Moving back to UK for seven months only

Old Nov 24th 2021, 8:58 pm
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Default Moving back to UK for seven months only

Hi all,
My apologies if this question has been answered elsewhere...I can't seem to find it.

My husband is a UK native. Our kids are British citizens by descent. I'm American. We are planning to spend seven months (May-December 2022) back in the UK for my husband's sabbatical from his academic job. Technically, he will be on paid leave from that job. Our kids have US passports only. I'm unclear on whether we need visas and what kind of visas we need. Can the kids enter on their US passports and stay that long? I imagine I probably do need a visa. Ideally I'd like to be able to work but if it is difficult/lengthy to get a work permit, I can skip it.

Also, do the kids automatically qualify for the NHS?

Thanks in advance.
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Old Nov 24th 2021, 9:30 pm
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Default Re: Moving back to UK for seven months only

Originally Posted by jhart View Post
Hi all,
My apologies if this question has been answered elsewhere...I can't seem to find it.

My husband is a UK native. Our kids are British citizens by descent. I'm American. We are planning to spend seven months (May-December 2022) back in the UK for my husband's sabbatical from his academic job. Technically, he will be on paid leave from that job. Our kids have US passports only. I'm unclear on whether we need visas and what kind of visas we need. Can the kids enter on their US passports and stay that long? I imagine I probably do need a visa. Ideally I'd like to be able to work but if it is difficult/lengthy to get a work permit, I can skip it.

Also, do the kids automatically qualify for the NHS?

Thanks in advance.
Welcome to BE.

Even though your family members are British, they will not be entitled to use the NHS, because they are visitors, not residents. You will require healthcare travel insurance for you all. Only UK residents can use the NHS. US citizens can visit the UK for 6 months without a visa. If your children are entering the UK with US passports, I believe they will enter as visitors.
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Old Nov 24th 2021, 9:43 pm
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Default Re: Moving back to UK for seven months only

Thanks - this is helpful. Could I as an American citizen stay in the UK for six months, leave for a day, and then come back for the final month? I'm getting differing info on whether there is a limit of 6 months per calendar year.

Could our British kids stay for the full seven months uninterrupted if they enter on UK passports rather than their American ones? We've been told they are entitled to UK passports if they want them.

Also, can the kids attend school if they are considered "visitors" rather than "residents?"
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Old Nov 24th 2021, 9:53 pm
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Default Re: Moving back to UK for seven months only

Originally Posted by jhart View Post
Thanks - this is helpful. Could I as an American citizen stay in the UK for six months, leave for a day, and then come back for the final month? I'm getting differing info on whether there is a limit of 6 months per calendar year.

Could our British kids stay for the full seven months uninterrupted if they enter on UK passports rather than their American ones? We've been told they are entitled to UK passports if they want them.

Also, can the kids attend school if they are considered "visitors" rather than "residents?"
No you can’t do that. The rule of thumb is stay out of the country for the same amount of time as your stay.

If they enter using UK PP, they will enter as UK a citizens. Which means they can stay as long as they wish, but unless they are residents they cannot use the NHS. This applies to your husband too.

Easiest would be to limit your stay to a few days under 6 months. This would allow for any flight cancellations etc which could result in an overstay.

You may find a private school that would take them for 6 months. The school that my daughter attended took a family of expats who were visiting for months on end.
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Old Nov 24th 2021, 9:53 pm
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Default Re: Moving back to UK for seven months only

If the children get their UK passports, then they'll be admitted as citizens, and therefore entitled to stay as long as they wish. They still won't be eligible for the NHS though if only visiting (neither will your husband). So you'll need private health cover, or be prepared to pay for NHS treatment.

Could you not do just under 6 months instead of 7 months? That would certainly simplify things, there's really very little point in you going through the hassle and cost of a spouse visa just for 7 months.

Edit: snap JG - great minds think alike!
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Old Nov 24th 2021, 9:54 pm
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Default Re: Moving back to UK for seven months only

Originally Posted by christmasoompa View Post
If the children get their UK passports, then they'll be admitted as citizens, and therefore entitled to stay as long as they wish. They still won't be eligible for the NHS though if only visiting (neither will your husband). So you'll need private health cover, or be prepared to pay for NHS treatment.

I don't believe leaving for a day will reset your 6 months, you may find yourself being refused entry, as the immigration officer may suspect you're not a genuine visitor if you do that.

Could you not do just under 6 months instead of 7 months? That would certainly simplify things, there's really very little point in you going through the hassle and cost of a spouse visa just for 7 months.

Edit: snap JG - great minds think alike!

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Old Nov 24th 2021, 10:26 pm
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Default Re: Moving back to UK for seven months only

You’d be better to do six months and then leave however if you have to do seven then visit for one month, leave and then return. You are much more likely to get another six months to allow you to do the seven rather than doing six and trying to return for one more.
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Old Nov 24th 2021, 10:34 pm
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Default Re: Moving back to UK for seven months only

Originally Posted by BritInParis View Post
You’d be better to do six months and then leave however if you have to do seven then visit for one month, leave and then return. You are much more likely to get another six months to allow you to do the seven rather than doing six and trying to return for one more.
That’s an idea. It could work…but it’s a gamble isn’t it?
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Old Nov 25th 2021, 12:31 am
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Default Re: Moving back to UK for seven months only

Originally Posted by Jerseygirl View Post
That’s an idea. It could work…but it’s a gamble isn’t it?
It is but probably the safest option without applying for a visa.
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Old Nov 25th 2021, 9:29 am
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Default Re: Moving back to UK for seven months only

I was interested to read about UK citizens not being eligible for NHS treatment if they are non resident. During the years I lived away from the UK I had various NHS treatments in the UK (mainly dental and optician) and this was never an issue. Have the rules changed or does the NHS check more closely now ??
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Old Nov 25th 2021, 10:56 am
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Default Re: Moving back to UK for seven months only

Originally Posted by DernierVirage View Post
I was interested to read about UK citizens not being eligible for NHS treatment if they are non resident. During the years I lived away from the UK I had various NHS treatments in the UK (mainly dental and optician) and this was never an issue. Have the rules changed or does the NHS check more closely now ??
That.
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Old Nov 25th 2021, 11:35 am
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Default Re: Moving back to UK for seven months only

Originally Posted by DernierVirage View Post
I was interested to read about UK citizens not being eligible for NHS treatment if they are non resident. During the years I lived away from the UK I had various NHS treatments in the UK (mainly dental and optician) and this was never an issue. Have the rules changed or does the NHS check more closely now ??
You were lucky, you weren't eligible and could (should?) have received a bill. NHS eligibility isn't based on citizenship, it's residency based.
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