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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

Our company is changing the way we work as a result of COVID-19; all employees are now asked to work from home, some will be working remotely permenantly and some untill end of the year.

My wife currently has the FLR(M) visa which is set to expire on 25/06/2022. We're thinking of going overseas for extended periods of time due to the change in my working policy.

I have a few questions concerning the length of the absense when we come to apply for the ILR and citizenship. My understanding is that there is no absence limit when applying for the ILR(SET M) but there is a continious residency requirement when applying for citizenship.

According to GOV UK (if your spouse is a British citizen), you should not have:
  • spent more than 270 days outside the UK during the 3 years before your application
  • spent more than 90 days outside the UK in the last 12 months

Just to put things into perspective, I'm trying to work out how many days we can spend outside the UK without exceeding the absence limit.

Absense Dates (thus far)
  • Holiday #1 (06 March 2017 to 18 April 2017, 43 days)
  • Holiday #2 (13 May 2017 to 21 May 2017, 8 days)
  • Holiday #3 (21 January 2018 to 22 April 2018, 91 days)
  • Holiday #4 (19 November 2018 to 29 January 2019, 71 days)
  • Holiday #5 (16 June 2019 to 21 June 2019, 5 days)
  • TOTAL absence days = 218 days

Some key dates:
  • Spouse Visa Granted (Start date on vignette sticker) - 15 February 2017
  • Date of (first) Entry in the UK - 18 February 2017
  • Earliest date we can apply for ILR using (5 years minus 28 days from first entry) - 21 January 2022 *using priority service to get decision within 5 days
  • Five Year anniversary in the UK - 18 February 2022
  • Intended date of application of British Citizenship (earliest) - 28 February 2022
  • 3 years before British Citizenship application - 28 February 2019
    • From this date onwards, total days outside UK must be less than 270
  • 12 Months before British Citizenship application - 28 February 2021
    • From this date onwards, total days outside UK must be less than 90


We intend to apply for ILR on my wife's 5th anniversary (i.e. 18 Feb 2022) using the priority service to get a decision within 5 days. Assuming that the application is successful, we'll immediately apply for the citizenship.


Questions:
Earlier I mentioned going overseas for extended periods of time, by that I mean, 4-8 weeks maximum at a time, multiple times.
  1. My understanding is that there is no absence limit when applying for the ILR(SET M), is this correct?
  2. Working backwards from intended citizenship application submission date (i.e. 28 Feb 2022), the only absence they'd consider is Holiday #5 (and beyond). As it stands, number of days absent is 5. Am I understanding the rules correctly?
  3. Follows on from previous question, from now (28/09) until 28 Feb 2021 (i.e. 12 months before citizenship application marker) - we can technically spend entire time outside UK? It works out to be 153 days.
  4. And between 28 Feb 2021 and 28 Feb 2022 - we can spend an additional 89 days outside the UK? The total days outside the UK would be: 5 days + 89 days + 153 days = 247 days. This will be less than 270 days (in 3 years) and less than 90 days (in last 12 months). Am I getting this right?

Whilst I understand the uncertainty and nature of the things going on right now, travelling isnt obviously encouraged, however, one day it will be over. Much of the posts and questions posted on this forum have helped me with my spouse's visa, I hope my post can benefit others aswell.
 
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