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Sat 20th Jan 2018
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How long you can stay outside UK if you have indefinite leave to remain in UK?
Paul John
How long you can stay outside UK if you have indefinite leave to remain in UK?

Dear Sir,

Me my wife and two year old daughter got PR on January 2011. My wife and child is in India right now. They are planning to stay in India about one year. So how long a settled person can stay outside the UK? There will be any issue in the airport when they coming back after one year? Do we need to carry any documents to show Immigration officer in the airport? and there will be any problem for applying British Citizenship for my child?

Will be appreciated if you can answer my questions.


Dear Friend,

They should come back within 2 years otherwise the indefinite visa will be cancelled and they have to apply as returning residents. If they are coming back in 1 year time their visa will not be cancelled and they will be allowed to enter UK. At the airport normally they will ask why they stay for 1 year outside UK but as you are settled here and they are coming to live with you, I don’t think there will be any problems in the airport. As your wife and child are coming back in 1 year’s time you don’t need to worry about their visa status.

Normally for British citizenship application the person should not have absent for 90 days immediately in the 1 year period prior to the application and should not be away for 450 days all together in the qualifying period.

Children’s application who doesn’t qualify under the immigration rules can also be considered under the discretion of the Secretary of State. The circumstances under the discretion is exercised will vary and a few instances for discretion as stated in the application guide are stated below for your information.

• The child’s connections with the UK - It is expected that the child to be free of any
restrictions on his or her stay in the UK
• Where the child’s future is likely to lie
• The parents’ views
• The parents’ nationality and immigration status - we expect either both parents to
be British citizens or one parent a British citizen and the other parent settled in the
• Whether the child is of good character
• The length of time the child has lived in the UK - we expect at least 2 years
residence (particularly if the child is over the age of 13)
• Any compelling circumstances such as a job offer or other opportunity which
requires British citizenship.

Please note that discretion is exercised in accordance with the policies prevailing at the time of consideration of the application.


Paul John
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