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Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 10944
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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I am a Polish Citizen residing in the United Kingdom last 9

Customer Question

I am a Polish Citizen residing in the United Kingdom for the last 9 years, since June 2007. I have moved to UK at the age of 22 to study my Masters Degree at a Sheffield University and then remained in London working until January 2016 for two British companies. On 30th of March 2016 I have departed UK to travel. South East Asia for 6 months. My anticipated return is on 28th of September. Britain is my home. My sister resides here with her British husband. My father's sister is a British citizen residing in London for the last 50 years and I have an English cousin here also. My personal and professional life is built here and my partner is British. I am considering applying for Residency Permit to then apply for British citizenship but I would like to understand how my recent travel plans might affect it? What is the longest permitted absence from the UK at any given time? I have read online that there is a certain allowance for the total of 5 years and a different limitation for the last 12 months? How are those months counted, from the day of application or calendar year? Also, what is the limit on the consecutive absence from the country? Are there any exemptions? I am wondering whether I should shorten my travels because of this. Also, am I allowed to leave the country post application? And do I have to be physically in the UK at the time of posting an application? Thank you for your advice!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.

1. Dear Marta, you cannot leave the UK for greater than 180 days in one 12 month period taken from when you entered the UK. Accordingly, your absence in South East Asia should not exceed 180 days if you wish to apply for INDEFINITE Leave to Remain. This will give you the right to remain indefinitely in the UK. However, be aware that as a polish citizen you can apply for a residence card even though you don't have Indefinite Leave to Remain. This residence card merely indicates you have the right to live and work in the UK and to access benefits such as the NHS. Be aware that you must have either been working for five years and paying National Health Insurance contributions or have had private health insurance if you want to get both Indefinite Leave to Remain and citizenship. This point is important as many are refused on this basis.

Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.

2. If you wish to apply for UK citizenship, then you both have to be present in the uK when you make the citizenship application and you cannot have been more than 90 days outside the UK for that last "qualifying year" in which the application is made. So here, you cannot be more than 90 days in South East Asia if you intend to apply for UK citizenship. Over the five year qualifying period you can be up to 450 days outside the UK but only 90 of those can be in the final year. However, be aware that when you make the application for either citizenship or Indefinite Leave to Remain, you should make it from within the uK AND BE present there at that time even if only for one day.

Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.

3. YOu are allowed to leave the UK POST application provided you comply with the relevant rules on absences from the UK. So long as you don't infringe the general rules, there is no prohibition on leaving the UK on the next available flight.

Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.

4. Please rate the answer as unless you rate the answer your expert will receive no payment for answering your question.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
34;Dear Marta, you cannot leave the UK for greater than 180 days in one 12 month period taken from when you entered the UK"So if I entered UK on 2nd June 2007, does that mean that I cannot be outside of the country for more than 180 days in those periods:Year 1: 2.06.2007-1.06.2008
Year 2: 2.06.2008-1.06.2009
Year 3: 2.06.2009-1.06.2010
Year 4: 2.06.2010-1.06.2011
Year 5: 2.06.2011-1.06.2012
Year 6: 2.06.2012-1.06.2013
Year 7: 2.06.2013-1.06.2014
Year 8: 2.06.2014-1.06.2015
Year 9: 2.06.2015-1.06.2016
Year 10: 2.06.2016-1.06.2017Plus I cannot be outside of the country for more than 180 consecutive days. But if I departed on March 31st and come back say 15th of September, then some of the days away should qualify as the absence for Year 9 and some for year 10? Is that correct?Or does it count back from the day you submit the application for ILR?Thank you for clarifying.
Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.

5. Dear Marta, Yes, you cannot be outside the UK for more than 180 days during any of these 12 month periods. That is correct. Secondly, yes you can have some days within one year and some within another 12 month period. However, they must not exceed 180 consecutive days. Finally, when you are applying for ILR, your last 12 months is known as the "qualifying period". Here, you cannot be 180 days out of the UK for this qualifying period.

Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.

6. Dear Marta, be aware that since 2006, Polish citizens no longer need to apply for ILR. They can go straight to citizenship so long as they have a residence card for 12 months. So, by applying for ILR you are adding an unnecessary hurdle in your application. For this reason, I would suggest you instead simply get a residence card which will show you are visa free for 12 months and then apply for citizenship. It is a precondition for citizenship that you have been visa free for 12 months before you make your application. However, be aware here of the 90 requirement for citizenship. This is why I would advise you to only be 90 days in South East Asia as you will need to be under 90 days outside the UK for the final year before you apply for citizenship.