Absences from the UK for Indefinite Leave to Remain – what you need to know

By 28th March 2022 No Comments

ILR and Absences from the UK

Read our update on ILR and absences from the UK.  Immigration rules dictate how long someone can be away from the UK before applying for indefinite leave to remain. This affects the settlement status. In particular, it relates to ”settlement’ or how you settle in the UK.  It enables you to live, work or study indefinitely.

In 2018, the Home Office changed the way it calculates ILR and absences from the UK for applicants.

Home Office Changes

The Home Office States:

…for any absences from the UK during periods of leave granted under the Rules in place before 11 January 2018, the applicant must not have been absent from the UK for more than 180 days during each consecutive 12-month period, ending on the same date of the year as the date of the application for indefinite leave to remain.’

For example:

The application date is 30 June 2020. The applicant’s continuous period includes the following grants of leave:

  • one grant of leave from 1 July 2015 to 28 July 2018.

The Home office considers any absences during this time in consecutive 12-month periods. These end 30 June each year.

  • one grant of leave from 29 July 2018 to 30 June 2020.

The Home Office considers any absences during time on a rolling basis: You must not include any absences from the previous grant of leave when you apply.

Are there any circumstances where discretion is offered?

However, the Home Office will offer some discretion for the following serious and compelling reasons –

  1. Illness of the applicant or close family
  2. Conflict
  3. Natural disaster
indefinite leave to remain photo of aeroplane

ILR and Absences from the UK

What is the situation post-pandemic?

During the pandemic, many people were stuck outside the UK. This was due to travel restrictions and general hesitation around travel. However, they didn’t declare whether pandemic uncertainty counted towards the discretion offered. Therefore, we are not certain what percentage of discretion awarded was pandemic related. We have yet to see how the Home Office tackles such cases. Currently, the Home Office has not released any guidelines on this. We will update this article if any changes are announced or any new guidelines released.

More information in ILR and Absences from the UK

For more information please contact Evellyn Geemon at Taylor Hampton Solicitors on

0207 427 5293

Taylor Hampton assists with all aspects of UK immigration and Emigration to Australia.