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MaurizioC
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Heloo i have presettled status for 5 years, for how i can

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Heloo i have presettled status for 5 years, for how long i can stay out of uk, i mean after how much time i have to come back
Submitted: 16 days ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  MaurizioC replied 16 days ago.

Hello, I'm an adviser with JA and I will try to help you.

Please note the following:

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Expert:  MaurizioC replied 16 days ago.

Hello.

Expert:  MaurizioC replied 16 days ago.

Based on the Home Office’s EU Settlement Scheme Main guidance, completing a 5-year continuous qualifying period of residence generally means that the applicant has not been absent from the UK for more than 6 months in total (in a single period of absence or more than one: basically, up to 180 days in any 12-month period, disregarding departure and return days) in any given 12-month period (the Home Office is in fact free to choose whichever period), throughout the period of residence relied upon by the applicant.

This includes where the applicant has previously been granted limited leave to enter or remain under Appendix EU (i.e. “Pre-Settled Status”) and is seeking to rely upon having completed a continuous qualifying period of 5 years of residence in order to be eligible for indefinite leave to enter or remain (i.e. “Settled Status”).

There are some exceptions to these “standard” allowances, among which the following:

a single period of absence of more than 6 months but which does not exceed 12 months is permitted, where this is for an important reason, such as pregnancy, childbirth, serious illness, study, vocational training or an overseas posting or because of COVID-19:

- evidence to support an absence as a result of pregnancy, childbirth or serious illness might take the form of a letter or other records from a qualified medical professional;

- evidence to support an absence as a result of study, vocational training or an overseas posting might take the form of a letter or other records from the relevant educational establishment or employer;

- evidence to support an absence because of COVID-19 (see below);

a single period of absence of more than 6 months but which does not exceed 12 months is permitted, where the absence was not originally for an important reason but is to be treated as being for an important reason as it exceeded 6 months because of COVID-19;

(following a period of absence under the first bullet point above because of
COVID-19 or under the second bullet point above)
a second period of absence of more than 6 months but which does not exceed 12 months is permitted, where both:
- this is for an important reason (such as described in the first bullet point above);
- save for caring for someone with a serious illness, that reason is not because of COVID-19.
The period of this absence exceeding 6 months will not count towards any period of residence in the UK on which the person relies;
(following a period of absence under the first bullet point above which, save for
caring for someone with a serious illness, was not because of COVID-19)
a second period of absence of more than 6 months but which does not exceed 12 months is permitted, where both:
- this is for an important reason;
- that reason is because of COVID-19.
The period of this absence exceeding 6 months will not count towards any period of residence in the UK on which the person relies;
(following a period of absence under the first bullet point above which, save for
caring for someone with a serious illness, was not because of COVID-19)
a period of absence under the second bullet point above is permitted; the period of this absence exceeding 6 months will not count towards any period of residence in the UK on which the person relies;
a period of absence under any of the bullet points above which exceeded 12
months
is permitted, where COVID-19 meant that the person was prevented
from, or advised against, returning earlier
; the period of this absence exceeding
12 months will not count towards any period of residence in the UK on which the person relies.

As you can see, there are multiple cases in which even a lengthy absence may be disregarded when calculating any period of residence in the UK on which the person relies for the purposes of applying for Settled Status, but this must be assessed by the Home Office once the application is submitted and the Home Office may check any 12-month period starting from the beginning of the continuous qualifying period (that is why it is of the essence that you calculate your absences from the UK from the date you started living in the UK, even if this date is prior to the date you were granted the Pre-Settled Status).

It is also important that you consider that, where the EUSS Main guidance refers to an absence ‘because of COVID-19’, it means where the applicant, who was resident in the UK by the end of the transition period at 11pm on 31.12.2020 (or who, having been so, relies on any of the exceptions mentioned above), has been ill with COVID-19 or in any other of the COVID-19 relating situations (see below; however, such a list is non-exhaustive and each case is considered on an individual basis in light of the information and evidence provided by the applicant: for examples of relevant evidence, you can refer to the EUSS Main guidance; this includes “used travel tickets confirming the dates the applicant left the UK and returned” and “confirmation of flight cancellations detailing the dates and times”).

Basically, a person can rely on any COVID-19 related reason (including where they chose to leave or remain outside the UK because of the pandemic) as the basis for requiring a second period of absence of up to 12 months for an ‘important reason’.

In such a case, up to the first 6 months of the second period of absence will be counted towards their continuous qualifying period of residence, where the period
counted means they have not been absent for more than 6 months in any 12-month
period. However, their continuous qualifying period will be paused from that point and will
resume from the point of the return to the UK. Where this means, in the case of a person previously granted, under the EUSS, a Pre-Settled Status which is due to expire before they can complete a continuous qualifying period of 5 years of residence in order to be eligible for SS, they will be able to apply for a further grant of PSS.

Also, a period of absence may exceed the 12-month maximum for a period of absence for an ‘important reason’ where COVID-19 meant that the person was prevented from, or advised against, returning to the UK earlier, such as where they were:
• ill with COVID-19;
• in quarantine, self-isolating or shielding in accordance with local public health guidance on COVID-19;
• caring for a family member affected by COVID-19;
• prevented from returning earlier to the UK due to travel disruption caused by COVID-19;
• advised by their university or employer not to return to the UK, and to continue studying or working remotely from their home country, due to COVID-19.

Therefore, if yo exceed the allowances as above described, you will break your continuous residency in the UK and your application for Settled Status at the end of the 5-year qualifying period will most likely be rejected.

On top of this, you will lose the Pre-Settled Status - in itself as a status - if you are continuously outside the UK for more than 2 years, but you may avoid this by returning to the UK before the 2-year deadline and also a short stay in the UK will be enough to reset the clock and let you keep the Pre-Settled Status until the end of the 5-year period (but, in that case, you will have broken anyway the continuous qualifying period and won't be able to successfully apply for Settled Status).

I hope this information is helpful and I wish you the best.

Please do not hesitate to contact JA again if you need help and you may ask to speak with me directly if you wish.

Regards.