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Hi,

I've had work permits in the UK since 2004, and have been living and working here since then. However I do travel a lot, and so have been out of the country from 40-98 days per year, each year. Does anyone know if this will disqualify me from applying for settlement this year?

My other option would be to apply for leave to remain as an unmarried partner, as I've been living with my boyfriend here for several years. However I'd prefer to get settlement now, and have it. . . er "settled."

Thanks for your advice,

Rebecca
 

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Hi,

I've had work permits in the UK since 2004, and have been living and working here since then. However I do travel a lot, and so have been out of the country from 40-98 days per year, each year. Does anyone know if this will disqualify me from applying for settlement this year?

My other option would be to apply for leave to remain as an unmarried partner, as I've been living with my boyfriend here for several years. However I'd prefer to get settlement now, and have it. . . er "settled."
The Home Office will generally allow 'holidays' as per your job entitlement , so if you get three weeks off a year, holidays abroad up to that timespan combined will be accepted without question. Beyond that, you may need to argue compassionate reasons such as caring for a sick relative etc. In your case, provided you can justify your extra absences abroad on job or business reasons, that should be accepted too. So when you come to submit your ILR application, break down your main trips abroad under 'holiday', 'business' and so on. In some cases they may require confirmation from your employer that the trips were in fact business-related, esp if they were very frequent or of long duration. They just want to be sure that you are based in UK and intend to make it your permanent home. This doesn't preclude you from owning properties abroad, including in your native country, but any lengthy absences abroad need to be justified on criteria outlined.
You should definitely apply for ILR as work visa holder. It would throw a whole load of new equations into the mix if you were to apply as an unmarried partner. Remeber you have to pass 'Life in the UK' test!
 
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