Hello, myself, wife, and three children are US citizens in the UK now.
We first entered the country on 16-Aug and were planning to stay for about 6 weeks. But we liked it and decided to extend. We are staying here until 16-Feb, 2015 (6 months from entry). I thought this is what was allowed under our general/tourist visa.
I have had to go back to the US alone a few times for business and personal reasons. When I re-entered the country again yesterday the officer at Heathrow was pretty critical of our situation and said I should not be allowed back into the country, but he did.
I have one final trip to the US planned for next week and return Dec 16th. I want to make sure I know what the rules are and that I can re-enter the country then.
We do plan to leave at the end of the visit (have flights booked).
What do they mean by work? I am still employed in the US (I own the business) and am emailing and having videoconf meetings with my office back in the states. But I am not collecting any wages from a UK company.
We would like to spend more time here and are probably going to apply for T1 Entrepreneur visa after I get back to the US.
My main concerns are being able to re-enter the country and re-join my family, and keeping good relations with the authorities.
Given all of this, is it reasonable for me to expect to leave and come back to the UK during this six months?