Spouse visa absence

Old Sep 13th 2020, 3:22 am
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Default Spouse visa absence

Hello

We are on a spouse visa (entry clearance of 2.5 years) issues in Dec 2019.

Due to the corona situation and lockdown, we went back to our home country and have now unfortunately exceeded 180 days absence from UK. What impact will this have when applying for extension and ILR? Are we even eligible now to apply?

worried sick! 😢 Your guidance and advice would be much appreciated

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Old Sep 13th 2020, 4:03 am
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Default Re: Spouse visa absence

Originally Posted by aliactuary View Post
Hello

We are on a spouse visa (entry clearance of 2.5 years) issues in Dec 2019.

Due to the corona situation and lockdown, we went back to our home country and have now unfortunately exceeded 180 days absence from UK. What impact will this have when applying for extension and ILR? Are we even eligible now to apply?

worried sick! 😢 Your guidance and advice would be much appreciated
Where is home country?
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Old Sep 13th 2020, 4:09 am
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Default Re: Spouse visa absence

Originally Posted by SanDiegogirl View Post
Where is home country?
Pakistan.

As soon as we arrived in March, the Pakistan airspace was closed down for almost 4 months. We actually had return tickets booked. Also my spouse was tested positive for Covid. Now we have exceeded 180 days absence
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Old Sep 14th 2020, 12:43 am
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Default Re: Spouse visa absence

Unlike work visas there's no formal limit for absences if you hold a spouse visa for either FLR or ILR but spending the majority of your time outside the UK could mean that you wouldn't be considered to intend to permanently reside in the UK which is a requirement. I would therefore aim to return to the UK as soon as you can.
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Old Sep 14th 2020, 12:48 am
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Default Re: Spouse visa absence

The 180 day rule is specified for certain categories of visas, mainly Point Based visas such as work visas.

The 180 day rule does not, as I understand it, apply to those with visas as spouses of British citizens,

This does not mean that someone on a spouse visa can be absent from the UK for long and frequent absences.

The fact you entered the country in Dec 2019, and then left in March 2020 (even for a Coronavirus reason) and are still not back in the UK by September 2020, might be a reason for you to not obtain your FLR(M) at the end of the 2.5 year period.

While Pakistan closed its borders with China and India in March/April, the British Government was flying charter flights to UK for its citizens well into late April. There have been flights to the UK with BA since June, so I don't think you can use the virus as an excuse for having to stay in Pakistan. As you say you flew back to your home country in March due to the coronavirus situation and lockdown in the UK!
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Old Sep 14th 2020, 4:12 am
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Default Re: Spouse visa absence

Thanks BritInParis and SanDiegoGirl for your input.

I have also read that 180 day restriction does not apply to spouse visas. We will be returning to the UK very soon now. Corona was one reason, there were also other important matters that I wanted to sort out before our return.

If we do not take any more absences at all for the remaining period of our visa, that would perhaps make our case for FLR(M) stronger. Thanks again
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