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Discussion Starter #1
Good evening.
My wife (she is Russian) will be needing to apply for the spouse visa extension to continue to live with me here in the UK. Her current visa expires end of February 2021.
The query I have is that she went back to Russia for 7months from early August 2019 - late March 2019.
She wanted to work in Moscow, as she is a singer and to see family etc. Also time passed quick before realising she'd been gone from the uk for this amount of time.
My concern is will this hinder her spouse visa extension flm r? Will they decline the visa application? If so, what are our options?
How strictly are the rules applied? I.e with regard to being outside the UK for 180days.

Any help and advice gratefully received.

Regards
 

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Your dates don't make sense..... August 2019 to March 2019 ?
 

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180 days absence rule does not apply to people with a spouse or partner visa. You should not be outside the UK for more than 180 days in any 12 month period if applying for indefinite leave to remain if not on the family route. You showed your intention to live together permanently in the UK so a significant amount of time should be spent in UK

The Home Office policy states:
…where there have been limited periods of time spent outside the UK, this must be for good reasons and the reasons must be consistent with the intention to live together permanently in the UK. Good reasons could include time spent overseas in connection with the applicant’s or their partner’s work, holidays, training or study.
However, the policy also highlights that spending huge amounts of time away from the UK may be problematic.
If the applicant, their partner or both have spent the majority of the period overseas, there may be reason to doubt that the couple intend to live together permanently in the UK.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
180 days absence rule does not apply to people with a spouse or partner visa. You should not be outside the UK for more than 180 days in any 12 month period if applying for indefinite leave to remain. You showed your intention to live together permanently in the UK so a significant amount of time should be spent in UK

The Home Office policy states:


However, the policy also highlights that spending huge amounts of time away from the UK may be problematic.
So if she were to get the spouse visa extension granted when we apply in early February 2021 she then would not be able to apply for ILR in 2.5years time in 2023? (Due to being outside UK longer than 180days in a 12month period) Is this for definite?

Would it be an idea then maybe to not apply for the spouse visa extension in February 2021 and just wait 1 or 2months with her returning to Russia and then start a new spouse visa application again followed by an extension spouse visa, and then the ILR in 5years time.
As from what I can see if we paid for an extension visa we will be dead ended and then have to start a spouse visa application again and then an extension visa and then an ILR and so we'd be paying for spouse visa and ILR 3 times rather than 2.
Just wish this problem had never arose really.
 

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So if she were to get the spouse visa extension granted when we apply in early February 2021 she then would not be able to apply for ILR in 2.5years time in 2023? (Due to being outside UK longer than 180days in a 12month period) Is this for definite?

Would it be an idea then maybe to not apply for the spouse visa extension in February 2021 and just wait 1 or 2months with her returning to Russia and then start a new spouse visa application again followed by an extension spouse visa, and then the ILR in 5years time.
As from what I can see if we paid for an extension visa we will be dead ended and then have to start a spouse visa application again and then an extension visa and then an ILR and so we'd be paying for spouse visa and ILR 3 times rather than 2.
Just wish this problem had never arose really.
Let me clarify it again

The 180 days rules don't apply to those who are on a family settlement visa and apply to those who are on different visa tier 1, tier 2 category i.e work permit holder, investor and they should not be outside the UK for more than 180 days in any 12 month period if applying for indefinite leave to remain.

There is no specific limit to time spent outside of the UK for FLR(M) but the absences should be reasonable' such as visiting family or holidays, work commitment etc. If spouse on family setllement visa spending less then half of her time in the UK then the UK does not appear to be her main residence and contradict with showing intention to live permanently in the UK so just be careful and don't spend 7/8 month outside in each year

Absences will be taken into account when your spouse apply for British Citizenship i.e should not have been absent for more than 90 days in the last 12 months and the total number of days absence for the whole 5 year period should not exceed 450 days
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Let me clarify it again

The 180 days rules don't apply to those who are on a family settlement visa and apply to those who are on different visa tier 1, tier 2 category i.e work permit holder, investor and they should not be outside the UK for more than 180 days in any 12 month period if applying for indefinite leave to remain.

There is no specific limit to time spent outside of the UK for FLR(M) but the absences should be reasonable' such as visiting family or holidays, work commitment etc. If spouse on family setllement visa spending less then half of her time in the UK then the UK does not appear to be her main residence and contradict with showing intention to live permanently in the UK so just be careful and don't spend 7/8 month outside in each year

Absences will be taken into account when your spouse apply for British Citizenship i.e should not have been absent for more than 90 days in the last 12 months and the total number of days absence for the whole 5 year period should not exceed 450 days
So with regard to applying for British citizenship she'd be best to apply for that maybe a couple of years after she is granted ILR so that the last 5years absences that are reviewed would not show this 7month of absence she currently has? And make sure she is present here much more in those last 5years?

I'm confused though still on one thing. All the online literature says a person cannot be outside of uk for more than 180days when applying for ILR. My understanding is she won't be approved for this ILR in 2.5years time, but you are saying that because she is on a family settlement spouse visa (and not a tier 1, tier2 etc) she will still qualify?
So do you think we will we be ok to go ahead and just apply for the spouse visa extension in February 2021 and then apply for ILR in 2023 based on this previous absence?
Thank you
 

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So with regard to applying for British citizenship she'd be best to apply for that maybe a couple of years after she is granted ILR so that the last 5years' absences that are reviewed would not show the 7month of absence she currently has? And make sure she is present here much more in those last 5years?
Again for citizenship: should not be outside the UK for 90 days in the last 12 months and total absence in the last 5 years should not be 450 days. 7 Month absence is 210 days so as long as total absences in the last 5 years don't exceed 450 days then she will not have a problem with one 7-month absence in one year in the past
I'm confused though still on one thing. All the online literature says a person cannot be outside of uk for more than 180days when applying for ILR. My understanding is she won't be approved for this ILR in 2.5years time, but you are saying that because she is on a family settlement spouse visa (and not a tier 1, tier2 etc) she will still qualify?
So do you think we will we be ok to go ahead and just apply for the spouse visa extension in February 2021 and then apply for ILR in 2023 based on this previous absence?
Thank you
I don't want to repeat the same thing mentioned before. Rules are different for different routes to ILR. The family route to ILR has no such requirement of having no more than 180 days absence in any 12 month period. care to share online material? read this

 

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I'm confused though still on one thing. All the online literature says a person cannot be outside of uk for more than 180days when applying for ILR.
The literature you're referring to is not applicable to spouse visa holders. I agree with ILR1980. I also know exactly which document you're referring to - If you read it, there's a section on "Categories covered by this guidance" - You'll note it does not include family/spouse visa holders.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks very much for your swift replies ILR1980 and clever-octopus, its much appreciated.
Seems to be positive news for my questions.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Quick follow up question. Do they count absences from the UK of less than 14days for the ILR? I've been led to believe that they don't, but I'm not sure? Does anyone know?
 

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The ILR application only asks for absences of more than 14 days
 
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