How long can I stay outside of the UK if I have a partner visa?

19 Dec 2022, 03 mins ago

Unlike the majority of other immigration categories, there is not a strict absences requirement for those applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) as the partner of a British citizen or person present and settled in the UK, also known as the Appendix FM or Partner route.   

Under the majority of immigration categories, when you apply for ILR, you must satisfy the Home Office that your absences from the UK have not exceeded 180 days in any rolling 12-month period throughout the overall qualifying stretch of time, which is normally 5 years.

However, when applying for ILR under Appendix FM, no such strict ‘180-day’ absence rule applies.

That said, when applying for ILR under Appendix FM, the online form requires you to disclose your full travel history covering the past 5 years, and if your absences from the UK are particularly high, this may create difficulties for the application. Appendix FM applicants must satisfy the Home Office that they have been and intend to continue living with their partner in the UK. Therefore, if your absences from the UK suggest that you have not been living in the UK with your partner for the majority of your time under an Appendix FM visa, this could give the Home Office grounds to refuse your ILR application.

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