There are two recent changes to the rules on calculating continuous residence which those applying for indefinite leave to remain as a Points Based System Migrant and their partners will need to look out for:
- Previously applicants were permitted up to 180 days absence in any fixed 12 month period. This was calculated based on the five 12 month periods prior to the application. For instance, if you made your application on in December 2017 you would need to show that you have not have been absent from the UK for more than 180 days in the 12 month period from December to December each year. However, as of 11 January 2018, applicants now need to show that they have not been absent in any 12 month period within the 5 year period.There are no transitional provisions which is likely to cause problems for applicants who, despite diligently planning their absences to ensure any lengthy trips fall within different fixed 12 month periods to ensure compliance with the old rules, are now caught out by this change. Joanna Hunt provides detailed analysis of this change over on the Free Movement blog.
- Previously there was no absence threshold for partners of Points Based System Migrants. As of 11 January 2018, a threshold of 180 days in any 12 month has been introduced to bring the rules for dependants in to line with the rules for lead applicants. Thankfully there are transitional provisions for this change: any absence which took place before 11 January 2018 will not be taken into account when calculating whether the 180 day limit has been exceeded. As such, applicants are less likely to be caught out, having been given advance notice of:the new threshold.
The Home Office recently updated their guidance to take these changes in the rules into account. If you would like advice in relation to an application for indefinite leave to remain, please get in touch via the contact page and one of our solciitors will be in touch.