

Indefinite Leave To Enter (ILE) As A Returning Resident

You can apply for entry clearance for Indefinite Leave to Enter (ILE) if your ILR became invalid due to consecutive absence from the UK for two years or more.

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Absence Of 2 Years Or More

A person who has been absent from the UK for more than 2 consecutive years, will automatically lose their indefinite leave to remain (ILR) 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).

Eligibility Requirements

A person who has been absent for more than 2 years mustapply for entry clearance as a returning residentand will be assessed by Entry Clearance Officers under paragraph 19 of the Rules.  You can apply for entry clearance for returning resident visa UK to return to the UK as a resident if:

  • you were settled (had ILR) in the UK when you last left; and
  • you have been away for 2 years or more; and
  • you are returning to live here permanently; and
  • You must provide enough evidence to show:
    • your strong ties to the UK;
    • your current circumstances and why you’ve lived outside the UK.

Factors For Consideration

The Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) would consider the following factors when assessing whether a person can be readmitted to the UK as a returning resident under paragraph 19 of the Immigration Rules:

  • their strength of ties to the UK including
    • othe 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 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 Entry Clearance Officer (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.

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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.

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 Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) should consider their reasons for leaving and for now 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 supportan 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 availablein the UK

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?

The immigration solicitors at Sunrise Solicitors are experts in dealing with application for entry clearance as a returning resident. We can represent you in your application for returning resident visa and carry out all the work  on your application until decision is made by the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) on your application. Work to be carried out by our immigration solicitors concerning your returning resident visa application may entail the following:

  • assessing your personal circumstances to advise you on your eligibility for returning resident visa for UK;
  • discussing your personal circumstances in detail with you and advising you about the weaknesses and strengths of your entry clearance application as a returning resident;
  • advising you about the documentary evidence to be submitted in support of your application for UK Visa as a returning resident;
  • assessing the documentary evidence to be submitted in support of the application and discussing the same with you;
  • completing the relevant entry clearance form online to apply for returning resident visa;
  • assisting you with payment of the application fee and booking of an appointment with the application centre for enrolment of your biometrics;
  • prepare a detailed cover letter explaining in detail how you meet all the relevant legal requirements for your application to succeed;
  • uploading all the supporting documents online to be considered in support of the application for entry clearance as a returning resident;
  • doing all the follow up work until Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) makes a decision on your entry clearance application.

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How Much We Charge?

Unless your matter is very complicated, our fixed fees for entry clearance application for returning resident visa are as given in the fee table below:

Our Service Our Fee
Full service for entry clearance as a returning resident to  cover all the work until decision by the Home Office UKVI From £2,000 To £3,000 (no VAT)

The agreed fixed fee will depend on the complexity of the entry clearance application for returning resident visa and the volume of casework involved in the application. In addition to our fixed fee for returning resident visa, the applicant will also have to pay the Home office UKVI fees for the entry clearance application.


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