That shouldn't be a problem. She can stay away for up to 2 years without losing her ILR status. But if she wants to get naturalised, prolonged absence can disqualify her and make her qualifying period of residence (3 years) longer. Maximum absence allowed is 270 days combined during the whole of three years, with 90 days in the last year prior to application. There is some discretion over compassionate or occupational reasons, for example, when you have to leave UK to look after a sick relative or if long assignments abroad are an implied condition of your job with your UK employer, Crown service or similar bodies.My wife (US citizen) and I (UK citizen) both reside in the US and have been married for 7+ years. She recently got her entrance clearance visa with KOL endorsement.
We both have been planning to leave sometime in March or April 2012 and intend to have her sit the LITUK test as soon as we reach there followed by in-person ILR application in person.
Sounds fairly straight-forward (I hope) however, we have additional variable in our plans...basically we have family obligations here in the US and because of which we are considering returning back to the US right after my wife obtains her ILR visa for 6-8 months. We want to go now only because we are concern the new rules may effect us and we much rather apply for ILR before 6th April when the new rules are implemented.
My questions are:
1) Can my wife after getting her ILR visa in the UK can return to the US for 6-8 months and then can return back to the UK in late 2012 without any problems?
She should wait till she gets her biometric residence permit, which is a new requirement for those applying for ILR from 29th February. She should get it in the post within a few days to a week.2) If this is possible, how long are we required to stay in the UK from day we get her in-person appointment for ILR settlement visa? If her application is approved is there a time we are required to stay in the UK before she can travel abroad?
That should be fine. Any new rule shouldn't affect her as she already has a visa with KOL REQ.We may actually stay in the US without returning to the UK in March if the new rules does not effect people with KOL endorsement on their visa as that gives her the flexibility of applying for ILR application straight away after sitting the LITUK test i.e she will not have to wait for 2 years like majority of immigrations are required to on marriage based visa.