Spouse Returning Resident question (reinstate ILR)

Old Oct 29th 2023, 6:43 pm
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Question Spouse Returning Resident question (reinstate ILR)

Hello everyone. I am 'the spouse' of a UK citizen. This forum was immensely useful when we moved to the west coast of the USA 15 years ago. The time has come for us to return home to the UK.

We own our house in the UK. We have flights booked (one way) back on 1st May. I applied for the returning resident visa, to reinstate my ILR.

I have had my VFS appointment in San Francisco and provided a large collection of documents. I brought all the old passports with all the various residency visa stamps, but the VFS staff refused to scan them and send them in (they said the Home office would already have that information on file?) I have since had a refusal letter from the Home Office advising I did not provide proof I had previous ILR status. I have 28 days to create an administrative review. I have already provided feedback to VFS for the refusal to scan the previous passports for submission, and I do intend to pay the GBP80 for the review, but I wanted to know if anyone else has had anything similar happen. Any suggestions for next steps?
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Old Nov 29th 2023, 12:37 pm
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Default Re: Spouse Returning Resident question (reinstate ILR)

If you do not pay the £80 for the review, you will not have a review. Also, the documents were not provided at the time of application, according to you.

The Home Office should have exercised evidential flexibility to request further documents before making a decision.

You can either, do the admin review or

Make a fresh application.

Admin review may not be successful.
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Old Nov 29th 2023, 3:56 pm
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Default Re: Spouse Returning Resident question (reinstate ILR)

Originally Posted by Skiboy
Hello everyone. I am 'the spouse' of a UK citizen. This forum was immensely useful when we moved to the west coast of the USA 15 years ago. The time has come for us to return home to the UK.

We own our house in the UK. We have flights booked (one way) back on 1st May. I applied for the returning resident visa, to reinstate my ILR.

I have had my VFS appointment in San Francisco and provided a large collection of documents. I brought all the old passports with all the various residency visa stamps, but the VFS staff refused to scan them and send them in (they said the Home office would already have that information on file?) I have since had a refusal letter from the Home Office advising I did not provide proof I had previous ILR status. I have 28 days to create an administrative review. I have already provided feedback to VFS for the refusal to scan the previous passports for submission, and I do intend to pay the GBP80 for the review, but I wanted to know if anyone else has had anything similar happen. Any suggestions for next steps?
Can't suggest anything else except go for the review.... but, apart from the relevant passport did you not provide other documentation to prove you had ILR at some stage? Returning Resident visa is always difficult and requires a lot of documentation to show strong ties to the UK.
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Old Nov 29th 2023, 10:54 pm
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Default Re: Spouse Returning Resident question (reinstate ILR)

How frequently were you travelling back to the UK during the last 15 years? Looking back through your passport stamps, were you being landed as a resident or a visitor during that time?
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Old Nov 30th 2023, 5:14 pm
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Default Re: Spouse Returning Resident question (reinstate ILR)

I have been back perhaps nine times, to visit family, and attend funerals, in the past 15 years. The first one, they asked where I was living, and I stated California, so they automatically stamped me as 'VISITOR'

I did pay the GBP80 for the review. Fingers are crossed, but they do say it can take up to 12 months to process a review. My one way airline tickets are purchased for early May. I expect if I have not heard back, I go back in as a visitor and re-apply from inside the UK? Unless someone has a better idea.
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Old Nov 30th 2023, 5:17 pm
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Default Re: Spouse Returning Resident question (reinstate ILR)

Originally Posted by SanDiegogirl
Can't suggest anything else except go for the review.... but, apart from the relevant passport did you not provide other documentation to prove you had ILR at some stage? Returning Resident visa is always difficult and requires a lot of documentation to show strong ties to the UK.
I provided lots of information, house deed, marriage certificate (from the UK) bank details, UK tax filings from the past 15 years, Letter of resignation from my job in the UK when I departed. I don't have any documentation other than the stamp in my passport from 1997 to PROVE ILR. It's frustrating that the staff at VFS Global refused to scan my previous passports with that information in there.
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Old Nov 30th 2023, 5:18 pm
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Default Re: Spouse Returning Resident question (reinstate ILR)

Originally Posted by Akias1
If you do not pay the £80 for the review, you will not have a review. Also, the documents were not provided at the time of application, according to you.

The Home Office should have exercised evidential flexibility to request further documents before making a decision.

You can either, do the admin review or

Make a fresh application.

