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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I have been in the UK for four years. Came in on my initial spouse visa (May 2015) and renewed successfully in December 2017.

This visa expires in August 2020 at which time I believe I would be applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain.

The issue is this- my partner and I are now separating.
I am thinking of going back home for a few months (leaving July 28th) and returning to go school in Northern Ireland (without the support of my ex husband).

Will my departure affect my ILR and also my ability to apply for citizenship after the year in ILR? As in can I just stay on my spouse visa and then apply for my ILR as a standalone person if I am going to school in Northern Ireland? And will my departure of about 5 months affect my ability to get ILR and citizenship?


Thanks!
Katherine
 

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The rules for absence changed in Jan 2018 but I think the statement below refers to those on spouse visas:

The so-called ‘180 day rule’ on calculating the qualifying ILR absence period changed in 2018.

For entry clearance or leave to remain granted prior to 11 January 2018, ILR applicants cannot have been absent from the UK for more than 180 days in the five consecutive 12 month periods.



Your leaving the UK for 'about' 5 months prior to your application, and then going to school in NI might be an issue.
 

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You're expected to tell the home office when you separate or divorce. If you are divorced by the time you qualify for ILR, you will not be eligible for ILR or a visa for leave to remain as a spouse, and will either have to return to your home country, or switch to another visa type (work or student). It is required that you are still with your partner (and sharing a home) to qualify for ILR under a spouse visa.

There is no rule for absences on a spouse visa (with regard to ILR at least, citizenship is different) - the 180 day guidance is for those under other visas like Tier 1 or 2 and UK Ancestry.

So yes I agree it is problematic if you are separating and/or divorcing before you qualify for ILR.
 

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You're expected to tell the home office when you separate or divorce. If you are divorced by the time you qualify for ILR, you will not be eligible for ILR or a visa for leave to remain as a spouse, and will either have to return to your home country, or switch to another visa type (work or student). It is required that you are still with your partner (and sharing a home) to qualify for ILR under a spouse visa.

There is no rule for absences on a spouse visa (with regard to ILR at least, citizenship is different) - the 180 day guidance is for those under other visas like Tier 1 or 2 and UK Ancestry.

So yes I agree it is problematic if you are separating and/or divorcing before you qualify for ILR.
Thought that if married for three years or more - and then divorced - one could remain on course for ILR - all else being OK. (would appear incorrect)

Here is the full run down on divorcing:

https://www.gov.uk/visas-when-you-separate-or-divorce/apply-stay-uk
 

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That's only under EEA rules ("Retained Rights of Residence"), that provision doesn't apply to spouse visas
 

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You're expected to tell the home office when you separate or divorce. If you are divorced by the time you qualify for ILR, you will not be eligible for ILR or a visa for leave to remain as a spouse, and will either have to return to your home country, or switch to another visa type (work or student). It is required that you are still with your partner (and sharing a home) to qualify for ILR under a spouse visa.

There is no rule for absences on a spouse visa (with regard to ILR at least, citizenship is different) - the 180 day guidance is for those under other visas like Tier 1 or 2 and UK Ancestry.

So yes I agree it is problematic if you are separating and/or divorcing before you qualify for ILR.
Could this person apply using SET M parent route , if they have a child together ?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
You're expected to tell the home office when you separate or divorce. If you are divorced by the time you qualify for ILR, you will not be eligible for ILR or a visa for leave to remain as a spouse, and will either have to return to your home country, or switch to another visa type (work or student). It is required that you are still with your partner (and sharing a home) to qualify for ILR under a spouse visa.

There is no rule for absences on a spouse visa (with regard to ILR at least, citizenship is different) - the 180 day guidance is for those under other visas like Tier 1 or 2 and UK Ancestry.

So yes I agree it is problematic if you are separating and/or divorcing before you qualify for ILR.

Oh dear. OK so even if we don't officially divorce and just split I still need to notify the Home Office? When I apply for ILR it would still need to be under the understanding that I have been in a relationship is that right?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Oh dear. OK so even if we don't officially divorce and just split I still need to notify the Home Office? When I apply for ILR it would still need to be under the understanding that I have been in a relationship is that right?

Also, sorry for the double question, but what is the requirements for absense for citizzenship? Is that the 'cannot be out of the country longer than 90 days in the five years proceeding application'?
 

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