Returning residents and settlement

October 1, 2021 261

A person who holds settlement is entitled to live in the UK for as long as they like, but they are still deemed to be “under immigration control”, and their status is not necessarily fully secure.

If a person who holds settlement stays outside the UK for a long period they may lose their status, and there are different rules for different categories of people.

Somebody who holds settlement on the basis of, for example, a working visa or a family visa under the traditional immigration rules can only stay outside the UK for two years before they lose their status. But somebody who holds leave under the European “Settled Status” category can stay outside for up to five years.

It can happen that a migrant who is deemed to have lost their status tries to re-enter the UK but is refused leave to enter, and of course this is a situation that is best avoided.

Such a person can apply for an entry clearance visa under the “returning residents” rule, and they have to show that they have strong ties to the UK and that they intend to make the UK their permanent home.

If you are outside the UK and you think you may have lost your settlement status you should take legal advice.

Get UK Visa has many years experience in this area, and we will be able to help you.

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