Admin review may not be successful.
I've paid and submitted the info for the review. They advised it can take up to 12 months to process. I suppose if they haven't made a decision by the time I need to fly back I would enter as a visitor and start the process over again.
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Old Nov 30th 2023, 5:36 pm
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Default Re: Spouse Returning Resident question (reinstate ILR)

Originally Posted by Skiboy
I have been back perhaps nine times, to visit family, and attend funerals, in the past 15 years. The first one, they asked where I was living, and I stated California, so they automatically stamped me as 'VISITOR'

I did pay the GBP80 for the review. Fingers are crossed, but they do say it can take up to 12 months to process a review. My one way airline tickets are purchased for early May. I expect if I have not heard back, I go back in as a visitor and re-apply from inside the UK? Unless someone has a better idea.
You can't re-apply from within the UK ...... I'd start to re-think that May return.
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Old Nov 30th 2023, 5:50 pm
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Default Re: Spouse Returning Resident question (reinstate ILR)

Originally Posted by SanDiegogirl
You can't re-apply from within the UK ...... I'd start to re-think that May return.
sadly, I cannot rethink the May travel. I have to vacate our rental here in the USA and send over all our household goods. I suppose the best option would be for my husband to head back and for me to sofa surf (with no job, can't rent anything) for however long it takes for them to reply back. Makes things a lot more complicated.
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Old Nov 30th 2023, 6:34 pm
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Default Re: Spouse Returning Resident question (reinstate ILR)

Originally Posted by Skiboy
sadly, I cannot rethink the May travel. I have to vacate our rental here in the USA and send over all our household goods. I suppose the best option would be for my husband to head back and for me to sofa surf (with no job, can't rent anything) for however long it takes for them to reply back. Makes things a lot more complicated.
I'm even wondering if, with a visa refusal, you'll even be allowed to enter as a visitor ....?? Could look as though you are trying another way to get into country and stay ?
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Old Nov 30th 2023, 6:36 pm
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Default Re: Spouse Returning Resident question (reinstate ILR)

From your whole set of circumstances, I struggle to see how you would qualify for a returning resident visa, sounds like the refusal was correct.

Traveling in May on a one way ticket with no visa is also a very bad idea.
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Old Nov 30th 2023, 6:52 pm
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Default Re: Spouse Returning Resident question (reinstate ILR)

I was told when I called the (quite expensive) helpline that my circumstances would require me to apply for Returning Resident as I was still ILR before moving to the USA. The original intention was to be in the USA for 18 months, but circumstances led to our staying for 15 years. They said I did not qualify for the Family Visa as I had previously had ILR. I'm not sure what my next steps would be.
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Old Nov 30th 2023, 7:14 pm
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Default Re: Spouse Returning Resident question (reinstate ILR)

Originally Posted by Skiboy
I was told when I called the (quite expensive) helpline that my circumstances would require me to apply for Returning Resident as I was still ILR before moving to the USA. The original intention was to be in the USA for 18 months, but circumstances led to our staying for 15 years. They said I did not qualify for the Family Visa as I had previously had ILR. I'm not sure what my next steps would be.
Terrible advice:

You most definitely qualified for the Spouse visa. Your original ILR would have lapsed after being out of the UK for 2 years........

You could apply now for a Spouse visa - I would say it would be processed by next May (or you could go for priority service (if that is still around for Spouse visa))

Hubby would need to sponsor you..... read the following document for financial etc requirements:

https://assets.publishing.service.go...equirement.pdf

Last edited by SanDiegogirl; Nov 30th 2023 at 7:16 pm.
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Old Nov 30th 2023, 7:18 pm
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Default Re: Spouse Returning Resident question (reinstate ILR)

Originally Posted by SanDiegogirl
You most definitely qualified for the Spouse visa. Your original ILR would have lapsed after being out of the UK for 2 years........

You could apply now for a Spouse visa - I would say it would be processed by next May (or you could go for priority service (if that is still around for Spouse visa))

Hubby would need to sponsor you..... read the following document for financial etc requirements:

https://assets.publishing.service.go...equirement.pdf
Thanks for this! It's frustrating when every time you want to speak to a person it's impossible to get through to someone who has the correct information. We called that helpline three times, and each time they said I should apply to reinstate my ILR rather than do the family/spouse visa. I guess, because my husband (SkiBoy) has been here in the USA with me the entire time, so I wouldn't be going 'to join' a family member in the UK this is why they suggested the reinstate ILR?
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Old Nov 30th 2023, 7:27 pm
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Default Re: Spouse Returning Resident question (reinstate ILR)

Originally Posted by Skiboy
Thanks for this! It's frustrating when every time you want to speak to a person it's impossible to get through to someone who has the correct information. We called that helpline three times, and each time they said I should apply to reinstate my ILR rather than do the family/spouse visa. I guess, because my husband (SkiBoy) has been here in the USA with me the entire time, so I wouldn't be going 'to join' a family member in the UK this is why they suggested the reinstate ILR?
No, they obviously did not have a clue as to your options; joining a family member includes entering the country with your family member who has returned to the UK

You now have to figure you how you can qualify under the financial requirements to apply for a Spouse visa. (if that is the route you intend to go)


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