The latest Tier 2 policy guidance released this month makes it clear that an applicant’s time being spent between their visa being issued and entry into the UK will be counted as an absence, potentially affecting thousands of applicants who have been waiting for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) for 5 years.
Applicants who do not check their absences thoroughly could be ‘caught out’ by the new rule which will be implemented on the 6th April 2016, possibly resulting in the need for a further extension which could cost hundreds of pounds and delay the ILR process.
Currently, individuals are entitled to 180 days of absence from the UK for each of the last 5 years to qualify for ILR. The 180 days is counted back from the date an application is made. The date an applicant’s visa was issued can be used as the start of the 5 years if that person entered the UK within 90 days of the visa issue date.
Managing Director, Jonathan Beech says that “Tier 2 applicants applying for ILR after the 6th April 2016 will need to exercise caution with their absences. It is advisable that anyone applying for ILR on or after this date, should count their absences before making any further travel plans”.